Professional Doctorate in Educational Leadership (ProDEL)
School of Education
Improvement Inquiry, Improvement Science, Networked Improvement Communities, Social Constructivist's Epistemology, Student Centered Learning Environments
The research reported in this dissertation investigates the impact that accountability systems have on the design and development of student centered learning environments. The nature of student-centered learning environments (SCLEs) in this study is framed theoretically by cultural historical activity theory (CHAT). The investigation itself occurred within a specific practice context: an urban charter school serving elementary-aged children. The efforts to design and develop SCLEs in the school focused on the use of improvement inquiry by groups of stakeholders organized into a developing human ecology in educational contexts called networked improvement communities. The research sought to determine (1) how accountability systems influenced instructional practices within the school and (2) how practicing teachers perceived the assessments embedded within the accountability systems. Data were collected via surveys, interviews, and a focus group. The data from the surveys and interviews informed the work for the focus group. The work from the focus group generated a stakeholder-generated "theory of practice improvement" in the form of an illustrative driver diagram. The driver diagram contributed an empirically generated proposal for how improved instructional practices might be pursued at the school. The investigation concluded with recommendations for implementing the plan within the school and recommendations to the broader field of education to engage more deeply in improvement inquiry.
Mathis, P. (2016). An Investigation of How Accountability Systems Influence the Design and Development of Student Centered Learning Environments (Doctoral dissertation, Duquesne University). Retrieved from https://dsc.duq.edu/etd/891