Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
Students of all abilities at a Full-Service Community School (FSCS) in northern New Jersey are not meeting federal and state accountability requirements in language arts. Research studies indicated that the FSCS strategy can improve instructional practices, which will improve academic success. For this qualitative case study, the purpose was to document and analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the FSCS academic component for language arts used by 8 teachers from kindergarten to 6th grade. The conceptual framework that guided this study was grounded in the central understanding of Vygotsky and the constructivist theory of Bruner. The perceptions of language arts teachers who taught for at least two years in the district and utilized the FSCS academic component were necessary in identifying ways to improve teacher instruction. The study examined teachers' perspectives through interviews and the research questions focused on the strengths and weaknesses of the academically integrated FSCS strategy. The data was then transcribed and the data analysis of open coding was used to determine themes. The strengths included the mission, vision, and goals and the perceived weaknesses were focused on collaboration and the lack of time to collaborate. Based on the research findings it is recommended that a collaborative period be added to the master schedule to allow more opportunities to collaborate and improve instructional practices for language arts. Implementing the collaborative period may contribute to positive social change by allowing teachers and FSCS members to create common formative assessments, review student data, and lesson plan to improve instruction, which, ultimately may lead to higher levels of academic success for students in Language Arts.