Date of Award

Fall 12-14-2023

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership for Learning Dissertations

Department

Educational Leadership

Committee Chair

Dr. Sheryl Croft

First Committee Member

Dr. Nicolas Clegorne

Second Committee Member

Dr. Jen Wells

Abstract

This research study examined the perceptions of school leaders on the alignment of curriculum and student achievement. The purpose of this phenomenographic case study, rooted in Leitzel and Vogler’s (1994) definition of curriculum alignment, was to examine school leader and teacher perception of the relationship between curriculum alignment and student achievement as evidenced by document analysis and interviews with individuals who teach and support United States History courses in an urban characteristic Georgia high school. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with the school principal, US History teachers, the assistant principal for instruction, and the assistant principal that supports and evaluates US History courses in the selected school. Teacher lesson plans were also analyzed using a document analysis protocol. The data were analyzed utilizing Microsoft Excel. The findings for research question one determined teachers and school leaders perceived that alignment between curriculum, assessment, and instruction was driven by teacher instruction and could positively impact student achievement. For research question two, teachers and leaders both perceived that instructional timing and pacing, as well as professional learning communities directly impacted curriculum alignment. Lastly, for research question three, teachers and leaders shared differing opinions on US History content knowledge and systems of support for teaching and learning. The document analysis review of teacher lesson plans found contrary to the dialogue shared by teacher and leader participants, the planned learning experiences did not consistently align with learning targets. Recommendations for further research and practice include intentionality in establishing systems and processes that support the implementation and monitoring of aligned systems of instruction.

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