Portland State University. Graduate School of Education
Robert B. Everhart
Date of Award
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership: Administration
1 online resource (3, xii, 391 pages)
Middle school teachers -- Washington (State), Educational change -- Washington (State), Education -- Standards -- Washington (State), Constructivism (Education) -- Washington (State)
In an environment of systemic educational reform, which emphasizes the alignment of curriculum standards, instructional practices, and assessments, an important question arises: What are the factors which influence teachers to change their classroom practice in response to standards-based reforms ? My study examined the initial legislative model, Washington Education Reform Act HB1209 (1993), and tested other factors that led to changes in classroom practice in three middle schools which are currently implementing HB1209.
The case studies included multiple sources of evidence (administrator and teacher interviews, surveys, classroom observations, focus groups, and documents). The data were analyzed for each school individually and across all three schools to clarify the connection between standards-based reform policy, teachers' learning, and changes in classroom practice.
The study examined the influence of six teacher factors and four school level factors on familiarity with the reform policy, involvement in educational reform, and changes in classroom. Teacher factors were: (a) present teaching experience; (b) previous teaching experience; (c) pedagogical knowledge needed to implement the reform; (d) involvement in educational reform; (e) sense of empowerment; and (f) self-efficacy. School level factors were: (a) previous educational policies; (b) participation in a collaborative learning group; (c) building level and district administrative expectations and support; and (d) organizational features that enhance time for teachers to learn and collaborate.
Both teacher and school level factors were related to familiarity with the policy, involvement in reform, and changes in classroom practice. Teacher factors (involvement in reform, empowerment) predicted more of the variance in familiarity with HB1209 than did school level factors (collegial teams, school reform plan). Contrary to my original hypothesis, knowledge of the reform policy itself was the largest single predictor of involvement in educational reform and of changes in classroom practice. However, while knowledge of the policy was necessary, it was not a sufficient predictor. Teacher factors (staff empowerment, pedagogical knowledge) predicted more of the involvement in reform than did school level factors (time for planning and curriculum development, school reform plan). Teacher factors (involvement in reform) and school level factors (workshops, conversations about practice) were equally predictive of changes in classroom practice.
Thieman, Gayle Yvonne, "Factors Influencing Middle School Teachers to Change Classroom Practice in Response to Standards-Based Reform" (2000). Dissertations and Theses. Paper 1461.