Date of Award:

8-2011

Document Type:

Dissertation

Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department:

Education

Department name when degree awarded

Education(Curriculum and Instruction)

Advisor/Chair:

Brian K. Warnick, Ph. D.

Abstract

This qualitative study examined the relationship between Utah public high schools and Latter-day Saint (LDS) released-time seminaries through the perspectives and practices of principals from both institutions. The study followed methods consistent with phenomenological research. Data were analyzed through a theory of social exchange. Sites and participants were purposefully selected using a criterion phenomenal variation strategy. Sites included six Utah public high schools with LDS seminaries adjacent. Participants included the public school and seminary principals at those sites. The overarching question that guided the study was: How is the professional relationship between the public schools and LDS seminaries in Utah perceived and practiced by principals of both institutions? The three subquestions used to support the central question were: (1) What are principals’ perceptions of the relationship? (2) How is the relationship maintained? (3) Why is the relationship maintained?

Findings from the study suggested that public school and seminary principals, for the most part, perceived the public school-LDS seminary relationship to be: (a) working well; (b) valuable and mutually beneficial; and (c) equitable. Findings further suggested that the relationships were maintained: (a) through reciprocal efforts to accommodate, support, and show appreciation for each other; (b) by following historically established norms; and (c) by being sensitive to legal parameters established for the relationship. Findings also suggested that the relationships were maintained because: (a) each institution has become dependent upon the other; (b) the relationship benefits both parties; (c) the benefits received outweigh any challenges that result from the relationship; (d) the relationship has become an expectation and ingrained part of the culture of the state; (e) positive emotions result from the relationship; and (f) the relationship is beneficial to the students.

Comments

This work made publicly available electronically on September 2, 2011.

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