Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Patricia G. Patrick


Administration in a mid-Atlantic elementary school in the United States mandated implementation of the Data Wise improvement process (DWIP) to address accountability and student achievement concerns. Leaders were unsure if elementary educators used the approved DWIP within their data teams and how the data were used to support instructional practices. The purpose of this bounded qualitative descriptive single case study was to explore teachers’ collaboration and planning using DWIP in data teams, teachers’ perceptions of the influence of data team participation on their instructional practices, and how teachers demonstrated the use of data in planning for classroom instruction. The data-driven decision-making framework guided this study because data-based decisions may improve instructional practices. Data were collected through semistructured interviews with a purposeful sample of 11 certified teachers with at least 1 years’ experience using DWIP, observations of 3 data team meetings, and lesson plan documents. The data were analyzed thematically using open, axial, and descriptive coding strategies. Teachers revealed they discussed student data and collaborated to write grade-wide lessons during team meetings, but they restricted individual classroom planning to small group instruction. These findings led to a white paper providing research-based recommendations, based on the Universal Design for Learning (UDL), on instructional methods and lesson planning. This endeavor may contribute to positive social change when teachers integrate UDL principles in data driven instruction to provide students with more personalized, robust education outcomes, leading to increased college and career readiness.

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