Defense Date


Graduation Date

Summer 8-13-2022


Immediate Access

Submission Type


Degree Name



School of Education

Committee Chair

Amy M. Olson

Committee Member

Rachel Ayieko

Committee Member

Shondricka Burrell

Committee Member

Gretchen G. Generett


Curriculum Coherence, Curricular Resources, Mathematics Curriculum, Science Curriculum, Secondary Grades, Mathematics and Science teachers, Administrators, Suburban and Rural Schools, Teacher Collaboration, Teacher Autonomy, Teacher Support


This qualitative study investigates teacher and administrator perceptions of what it means for a curriculum to be coherent, strategies they have for establishing coherence of the diverse curricular resources available, and the difficulties teachers may face in understanding coherence and implementing potentially coherent curricula. This study uses the Danielson Model of Effective Teaching and the Tripartite Model of Curriculum as frameworks to examine the ways coherence is understood and implemented in the classroom. The study collected open-ended survey, focus groups, and individual interview data from 12 participants who identify as administrators, mathematics teachers, and science teachers in secondary grades at a rural school and a suburban school through a semi-structured protocol. The data were analyzed holistically across all the participant responses and were grouped by themes using a selective reading approach. The results of the data analysis identified some themes that were aligned with the literature including characteristics of a coherent curriculum, advantages of using a coherent curriculum for teachers, and teachers’ perceptions of advantages for students’ learning. Also, several additional new themes were uncovered including teacher strategies, teachers’ autonomy, teacher collaboration, administrator ideas for supporting teachers, and teacher evaluation. Some of the important findings of the study are that the teachers and administrators reflected on time and funding for curricular resources as the biggest barriers they face in designing and implementing a coherent curriculum. More so, both mathematics and science teachers described the need for collaboration, funding, and feedback from administrators. In addition, all of the teacher participants indicated they had high levels of autonomy in choosing and enacting their curriculum; however, they described that a lack of funding/resources limited their autonomy to supplement the curriculum in practice and they still need to seek permission from administrators and comply with a curriculum review process within and beyond the school.