Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Dissertation


Education, Elementary--Curricula; Elementary school teachers--Attitudes; Educational innovations;


The purpose of this study was to identify the characteristics of elementary teachers who were perceived and identified as being influential in curricular change by peers, principals, and district administrators. The study described characteristics which appeared to be shared by 16 elementary teachers selected from 20 elementary schools in one major school district in a Midwestern state.

Subjects were identified from responses by peers, building administrators, and district administrators to the Instructional Leadership Survey prepared by the researcher. Twenty teachers, identified as influential by all three of the surveyed groups, were considered teacher leaders in this study. Sixteen of the 20 agreed to participate in the research project.

The data were collected through semi-structured interviews, demographic data records, and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). The semi-structured interviews addressed each teacher's educational philosophy, professional role orientation, problem-solving orientation, attribution theory, risk orientation, and relationships. Interview data were analyzed using commonly accepted procedures for content analysis. A modified version of the analytic induction approach to collecting and analyzing the interview data was used (Bogdan & Biklen, 1982). The MBTI data produced a group profile to complement and cross-verify the interview analysis. The findings of the study were verified by surveys of the subjects, a principal, and a district administrator.

The analysis of the data appeared to indicate that the subjects shared five general characteristics: a propensity toward change and the change process; membership in an informal communication network of educators; a belief system centered on a child-centered curriculum, the attribution of success to effort, and a demonstrated commitment to personal professional growth; interpersonal relationships characterized as positive and receptive to individual differences; and a lifestyle in which teaching was a style of living. The MBTI identified ENT/FJ as the composite personality type for the sample.

The study provided information which may facilitate the systematic consideration of factors related to identification, training, placement, and roles of teacher leaders when planning for change in schools. The findings of this study may assist teachers, administrators, and curriculum coordinators in optimizing teacher involvement in curricular and instructional change.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Department of Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Greg Stefanich

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (viii, 194 pages)



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