Date of Award

May 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Teaching and Leadership


Benjamin Dotger


Common Core Learning Standards, Concerns-Based Adoption Model, Elementary School Leaders, Elementary Teachers, Mathematics, Mixed Methods

Subject Categories



The purpose of this study is twofold: first, the research is an investigation of the concerns of school leaders and teachers when implementing a Common Core Learning Standards-aligned elementary mathematics curriculum in an age of accountability and reform; second, this research aims to identify the interventions that school leaders employ in response to the concerns of teachers.

This is a mixed methods study using the Concerns-Based Adoption Model (CBAM). Specifically, the Stages of Concern Questionnaire (SoCQ) and the Change Facilitator Stages of Concern Questionnaire (CFSoCQ) were administered three times during the initial year of implementation of a new mathematics program in a small city school district in Central New York State. Qualitative methodology included focus groups with teachers and with school leaders, and semi-structured interviews with each school leader. (N=12 teachers and N=5 school leaders).

Findings from this study indicated that school leaders were unconcerned about the innovation and about becoming better change facilitators. School leaders were concerned about other aspects of their leadership including safety, discipline, parent concerns and staffing. Teachers' Self concerns in the quantitative data combined with Consequence concerns in the qualitative data suggest that teachers want to feel efficacious and they are concerned about their students' success. Additionally, teachers' concerns were intense around opportunities for collaboration. Interventions employed by principals largely focused on Informational and Management concerns and, therefore, alignment was low relative to teachers' highest concerns.


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