Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

William K. Poston, Jr.


An important consideration in the examination of the American education system is the extensive involvement of the layman, or the average community member. A few seek election, or are appointed to the local Board of Education, sometimes called the Board of Trustees. These board members play a critical leadership role within the school system and their community;In recent years, educational reform efforts have targeted the area of school governance. Recommendations have suggested mandating and funding board development and self-assessment activities focused on helping the board improve board performance and accountability in making policy. It was to the recommendation for mandatory training and performance assessment of school board members that this study addressed;This study was designed to determine whether school board members perceived current and ideal board practice differently after training. School board members participating in this research were volunteers. The external evaluator would supply the board members with the School Board Orientation/Evaluation Instrument (SBOEI) by mail to be returned for analysis. The evaluator would share the results of the survey during the scheduled course of treatment (orientation/evaluation training). The orientation component was designed to familiarize new and continuing board members with current research and best practice. The evaluation component was designed to assess board perceptions of their current practice and their perceptions of how an ideal board would function in contrast with recommendations of current research;Data were collected over more than a 12-year period. The convenience sample consisted of 1,803 board members from 211 school systems across the country. The control group consisted of 770 board members. There were 430 board members in the pre-test experimental group, and 421 in the post-test experimental group;Analyses of pre-treatment data revealed control and experimental group board members to be unsatisfied with the practices of their boards. Post-treatment experimental group board members perceived themselves to have improved overall. Their perceptions of ideal board practice did not change significantly overall. Conclusions noted that perceptions of current practice became more congruent with ideal practice after board members had received training in effective school board governance practices.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Peter Craig Nikolai



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

136 pages