Date of Award

Fall 11-25-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

PHD - Doctor of Philosophy

First Advisor

Paul Naso

Second Advisor

Sharyn Boornazian

Third Advisor

Michael Fitzpatrick


This qualitative study examined survey and interview data collected from tradespeople who transitioned to vocational technical (VT) teaching in regional vocational technical schools in Massachusetts. This study included two research questions that inquired about how tradespeople’s prior experiences, beliefs, and thoughts influenced or inspired them to pursue a transition to vocational technical (VT) teaching and about how their anticipated transitional experiences aligned with their actual transitional experiences. The survey phase included 170 respondents. Survey responses provided an overview of participants, which was integral in identifying four interview participants who were digitally recorded during one-to-one interview sessions. A multiple Case Study involving two of the interviewed VT teachers resulted, which compares their career-change experiences via vignettes and an analysis of themes across all data sets. The findings illuminate how their prior thoughts and experiences influenced their interest in teaching and their motivations for leaving their trade career to teach. In addition, findings reveal that previously acquired behaviors and trade skills did transfer to teaching, licensure requirements added tension to the transition, perceptions of teaching and school community experiences did not align with their actual experiences, and collegial interactions contributed to a smoother transition to the teaching profession. The findings reveal how a tradesperson’s thoughts, motivations, and prior experiences influenced their transitional experiences and the implications of the study are relevant to tradespeople considering a transition to VT teaching, departments of education and school leaders who establish support for novice VT teachers, and career counselors who advise tradespeople about career options.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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