Title page for ETD etd-11112016-160112


Type of Document Dissertation
Author Alphonso, Tiah B
Author's Email Address talpho3@lsu.edu, tiah.alphonso@gmail.com
URN etd-11112016-160112
Title Investigating Curriculum Use and Its Impact on Teachers and Their Practice
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Education
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
MacGregor, Susan K Committee Chair
Kennedy, Eugene Committee Member
Madden, James J Committee Member
Barnhill, Christopher Dean's Representative
Keywords
  • teacher professional development
  • professional development tool
  • change in teacher practice
  • teacher practice
  • collaboration
  • coherence
  • curriculum materials
  • teacher development
  • mathematics
  • teachers
  • professional development
  • curriculum use
Date of Defense 2016-10-25
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
This study provided insights into how upper elementary teachers from three southern school districts used standards based curriculum materials and the resulting changes in their beliefs, knowledge, and practice. Additionally, this study sought to identify whether the following four factors were predictors of change in teacher practice: coherence of the professional development program, opportunities to collaborate, years of teaching experience, and curriculum use. The participating school districts were selected through purposeful sampling with districts being chosen largely based on a strong commitment to implementing Eureka Math in their schools. For comparison purposes, a contrast school district was also included in the study.

This study employed a mixed method sequential explanatory design with data collection occurring in two phases. First, a survey was administered to teacher participants which included Likert-scale items as well as three open-ended questions. After analysis was complete on this data, interviews were conducted with teachers and district leaders in an effort to further explain, clarify, and enhance the data from the survey administration. Analysis involved examining qualitative data for common themes and coding, computing descriptive statistics on the scales from the survey, and conducting a paired sample T-test as well as a stepwise multiple regression. The analyses of both quantitative and qualitative data in this study provided evidence that curriculum materials can serve as a teacher development tool and an agent of change in teacher practice. Analysis of quantitative data revealed that teaching practices shifted significantly as a result of curriculum use and also established coherence and years of teaching experience as predictors of change in teacher practice. Qualitative data supported these findings and uncovered connections across changes in teacher beliefs, knowledge, and practices. A single, prominent theme emerged across all three areas of teacher change related to problem solving instructional strategies. Curriculum use by teachers appeared to be stable across year one of implementation while in subsequent years, teachers shifted their use of the materials.

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