First Advisor

Randall De Pry

Term of Graduation

Fall 2023

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership: Special and Counselor Education


Special Education




Behavior, Challenging, Development, Implementation, Professional, Science



Physical Description

1 online resource (xi, 462 pages)


The purpose of this study was to investigate the behavioral training programs/frameworks and Professional Development (PD) delivery methods that certified staff - including teachers, speech-language pathologists, school psychologists, occupational therapists, and teachers on special assignment - as well as administrators, believe to be necessary to address the academic, social, emotional, and behavioral needs of students exhibiting challenging behaviors. This national study used survey methods to explore the views of US K-12 public school educators on the PD needed to support student behavior effectively. Using social media recruitment, primarily through Reddit and Facebook, allowed the survey to reach a substantially larger pool of participants than more traditional means of recruitment. Participant responses were analyzed to determine what behaviors are the most disruptive on a regular basis, what behavior training and training delivery methods educators have had in the past, and what training participants want in the future. Survey questions also asked educators about the fairness of discipline in their setting for different demographics of students. Questions specific to administrators were asked to ascertain their priorities for professional development and the extent of the influence they have over funding and scheduling of professional development. Data from the survey were examined using the principles of the Implementation Science framework. This analysis informed recommendations for enhancing PD practices in the educational setting. The discussion further addresses prospective avenues for future research, emphasizing the potential role social media could serve in enhancing survey distribution to a broader targeted audience.


© 2023 Michelle R. Milburn

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