Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Richard P. Manatt


The purpose of this study was to determine the learning style(s) of alternative educators, those who teach in an alternative school/program. A demographic profile of this growing subset of teachers was also investigated. Alternative educators' learning styles were compared with the learning styles of traditional educators, those who teach in the current paradigm of public K--12 schools. The Iowa Association of Alternative Education's (IAAE) 1998--1999 membership was the population for this study with a total sample size of 176 participants. Richard P. Manatt, director of the School Improvement Model at Iowa State University, compiled data on over 10,000 traditional educators. The Gregorc Style Delineator was administered to the traditional educators across the United States over a period of 11 years between 1987--1998 during staff development seminars. The Gregorc Style Delineator was subsequently administered to the population of this study in the spring of 1998 in the state of Iowa. The number of subjects identifying different learning styles was compared between the two groups. A chi-square analysis revealed significant differences at the .05 level. In general, alternative educators are more likely to have an Abstract Random or Concrete Random component as part of their learning style as compared to traditional educators. They are also less likely to have a Concrete Sequential or Abstract Sequential component as part of their learning style as compared to traditional educators. The demographic profile revealed alternative educators are better educated, wealthier, and more likely to be male or a minority when compared to educators working in traditional schools. Alternative educators also expressed a moral motivator to work with at-risk students such as religion, altruism, or empathy.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Rebecca Lynn Rosenquist



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

79 pages