Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Timothy E. Lafferty


Monitoring academic progress to guide instructional practices is an important role of teachers in a small rural school district in the Southern United States. Teachers in this region were experiencing difficulties using the approved school district model to implement data-driven instruction. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to identify elementary- and middle-level teachers' perceptions about using the Plan, Do, Study, Act (PDSA) model to analyze data in the classroom and use it to inform classroom instruction. Bambrick-Santoyo's principles for effective data-driven instruction was the conceptual framework that guided this study. The research questions were focused on teachers' perceptions of and experiences with the PDSA. A purposeful sampling was used to recruit 8 teachers from Grades 3-9 and their insights were captured through semistructured interviews, reflective journals, and document analyses of data walls. Emergent themes were identified through an open coding process, and trustworthiness was secured through triangulation and member checking. The themes were about using data to assess students, creating lessons, and collaborating with colleagues. The three findings revealed that elementary- and middle-level teachers acknowledge PDSA as an effective tool for guiding student learning, that teachers rely on assessment data, and that teachers need on-going collaborative engagement with their colleagues when using the PDSA. This study has implications for positive social change by providing a structure for improving classroom instructional practices and engaging teachers in more collaborative practices.

Included in

Education Commons