Date of Award

1991

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Education

Program

Leadership PhD

First Advisor

William H. Green

Second Advisor

Paul S. Brantley

Third Advisor

Douglas A. Jones

Abstract

The purpose of the study was to describe the operational form of the innovation--Integrated Thematic Instruction within the context of its implementation.

An embedded single case study design was used to carry out this qualitative study, with Integrated Thematic Instruction (ITI) as the unit of the case study. The questions that guided the study were: What does ITI look like when implemented by the teacher? What are the contextual elements of implementation of this program? What variations are found in the implementation of this innovation by different teachers?

A review of related literature revealed the historical, philosophical, and theoretical underpinnings of ITI. Several innovative educational practices were compared with ITI and parallels were drawn between them and ITI.

Since this was the first descriptive research study of ITI, an Innovation Configuration of the program was developed. Interviews of the program developer, local program coordinators, as well as users (teachers), and observation of classroom implementation of ITI, helped in delineating its critical components; the ideal, acceptable, and unacceptable variations of its components were identified. The implementation context of ITI and the variations in teacher use of the components of the program were also studied.

The case study was conducted at two different schools using ITI. The description of its context included school demography, the support systems, students, and selected psychological characteristics of the teachers.Implementation of the program is described first in general, and then in detail, focusing on its use by two teachers at each school.

A brief analysis was made of the use of ITI at the two different sites. Several implications derived out of the study; these include those for further research, for staff developers and change facilitators, for principals, and for teachers using or intending to use ITI.

Subject Area

Educational innovations, Curriculum enrichment

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