Date of Award

Spring 5-2009

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Leadership and Research

Committee Chair

Ronald Styron

Committee Chair Department

Educational Leadership and School Counseling

Committee Member 2

Kyna Shelley

Committee Member 2 Department

Educational Studies and Research

Committee Member 3

Gaylynn Parker

Committee Member 4

Maria Guilott


The purpose of this research was to provide information to school administrators about the impact differentiated instruction and teacher behavior have on students' decision to drop out of high school or persist. The ultimate goal of this study is to determine if a significant relationship exists between differentiated instruction, teacher behavior and dropout status.

The participants in this study included students enrolled in select colleges or GED programs. The ages of the participants were ages sixteen to twenty-one. The participants completed a questionnaire constructed by the researcher to gather data pertaining to participants' experiences with differentiated instruction and teacher behavior their last year in high school. Eighty-six first year freshmen and fifty GED students completed the questionnaire.

A logistic regression analysis was conducted to test for significant relationships between differentiated instruction, teacher behavior, gender, race and dropout status. A significant relationship was found between differentiated instruction, teacher behavior, and dropout status. However, there was no significant relationship between gender and dropout status, nor race and dropout status.