Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Psychology and Research

Major Professor

Dr. Ralph Brockett

Committee Members

Dr. Ralph Brockett, Dr. Qi Sun, Dr. Barbara Thayer-Bacon, Dr Lois Presser



The purpose of this study is to identify teaching stories in freely available online police firearms training videos and examine the manifest or latent messages they may carry for a law enforcement audience. The literature recognizes that “well told stories have educational power” (Rae, 2016, p.2) and that adult educators traditionally use stories to teach (Clark & Rossiter, 2008) including some police academy trainers (Ford, 2003). However, there is less appreciation of story’s role in the informal learning setting of online videos that might influence the thinking and behavior of viewers. Randomly selected videos were analyzed to identify the teaching stories and messages they contain, revealing a structure in each video of a prime teaching narrative supported by subplot teaching stories. Three types of teaching stories, oral, visual, and narrated are apparent in the study addressing narratives of inherent occupational danger, use of emotive language and predominately positive views of this adult learning activity. The study suggests opportunities exist to apply adult learning theory to provide a more nuanced police training practice for workers in this unpredictable workplace.

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