Dissertations, Theses and Capstone Projects

Date of Award

Fall 2011

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Teacher Leadership (Ed.D)


Teacher Leadership for Learning

First Advisor

Dr. Dawn Kirby

Second Advisor

Dr. Darren Crovitz

Third Advisor

Dr. Angela Blaver


In a qualitative study in a school district transitioning from rural to suburban based on a population growth and a shift in demographics, attitudes about writing, writing practices, writing assignments, and assessment practices of three teachers in the curriculum content areas of math, science, and social studies were investigated. Individual interviews with the teachers, observations of their classroom practices, interviews with focus groups in their content areas, and examinations of rated assessments provided the data for the study. The results indicated that the teachers’ past negative experiences with writing reflect in their teaching practice, as all are reluctant to generate or assign writing tasks for their students. Indeed, the researcher found that the teachers in the study minimized writing, preferring instead that students verbally communicate their cognitive processes. Although this study consists of only three case studies of teachers in their content areas, its implications are relevant for schools and school systems attempting to incorporate standards-based instruction into the curriculum. Students need to demonstrate higher levels of functioning within Bloom’s and Webb’s taxonomies on high-stakes testing; yet if content-area teachers remain reluctant to deal with written evidence of such cognitive processing, the veracity of their assessments is questionable.