Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Jose Otaola


Without education, many South Sudanese will continue living in poverty. There are numerous factors that limit their educational opportunities including tribal warfare, colonialism, missionary malpractice, civil wars, a high illiteracy rate, low government funding, and threats of war. These factors have left a substantial deficiency in available training for teachers. The purpose of this study was to determine the pedagogical needs of the teachers of South Sudan. Within a conceptual framework of participatory action research, this qualitative study examined educators' view of the effectiveness of the teacher education that they had received, the pedagogical needs of teachers, and the ideal training models for teachers given the country's current situation. The research design was a case study focusing on 5 primary and secondary schools. The mode of data collection was interviews and observations among 15 K-16 educators and educator leaders selected by snowball sampling. Observations and interviews took place in school classrooms and campuses, best suited for data collection as South Sudanese are, for the most part, a preliterate people who value listening and storytelling. Themes found related to classroom management, lesson planning, differentiated instruction, and motivation to teach. Key results indicated that the teachers had little to no preparation, varied in their motivation to teach, and perceived challenges and needs differently based on their level of education. A 5-day teacher-training project was developed. Social change will be achieved by improving teachers' ability to successfully educate the next generation of leaders for South Sudan.