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ERIC Number: ED556091
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 228
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: 978-1-3035-4495-8
Understanding Common Core Implementation: How Educators Intuit, Interpret, and Begin to Integrate Curriculum Reform
Porter, Rachel
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, North Carolina State University
The purpose of this comparative case study was to explore the ways educators at the school-level experience a federally directed curriculum policy change and examine the contextual factors that impacted the way it was initially implemented. Application of an organizational learning (OL) lens was incorporated to help illuminate the ways educators made sense of and began to implement the new Common Core State Standards. This study investigated the experiences and perspectives of teachers in two North Carolina elementary schools, as they initially implemented the new standards. Qualitative data was gathered through teacher surveys, faculty focus groups and interviews with each school principal and the two district Race to the Top coordinators. Analysis of the collected data uncovered common themes between the experiences at each school, as well as varied contextual factors that impacted implementation. Themes included interpretation of the policy, the role of professional collaboration, professional and personal impacts, time and pacing, and alignment to other initiatives. Comparison to organizational learning frameworks revealed numerous links between teacher experiences and elements of OL theory that helped explain the dynamics at hand. Findings from the study suggest several implications for policy and practice. Federal and state level decisions should consider ways to improve coordination and communication between and among the various levels and move to link federal efforts to the ground level in a more meaningful way. For district practitioners charged with enacting and supporting policy implementation, findings suggest a need for better communication and better designs for the management of training and resources. At the school level, principals and coaches, in the role of both supporting implementation and filtering information, must promote straightforward discussion focused on a clear vision and unambiguous expectations. For classroom teachers implementing Common Core, or any other large scale reform, the findings of this research reveal the importance of embracing change while remaining anchored to the goals and purposes of education at its core. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: North Carolina
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Race to the Top