Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Smith, L. Glenn (Leonard Glenn), 1939-

Degree Name

Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)

Legacy Department

Department of Counseling, Adult and Higher Education


Northern Illinois University; College teachers--Illinois--Attitudes


This dissertation explores factors associated with success in university teaching and makes a connection to inspiration by an interpretive analysis of the educational philosophy and goal statements of the 35 Northern Illinois University Presidential Teaching Professors. An interpretive study, which drew on the hermeneutic tradition of explicating textual origins, was chosen in order to understand inspired teaching and factors associated with the professors' success in teaching. Student evaluations and comments from six professors were also used as data. The purpose of this interpretive study was to explore factors associated with success in university teaching and to examine their possible connection to inspiration. Specific study questions were: (1) What are the factors that have led to success in university teaching? (2) Is there a connection between the factors that have led to success in university teaching and the experience of inspiration? Four main categories of relevant themes resulted after analysis of the data. The categories, which described the factors that led to success in university teaching, are: Presence, Promotion of Learning, Teachers as Learners, and Enthusiasm. A connection to inspiration was noted throughout these categories and data was presented by using the narrative voices of the professors and the students. Narrative quotations were used throughout the study as a way to share meaning with the reader. The narratives of the Presidential Teaching Professors and the students in this study give meaning to successful and inspirational teaching.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [110]-116)


x, 118 pages




Northern Illinois University

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