Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

How teachers experience change: A phenomenological case study of a district-wide curricular reform
by Schreiner, Sherry Lynn, Ph.D., Colorado State University, 2014, 155; 3635675
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this phenomenological qualitative study was to better understand how teachers experienced the implementation of a guaranteed and viable curriculum. Interpretative phenomenology within a single case study was used to explore the experiences of the teachers as they moved through this significant reform. Thirteen teachers were interviewed and the findings were analyzed according to Van Kaam's method. The key findings are presented in the form of three continua: GVCIA: I like it...but; Leadership: From empowering to demoralizing; and Attitudes toward change: A grand adventure through don't they trust me.

Although most teachers understood the need for unifying the curriculum and appreciated the content, they were also concerned with specific aspects of the implementation, including the speed of the implementation, the lack of resources to support the change, and losing the "art" of teaching. How each specific building-level leader presented the implementation made a difference in the attitudes of the participants towards acceptance. The essence of their experience was hearts in the game. The shadow of hearts in the game was loss of passion and loss of efficacy. Hearts in the game means teachers were able to adjust and adapt to the new curriculum by daily remembering their mission for teaching. Leaders who trusted them to be professionals, honored what they had done in the past, and allowed some flexibility within the curriculum helped keephearts in the game. Although the focus of this study was the experiences of the teachers as they adopted the GVCIA, one factor that appeared to affect the implementation was the fact that many other changes were happening at the same time.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Davies, Timothy
Commitee: Anderson, Sharon, Hegeman, Diane, Miller, Jeffrey
School: Colorado State University
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- Colorado
Source: DAI-A 76/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, Middle School education, Elementary education, Secondary education, Curriculum development
Keywords: Change, Educational leadership, Educational reform, Efficacy, Guaranteed curriculum
Publication Number: 3635675
ISBN: 978-1-321-16884-6
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