Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
The educational shift to the common core requires educators to increase the amount of informational text that is used within their classroom. The struggle for whole group use of informational text related to units of study proved to be challenging for teachers at the study site. Guided by constructivist theory that states learners must have the means to construct knowledge and understanding, the purpose of the study was to explore the current practices and needs of teachers in reaction to the increased use of informational texts. The research questions addressed the teaching strategies and guidance that teachers provide for students' learning, what current challenges teachers have, and their needs for better implementation of the Common Core Standards. Eleven teachers from 3rd to 5th grades were interviewed and participated in a focus group. Analysis and organization of the data through its transcription and coding led to the emergence of 4 themes: the need for professional development, time management, integration of curriculum, and creativity in the language arts classroom. The findings inspired the creation of a 3-day professional development to provide teachers with an opportunity to collaborate, create, engage, and learn. This study supports positive social change by providing a resource for teachers to better serve students in having the ability to read for information in an integrated manner. This ability will help students in their educational responsibilities and perhaps future endeavors in understanding societal issues.