Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Curriculum and Instruction PhD

First Advisor

Larry D. Burton

Second Advisor

Rita Henriquez-Green

Third Advisor

W. Eugene Brewer


Problem. The Southern Union started the Adventist EDGE initiative as an action plan in response to the North American Division's document, Journey to Excellence . The Adventist EDGE became a comprehensive educational reform initiative. However, there were different ideas on how the innovation should look when inaction in the schools, and these differences became obvious during the initial EDGE school validation visit, resulting in hurt feelings and confusion. Thus, the need for my study to clarify EDGE became critical for the survival of the initiative.

Purpose. The purpose of my study was to develop two operational definitions or Innovation Configurations for the Adventist EDGE teacher and the Adventist EDGE School. This would identify the core components of the Adventist EDGE and provide descriptions of behaviors ranging from Ideal to Unacceptable within each component.

Method. My study was a qualitative case study, specifically an Innovation Configuration study. It involved eight states in the Southeast that make up the Southern Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. There were 42 participants from the eight conferences within the Southern Union Conference representing 20 developers, seven expert users, and 12 users of various levels of use, which included representation of all grade-level teachers K through 12.

Results . Two operational definitions or Innovation Configurations were developed, one was for the EDGE Teacher, and the other was for the EDGE School. Key components were identified for both the teacher and the school. The teacher Innovation Configuration has six core components. Under each component are several elements with a continuum of behaviors grouped into three categories: ideal, acceptable, and unacceptable. The school Innovation Configuration has five core components. Under each of those components are several elements with a continuum of behaviors grouped into four categories: ideal, progressing, emerging, and unacceptable. These two innovations define behaviors present in an Adventist EDGE School or Adventist EDGE Teacher.

Conclusions. Prior to my study, the Southern Union had no clear definition of specific behaviors for the Adventist EDGE School or Adventist EDGE Teacher. Everyone had his or her own ideas of what EDGE should and should not look like. Using the Innovation Configuration Tool from the Concerns-Based Adoption Model helped to unify the Southern Union Developers of Adventist EDGE. Through a collaborative process, it clarified what an Adventist EDGE Teacher and an Adventist EDGE School looks like when implemented in the classroom or school.The development of the Adventist EDGE Innovation Configuration-Teacher Components and the Adventist EDGE Innovation Configuration-School Components has helped to pull the different viewpoints and ideas of everyone into a focused picture where key players have all agreed. These two Innovation Configurations now provide direction, increasing the chances of sustaining the Adventist EDGE initiative.

This study provides a baseline for a host of further studies. Some of those studies might include developing the Innovation Configurations for the conference and union levels. Conducting a comparison study between atypical, good Seventh-day Adventist school and an Adventist EDGE School of Excellence could help determine if the EDGE program is making a difference. Conducting longitudinal studies of student achievement in Adventist EDGE Schools of Excellence and determining if the Adventist EDGE is meeting the needs of Seventh-day Adventist education for the 21st century as outlined in the North American Division's Journey to Excellence are just a few of the studies that can now be conducted.


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