Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


School of Education


Leadership EdD

First Advisor

William H. Green

Second Advisor

Douglas Jones

Third Advisor

Shirley Freed


The responsibility for improvement and change in schools ultimately depends on what teachers do and think. This study investigated the personal side of change by following the thinking of experienced teachers as they are learning and implementing new models of teaching. During a 4-week summer training institute, the thinking of them 36 participants was explored through daily reflective journals, interviews, and observations. Four categories of thought emerged during the analysis of the data: (1) encountering the learning environment, (2) navigating the social milieu, (3) managing the personal, and (4) anticipating the future.

Following the training institute, three teachers agreed to participate in an in-depth investigation of the process of implementation during the school year. Data were collected through full-day observation sessions, semi-structrued interviews, stimulated recall interviews, informal conversations, and teacher documents. The story of each teacher's experience with implementation includes a description of her background, school, beliefs, thinking, and their approach to implementation.

Two themes emerged through analysis of the data. First, the process of change involves a very delicate balancing act of the systemic, social, and personal expectations of the learning environment. It was found that the weight of these sometimes contradictory expectations could act as a constraint to the process of change.

The second theme uncovered is that change involves a process of "re-visioning" for the teacher. This process is made up of a three-part continuing cycle of private visioning, public visioning, and active visioning. It was found through this study and a review of the literature that this process would be facilitated when carried out among colleagues within a safe environment.

Subject Area

Educational innovations, Teachers--Attitudes, Teaching--Methodology

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