Date of Conferral

2015

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Education

Advisor

Linda Crawford

Abstract

Many curricular innovations, including cross-curricular teaching, are started in schools without adequate teacher preparation and support, reducing the effectiveness of the interventions in supporting student learning. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to describe the implementation of the cross-curricular connections teaching technique in middle schools. Research questions focused on how middle school teachers experienced implementation of cross-curricular teaching at the incident level and how teachers perceived cross-curricular teaching and its long-term value. Myers-Briggs personality type theory informed the study, supporting the postulation that teachers are more comfortable teaching from their personality types. Data from 10 middle school teachers from 3 urban and semirural parochial schools in the northeastern United States were collected through interviews, focus group sessions, journals, and documents such as lesson plans and classroom materials. Open coding was used within progressive and comparative analyses. Primary themes included teacher comfort with cross-curricular connections; various applications of the teaching technique; cross-curricular connections within lessons; time constraints in planning, preparation, and implementation; and creative enhancement of lessons. Recommendations included enhanced professional development, more planning time for teacher teams, and more research about the technique. Positive social change implications include sustaining teachersâ?? adoption and implementation of cross-curricular instruction in support of student achievement.