Staci Sellers

ORCID Identifier(s)


Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies


Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

E Catherine Robert


The purpose of this phenomenological study was to understand better the lived experiences of seven elementary looping teachers. Specifically, their perceptions of whether or not the participation of looping facilitated their professional growth as it relates to the four primary areas of T-TESS. Previous studies in the realm of looping have a focus on student experiences and achievement. Although looping is research-based and shown to enhance student achievement, no known researcher had examined how looping teachers perceive the experience in terms of their professional being. This study was an opportunity to fill the gap in literature based on experiential learning opportunities for educators. The conceptual framework of the Texas Teacher Evaluation and Support System (henceforth, T-TESS) guided the analysis for this study as the Texas Education Agency has identified the areas of teaching excellence within the T-TESS expectations. This study uses the constructivist theory as the lens to consider teachers’ development through active and hands-on learning. By using these frameworks, themes from the participants’ interviews revealed that the looping experience was influential to the participants’ development of skills aligned with teaching excellence in the areas of planning, instruction, learning environment, and professional practices. The participants in this study constructed a firsthand understanding of teaching excellence in various areas in the form of the job-embedded experience of looping. In the area of planning, the participants collectively recalled in saturation how looping influenced their planning in the areas of vertical alignment mastery and decision making based on an improved knowledge of students. The experience of looping impacted the participants’ understanding and ability to achieve expectations, build a more solid foundation of content knowledge, and monitor/adjust instruction.


Looping, Professional development, Active learning, Teacher training


Education | Educational Leadership


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington