Date of Award


Degree Name

EdD Doctor of Education

Dissertation Committee

Mary Woods Scherr, PhD, Director; Johanna S. Hunsaker, PhD; John Chamley, EdD


case study, educators, Glasser Control Theory, Interpersonal communication, Leadership studies, Reality therapy, reflection skills, school district


The influence of Glasser's control theory and reality therapy on educators' perceptions of change, relationships and self reflection has to date not been researched. The purpose of this study was to investigate and describe the influence that control theory and reality therapy training had on educators in one school district. A case study method was chosen because of its descriptive and evaluative strength in educational settings, its qualitative character and its flexibility. All educators currently employed who had participated in one week of training or more were sent a fifteen item survey. From the group of 100 who received the survey, 69 responded. Educators who had participated in one advanced week training or more, were asked to volunteer for interviews. Of the 14 to volunteer, eight were certified in reality therapy and six had advanced training. There were five men and nine women; of these there were three principals, three counsellors, five teachers, and three teacher support workers. Three of the interviewees were 50-54 years of age, four were 45-49, four were 39-44, two were 34-38 and one was in the 29-33 age range. Interviews and the open ended questions on the surveys elicited rich, heartfelt accounts of how the training had influenced educators' personal and professional lives. As a result of the data analysis on questions about change, relationships and self reflection, a number of themes were identified. The themes of this study indicate that for the large majority of participants the training influenced the way they cope with change in terms of their interpersonal communication and personal reflection skills, heightened their awareness of their own and other's needs and increased their self confidence. Participants perceived their engagement in self reflection increased and had become qualitatively different since taking the training. Their handling of conflict in their personal and professional relationships was positively influenced by the training. Findings indicate that those who had taken advanced training were more strongly influenced by the training than those who had only completed the basic training, the women were more influenced than men, and the training was perceived to be the key influencer, not age.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access