Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Wilkins, Elizabeth A.

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Curriculum and Instruction (CI)


This phenomenological study examined four elementary teachers’ decision-making regarding instruction using the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Three research questions guided this study: (1) What are elementary teachers’ perceptions about their experiences implementing CCSS initiated by the district and the PL they received? (2) How do elementary teachers describe their decision-making and changes in instruction based on the PL they received when implementing the CCSS? and (3) What successes and challenges have elementary teachers experienced in using the CCSS in their instructional delivery? Fullan’s Change Theory, as well as Hattie’s Mindframes, provided the theoretical framework. Data were collected through teacher interviews, a focus group, bi-weekly reflections, and teacher artifacts. The study’s findings revealed major themes regarding teachers’ attitudes toward CCSS skills instruction, decisions regarding the standard learning progressions, and professional learning needs associated with the reform initiative. Several implications arose from this study. The first is that stakeholders need to follow a strategic plan when implementing a reform as well as provide PL based on the needs of teachers. The second is since reforms are typically top-down in education, teachers need to embody certain Mindframes to combat the challenges that may be associated with implementing reform in the elementary classroom.

Several recommendations emerged from this study including a Re-conceptualized 5-Step Approach to Delivery of Educational Reform that incorporates Fullan’s Change Theory as well as Hattie’s Mindframes for all stakeholders to consider when starting and carrying out any reform in an educational setting.


198 pages




Northern Illinois University

Rights Statement

In Copyright

Rights Statement 2

NIU theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from Huskie Commons for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without the written permission of the authors.

Media Type