Document Type



Doctor of Education


Educational Administration

Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

Kathleen Sullivan Brown, Ph.D.


Sherman, Helene


Carol Murphy

Kathleen Brown

Helene Sherman

Cody Ding


This study looks at the use of Essential Learning Goals and their effect on student learning in grades two through five. Teachers in the treatment group participated in a yearlong professional development program. The treatment incorporated the concepts developed by Wiggins and McTighe (2011) in their research “Understanding by Design”, Marzano’s (2009) work on development of learning goals and objectives, and Hess’s (2007) work on Learning Progressions. The treatment provided training to teachers through a professional development program designed to enhance teachers’ content knowledge to improve student achievement. Student achievement was measured using a district wide communication arts assessment tool. Communication arts scores were evaluated on fourteen different data points over a two year period. Scores were evaluated to determine if an effect occurred related to student achievement after teachers participated in the professional development treatment. Scores were collected using the E-valuate electronic assessment tool. Results indicated that during the baseline year, student achievement scores improved in a similar manner. During the treatment year, the mean score for the control group increased by 2.27 points and the mean score for the treatment group increased by 12.57 points. The difference in the growth of the scores between the control and experience groups was significant. An effect on student achievement scores occurred in the experiment group. The covariates of observation of goal use, teacher experience, and education beyond a bachelors’ degree did not impact the degree of the effect occurring in the student reading achievement scores. It is the recommendation of the researcher additional research take place to confirm results and address limitations in this study.

OCLC Number


Included in

Education Commons