Date of Conferral







Cheryl Keen


Higher education has recently experienced a shift from an input-based accountability system (curriculum and instruction) to one that is now output-based (assessment). Faculty members are the intermediaries who prepare curriculum and instruction to meet the requirements of teacher education departments and to demonstrate results through the achievement of students. The purpose of this study was to understand how adjunct and full-time faculty members experience participation in a public university teacher education department and if faculty members' experience of participation influences instruction. Theories of systems, teacher education, faculty work, and communities of practice formed the study's conceptual framework. Data for the interpretive phenomenological case study included 7 interviews of adjunct and full-time faculty as well as key artifacts and observations of 2 faculty meetings. The data were coded using first- and second-order constructs and analyzed to answer the research question. All full-time faculty members believed their participation in the department affected their instruction whereas the adjunct faculty members did not. Moreover, faculty members had distinct trajectories in a community of practice that may or may not be tied to their status as adjunct or full-time. Increased facilitation of these faculty trajectories by deans and chairs may result in better utilization of faculty professional skills and knowledge. This study's findings may increase knowledge by higher education leadership about their faculty's community of practice and thus create positive social change through the improvement of instruction by faculty and through it, student achievement.