Date of Award

4-2009

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Educational Leadership, Research and Technology

First Advisor

Dr. Patricia Reeves

Abstract

In response to the well publicized crisis situations that have occurred in the nation's schools, the development and implementation of school safety plans has become a priority of states and school districts across America. One element of these policies is the school lockdown procedure designed for securing a school building. The State of Michigan currently requires that all schools perform a minimum of two lockdown drills each school year.

The purpose of this qualitative, phenomenological study is to explore the experiences of teachers in order create an awareness of how teachers assess their ability to conduct lockdowns effectively, to examine the emotional, physiological, cognitive and behavioral responses experienced by teachers during lockdowns, and to uncover teachers' training needs for implementing and conducting lockdown procedures effectively.

To gain an understanding of the human behavior associated with lockdown procedures, as well as the meaning and purpose attached by participants, sixteen middle and high school teachers from across the Upper Peninsula of Michigan participated in in-depth interviews.

This study reveals that teachers identified knowledge and understanding of lockdown procedural steps practiced within the schools. The participant also reveals a level of confidence in their ability to conduct a lockdown in the event of a real situation. This confidence stemmed from the current training used in Upper Peninsula of Michigan middle and high school settings.

This study also identifies that teachers have not received training connecting the human response to crisis to a teacher's actual performance during a crisis. There is no connection made in current training practices between the participants' knowledge of the procedures and their understanding of how a human's response to a crisis situation might impact one's ability to conduct the procedures in the event of a real crisis situation.

Additionally, this study reveals that although there is a level of confidence in the participants' ability to conduct the procedures, the participants expressed a concern or fear about school violence and a desire for more in-depth training that would allow for the practice of realistic scenarios. The results of this study provide a new source of information for those charged with developing school safety information and particularly the development of school lockdown training.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

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