Date of Award

2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Education

Program

Curriculum and Instruction PhD

First Advisor

Larry D. Burton

Second Advisor

Faith-Ann A. McGarrell

Third Advisor

R. Lee Davidson

Abstract

Problem

For several years, curriculum developers in the North American Division (NAD) have used the biennial results from the Profile Surveys to help guide their decisions in terms of educational policy. While some comparisons have been made between individual studies and ensuing results have been used to influence curriculum development, overall trends in the 10 studies up to 2007 have not been identified. As the studies increased in number, an integrative effort was needed in order help reveal the trends in the combined results and to make them available in more compact form for use by curriculum developers.

Method

The database for this inductive analysis was generated from various secondary sources, primarily written reports, articles, and SPSS files containing results from the 10 Profile Studies conducted from 1987 to 2007. These were supplemented with archived data from CDs and other hard copy sources, and personal communication with L. D. Burton, principal investigator for the last two Profile Studies conducted in 2004 and 2007. The following four research questions guided this study: 1. As reported in the Profile Survey results from 1987 to 2007, what trends emerge in K-12 teacher responses with regard to curriculum guides? 2. As reported in the Profile Survey results from 1987 to 2007, what trends emerge in K-12 teacher responses with regard to textbooks? 3. As reported in the Profile Survey results from 1987 to 2007, what K-12 technology issues feature most prominently? 4. As reported in the Profile Survey results from 1987 to 2007, what other system-wide issues feature most prominently in K-12 Adventist education? Data analysis involved a quantitative approach using descriptive statistics. Further, data were viewed through the lens of institutional theory. In addition to quantitative data, some qualitative responses from key stakeholders were integrated into the research to strengthen or clarify findings based on quantitative data.

Results

Data analysis indicated that the fragmentation issue which initially gave rise to the Profile Surveys has been resolved. Results based on analysis of the four research questions indicated that many of the concerns related to curriculum guides, textbooks, technology in schools, and other system-wide issues including the Journey to Excellence (J2E) initiative have been resolved. However, as curriculum development is an on-going process, many more issues still need to be further studied and addressed. Those include integrating faith with learning, teaching critical thinking skills, and adopting and implementing professional development strategies that work.

Conclusions

Based on the findings from this study, condensed information on curriculum-related issues that matter to teachers is now available to curriculum developers in the NAD. With respect to curriculum guides, for example, results reveal that format and user-friendliness do matter to teachers. In addition, the findings from this study can serve to acquaint system-level administrators with trends such as a rift in professional development methods among K-12 teachers. Moreover, this research provided evidence that, while room remains for improvement, teachers have been advancing in their knowledge of the J2E initiative, the foundation of the vision for excellence in Adventist education.

Subject Area

Education--Curricula, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. North American Division--Education

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