Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Chris Cale


AbstractLearner-centered instructional strategies in social studies are currently ineffective in meeting the learning needs of the ELL population in an urban school in the northeastern United States. Despite English language learner (ELL) supplemental instruction on Saturdays and evenings and professional development for teachers, strategies being used to deliver curriculum have had a marginal effect on learning for ELL students, and the local school board supported the importance of exploring this problem. The purpose of this instrumental case study was to explore the learner-centered instructional practices used at the study site and how teachers are using Weimer’s learner-centered framework to engage ELL students in social studies. The research questions focused on exploring how teachers use Weimer’s learner-centered instructional strategies in their classrooms and how they plan their instruction for ELLs in social studies. As a case study, this qualitative research involved gathering data during 1 academic year through observations and interviews of 10 teacher participants in Grades 9-12. Research data collected through observations and interviews were coded and analyzed for common themes. Results indicated the need for modification of some strategies to increase students’ motivation and satisfaction in learning. A professional development project for teachers with monthly follow-up sessions was constructed based on the results of the study. The implementation of more effective strategies to motivate ELL students in social studies may ultimately enhance learning for them and may lead to positive social change as these students immerse themselves into the social and political community context.