Doctor of Education
Date of Defense
Phyllis Balcerzak, Ph.D.
Keith Miller, Ph.D.
Katie O’Daniels, Ph.D.
The researchers of this joint dissertation aspired to create and implement innovative instructional practices that would accelerate student learning. Both researchers believed in the importance of experimenting with structures and processes that lead to instructional impact. They were both passionate about developing an instructional model that would accelerate student learning by focusing on student transfer of skills. They sought to answer the question, Can learning be accelerated when teachers are supported and encouraged to create and implement instructional practices grounded in research? One researcher studied a practice that would potentially increase students’ ability to think critically and problem solve using 5th grade science content. The other researcher created an instructional intervention practice for underperforming students whose progress was flat and not on track to close reading gaps between their same-grade peers.
Both researchers used action research to study their respective instructional practices. One researcher used qualitative data to inform and monitor the instructional practice being studied; the other researcher used both qualitative and quantitative data. One study used critical thinking skills to aid students’ ability to learn science content. The other study used an innovative model of intervention to aid students’ ability to transfer learning from one instructional setting to another.
The researchers believed all students have the ability to accelerate learning when teachers are encouraged and given freedom to create and implement innovative teaching practices in their classrooms. Both faced obstacles while working within a defined system but found that when teachers were given the opportunity to create instructional practices that were grounded in research, student achievement was accelerated.
Simmons, Michelle and Bouchard, Paris, "Innovative Teaching Practices to Accelerate Student Learning in the Areas of Literacy and Science" (2019). Dissertations. 873.
Curriculum and Instruction Commons, Elementary Education Commons, Elementary Education and Teaching Commons, Language and Literacy Education Commons, Other Teacher Education and Professional Development Commons, Pre-Elementary, Early Childhood, Kindergarten Teacher Education Commons, Science and Mathematics Education Commons, Special Education and Teaching Commons