Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Leadership, Research and Technology

First Advisor

Dr. Sue Poppink


This qualitative research study used elements of phenomenological and narrative research methodology to explore the common characteristics and experiences of a sample of resilient elementary teachers working in urban schools. The six research subjects in this study’s sample each had at least eight years of teaching experience, and each participated in a cycle of three in-depth interviews designed to determine their degree of resilience and to develop a portrait of their personal and professional characteristics, experiences, attitudes and beliefs. Once the data collection phase was complete, data was coded and then analyzed to identify which of the characteristics and experiences were common to the research subjects. The significant findings of this study were that: (a) a sense of spirituality; (b) the presence of collegial and, or personal support systems; and (c) the development of personal connections with students were all common to the sample members at a strong level. The findings of this study suggest implications for the fields of educational leadership and teacher education, and for areas of study including resilience theory and positive psychology.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access