Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Degree Name

Educational Leadership

Department or School/College

School of Education

Committee Chair

Patty Kero

Commitee Members

John Matt, William P. McCaw, Courtney Stewart, Robert Saldin


University of Montana


The information seeking sources of education policy makers was examined in an effort to reveal informed approaches toward minimizing the gap in communication and understanding between education policy makers and educators. Quantitative data were collected from state legislators (n=194) throughout the United States, including background information and information seeking frequencies from ten different sources. Analyses of the nonparametric data using the Kruskal-Wallis, Bonferroni, Mann-Whitney, and Wilcoxon methods showed statistically significant differences in the information seeking sources of education policy makers based on independent groups including: education committee membership and leadership on that committee, gender, party affiliation and experience level. Additionally, statistically significant differences were revealed in the information seeking sources of education policy makers during the legislative session compared to outside the legislative session.

The data analyses demonstrated that education policy makers reported seeking information most frequently from constituents and colleagues. Recommendations for education policy stakeholders and further research are included in the discussion. Conclusions express the need for education policy makers to seek more information from teachers and school administrators, building relationships of trust during interim sessions in order to have more efficient dialogue and exchange of information during the busier time of the legislative session.



© Copyright 2013 Shannon Louise O'Brien