Date of Award

Spring 4-2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. Lynda Leavitt

Second Advisor

Dr. Graham Weir

Third Advisor

Dr. Sherrie Wisdom


The purpose of this action research study was twofold: 1) to investigate the role the Socratic Method of teaching had (if any) on the leadership skills of Junior Reserve Officer Training Cadet (JROTC) leaders at a military boarding school in the Midwest, United States, and 2) to determine if there was any change in the researcher’s teaching while implementing the Socratic Method to his JROTC Cadet leaders in his Western Intellectual History class. The researcher defined leadership based on the Five Leadership Practices derived from the Student Leadership Practices Inventory. These practices consisted of Model the Way, Inspire a Shared Vision, Challenge the Process, Enable Others to Act, and Encourage the Heart. Through the collection of data via a pretest and posttest on the leadership skills of the cadet participants, student weekly journal entries, the researcher’s weekly journal entries, classroom observations, an end of the year questionnaire concerning the cadet participants’ self-perceptions of their leadership development, and video-recordings of Socratic discussions, the researcher was able to ascertain the development of leadership skills and his own pedagogical development. The data supported that the cadet participants perceived an improvement in their leadership skills after engaging in the Socratic Method in Western Intellectual History class. Moreover, themes that emerged from the journal entries and answers to the end of the year questionnaire aligned with the leadership characteristics in the Five Leadership Practices. Furthermore, the data revealed that the researcher’s pedagogical experience, specifically in lesson delivery, changed during the time he used the Socratic Method of instruction in his Western Intellectual History class.


Copyright 2014