First Advisor

Amy M. Driscoll

Term of Graduation

Spring 1992

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership


Educational Leadership and Policy




Language experience approach in education, Curriculum change, Language arts (Elementary)



Physical Description

1 online resource (3, ix, 177 pages)


The purpose of this study was to describe the implementation of a major curriculum change at the fifth grade level in two different school district settings; an urban district and a suburban district. The major curriculum change was a shift from traditional reading and language arts instructional approaches to an Integrated Whole Language instructional approach. The implementation of this change was examined on the basis of self-reports by administrators, teachers, and students and was analyzed in the context of organizational factors in schools that have typically influenced change. These included school district demographics, the decision making process, administrative support, inservice training, the principal's leadership role, and resources available. Additionally, the study investigated the relationship between teacher self-reported implementation behaviors and student self-reported attitudes and behaviors related to reading and writing.

A blend of qualitative and quantitative research methodologies was employed to describe the implementation as a change process. Extensive descriptive data was collected from school districts, individual schools, administrators and teachers. Teacher administrator interviews were conducted to develop description of organizational factors, and teachers reported their implementation behaviors on a questionnaire. Teacher implementation scores were used to describe difference between teachers, schools, and districts.

A major conclusion was that change is an individual and developmental process. Differences existed in teacher implementation scores and perceptions of the change. It was also concluded that significant differences between administrator and teacher interview responses were related to different knowledge and involvement levels, and a reported lack of principal support. Within school differences and between district differences were found and were related to contextual factors.



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A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership: Administration and Supervision.

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