Date of Award

Spring 4-22-2022




Doctor of Education

Degree Type

Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Leadership


Counseling, Foundations & Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Michael Dentzau, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Victor Salazar, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Donna Patterson, Ed.D.


The researcher investigated the perceptions of secondary social studies teachers regarding the change in state - level social studies standards, especially in terms of their response in instructional practice. Furthermore, the study included a discussion of the factors that influence the actions of teachers related to the change in the social studies curriculum. This allowed for an analysis of potential changes in instructional decision making, such as including cooperative learning strategies, that were the result of the change in curriculum. The study is significant as changes in recommended instructional strategies have occurred in recent years. Additionally, research in the field of cooperative learning has primarily occurred in fields outside of secondary social studies to this point.

The researcher investigated which, if any, perceptions held by teachers regarding the implementation of the new standards influence a teachers’ willingness to include cooperative learning strategies and 21st Century skill building in his or her practice. The theoretical framework for the study includes a heuristic investigation related to the implementation of a new curriculum and a teacher’s instructional practice. Using a qualitative research design, the researcher conducted concept mapping, semi-structured interviews with secondary social studies teachers, and a review of teachers’ lesson plans, to collect data regarding the teacher’s feelings toward implementing the new social studies curriculum and instructional practice. The collected data was coded to find recurring themes. The themes were utilized in comparison with the researcher’s own reflection on the implementation of new state-standards in instructional practice with commonalities in the experience of social studies teachers. The potential implications for this study include gaining a deeper understanding of the perceptions of teachers during the implementation of a new curriculum as well as factors that influence a teacher’s pedagogical practice. This is valuable due to the recent changes in state

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