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CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION Alice, speaking to Cheshire cat: “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here

?” “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat. “I don’t much care where,” said Alice. “Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat. “So long as I get somewhere,” Alice added as an explanation. “Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat, “if you only walk long enough.” (Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland, 1865) Education without a cohesive framework and plan for achievement is a reflection of the directionless Cheshire cat who seems to believe that no matter which direction you choose, you will always arrive at a destination. For the Cheshire cat this was sufficient; however, for educators this philosophy applied to education is not enough. Analogous to Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland, educational leaders must have a definitive understanding of the purpose of education and a clear plan and educational directive on best practice methods for the academic classroom. Without a directed set of academic purposes, goals, and objectives, the educational system will emerge into a meaningless metaphor of repetitive exercises, rote assignments, and memorization tasks that do not tie into any interaction, assimilation, or understanding of the real everyday world in which the students live. Through an understanding of how students can successfully be engaged in the learning process, educators can enable their classroom prodigies to be productive and successful students in the classroom.

2 Purposeful Education Educational leaders must have a purposeful, educational goal in teaching America’s youth that will fortify sound judgment, independent thinking, and a program of learning that will encourage analytical thinking and real-world applications to the learning process. There must be a sound curriculum philosophy in place to facilitate a framework and structure for learning that will enable students from all backgrounds and learning abilities to have the opportunity to learn purposefully and meaningfully in order to reach their highest and best potential. While many curriculum philosophies exist, determining which philosophy and structure will best suit the academic needs of a particular district or school is left to the judgment of school leaders which may include a combination of the elected school board, district and campus administrators, and professional educators in the classroom. It is important that each generation be allowed to receive and gain the knowledge necessary to participate in a democratic and free society. Teaching students to synthesize knowledge and apply their findings to real-world problems and scenarios is critical to both personal and professional success in the students’ lives. The ability to see the end results, goals, and destinations for educationally reforming programs is a critical component of academic leadership and change within the educational community. Proverbs 29:18, states that “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Vision is
therefore an important component of learning and the educational process. School

leaders must be focused and visionary in the development of goals and objectives in the educational process. Ayn Rand has stated that “throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps down new roads armed with nothing but their own vision” (Rand,

3 1964, p. 64). Visionary pioneers, especially those involved in education, can pave the way for dramatic and effective change in the educational system. History has shown that without a strong vision of outcome related goals for a curriculum, the effectiveness and benefits of a curriculum model will not meet the expectations or goals a district sets for its students' personal and cooperative academic achievements. Curriculum Choice: Guidelines and Objectives Choosing a curriculum that will nourish and intellectually challenge a diverse and ever changing school population is a challenging and daunting task. Educational leaders must ensure that what is being taught in the classroom will sufficiently prepare their students to succeed academically and to think critically across the boundaries of all subject areas. While a case can be made for the effectiveness and practice of sound and creative pedagogy classroom techniques, the ultimate test for a school or district is to assess whether or not students are learning and being successful in the mastery of academic subject matter and classroom requirements. The responsibility for ensuring that all students achieve their maximum academic potential is a daunting task for both educational administrators and classroom teachers. With unique challenges on the forefront of our nation’s cultural and historical paradigm, educational leaders including superintendents, principals, and curriculum directors must be well versed on best practices and effective educational models for student success. As curriculum reform moves from the portals of the White House to the board rooms of America’s corporations and finally to the schools and classrooms across our nation, what our students achieve in the school setting is paramount to the safety, well being, and economic freedoms currently enjoyed in our free and democratic society. A

4 thorough understanding of what is taught in the classroom and why it is taught is fundamental to the overall well being of our entire educational system. Especially in the area of state and federal accountability, “the heavy emphasis on testing and accountability has refocused attention on underperforming subgroups but also has created incentives that drive curriculum and instruction in the classroom” (Sunderman, Orfield & Kim, 2006, p. 20). The new accountability standards require that what is taught in the classroom be logically integrated into verifiable results such as reflected on achievement and accountability tests measured by the Texas Academic Knowledge and Skills (TAKSTM) test administered annually in Texas state schools. The emphasis of high student achievement and accountability made by state and national legislators highlights the importance of the curriculum. To meet the challenges and goals mandated by government officials, a sound curriculum philosophy must be embraced in order to choose and implement the best and most appropriate curriculum model in the classroom. Statement of the Problem High schools are the breeding ground for the next generation of society’s leaders and workforce. However, “the American high school is an anachronism. The current American high school system fails in satisfying the demands placed upon it by all sectors of American society in all classes, regions, and ethnicities” (Botstein, 2006, p. 16). Emerging technologies, world wide communications, and the sophistication of a new generation require that educators meet the challenge of effectively educating this generation to ensure that real learning and academic achievement occurs in the school setting.

5 How and what students are taught in the classroom should be considered as the number one priority for today’s school leaders and school systems. Based on the current challenges faced by educators who must support and implement a curriculum model, it is evident that our educational system is in need of revitalization. The academic standards and learning mastery of our students are significantly lagging behind other nations, encrypting upon our society a new recognition of the need to educate our students at a level conducive with the requirements and demands of a global, 21st century working environment. Without a strong and educated populace, our nation’s strength and political virility will be endangered. Educators who are cognizant of the worth and value of a strong, substantive education must ensure that true learning and content mastery of the curriculum is achieved and prioritized in the classroom. Those who succeed in learning will ultimately have the tools and knowledge needed to successfully compete and work in the 21st century workplace. The benefits of succeeding academically not only have an educational component, but also a political impact on society. Educating a nation’s population is critical to the pillars of democracy and freedom. If our schools, in particular our high schools, are not able to compete academically in a global market, the reality is sinking in: “Our nation’s outdated high school expectations jeopardize our future” (Vanderark, 2006, p. 34). Acknowledging the fact that curriculum plays a major role in student academic achievement, there is a need to address the foundational core and fortress of all student learning, the curriculum and its effect on student learning and academic achievement. Based on the premise that the curriculum is the framework upon which student learning is

6 accomplished, the issue of concern and statement of the problem to be addressed in this study can be articulated as follows: “Is there a difference in student academic achievement based on the type of curriculum model used in the school setting to prepare students for academic achievement and success?” Research Questions The focus of this study was to determine if there was a difference in academic achievement between schools which utilize a Realms of Meaning (ROM) curriculum philosophy based on an integrated curriculum model as compared to those schools which do not utilize a ROM curriculum philosophy in the classroom. In addition a qualitative portion of this study was also implemented which analyzed the perceptions of teachers on the overall perceptions, risks, and benefits of teachers who utilize the CSCOPETM curriculum model, a curriculum model which exhibits similar characteristics and philosophies as the ROM curriculum philosophy, in the classroom. Schools which have been identified as those schools whose curriculum model exhibits a Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy have been designated as Realms of Meaning (ROM) schools. Schools whose curriculum models have not been identified as exhibiting characteristics of the ROM curriculum philosophy were designated as non-Realms of Meaning (nonROM) schools. This research has been guided by the following quantitative and qualitative research questions and null hypotheses. Quantitative Research Questions 1. Is there a difference in the 11th grade overall group mathematics TAKSTM scores between schools that implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model and schools that do not implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model?

7 2. Is there a difference in the 11th grade overall group English language arts TAKSTM scores between schools that implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model and schools that do not implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model? 3. Is there a difference in the 11th grade overall group science TAKSTM scores between schools that implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model and schools that do not implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model? 4. Is there a difference in the 11th grade overall social studies TAKSTM scores between schools that implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model and schools that do not implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model? 5. To what capacity as reported by classroom teachers on the Teacher Curricula Perceptions Instrument are CSCOPETM high schools functioning as Realms of Meaning schools? Qualitative Research Questions This study answered the following qualitative research questions. 6. What are the perceptions of classroom teachers of the overall CSCOPETM (ROM) curriculum in the classroom? 7. What perceptions do teachers have regarding the benefits and/or risks of implementing the CSCOPE TM (ROM) curriculum model? Null Hypotheses The following null hypotheses were developed in order to answer questions one through four as listed above. H01: There is no statistically significant difference in the 11th grade overall group mathematics TAKSTM scores between schools that implement the Realms of

8 Meaning curriculum model and schools that do not implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model. H02: There is no statistically significant difference in the 11th grade overall group English language arts TAKSTM scores between schools that implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model and schools that do not implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model. H03: There is no statistically significant difference in the 11th grade overall group science TAKSTM scores between schools that implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model and schools that do not implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model. H04: There is no statistically significant difference in the 11th grade overall group social studies TAKSTM scores between schools that implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model and schools that do not implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model. Purpose of the Study It is incumbent upon all educational leaders who oversee instruction to be aware of how curriculum models and curricular philosophies affect student academic achievement. Using this central idea as the context for this investigation, the rationale for this study was based on the premise that a curriculum philosophy based on the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning leads to an integrated curriculum which leads to student academic achievement. In line with the specific goals and educational directives of any organization, any successful curriculum model must “deepen insight into relationships, and to counteract the provincialism of customary existence-in short, to

9 engender a meaningful integrated outlook” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 5). Therefore, the purpose of this study was to analyze the effect on an integrated curriculum model on student academic achievement based on the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning. The components of this study were four-fold and included the following objectives : (1) to identify schools that are Realms of Meaning schools, (2) to discover if student achievement is impacted because of the school’s status as a Realms of Meaning school, (3) to understand the perceptions of classroom teachers and educational leaders on their view of the effectiveness of the Realms of Meaning curriculum model in the classroom, and (4) to understand the benefits and/or risks of implementing the Realms of Meaning curriculum model in the classroom. Significance of the Study The importance of this study lies in the fact that by understanding the similarities and differences of student academic achievement in relationship to the effectiveness of the curriculum model used in the classroom, educational leaders will be able to utilize the findings of this study to aid in the determination of the type of curriculum model that yields the highest capital gains in the form of educational collateral and student learning: “Whether we consider curriculum narrowly as a listing of subjects to be taught in schools or broadly as experiences that individuals require for full and authentic participation in society, there is no denying that curriculum affects us all, both those within the field, the educators and curricularists of various stripes, and those in the general society” (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2004, p. 1). As educational and psychological researchers seek to uncover the mysteries of learning and student success, studies such as “Educational leadership

10 directives: Analyzing the effect of an integrated curriculum model on student academic achievement based on the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning” can ultimately add to the body of knowledge of student achievement and success and provide creative answers and program opportunities for educational communities and school districts on the local, state, and national level: Today the focus on education at all levels and for students of all abilities is increasingly upon excellence and adequacy of knowledge. Today it is recognized that knowledge does not belong to specialists alone, but that, through general education, understanding of a high order can and should be available to everyone. (Kritsonis, 2007, p. vii) Through an integrated curriculum learning system as evidenced through the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy, students have the opportunity to incorporate learning and demonstrate academic achievement and mastery in required subject matter presented in a more holistic, viable, and challenging manner. This study will be particularly important for colleges and universities in that how curriculum choice is taught in teacher preparation programs will structure the educational philosophies for teacher leaders and future administrators for generations to come. In addition, school districts will benefit from this research in that they will have the opportunity to utilize this study to make sound and reliable researched based decisions regarding a district’s selection and implementation of the curriculum. This study is also important because of the high accountability placed on educational institutions in regards to how students learn and achieve. Nationally, one of the most significant forms of federal accountability has been developed and outlined by

11 federally mandated goals and accountability standards through the No Child Left Behind Act 2001 (NCLB). Educators are faced with going beyond the previous prescriptive curriculum frameworks in order to strengthen and deepen a student’s ability to achieve and academically succeed. Therefore, understanding how the curriculum affects student learning is paramount in the discussion and study of factors which influence and create learning opportunities and meaningful educational paradigms for students. In Texas, accountability for learning has been defined through the administration and implementation of the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKSTM) test. TAKSTM testing in Texas has been and continues to be one of the significant instruments that define a school’s excellence (in regards to student achievement) and/or the lack of such progress. The TAKSTM test determines not only a school’s academic rating and standing in the state, but also whether or not a general education student will ultimately be able to complete his or her education by graduating from high school. Knowing how to prepare students for the level and depth of learning necessary to do well on this test is critical not only to Texas school districts and local campuses, but also to future national academic studies and research projects that seek to find better ways to acclimate student achievement and success. To engender this high level of learning expectation, Kritsonis has stated that the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy is significant to teachers in that this philosophy can be useful for leaders in education throughout the United Sates and abroad. This will definitely be useful to students of education, teachers, school administrators, professors of education, scholars in arts and sciences, and other professional workers in education . . . this

12 will outside of it, who is in p. xi) By analyzing an orderly and systematic approach to education, this study perpetuates the assumption that not only students will benefit from the application of these strategies, but teachers and administrators will also benefit from a structured learning environment and curriculum that provides an educational framework for learning that stimulates student learning and academic success. A major facet of the importance of this study lies in the fact that the research and results of this investigation will be able to contribute to the national body of literature and research that seeks to expand the rigor and relevance of curriculum implementation to all schools and academic classrooms. The outcome of this study will potentially have far reaching effects in that school leaders operating on the national, district, and campus levels will have data based research to guide district and campus decision makers on the most appropriate curriculum and learning models to use on their campuses. Through this study, school districts will be able to make intelligent decisions on the most effective curriculum models that can best enhance and provide effective learning opportunities for all students. Findings from this investigative study will also add to the literature on curriculum implementation and delivery. The research conclusions of this study will provide a basis for others who may choose to research or study the impacts of curriculum on a student’s learning and overall academic achievement and success in other grade levels, subject areas, or teaching environments. have something to offer any person, in formal education or who seeks perspective on knowledge in the modern world and search of order and meaning in his own life. (Kritsonis, 2007,

13 Assumptions The following assumptions have been made and pertain to this study. 1. Comparative benchmark data for student achievement will be based on the scores from the 2008 Texas Assessment of Knowledge and SkillsTM (TAKSTM) test subject areas of math, English, science, and social studies. 1. All data gathered from the TAKSTM test will be factual and accurately reported. 3. Schools have been correctly identified as using the CSCOPETM curriculum model based on a CSCOPETM participant list generated by a participating CSCOPETM Educational Service Center (ESC) in the spring of 2008. 4. Teachers interviewed will have varying degrees of knowledge and career experiences. 5. Teachers participating in the study will hold the necessary licensing credentials to be certified in the state of Texas. 6. Teachers implementing the ROM curriculum model will do so effectively and in the parameters required for successful ROM curriculum implementation. 7. The instrument used to gather data for this study will be completed correctly and within the prescribed time period of this study. 8. Teachers who respond to the qualitative instrument will be forthcoming, objective, and truthful in their responses. administered to 11th grade students in Texas classrooms in the

14 9. The participant’s responses in this study will be accurately coded. Limitations of the Study Limitations of the study will include the following observations and expectations. These limitations were considered in conducting this research and in analyzing the final results and statistics manifested in this study. 1. Not every teacher surveyed will respond to the Teacher Curricula Perceptions Instrument and complete the open ended questions. 2. Teachers interviewed will have varying degrees of knowledge and commitment to the ROM curriculum model. 3. Not all teachers have been with the school district during the time period specified for this study and therefore would not have as much experience utilizing the ROM model as potentially others would in their district who have used this model before. 4. School districts implementing a curriculum model with parallel curriculum philosophies based on the fundamental principles of the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning will use the curriculum in various degrees and intensity depending on the needs of the individual student and local school district. 5. School districts initially using the ROM curriculum model may choose to discontinue using this product.

15 6. Non-ROM schools will potentially be using varied and unrelated curriculum models thereby giving no consistent basis on what curriculum factors are affecting learning in the non-ROM being evaluated for this study. 7. CSCOPETM, a relatively new curriculum model, is developing each year with new additions and attributes to the model based on past student academic successes or needs and therefore is an emerging curriculum model. Delimitations of the Study The following choices were made by the researcher in regards to the population, sample size, and instrument used in this study. Delimitations of the study are as follows: 1. The study was limited by the researcher to a study population composed only of those schools that have implemented the CSCOPETM model in their classrooms for at least one academic school year and are considered to be ROM curriculum model schools as determined by the criteria set forth in this study. 2. Teachers ultimately implement and experience the values of the curriculum on a first hand day to day basis; therefore, teachers from ROM schools were the only professionals surveyed regarding their perceptions and experiences of the risks and benefits of implementing a ROM curriculum model in the classroom. 3. Teachers interviewed for the qualitative portion of the test were only those teachers in a ROM curriculum model school who have taught at least one of the four academic core subject areas (mathematics, English language arts, science and social studies) at the 11th grade academic level in high school and have been recommended or identified by their campus principal, district superintendent, or curriculum director.

16 Definition of Terms To facilitate a better understanding of the terms utilized in this study, the following definitions are provided to provide a deeper understanding of the meanings of terms and definitions that are applicable to this research. assessment – “The giving and using of feedback against standards to enable improvement and the meeting of goals” (Wiggins & McTighe, 2005, p. 6). backward design – “An approach to designing a curriculum or unit that begins with the end in mind and designs toward the end” (Wiggins & McTighe, 2005, p. 338). curriculum – “Any document or plan that exists in a school or school system that defines the work of teachers, at least to the extent of identifying the content to be taught children and the methods to be used in the process” (English, 2003, p. 2). curriculum coordination – “Refers to the extent of the focus and connectivity present laterally within a school or a school district” (English, 2003, p. 3). curriculum delivery – “Any act of implementing, supervising, monitoring, or using feedback to improve the curriculum once it has been created and put into place in schools” (English, 2003, p. 3). curriculum design – “The act of creating the curriculum for schools. This may involve the purchase of textbooks (one kind of work plan and curriculum) and/or the writing of curriculum guides (another kind of work plan)” (English, 2003, p. 3). empirics – “Includes the sciences of the physical world, of living things, and of man. These sciences provide factual descriptions, generalizations, and theoretical formulations and explanations that are based upon observation and

17 experimentation in the world of matter, life, mind, and society” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 12). esthetics – “Contains the various arts such as music, the visual arts, the arts of movement, and literature. Meanings in this realm are concerned with the contemplative perception of particular significant things as unique objectifications of ideated subjectivities” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 12). ethics – “Includes moral meanings that express obligation rather than fact, perceptual form, or awareness of relation. In contrast to the sciences, which are concerned with abstract cognitive understanding, to the arts, which express idealized esthetic perceptions, and to personal knowledge, which reflects intersubjective understanding, morality has to do with personal conduct that is based on free, responsible, deliberate decision” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 13). intelligence – “The ability to think abstractly and to learn readily from experience” (Kritsonis, Griffith, Bahrim, Marshall, Herrington, Hughes, and Brown, 2008, p. 125). No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 – An act “to close the achievement gap with accountability, flexibility and choice that no child is left behind” (Public Law 107-110, January 8, 2002). pedagogy – The “science and art of teaching” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 104). pedagogical parallelism – “Refers to the notion that classroom teachers create an alternative but parallel environment in which their students not only learn what is on the test, but learn more. The teachers go deeper than the tested curriculum content” (English & Steffey, 2001, p. 97).

18 standardized test – “A test that is administered, scored, and interpreted the same every time and place it is used” (Gay & Airasian, 2003, p. 592). symbolics – “Comprises ordinary language, mathematics, and various types of nondiscursive symbolic forms, such as gestures, rituals, rhythmic patterns, and the like. These meanings are contained in arbitrary symbolic structures, with socially accepted rules of formation and transformation, created as instruments for the expression and communication of any meaning whatsoever” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 11). synnoetics –“Embraces what Michael Polanyi calls ‘personal knowledge’ and Martin Buber the ‘I-Thou’ relation. The novel term synnoetics was devised because no existing concept appeared adequate to the type of understanding intended. It derives from the Greek synoesis meaning ‘meditative thought,’ and this in turn is a component of the root syn, meaning ‘with,’ ‘together,’ and noesis, meaning ‘cognition.’ It may apply to other persons, to oneself, or ε ϖ ε ν to things” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 12). synoptics – “Refers to meanings that are comprehensively integrative. This realm includes history, religion, and philosophy. These disciplines combine empirical, esthetic, and synnoetic meanings into coherent wholes” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 13). Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKSTM) – Statewide assessment program developed in 2003 and mandated by Senate Bill 103 during the 76th Texas Legislative Session. (Texas Education Agency, 2001, p. 39)

19 understanding – “To make connections and bind together our knowledge into something that makes sense of ‘things’ whereas without understanding we might see only unclear, isolated, or unhelpful facts” (Wiggins & McTighe, 2005, p. 6). Organization of the Study This study is comprised of five chapters. Chapter I includes the introduction, statement and background of the problem, research questions, limitations, definitions of the problem, and an overview of the study. A comprehensive review of the literature is presented and discussed in Chapter II. Chapter III consists of the data collection methods, procedures, protocols, instrumentation, and data analysis necessary to complete this study. Chapter IV reports on the findings of the study and includes the quantitative and qualitative results of the study. Chapter V offers a summary of the findings and conclusions generated through this study. Recommendations for future studies are also included in this chapter.

20 CHAPTER II REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE Overview The world we now live in has changed dramatically from the world of our grandfathers and great grandfathers from times past: “Unlike the industrial age, the 21st century requires all workers to master skills our schools previously considered necessary only for top students” (Vanderark, 2006, p. 34). In today’s highly competitive society, “today’s young people must be critical thinkers, decision makers, and problem solvers with a solid foundation in basic skills” (Vanderark, 2006, p. 24). Our current educational system is performing adequately if the standards of the past are used in comparison. However, when compared to the demands and challenges of the 21st century, our high schools are “preparing roughly one-third of students for college” (Vanderark, 2006, p. 34). To address these issues and prepare students for success in the real world, “we need a new unifying mission-not just for high schools but for public education” (Vanderark, 2006, p. 34). For educators, the unifying mission of academia is to provide a sound structure and framework for learning. This framework can be found in the selection and implementation of a rigorous and effective model for curriculum and curriculum study. Curriculum, therefore, becomes the central component of all educational work and activity in the classroom. With the onset of so many curricular choices, Jerome Bruner’s (1977) challenge of educational priority sets the stage for all foundational questions and concerns regarding the curriculum taught and presented in today’s schools. His simple, but profound statement, “What shall we teach and to what end?” (Bruner, p.1) is at the

21 core of all educational discourse regarding educational philosophy, curriculum, and the learning process. To understand where we are going in the educational process, it is important to note where we have been. Understanding the development of our current educational system can help educational leaders and providers learn from both the failures and successes of past generations in order to design and implement a framework for learning that will enhance student academic achievement in the classroom. Historical Foundations of Learning Knowledge, education, and the application of learning have been fundamental to the well-being of not only our students, but also our own democracy as well. Our nation has been founded upon the premise that “education is the cornerstone to life and democracy and is purposeful in that it is the means of perpetuating culture from generation to generation” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 5). History has recorded that as early as the age of the Spartans, educational goals were to “promote patriotism and train warriors” (Kritsonis, 2002, p. 24). Beginning in the 19th century, the Common School movement (1837-1848) prescribed that education would be important and could accomplish the goals of “political enlightenment, common values, and loyalties [and] job skills” (Kritsonis, 2002, p. 25). Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States and author of the Declaration of Independence, “laid the foundation for public education in the United States with the introduction of his ‘Bill for the More General Diffusion of Knowledge’ ”(Kritsonis, 2002, p 29). This bill laid the foundation for providing fundamental core educational opportunities for all students regardless of their race, creed, national origin, or socio-economic status. With this bill, it became more evident that

22 educators would need to be cognizant of the fact that there would be diverse learners in the classroom; therefore, new strategies and curriculum models would be needed to meet the demands of the new federal mandates for public education. The development of a curriculum model and learning system became more pronounced as educators, government leaders, and researchers saw the need to establish a more pertinent and well-rounded curriculum model designed to meet the needs of both the participating students and their communities. After World War I, the National Education Association’s Commission on the Reorganization of Secondary Education in 1918 issued its own report emphasizing the need for “(1) health (2) command of fundamental processes (3) worthy home membership (4) vocational education (5) civic education, (and) (6) worthy use of leisure and ethical character” (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2004, p. 274). This early 20th century outline prescribed a formula for learning that emphasized the learning needs and values of students attending America’s classroom in the midst of traumatic world wide events and universal changes within the boundaries of the United States itself. After World War I and following the Great Depression, the “Purpose of Education in American Democracy” report was introduced that challenged schools to encourage “inquiry, mental capabilities, speech, reading, writing, numbers, sight and hearing, health knowledge, health habits, public health, recreation, intellectual interests, aesthetic interests, and character formation” (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2004, p. 275). In 1944, at the close of World War II, educational goals were concerned about “democracy and world citizenship, as well as those related to the general needs of children and youth” (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2004, p. 275). Each of these acts reflected on how the nation

23 responded to the educational challenges and needs of their constituents based on the world environment and the needs of the nation for a literate, educated, and informed populace. Educators, politicians, and civic leaders continued to write legislation and new reforms to upgrade the quality of education and the benefits to the students involved in the process. The infamous Brown vs. Board of Education, Topeka Kansas, 347 U.S. 483 1954 ruling “declared separate inherently unequal and mandated school desegregation” (Kritsonis, 2002, p. 26). Providing equality in education was a significant step towards equalizing and improving the nation’s overall educational programs and goals. Sputnik was a major turning point in U.S. educational policies and discourse. The impetus for this reform was the Soviet Union’s successful launch of an artificial satellite into orbit. The American competitive spirit did not want its nation to be left behind in the scientific and cultural revolution underway because of new and growing technologies in the world market. Renewed interest in higher level thinking skills and application abilities directly resulted in America’s desire to compete effectively in the global world market. Almost three decades after Sputnik another report surfaced challenging the efficacy and effectiveness of America’s schools and educational systems. In one of the most disturbing reports here to date relating to the condition of the American educational school system, A Nation at Risk (1983) shocked both the political, educational, and general citizenry of this country regarding the state of America’s educational schools and academic institutions. Based on the fact that our nation was falling behind in educational leadership, the commission offered strong directives to the nation on how to implement

24 effective change in the nation’s schools and educational economy. The nation responded by challenging schools to have a more rigorous and dynamic curriculum, especially in the areas of mathematics and science. Major changes were directed toward the structure of the curriculum emphasizing the fact that curriculum is a major component of all learning and academic achievement and success. One of the most recent federal legislative reform efforts in place has been enacted in the form of the No Child Left Behind Act (2001). This act set high accountability standards for all schools ensuring that the academic needs of all students were sufficiently addressed. In Texas, this standard is being actualized through the administration of a state developed achievement test currently known as the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and SkillsTM (TAKSTM) test. This test is administered throughout the state and measures the academic progress of students, schools, and districts in regards to academic achievement and student success. Administrators, curriculum leaders, and other appointed professionals then use this data to develop programs and curriculum models that will help to facilitate student success and learning. Curriculum is therefore an important component to all learning and student academic achievement. Based on new accountability demands, many educators and law makers have initiated a thrust towards higher accountability standards and have mandated that educators provide a rigorous and effective curriculum model in the classroom. By requiring more of students and educators, lawmakers contend that students will be more academically challenged and able to make greater strides in their learning and academic careers.

25 Examining the Need for a Rigorous and Effective Curriculum Model At the crux of all educational discourse is the foundational question of what should encompass the amount and type of knowledge our students should be required to know and articulate. Educators should reflect upon the foundational and philosophical question: “What is education and how do we know that we have achieved our goals regarding educational success and academic achievement?” Past generations have struggled with this same philosophical question and have had to make decisions based on their own current research models and critical needs assessments for their own generation. The A Nation at Risk (1983) report has stated that: Knowledge, learning, information, and skilled intelligences are the new raw materials of international commerce and are today spreading throughout the world as vigorously as miracle drugs, synthetic earlier. If only to keep and improve on

fertilizers, and blue jeans did

the slim competitive edge we still retain in world markets, we must dedicate ourselves to the reform of our educational system for the benefit of all. (Gardner, 1983, p. 2) These mandates for change are justified and supported through numerous studies on the state of education throughout the United States and the world: “According to the National Center for Education Statistics (2003), every day from September to June some 53.5 million students in the United States walk into classes that teach English, mathematics, science, history, and geography and face the daunting task of learning new content” (Marzano, 2004, p. 1). Educators must ask, “Are the students enrolled in our educational systems truly learning or merely gaining certificates of attendance without

26 any recollection or retention of knowledge taught in the classroom?” When educators

know what to teach, then implementing the curriculum in the classroom becomes purposeful and meaningful to the student learner. Educational Leadership and the Curriculum The relationship of curriculum and educational leadership is undeniable. The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) 2001, enacted under President George W. Bush’s administration, has dramatically altered the face of teaching and accountability in today’s public school arena. This new “law represents a profound change in the relationship between the federal government and state and local education agencies regarding who controls education and has direct implications for what happens educationally in schools and classroom” (Sunderman, Orfield & Kim, 2006, p. 19). This new law, now more than ever, places greater responsibility for student academic achievement squarely on the shoulders of the men and women who hold leadership and administrative positions within their own prospective school populations and learning communities. Especially in the area of curricula leadership, the role of the educational leader has become pivotal in the development, oversight, and implementation of the student educational process. In today’s society, “learning is the indispensable investment required for success in the information age we are entering” (Gardner, 1983, p. 2). Students emerging from our high school campuses will need to be well versed and proficient in the knowledge and needs of an inter-connected society and ever increasing competitive workplace. Mandates such as those formulated in the NCLB act specifically charge administrators to take responsibility and action in regards to the implementation and supervision of an effective curriculum model: “Many of NCLB’s provisions have important implications for

27 principals” (Sunderman et al., p. 24). Principals will be held responsible for student achievement. Therefore, expectations for high student achievement have challenged school leaders to re-evaluate the curriculum used in the classroom: “The heavy emphasis on testing and accountability has refocused attention on underperforming subgroups but also has created incentives that drive curriculum and instruction in the classroom” (Sunderman et al., p. 20). These incentives for mastery can stimulate an administrator’s resolve to choose the best and most effective curriculum model for his or her student body. While administrators ultimately choose the type of curriculum a district will use, the proprietor of teaching and learning is the classroom teacher: “The educator strives to help each student realize his or her potential as a worthy and effective member of society” (Kritsonis, 2002, p. 294). To address the needs of this new generation, dedicated teachers must work towards meeting the needs of the academic classroom and set primary goals for student learning and achievement. For educational administrators, a pivotal place to begin change is at the core and heart of curriculum selection and implementation. The rationale for beginning change with the curriculum is important in that the curriculum forms the basis of a student’s learning capabilities and is foundational to the knowledge that the student will be exposed to in his or her academic career. Curriculum Contributions to Student Success The curriculum will help students prepare for their adult lives and careers. In order to prepare the adolescent student with the skills needed to succeed in a complex and sophisticated society, critical thinking skills, and higher level cognitive abilities must be developed in order for the student to succeed in his or her personal, private, and career adult lives. In our school systems, we should be aware that “the special purpose of

28 education is to widen one’s view of life, to deepen insight into relationships, and to counteract the provincialism of customary existence - in short, to engender a meaningful integrated outlook” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 5). Without thoughtful attention to what is being taught and how it is being comprehended by the student, the goals for student academic achievement and success will produce inadequate and disappointing results. In the quest for creating and leading more effective schools, educational leadership is paramount to the success of any future educational developments or implemented curriculum models in the classroom. The Superintendent’s Role in Curriculum Selection The chief executive officer of a school district is the superintendent. It is the superintendent who will ultimately decide what curriculum philosophy will be utilized in the classroom. By definition, a superintendent is an educational leader who not only promotes the success of all students by facilitating the design and implementation of curricula and strategic plans that enhance teaching and learning; but is also able to implement core curriculum design and delivery systems to ensure instructional continuity and instructional integrity across the district, alignment of curriculum, curriculum resources and assessment, and the use of various forms of assessment to measure student performance. Texas Education Code Ch. 19, Part vii Superintendents regulate the district’s educational goals and objectives. Increased accountability from NCLB “requires district administrators to have an increased philosophical and technical expertise in curriculum scope, sequence, and alignment” (Petersen & Young, 2004, p. 351). A superintendent must also have the expertise to

29 effectively ensure that the learning programs in place are the most effective programs for his or her district. The Principal’s Role as Curriculum Leader The campus principal also shares responsibility on how students perform academically and fare on state and local academic achievement tests. Historically, the principal has always been considered the educational and curriculum leader of the school and now joins forces with the leadership from the office of the school superintendent. While both groups must work congruously with each other and collaborate effectively within their own domains of power and influence, it is necessary that all educational leaders have a firm grasp of curriculum theory, implementation, and outcome measurement classroom strategies. Today “given the national and state standards movement and the need to upgrade the curriculum to meet these standards, the school principal’s attention has increasingly focused on curriculum, especially aligning curriculum to state standards and high-stakes tests” (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2004, p. 25). With this objective in mind, it is clear that an important role of the educational leader is to facilitate curriculum leadership through the oversight and implementation of effective goals, strategies, evaluation, and assessment techniques. The implications for meeting the current academic and curriculum demands placed on educational districts and communities “have important implications for principals” (Sunderman et al., 2006, p. 21). How well students perform in the classroom ultimately affects the perceptions of how well a principal or other educational leader is managing his or her school district: “Principals should carefully consider how test-based accountability affects the educational process” (Sunderman, et. al, p. 24). This is

30 important not only to the students participating in the educational process, but also has supreme importance in the overall stability and academic ratings of the districts that are served through a principal’s leadership: “Principals are in a position to evaluate the success of their current reform program and encourage the continuation of those that are working while discouraging practices that disrupt good reform programs already underway” (Sunderman et al., p. 24). The principal’s role as curriculum leader require that as the campus administrator, he or she must be knowledgeable and up-to-date on the latest educational trends and research in curriculum development and implementation in the classroom. Keeping abreast of the latest educational trends and academic research will help to ensure that the most effective curriculum framework philosophies and programs are available to classroom teachers for direct implementation into classroom studies and pedagogical frameworks within the learning community. Government Regulations and the Curriculum While the role of educational leadership is undeniable, it should also be noted that educational leaders receive their working orders from federal, state, and local laws that govern how their schools, districts, and realms of influence should be established. One such federal mandate has come in the form of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) 2001 which was enacted to promote a more rigorous standard for learning and academic achievement for all students. In an effort to inspire and direct student learning on the federal level, the NCLB 2001 was enacted to provide guidelines for student academic achievement and success. While the NCLB act’s initial purpose and design was meant to improve student academic

31 performance in the classroom, it is evident that the law has not been able to address in totality the objective goal of facilitating student improvement. In mandating the need for change, the NCLB act “does not provide the policies, support, or flexibility needed to meet these goals and instead assumes that good teachers will respond to being sanctioned and labeled as failing” (Sunderman et al., p. 21). Districts are faced with the dilemma of meeting critical standards and components that have been mandated by NCLB, but left without any concrete or solidified directive on how to directly achieve these prescribed goals and objectives. In an effort to meet the demanding challenges of federal law such as the NCLB (2001) the importance of developing a pattern of learning and student achievement has prompted educational leaders to review the fundamental basis of learning strategies and paradigms in order to meet the vigorous, new requirements that new government legislation has proposed. What to teach and how to teach the knowledge required for an educated populace becomes of extreme importance in the educational discussion regarding student achievement and success. Education’s Responsibility: Accountability and Viability Despite a long and even distinguished attempt by past generations to facilitate an effective model and framework for student academic achievement, today’s schools are faced with significant challenges in educating America’s youth. Addressing the new realities of student needs, demographics, and educational prowess requires that discriminating educational leaders look forward to the future and relinquish past attempts to coordinate educational strategies not working in today’s highly sophisticated and technical educational society: “If schools do not find new ways to engage their attention,

32 adolescents will continue to be distracted (and) lose crucial years for intellectual development” (Botstein, 2006, p. 16). Schools therefore need to employ rigorous and relevant demands and opportunities in the curriculum and educational process. While educators will usually agree that there is need for significant change in the educational commitments to our students, how to enact that change seems unclear. The one fact that does draw educational researchers and leaders together is the fact that today’s students are exposed to an information age never experienced anytime before in history. Students “communicate with the wider world in ways and at speeds heretofore were inconceivable” (Botstein, 2006, p. 16). In today’s society “adolescents have a freedom of movement we associate with adulthood. The fashion and entertainment industries, ever sensitive to social change, have come to regard adolescents as consumers on par with adults” (Botstein, 2006, p. 16). While the marketplace recognizes the new sophistication of the young, high school student, many schools have not tapped into the realities of the educational needs and wants of the 21st century young adult learner Accountability and the Curriculum To know if a curriculum philosophy or model has impacted student learning, it is necessary to evaluate the strategies being utilized in the classroom for their effectiveness and productivity in the classroom. Standardized testing is one assessment model for testing academic achievement and is a common venue to assess student academic achievement and success. Standardized tests can measure student academic achievement; however, this should not be the only resource for evaluation. Although the era of student accountability has encouraged a mentality of teaching towards a specific test of accountability, it is important to note that “high school principals and superintendents

33 must be less deferential to standardized tests and more activist in promoting other ways of evaluating learning” (Botstein, 2006, p. 18). If we fail to meet the academic needs of our students, high school will be “a wasted opportunity to challenge the intellectual faculties of adolescents. If schools do not find new ways to engage their attention, adolescents who continue to be distracted and lose crucial years for intellectual development” (Botstein, 2006, p. 16). Therefore, the need for utilizing a strong curriculum in the classroom becomes paramount in facilitating a framework for student academic achievement that will guide and direct effective learning in the classroom. In initiating and directing educational frameworks for structure and curricula used in the classroom, it is important that the focus of all educational endeavors, especially that of choosing the curriculum, be focused on the academic needs and achievement of the students being served by a particular learning plan and design. Education: A Diffusion of Knowledge for the Good of the State The Texas Legislature has implemented an ambitious public education mission which is stated in Sec. 40.001 recorded in the Texas Education Code updated and revised by the 79th Texas legislature. The legislature’s purpose mission statement says that the state’s educational mission is “grounded on the conviction that a general diffusion of knowledge is essential for the welfare of this state and for the preservation of the liberties and rights for citizens” (Texas Education Code, Sec. 40.001, 79th Texas legislature). Therefore, a student’s academic success has been deemed as an important component for the general welfare of the state and country. Legislators have highlighted the importance of student achievement. It is imperative to understand what student academic success entails. Student academic

34 success and achievement is based on what a student knows and to what degree the student can apply his or her knowledge to new problems and situations. As students progress through the educational system, it is expected that they will increase in knowledge and wisdom and be able to develop analytical and higher level thinking skills in order to solve the many problems and challenges they will face not only in the classroom, but also in their future adult lives and workplace environments. In our current educational system, there are mandated courses in literature, math, science, and social studies, but the level of knowledge and expertise students glean from these courses is not always mastered on the level necessary to analyze, synthesize, and apply higher level critical thinking skills in today’s highly sophisticated and technically oriented workplace. For this reason, accountability standards have been developed to act as benchmarks for all student achievement in order to give public officials and professional educators a guide as to what student academic achievement should look like and what it entails on a practical daily basis. By understanding the framework of student success, curricula structures can be developed to encourage and develop the intellectual capacities of all students. Local, State, and Federal Accountability Educational leaders are responsible for the oversight of the curriculum and student learning. In today’s educational society and culture, the efficacy of the educational administrator is based on how well he (or she) as the principal administrator or superintendent has done in helping his or her school or district achieve high scores on the statewide accountability test known as the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and SkillsTM (TAKSTM) test. Curriculum models that extend beyond “teaching to the test”

35 will ultimately produce greater academic rewards for students and higher levels of academic achievement and educational competency and literacy. The Consequence of Accountability Although not the only measure for student academic achievement, the TAKSTM mandatory testing system is considered a high stakes testing benchmark. Students, who pass and do well, will go on to graduate from high school and begin work towards their own personal career or professional goals. Students who are not successful will not be able to graduate from high school. The entire educational system hinges upon how effective the curriculum is in preparing students to succeed in mastering this high stakes accountability test which measures factual knowledge, critical thinking skills, and the interactive skills of applying a student’s understanding of a subject matter to other subject areas that are interrelated and intertwined in the curriculum. Although proponents of the educational system will decry the fact that our educational system is not to hinge on one high stakes test, the reality for many districts is that the test has become inordinately important in the overall success of not only the affected individual student, but also to the school districts and campuses that have been given the mandate to prepare our students to be critical thinkers and knowledgeable proponents of the world in which they participate, work, and will ultimately spend their lives. The Goldilocks Standard of Student Learning and Accountability New approaches to education can add to gains in true student accomplishments and learning abilities. Curriculums that challenge, inspire, and provide a true platform for learning should be the norm and not the exception for student learning and academic

36 accountability in our schools: “Anthony P. Carnevale of Georgetown University has said this approach meets the Goldilocks standard, because nothing would be too difficult or too easy, always just right, for every child every day” (Hoss, 2007, p. 1). Ensuring that educational directives meet the needs and priorities of each student helps to validate and empower the administrator who seeks to ensure that every child is reaching his or her maximum capacity. Texas Assessment of Knowledge and SkillsTM Test Numerous high stakes accountability tests are given throughout the United States. In Texas, the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and SkillsTM (TAKSTM) test is utilized as a significant indicator of whether or not student academic achievement and learning has taken place in the classroom and in the overall learning process of individual students. The high stakes testing purported in this testing scenario ultimately decides what schools and districts are successful and meet pre-determined academic standards, the level of learning that has occurred within the schools, and ultimately if students completing 12 years of academic and classroom instruction will actually graduate from high school. Texas utilizes an objective and statistical approach for measuring student academic achievement. Determining what data will be used for the statistical decisions of accountability requires that a standard of measurement be developed and applied to all students and tested subject areas in the state of Texas: “In the act of creating accountability for results, it becomes important to focus on data that will be used to enable accountability to become a reality” (English, 2003, p. 201). For Texas, the TAKSTM test measures student and district academic success and achievement. The exit level TAKSTM test occurs during a student’s junior year in high

37 school. Four academic tests are given to test and judge a student’s ability to perform well on the given subject matter test material. Students are required to analyze data and apply the knowledge which he or she has mastered during their period of academic participation and instruction in the public educational school system. Students, who are successful in passing each of the four tests given, will be able to graduate and receive a high school diploma. Students not successful in achieving the required passing score will not graduate from high school unless protected under the umbrella and jurisdiction of Special Education laws and procedures The TAKSTM state assessment test has been developed to test a student’s knowledge level, critical thinking ability, and general competencies. At the 11th grade exit level four major academic disciplines, (English language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies), are tested to assess if students have met the academic criteria required of graduating high school seniors as evidenced by the students’ overall academic performance on the TAKSTM examination and their completion of a required core curriculum. In this high stakes testing scenario, many school administrators assume that “data-driven decision making centered on “hard data” will provide a quantitatively and qualitatively better base and framework for decisions which will lead to improved (more accurate, timely, reliable) decisions” (English, 2003, p. 201). Although evidence may lean toward “the conjecture that data-driven decision making will not be superior, but may actually “dumb down” the quality of decisions rendered is definitely counter intuitive to the concept’s attractiveness to school administrators” (English, 2003, p. 201). While educators must be aware of the state requirements and standards for student achievement as measured through such instruments as the TAKSTM examination,

38 educators must also be aware that standardized test scores should not be the only measure for student academic achievement. While the state’s mandates must be met, educational leaders must work to ensure that students do not simply learn to pass tests that are considered high-stakes, but they almost must ensure that students are becoming critical thinkers and not just simplistic, one item thinkers. Educational administrators and school leaders must decide what type of curriculum model and educational philosophy to use in the classroom that will best meet the learning needs of the individual student and educational learning needs of a particular school or district. The Importance of a Strong Academic Curriculum The importance of the curriculum in a student’s education is that the quality and content of a student’s learning experience, through the curriculum, will not only affect the learner’s own personal lifetime outcomes and objectives such as career and work, but will ultimately affect the society as a whole in which the student lives. The educator’s challenge is then how to select, organize, and prioritize curriculum and learning objectives in order to prepare students to be critical thinkers, empowered workers, and active participants in today’s democratic society. A strong philosophical base for curriculum design is necessary in order to have a logical and cohesive framework upon which to base educational strategies and goals. Educators must be careful in the selection as well as the implementation of any curricula model used to promote student learning and academic success. Effective curriculum frameworks must be based on the classical discipline areas of instruction which include mathematics, English language arts, science, and social studies. The integration of the core curriculum subjects allows for a unified

39 view of the curriculum which can significantly engender student learning and academic achievement. Curriculum Choice The official curriculum for the state of Texas is the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) listing of all learning benchmarks required by students in the state of Texas. However, to implement this curriculum mandate, educators must choose a curriculum model that will teach the TEKS and provide impetus for student learning and academic achievement. When choosing a curriculum, it is important that educators understand the importance of their decision and also to be able to recognize viable educational strategies built into a district’s chosen curriculum model. For education to be meaningful, the curriculum must be read, understood, and comprehended. To strengthen meaning in the classroom, a deep understanding of the curriculum and study material must be understood and articulated. Structuring an effective curriculum model must be based on a foundation of strong, research based principles in order to facilitate that the curriculum in use facilitates meaning and understanding for all students. Curriculum should be meaningful; therefore, principles that enhance this meaningful structure for learning must be understood and facilitated in regards to curriculum choice and implementation. A unified view of the curriculum can enhance learning and student academic achievement through both the philosophy and implementation of a particular curriculum model or design. Having a unified view of the curriculum philosophy provides a strong framework for successful student achievement and learning. First, “a comprehensive outlook is necessary for all intelligent decisions about what shall be included and

40 excluded from the course of study” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 6). This is important because the breadth of knowledge is too large to cover all aspects of every subject in every classroom. Choices on what should be taught and how the subject matter should be presented are critical components to the success and education of the individual and corporate group of student learners in today’s learning environment and educational setting. Secondly, because people are complex, total beings, “the curriculum ought to have a corresponding organic quality” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 6). A holistic pattern of study can “best contribute to the person’s growth if it is governed by the goal of wholeness for the human being” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 6). A third consideration in the selection and perpetration of a unified curriculum is that educators must realize that our society and individualized lives require a design or plan to ensure continuity, progress, and success: “A curriculum planned as a comprehensive design for learning contributes a basis for the growth of community, while a fragmented program of studies engenders disintegration into the life of society” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 6). And finally, “a comprehensive concept of the structure of learning gives added significance to each of the component segments of the curriculum” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 6). Curriculum subject matter is enhanced by an understanding and grasp of relationships between the particular disciplines involved in an academic course of study: “Distinctive features of any subject are best comprehended in the light of its similarities and contrasts with other subjects” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 6). This inter-disciplinarian approach to education facilitates a deeper understanding of all curriculum and allows the student learner to facilitate learning and meaning in a deeper and more philosophical construct of meaning and understanding.

41 Coherency and Integration A curriculum based on coherent and integrated ideas is also a curriculum of meaning and understanding. Because human beings have the unique component of being able to experience meaning and understanding, general education becomes “the process of engendering essential meaning” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 7). To determine the most effective and productive curriculum path of learning for our students, “we should speak not of meaning as such, but of meanings, or of the realms of meaning” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 11). Characteristics of a Viable Curriculum Design for Student Learning Curriculum design is meant to encourage and incorporate the highest level of academic success and achievement for all students. The impact a curriculum has on student achievement in many ways is enhanced by understanding student diversity and the various fields of study that support the learning process. Inherent to a basic knowledge of the curriculum structure, is an understanding of the philosophy that has helped to develop a particular model of curriculum understanding and insight. To understand student achievement, an understanding the diverse needs of learners is needed in order to be able to design and implement effective curricular models for the student. At the core of real and substantial academic change is the vehicular approach to student academic achievement known as the curriculum: “The only way to compete successfully with the diversions and excitement of young adulthood in contemporary America is to adjust curricular and pedagogical approaches based on the assumptions that students can be interested in serious intellectual engagement” (Botstein, 2006, p. 16). This prescription for change “is not teaching to the test and simply hoping students advance to

42 the next grade” (Botstein, 2006, p. 16). Instead, it is opening up a new and vibrant system of learning that challenges the student to reach out, explore, and discover new realities and truths on a consistent and daily basis. In order to revitalize change, effective curriculum models must be introduced into the educational system that will challenge, inspire, and academically spur students forward to increased achievement and success. The new learning that must emerge in the classroom is a system of knowledge acquisition that integrates curriculum, nurtures the mind, and stimulates academic curiosity, and student academic achievement. A disciplined approach to the curriculum includes the application and mastery of core subject areas such as mathematics, English language arts, science, and social studies. In addition to the core requirements already mandated in the curricular process, a high school student graduating in the 21st century should have an integrated approach to education and be expected to ask intelligent questions about Asia, Africa, and South America. In addition to the Romance and Germanic languages, more high schools should offer courses in Western languages. (Botstein, 2006, p. 17) Based on the integrated curriculum proposed by Botstein, a curriculum that includes a mastery of a wide, but integrated curriculum of learning will include a framework for academic study that provides a disciplined and ordered study of the classics. The classics include subject matter encompassing literature, science, philosophy, history, and religion. A classical education that forms the basis for student learning and provides an in-depth structure and foundation for student learning will provide a sound educational foundation upon which all areas of learning can build upon.

43 Evaluating achievement can be accomplished through observing how students apply the information they have learned as well as providing opportunities for the student to demonstrate his or her knowledge on educational tests, written responses, or project demonstration. Student Diversity and Educational Needs This study has also looked at diverse populations in the learning community to analyze the effect an integrated curriculum model has had on their learning experiences in the classroom. This is important because America is a melting pot of different cultures, ethnicities, backgrounds, and educational and economic backgrounds which predispose to the educator the need for creative and meaningful classroom curricula implementation and intervention strategies in the classroom. Legislatively, various laws have sought to enact laws that would bridge the gap between areas of economic, social, or educational deprivation and help to build the abilities and skills of all students and educational participants in our society. In a landmark Supreme Court ruling, Brown vs. Board of Education ( 347 U.S. 483 1954), reiterated the fact that all students involved in the public school system have the right to a fair and equal opportunity for education equal and accessible to all students regardless of ethnicity, social status, or background. To facilitate the needs of all students, a level playing field is necessary in our classrooms in order to facilitate a high level of learning for all students. This level playing field can be manifested in a research based curriculum model that focuses on facilitating an academic environment and framework for learning in which all students can succeed.

44 Leveling the Playing Field through Understanding Diversity in the Classroom Schools are held to a standard of excellence by local stake holders, state legislators, and federally enacted mandated standards for student learning and academic achievement. It is assumed that with strict accountability standards in education, academic achievement scores among all students will increase. This premise of educational accountability is intrinsically flawed: “The downside has been the persistent gap in test scores between children of poverty and color and those of the largely white, suburban schools” (Jencks and Phillips as rpt. in English & Steffey, 2001, p. 2). The theory of Darwinism prevails making the educational gap a “spawning ground for the resurrection of flawed explanations of differences that cannot be erased by good schools and which are purported to be the results of Darwinism processes at work” (Jencks and Phillips as rpt. in English & Steffey, 2001, p. 2). High stakes testing continues to be at the forefront of all levels of student accountability and success. However, “high stakes testing continues to leave in its cyclonic path defeated hopes and broken lives” (English & Steffey, 2001, p. v). W. Edward Deming who is known as the father of quality, has stated that “inspection to improve quality is too late, ineffective, and costly” (Deming, W.E. as rpt. in English & Steffey, 2001, p. v). Despite this sage advice from Edward Deming, legislators and many educational leaders believe that academic “improvement means better test scores” (English & Steffey, 2001, p. v). With no evidence of innate

academic discrepancies between children of different ethnicities, state based high stakes curricular tests many times favor those students of higher socio-economic status opposed to those not in this category regardless of race or ethnicity. Educators must seek to find out why there is a difference in student academic performance and then seek to level the

45 academic playing field so all students will have the opportunity to academically succeed and that there will be “no child left behind” (No Child Left Behind Act 2001). Addressing the Intellectual Needs of All Students It is not enough to have a social consensus of a school’s purpose as a place where all students can learn and succeed. It is necessary to ensure that in the classroom environment, real and sustained learning emerges that can effectually promote and encourage student academic achievement and success. The main component of a successful learning environment is reticent upon the curriculum that is used in the classroom. Educational leaders must come to a consensus on how to make sound and viable researched based decisions related to providing the best possible learning programs for the student body. Through the induction of new theories and educational research for the classroom, new levels of student accountability have occurred through legislative initiatives such as the state administered Texas Assessment of Knowledge and SkillsTM (TAKSTM) test and the federal No Child Left Behind Act (2001) that have raised the level of excellence and mastery required of all students attending a public elementary or secondary school in the state of Texas. This inherent reality epitomizes the significant challenges that lie ahead for educational leaders who must educate and prepare this generation for the innate challenges and opportunities in educational constructs, social opportunities, and work-related requirements and expectations. Multiple Intelligences and the ROM Curriculum Model Educational institutions throughout the nation and even the world are challenged with the fact that each student is uniquely gifted and talented in the way they appropriate new information and learning in the classroom. Educational leaders must implement

46 curriculum models in the classroom that address the needs of all learners. One theory that addresses the uniqueness of all learners is Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences. Gardner’s work on learning theory has shown that “intelligences typically work in harmony” (Gardner, 2004, p. 9). Gardner’s theory emphasizes the fact that intelligence is a multi-faceted organism that manifests itself in different ways depending upon the student’s particular academic bent and intellectual capabilities for learning. Analyzed through the comparative lens of the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy, educational leaders can gain new understanding on how a diverse school population can be taught to achieve and excel academically utilizing a structured framework for learning that emphasizes academic success and achievement for all students. Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences has its root and foundation in the communicative linguistic foundations. Built upon the premise that there are different levels of learning and student academic achievement, Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences emphasizes how intelligence can be viewed from more than just a purely academic viewpoint. Gardner’s model emphasizes six unique characteristics of intelligence that go beyond the basic academic perceptions of what it means to be intelligent. Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences can be more fully understood by understanding how the theory of multiple intelligences corresponds to the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy. From this point, “a fuller appreciation of human beings occurs if we take into account spatial, bodilykinesthetic, musical, inter-personal, and intrapersonal intelligences” (Gardner, 2004, p. xv). The following chart shows how Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences and the

47 Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy supports an understanding of diverse learning patterns and an integrated curriculum model. Table 2.1 Comparative Learning Styles and the ROM Curriculum Model Howard Gardner, PhD Theory of Multiple Intelligences Linguistic Intelligence Musical Intelligence Logical-Mathematical Intelligence Spatial Intelligence Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence William Allen Kritsonis, PhD Ways of Knowing Through the Realms of Meaning Symbolics Esthetics Symbolics, Empirics, and Synoptics Symbolics, Esthetics Esthetics

An integrated curriculum model can easily be defined and enhanced to incorporate Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences and Kritsonis’s six realms of meaning. Gardner listed six theories of multiple intelligences. They are linguistic intelligence, musical intelligence, logical-mathematical intelligence, spatial intelligence, bodily-kinesthetic intelligence, and the personal intelligences. These intelligences correspond to the realms model of curriculum instruction and delivery (Gardner, 2004, p. xv). The symbolic realm of meaning correlates with the linguistic intelligence mode of learning. The musical and bodily kinesthetic intelligences are reflective of the esthetic realm. The logical-mathematical intelligence category correlates with the symbolic, empiric, and synoptic realms of meaning. Spatial intelligence can clearly be seen in the symbolic and esthetic realms. And finally, the personal intelligence theory is in tandem with the synnoetic realm of meaning: “A curriculum developing the above basic

48 competencies is designed to satisfy the essential human need for meaning” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 15). The ROM curriculum supports the theories of multiple intelligences in that the symbolic, linguistic, scientific, and mathematical structures that constitute the Gardner theory of multiples are foundational to the six realms of meaning. As illustrated in the mind diagram below (Figure 2.1), intelligence is multi-faceted and can include analytical strengths exemplified through the puzzle diagram (synoptics) , musical attributes exemplified by the diagram of the piano (esthetics), scientific and investigative strengths as demonstrated symbolically by the light bulb (empirics), the sun glasses representing personal property and expression (synnoetics), and the remaining symbolic fabric of the mind which represents the remaining symbolic and ethical attributes of learning (ethics) which are foundational to the ROM curriculum model and framework for student academic achievement learning and success.

49 Figure 2.1 A Comparative Diagram of Multiple Learning Theories and the Realms

Linguistic Intelligence Symbolics Logical-Mathematical Intelligence Symbolics, Empirics Spatial Esthetics, Symbolics Synoptics: a comprehensive view of learning and knowledge Musical Intelligence Esthetics Personal Intelligences Synnoetics

Copyright free graphic courtesy of Clipart.com

The comprehensive nature of the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy is uniquely designed and correlated to address and meet the needs of the unique and diverse learning styles of students in today’s classroom. Aligned with Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences, the depth of learning that can be achieved by all learners is enhanced through the use of the integrated Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning (ROM) curriculum model. Regardless of the student population being served by a district or other educational institution, it is important that educational leaders are accountable for the

50 type of curriculum and learning environment that his or her leadership provides for their own sphere of influence within the educational community. Principles for Curriculum Mastery To be effective, a curriculum model must provide a framework for student mastery and academic success in the classroom. Principles of mastery utilized in the ROM of curriculum model can be utilized in any curriculum structure and are invaluable tools in the teaching and educational process of students. In this study, the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy has been shown to have similar characteristics and learning paradigms as those schools in the state of Texas which utilize another curriculum model entitled CSCOPETM. Therefore, identifying the characteristics within an established, independent curriculum model will show how learning and curriculum design can be affected and enhanced through the understanding of a dynamic and pervasive curriculum philosophy as demonstrated through the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning. According to the ROM curriculum philosophy, the first principle for maximized meanings in the curriculum is mastery. Curriculum decisions should be made with the realization of existence that “lies in depth of understanding” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 560). Mastery in the curriculum alludes to the fact that “the meaningful life is that in which the person finds one thing to do and learns to do it very well” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 560). This viewpoint encourages a curriculum that concentrates more on depth of knowledge rather than breath: “Depth of knowledge and skill should be the goal, rather than superficial acquaintance with a variety of fields” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 560). A second principle for attaining maximized meanings in the classroom is to realize the importance education

51 plays in an integrated society. In this curriculum model, curriculum mastery is important because “each individual plays his part and is required to develop competencies that best equip him to contribute to the whole” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 561). Specialized curricula allows for the development of “competencies that best equip (the student) to contribute to the whole” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 561). Utilizing these competencies strengthens the learning process and supports maximum student academic achievement and change. A third principle for finding meaning in the curriculum is to provide a well rounded and diverse choice of subject matter for learning and integration. For learning and the curriculum to provide meaning, a diverse curriculum model should be in place in order to facilitate the highest levels of learning and achievement possible: “The desirable goal is well-roundedness and variety of interests . . . curriculum should be correspondingly broad and diverse” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 561). Interdependency upon curriculum subjects allows for the diversity necessary to incorporate the highest level of student academic achievement possible in the modern classroom environment. The fourth principle “for the fulfillment of meaning consists in the integrity of the person” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 561). From a curriculum perspective, learning needs to be capable of assimilation by the particular person so they may contribute to his integral selfhood. A curriculum that supports a student in his or her search for meaning will allow the student to possess a sufficient range of meanings in upon his position his own self without depending for the significance of his life in the social whole. (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 562)

52 This principle specifically involves the ability to respond synnoetically to knowledge and apply one’s own understanding of the curriculum presented to the student’s personal schematic understanding of life and meaning. The fifth principle that addresses meaningful fulfillment in the curriculum ascertains “that fulfillment consists in gaining a certain quality of understanding” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 562). Quality refers to a life that focuses on what is important and essential: “In this case the breadth of the curriculum depends upon what it is deemed essential to know, whether a few things or many” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 562). Quality must precede quantity in regards to implementing a meaningful and beneficial curriculum framework in the classroom. The Order and Design of the Curriculum Dante Alighieri, author of The Divine Comedy and noted to be “the greatest poet of the Middle Ages” (Leitch, 2001, p 247), has constructed an allegory on education in the II Convivio, Book Two in which “Dante uses the conceit of a banquet to represent human knowledge . . . In Dante’s allegorical banquet, the “meat” is the canzoni or verses, and the “bread” the commentaries on those verses” (Leitch, 2001, p. 247). Allegorically, Dante then transfers his metaphor of the banquet feast of knowledge to the perplexing question of which course must be eaten first. In education and the curriculum, the order and design of the curriculum is foundational to the acquisition and retention of all learning and academic knowledge and achievement. Educational leaders must have a clear direction and path on which to emerge and lead their academic charges. Educational leaders must seek to instill in their programs a fresh vision for academic change, achievement, and success for all students

53 involved in the educational process. For this reason, in education, “the fundamental task of any educational institution is to determine the manner of defining and organizing its curriculum” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 5). Educational programs determined by unrealistic goals and destinations are ultimately doomed to failure. Strong and effectual educational leadership programs should begin with a firm grasp and understanding of how goals and objectives of learner-centered educational programs should emerge. One method of organizing the curriculum is through utilizing the Ways of Knowing The Realms of Meaning (ROM) curriculum philosophy. Understanding the framework of the Realms helps to logically order a system of learning that will incorporate student mastery of complex subjects and support a level of critical thinking skills necessary for a student’s sustained learning goals and academic achievement. Utilizing the Realms philosophy in the curriculum offers a framework for learning that supports researched based strategies and paradigms of effective learning models for a wide and diverse academic group of student learners. The Complex Unity of the Ways of Knowing Through the Realms of Meaning Curriculum Model Curriculum is a complex subterfuge of knowledge that must be organized in order to have true understanding and application to the lives and needs of the traditional high school student: “The complexity of curriculum and the complexity surrounding curriculum can only be processed by having some theoretical understanding” (Ornstein and Hunkins, 2004, p. 172). Curriculum theorists organize learning categories in order to be able to utilize these divisions more effectively in the study and development of curriculum: “George Beauchamp has asserted that all theories are derived from three

54 broad categories of knowledge: (1) the humanities, (2) the natural sciences, and (3) the social sciences” (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2004, p. 172). Beauchamp concludes that “from these basic knowledge divisions come areas of applied knowledge – architecture, medicine, engineering, education, and law” (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2004, p. 172). This formula for understanding the categories of knowledge supports and establishes the categories implicit in an integrated and rigorously developed model of curriculum and instruction. This framework coincides with the curriculum model developed by the author of the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning which categorizes learning into realms of meaning. In the Kritsonis framework, six realms of meaning are categorized to incorporate all levels of meaning and purpose in education. The realms of meaning include symbolics, empirics, esthetics, synnoetics, ethics, and synoptics. Through the six realms of meaning, a sound and substantial integrated curriculum philosophy and program can be developed that can perpetuate student academic achievement to deeper and more sustained levels of learning and academic success. The relationship between Beauchamp’s Categories of Knowledge and Kritsonis’s Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning is outlined in the table below.

55 Table 2.2 Categories of Knowledge and the Realms of Meaning Beauchamp’s Categories of Knowledge Humanities Kritsonis’s Realms of Meaning Symbolics: Ordinary Language, Mathematics, Non-discursive Symbolic Forms Esthetics: Music, The Visual Arts, The Arts of Movement, Literature Empirics: Science Synoptics: Social Sciences

Natural Sciences Social Sciences

The ROM model is inclusive for all subject areas and translates to use in both elementary, secondary, and university curriculums. Through the use of an integrated curriculum philosophy based on the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning, students are given a structure in which to master not only the basic content areas of a subject matter, but also to understand the subject area in a more holistic and higher cognitive level of academic achievement and mastery. This is important in that in order for learning to be viable, a curriculum must be meaningful and purposeful. To facilitate meaning, the curriculum must offer pillars of understanding to enhance, lead, and guide the pathway to student learning and academic achievement. The ROM curriculum model is one such curriculum model and philosophy that offers a viable framework for student learning and academic achievement and success. The ROM curriculum embodiment of the six realms of meaning helps to facilitate the curriculum needed for the complete and well-rounded person. Each realm plays an important role in the curriculum of a school and the overall well-being and education of a

56 student: “Each makes possible a particular mode of functioning without which the person cannot live according to his own true nature” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 564). The six realms cover the entire range of meanings possible. Therefore, incorporating the six realms of meaning into the curriculum comprises a holistic approach to student learning and achievement. Students being educated in a thorough program of metanarratives and holistic understandings can work toward new and higher levels of academic achievement and success. By focusing on substantial educational attributes and relationships, students can become more involved and active in the academic and learning process. In this process, the students’ interaction with the curriculum becomes viable and meaningful to the participating student. Knowledge of a discipline becomes paramount to a student’s understanding of a particular subject matter and relationship to other disciplines and applications: “Knowledge can be derived from a variety of sources. However, knowledge has permanent value leading to greater meaning and greater understanding when drawn from the fundamental disciplines as exemplified in the realms of meaning” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. ix). When educators are willing to facilitate learning in new and post-modernistic approaches, the student, school, and society will benefit. Meaning and the Curriculum How students are taught is critical if learning is to be meaningful and applied intuitively and constructively in the classroom. Academic learners must find meaning and purpose in the material being studied. History has shown that fundamental learning and acquisition of knowledge can be attributed and acquired in numerous ways. It is also important to know and understand that knowledge and understanding are interconnected and therefore understanding and applying the curriculum is extremely important for the

57 development of critical thinking skills needed to improve and show academic mastery in the classical disciplines. Curriculum Implementation and Application A curriculum is more than just a presentation of basic facts and academic constructs. Curriculum becomes a philosophical masterpiece of knowledge that when integrated, can provide not only an understanding of concepts and ideas, but an overall discourse in meaning and appreciation for life. The general “philosophy of the curriculum for general education is intended as a comprehensive but not exhaustive guide to the fulfillment of human existence through education” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 22). Educational goals and objectives require excellence and adequacy of knowledge: “It is recognized that all knowledge does not belong to the specialist alone, but that through general education understanding of a high order can and should be available to everyone” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. vii). Education that is meaningful provides a basis for student learning that can be a springboard to a fuller and more meaningful life. Learning becomes meaningful when the material presented is thought provoking and challenging: “In order to engage students in high quality academic content, valid decisions need to be made regarding various aspects of the curriculum and the way it is delivered” (Peck & Scarpati, 2005, p. 7). The purposeful delivery of the curriculum enhances the overall learning opportunities for students and therefore enhances student learning and understanding.

58 Theorists, Theories, and Curriculum Models Jean Piaget Jean Piaget, a Swiss psychologist, is remembered for his many contributions to education and learning. Noted for his insight into childhood learning and development, Piaget was able to develop many cognitive theories of learning that sought to explain how learning and educational growth could be observed throughout the stages of a child’s life. He was not only known as a significant educational psychologist, scientist, and publisher, but also as an “epistemologist (someone who studies the nature and beginning of knowledge)” (Mooney, 2000, p. 59). It is the combination of these abilities that add to the constructivist and post-modernistic attributes of the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy. The ROM curriculum model focuses on the factors of development and the sequence of academic studies. Just as Piaget believed that learning occurred in various stages of development, the ROM curriculum model ascertains that “each stage in personal growth presupposes the successful completion of the earlier stages” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 805). Building upon the premise that knowledge is built upon by experience and exposure, the student learner has an ever increasing “body of memories upon which to draw, providing a basis for generalization and discrimination, both of which are necessary for the formation of scientific abstractions” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 632). This

depth of understanding is mirrored in the framework and curriculum model based on the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning curriculum model and the facets and knowledge based on an integrated and intellectually cohesive curriculum model. The six

59 “realms of meaning form an articulated whole” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 15) and therefore are able to provide foundational opportunities for academic growth and success. Constructivism and the Learning Process Constructivism is a learning theory and ideology that simply states that learning is possible when we are able to construct meanings from what we know thereby integrating and expanding our knowledge and understanding of the world around us. The goal of constructivism differs from traditional education models in that “deep understanding, not imitative behavior is the goal” (Brooks and Brooks, 1999, p. 16). Constructivism prescribes transformation rather than conformation. Although transformative classrooms are the goal of the constructivist teacher, the varied concepts and products that emerge from this philosophical array of classroom pedagogy is that in the “constructivist approach, we look not for what students can repeat, but for what they can generate, demonstrate, and exhibit” (Brooks & Brooks, 1999, p. 16). In a constructivist curriculum design, such as in the ROM curriculum model, curriculum is divided into patterns that interact and complement each other in order to create a broader knowledge base and true curriculum understanding. Patterns that build upon previous knowledge can widen and expand a student’s knowledge level to incorporate understanding in multiple subject areas and disciplines. In curriculum design, selection of categories is essentially a search pattern, and it is constructed rather than “empirically discovered” (English as rpt. in Kritsonis, 2007, p. vi). In the ROM curriculum model, the constructivist model is built around the six realms of meaning. Each realm can be intertwined with knowledge from the other categories and realms, thereby producing an intellectual data base of information that can

60 be utilized to solve complex problems and academic pursuits. Through this model “mastery of the fundamental ideas of a field involves not only the grasping of general principles, but also the development of an attitude toward learning and inquiry, toward guessing and hunches, toward the possibility of solving problems on one’s own” (Bruner, 1977, p. 20). Constructivism supports this model of learning and is important to the overall development and implementation of the curriculum. Constructivist practices and learning constructs encourage the student to “internalize and reshape, or transform, new information” (Brooks & Brooks, 1999, p. 15). An integrated curriculum allows the student to compare and contrast information, events, and phenomena through integrative eyes and intellectual structures: “Deep understanding occurs when the presence of new information prompts the emergence or enhancement of cognitive structures that enable us to rethink our prior ideas” (Brooks & Brooks, 1999, p. 15). Constructivist teaching is a challenging but rewarding process: “A constructivist framework challenges teachers to create environments in which they and their students are encouraged to think and explore. This is a formidable challenge, but to do otherwise is to perpetuate the ever-present behavioral approach to teaching and learning” (Brooks & Brooks, 1999, p. 30). The Realms of Meaning (ROM) curriculum model builds upon a constructivist framework: “It remains a provocative model that continues to nourish and stimulate thinking about what is important in creating coherency and purpose in general education settings” (English as rpt. in Kritsonis, 2007, p. v). The Realms of Meaning (ROM) curriculum philosophy involves the interaction of categories and design in the learning process: “The selection of categories is essentially a search for patterns” (English as cited in Kritsonis, 2007, p. vi). A thorough analysis of patterns and

61 philosophies of learning leads to the emergence of “six fundamental patterns of meaning. These six patterns may be designated respectively as symbolics, empirics, esthetics, synnoetics, ethics, and synoptics” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 11). By exploring the six realms of meaning, the entire range of possible meaning and curriculum, knowledge can be perpetuated in a general framework of academic efficacy and knowledge. The six realms of meaning offer the framework of education and knowledge necessary to add relevance, vigor, and quality into the mainstream aspects of curriculum development and delivery. This curriculum structure not only helps to develop integrated competencies within the curriculum, but also to define the qualities necessary to be considered a complete person capable of interacting intellectually and competitively in a highly complex and demanding global and technically oriented society. By educating students in a meaningful and purposeful manner, education becomes a way of “helping human beings to become what they can and should become” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 29). Meaning and understanding can not only illumine what is taught in the classroom, but also can benefit the academic learner in regards to the student’s own personal overall knowledge, understanding, and general perceptions of the world. Postmodernism and the Framework for Student Learning and Success To further understand how curriculum affects student learning, another theory of learning, postmodernism, can be studied and applied to enhance the overall educational process. Postmodernism is a predominant theory of learning that seeks to provide another viewpoint on educational philosophies in the classroom. A post-modernistic view of education offers educational leaders an alternative view of curriculum design and instruction. In the area of curriculum and curriculum reform,

62 postmodernism is about constructing a way of looking at the world of ideas, concepts and systems of thought through the historicity of content and the shifting nature of linguistic meaning and symbols as they are manifested in discursive practices which run through educational administration and related fields” (English, 2003, p. 3). The educational postmodernist rejects certitude and seeks to show that there are always pluralities of diverse options to consider for any one given situation or solution: The postmodernist’s denial of certitude is open to many expressions of thought and theory as long as none of them seek to suppress silence, marginalize, humiliate, denigrate, or erase other possibilities” (English, 2003, p. 4). In the area of curriculum design, assessment, and evaluation, postmodernism ascertains that there are many options and venues available for the student learner: An educational institution or school system claiming to be purposive must make some attempt to classify, codify, and integrate the knowledge base it has selected to become part of its curriculum” (English, as cited in Kritsonis, 2007, p. v). Postmodernist theories support a view of learning that expands knowledge and is able to classify and construct meanings in new and purposeful ways for the student learner. This classification of knowledge becomes the curriculum for a district and the foundation for all student learning and academic achievement. There are many options and choices for choosing an effective school curriculum. One curricular choice is found in the Realms of Meaning curriculum model. Fenwick English has stated his support and understanding

63 of this model as one venue for curriculum design that can potentially benefit students in the overall learning process: “As we enter the postmodern period, it’s clear that Realms of Meaning is one of the but many ways to conceptualize curriculum disciplines to work towards realizing general education” (English as cited in Kritsonis, 2007, p. v). Once a model of curriculum is chosen, superintendents, principals, teachers, and other members of the educational community will be held accountable as to the success and workability of the model chosen. Therefore, choosing the right model is critical in that what curriculum model is chosen can affect the learning and academic achievement of all students regardless of race, ethnicity, or socio-economic status. Educators may choose “a traditional subject-matter curriculum related neither to the needs or abilities of the individual learner nor to the social and psychological factors affecting education” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 38) or they may choose an integrated and interdisciplinary model that seeks to teach beyond the basic knowledge required for understanding and provide the opportunity for critical and analytical applications and academic design. Regardless of the model chosen, all schools will be held accountable as to the degree and level of academic success demonstrated by student participants. Objectivism The theory of objectivism focuses on the rationality of man’s own decisions and one’s own ability to make important decisions in an ethical and moral manner. Objectivism teaches self-responsibility and encourages the proponent of such a philosophy to work hard and understand that if one is to “maintain his life by his own effort; the values he needs-such as wealth or knowledge are not given to him automatically, as a gift of nature, but have to be discovered and achieved by his own

64 thinking and work” (Rand, 1964, p. 54). Students should be encouraged to take the initiative in their own learning process and work towards mastery of difficult and challenging subject matter offered in a diversified and integrated model of curriculum learning and discourse. A foundational principle of the Realms of Meaning (ROM) curriculum model is that students engaged in learning and the curriculum model gains an innate sense of who they are (synnoetics) and that they should be able to gain a moral and ethical perspective (ethics) of the world in which they live. The realms model contends that “a curriculum based upon the realms of meaning counteracts the fragmentation of experience that is one of the sources of meaninglessness” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 15). Meaning, consisting of a deep and inter-related knowledge base in the curriculum, seeks to educate students to not only know the course material for classroom assignments, but also how to apply and use the knowledge gained to analyze, apply, and evaluate new situations in an educated and thoughtful manner. The Five Disciplines and the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning The ROM curriculum philosophy and Five Discipline model for learning can be collaborated with the ROM curriculum model as noted in the figure below.

65 Figure 2.2 A Comparison of the Five Discipline Model and the Realms of Meaning Curriculum Philosophy

The Five Disciplines
and the

Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning

Five Disciplines Five Disciplines

Five Disciplines

Personal Mastery:
Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning:

Shared Vision:
Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning:

Mental Models:
Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning:

Synnoetics

Synoptics

Symbolics

Five Disciplines Five Disciplines

Team Learning:
Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning:

Systems Thinking:
Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning:

Empirics: (Physical
Science and Biology)

Empirics:
(Psychology and Social Science)

Esthetics:

Music, the Visual Arts, the Arts of Movement, and Literature

Ethics

66 Peter Senge (2000), author and primary developer of the five discipline approach to education, has emphasized the need for schools to reevaluate the learning process and incorporate and design schools that focus on student learning and achievement. Senge (2000) focuses on building learning organizations through a discipline model that reaches across curriculum lines and barriers and integrates student learning to achieve maxim student academic achievement and success. Senge’s five disciplines include “personal mastery, shared vision, mental model, team learning, and systems thinking” (Senge et al., 2000, p. 7). Correlated with the ROM curriculum model, the emphasis on developing the five discipline model can potentially enhance student learning and achievement to achieve greater degrees of content mastery and academic success. Personal Mastery and the Synnoetics Realm Senge’s first learning discipline is personal mastery: “Personal mastery is the practice of articulating a coherent image of your personal vision-the results you most want to create in your life-alongside a realistic assessment of the current reality of your life today” (Senge et al., 2000, p. 7). Personal mastery is reflective in the synnoetics realm in that synnoetics “refers to meanings in which a person has direct insight into other beings (or oneself) as concrete wholes existing in relation” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 393). Translating the philosophy of synnoetics structures and understanding to the classroom situation, the works of Hans Robert Jauss articulate how the synnoetics realm can influence the relationship between a student and the curriculum. For example, “the way in which a literary work, at the historical moment of his appearance, satisfies, surpasses, disappoints, or refutes the expectations of its first audience obviously provides

67 a criterion for the determination of its aesthetic value” (Jauss, as rpt. in Vincent B. Leitch The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism, 2001, 1547-63). The interaction between a text and reader can constitute a synnoetic relationship just as the interactions between two individuals conversing on a particular topic or subject matter. This level of thinking incorporates a shared vision and a nourishment of the entire learning environment. A Shared Vision and the Synoptics Realm The second discipline is a shared vision within the synoptics realm. The synoptics realm is comprehensively integrated and includes “history, religion, and philosophy” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 13). Philosophically, students and teachers can work together “to nourish a sense of commitment in a group or organization by developing shared images of the future they seek to create and the principles and guiding practices by how they hope to get there” (Senge et al., 2000, p. 7). Synoptics is also acrimonious to the philosophy of a shared vision in that choices and understanding of the past are significantly related to our understanding and participation of not only where we have been, but also to a visionary analysis of where we, or the organization that we belong to, would like to be in the future. Mental Models and the Symbolics Realm It was the great philosopher Augustine of Hippo who expounded upon the value of symbolic language in the process of learning and understanding: “All doctrine concerns either things or signs but things are learned by signs” (Augustine of Hippo, as rpt. in Vincent B. Leitch The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism, 2001, 188-201). This symbolic gesture affording communication is reflected in the symbolics realm of meaning in the ROM curriculum philosophy. For these symbolic gestures to be

68 important and meaningful to the participating parties, there must be a mutual understanding about the signification of the non-discursive communication symbols and a reflective outlook on the purpose and meaning intended by these gestures: “The discipline of reflection and inquiry skills is focused around developing awareness of attitudes and perceptions—your own and those of others around you. Working with mental models can also help you more clearly and honestly define current reality” (Senge et al., 2000, p. 7). These mental models in the realm of symbolics comprise “ordinary language, mathematics, and various types of nondiscursive symbolic forms” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 11). Through an understanding of the symbolic form of communication, ancient and modern day philosophers can ascribe to its value in dispersing language, communication, and meaning to student academic learners. Team Learning and the Empirics Realm This goal is interactive: “Through such techniques as dialogue and skillful discussion, small groups of people transform their collective thinking and learning to mobilize their energies and actions to achieve common goals” (Senge et al., 2000, p. 8). Team learning is important in the empirics realm, especially in the physical sciences. The accuracy of knowledge and the ability to share experiences, hypothesis, and new understandings are critical to the expansion of knowledge and development of new ideas and solutions. Systems Thinking and the Empirics, Esthetics, and Ethical Realms Systems thinking involves a collaborative effort among the disciplines to work together: “In this discipline, people learn to better understand interdependency and change and thereby are able to deal more effectively with the forces that shape the

69 consequences of their actions” (Senge et al., 2000, p. 8). Systems thinking focuses on the importance of an inter-disciplinarian curriculum. The systems thinking philosophy emphasizes the fact that curriculum becomes more relevant when its components are inter-related with other disciplines and academic pursuits. The systems thinking approach “provides a different way of looking at problems and goals - not as isolated events but as components of larger structures” (Senge et. al, 2000, p. 78). The systems thinking approach is parallel to the ROM curriculum philosophy as evidenced by the effect of this triad conglomerate of curriculum pillars of academic philosophy. The integration of empirics, esthetics, and the ethical realms provides a framework for student learning and achievement that is based on intellectual and critical thinking through independent and inter-related curriculum objects of study and therefore aligns with the systems thinking approach to learning. Patterns of Influence and Design Organization, patterns, and design are important aspects to curriculum design and implementation: Herbert Spencer (1820-1903) was one of the first individuals to propose a scheme for selecting the subject matter best suited to the needs of the pupils. He promoted that knowledge, contributing to self-preservation, was of the utmost usefulness and should appear first among the things taught to children. (Kritsonis, 2002, p. 117) This correlation can be seen as illustrated in the educational philosophies of Beauchamp and Kritsonis: “Since learning takes place over time, the materials of instruction have to be arranged in temporal sequence” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 587). Purpose,

70 order, learning, and connectivity are all integral proponents of a meaningful curriculum. In designing a meaningful curriculum, “an educational institution or school system claiming to be purposive must make some attempt to classify, codify, and integrate the knowledge base it has selected to become part of its curriculum” (English in Kritsonis, 2007, p. v). Organization then lends itself to a structure where order and meaning can be facilitated through the curriculum and learning processes of the student learner. Analyzing the Effect of a Curriculum Model in the Classroom Analyzing the effect of a curriculum on student learning and academic achievement is a complex process which entails looking at the curriculum implementation process holistically rather than selectively. Michael Fullan, a top researcher in implementing effective and long-term educational change in districts, has developed several models for successful implementation of a curriculum model and academic change in a district’s overall educational agenda. His research on change theory, theories of merit, flawed change theory, and moral purpose of learning can help the researcher to analyze more fully the factors that facilitate student learning and academic achievement. Change Theory Any new endeavor, especially in the area focused on student achievement and learning, requires a dedicated and formal commitment to a particular curriculum philosophy and framework for student learning and academic achievement. Fullan contends that learning must be sustainable and cannot be judged by one test, one scenario, or one example of success. Instead, a deep cultural and educational community must be developed that will instill deep learning and complex change. These deep and

71 lasting facets of change are implicitly stated and implied in the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy. Flawed Change Theory Michael Fullan has identified three flawed perceptions of change theory that are currently being utilized in educational districts and communities throughout various educational systems. These flawed perceptions include: 1. designing curriculum models suited to a particular test, relying on standardsbased curricula form surmounted through pressure and top-down administrative mandates 2. believing that professional development alone is the key to developing successful teachers 3. setting district goals based on standards reforms and achievements. Fullan contends that these flawed perceptions seem to be attributes of successful schools and educational environment. However, Fullan points out that these attributes are only surface reflectors and do not reflect the true depth of community, learning, and progress that is needed in the 21st century school and classroom. Premises of Change: Seven Effective Rules for Academic Change Building upon these theories of analysis, Michael Fullan has also developed a model of seven principles that provide the structure for change knowledge and theory to emerge in the classroom. The seven premises for change knowledge implanted by Michael Fullan are: “(1), a focus on motivation; (2) capacity building, with a focus on results; (3) learning in context; (4) changing context; (5) a bias for reflective action; and (6) tri-level engagement; (7) persistence and flexibility for staying the course” (Fullan,

72 2006, pp. 8-11). These agents of change are also implicit in the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy. Developing a Moral Purpose in Learning Having a moral purpose for learning and teaching is a critical component of another component of Michael Fullan’s developed learning strategies entitled: “Critical Learning Instruction Path.” In this pathway of learning, educators are encouraged to develop a passion and purpose for teaching students with the best of their resources and to the best of their ability. Moral purpose in the classroom involves “precision, professional learning, and personalization” (Crevola, Hill, and Fullan, 2006, p. 1). Moral purpose seeks to engage all learners and to seek out the resources necessary for the success of all students regardless of their socioeconomic status, ethnicity, or social class in the community. By ensuring that all learners receive a personalized and dynamic education in the classroom, the educational culture and climate of a particular school district and educational community will ultimately grow into a vibrant, and sustained educational entity which will support academic growth and success among all learners in the educational classroom and district. The ethics realm in the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy also supports a sustained atmosphere of moral and right actions in the classroom. In the ethics realm, “moral conduct is a universal responsibility” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 438) and requires students, teachers, administrators, and the educational community to make right decisions based on the needs and aptitudes of the student population being served. Through the interaction of Kritsonis’s ethics realm of meaning and Fullan’s model for moral purpose, a collaborative spirit of cooperation and

73 community can be built in the educational community which will foster a systemic atmosphere for academic change and growth. Theories of Merit and the Ways of Knowing Through the Realms of Meaning Curriculum Philosophy Theories of merit and the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy share attributes which are represented in both Fullan’s Theories of Merit and Kritsonis’s Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy. However, both philosophies are long term solutions and should not be garnered as “quick fixes” to solve learning problems or structural change issues in the school community or particular district campus. Fullan has stated that change is not automatic and could take years to take hold. With this in mind, educators are urged to “stay the course” and to work towards the goal of establishing a firm and solid foundation for academic learning and achievement. Fullan refers to the phenomena of new curriculums not “catching hold” in the first few years as the implementation dip. He urges educators to work toward the long goals and “survive” the short term obstacles in order to create an atmosphere of real and sustained learning in the classroom. Meritorious long term goals include motivation, capacity building, learning in context, changing context, reflective action, and tri-level engagement. As illustrated in the chart below, the six realms of meaning support Fullan’s guide to productive schools and action oriented theories for student change and academic achievement.

74

Table 2.3 Theories of Action with Merit and the Realms Philosophy Fullan’s Theories of Merit Motivation Capacity Building Learning in Context Changing Context Reflective Action Tri-Level Engagement Kritsonis’s Ways of Knowing Through the Realms of Meaning Curriculum Philosophy Ethics – Morally driven to direct purposes and goals Symbolics – Establishing foundations of communication and learning Empirics – Factually Well Informed Synoptics – Having a comprehensive view of the entire learning process and value Synnoetics – Reflective and directed Synnoetics – Interaction with various levels of stake holders in the educational process and overall curriculum design for student learning and success. _______________________________________________________________________ _ Philosophy of the Curriculum The engendering of meaning and learning in the educational process is one of the most important and potentially fruitful endeavors in a student’s life. Through education and the curriculum, students’ minds are developed, reasoning skills enhanced, and critical thinking skills challenged and developed. The dispersing of education in our schools must be founded upon sound principles and educational philosophies. Jerome Bruner articulates this viewpoint in his generational assessment regarding the quality and structure of an effective curriculum model of instruction:

75 Each generation gives new form to the aspirations that shape education it in its time. What may be emerging as a mark of our generation is a widespread renewal of concern for the quality and intellectual aims of education—but without abandonment of the ideal that education should serve as a means of training wellbalanced a level of portion of our until recently was the what end? (Bruner, 1966, p. v). Inherent in the basic philosophies associated with education is the fact that the “purpose of education is to widen one’s view of life, to deepen insight into relationships, and to counteract the provincialism of customary existence-in short, to engender a meaningful integrated outlook” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 5). To act upon these basic premises of education, a philosophy of the curriculum is necessary. A curriculum philosophy is a “coherent system of ideas by which all the constituent parts of the course of instruction are identified and ordered” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 5). A learning model that is ordered and coherent can also be considered to be a “unitary philosophy of the curriculum” (Kritsonis, p. vi). A unitary curriculum builds upon knowledge, interacts between subject areas, and deepens one’s academic knowledge through the understanding of the subject matter and its relationship to other parts of the curriculum as a whole. citizens for a democracy. Rather, we have reached public education in America where a considerable population has become interested in a question that concern of specialists: What shall we teach and to

76 Choosing the most effective educational philosophy for the curriculum is fundamental to all student learning and success. The administrator must first be able to establish his or her philosophy of the curriculum: “Philosophy is central to curriculum because the philosophy advocated or reflected by a particular school and its officials influences the goals or aims and content, as well as the organization of its curriculum” (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2004, p. 30). It is imperative that educational leaders are well versed and founded on the curriculum principles of various programs related to student learning and achievement: “Since the 1950’s, many educators have continued to call attention to the explosion of knowledge” (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2004, p. 150). With “knowledge doubling approximately every 15 years” (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2004, p.150), educators must make choices on what should be taught, to whom, and when. Educators must be able to present and organize a knowledge base appropriate to student needs and learning abilities in order to maximize academic success in the classroom. Before a curriculum can be fully understood, it is important to know why the curriculum structure has been created and what philosophical principles have been established in the development and framework of any model for learning and curriculum implementation. It is important to note that learning is a principled approach to acquiring knowledge. Learning leads to the premise that knowledge must be categorized and presented in such a way that meaning can be engendered and applied to one’s own personal life, career, and world view. The philosophy of the curriculum is foundational in the quest for learning and knowledge. This study has been founded upon the basic premises of a curriculum philosophy that focuses on the alignment and integration of knowledge in a way that seeks to enhance student learning and academic achievement.

77 This model is based on the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning (ROM) curriculum philosophy and its effect on student learning and achievement. To understand the impact of the ROM curriculum model in the classroom, a thorough understanding of this model can be understood more fully through a review of the literature and a comparison of the Realms philosophies with other educational philosophies, trends, and research studies seeking to effectively implement student learning and achievement in the classroom. There are many philosophies of education and curriculum development. The ROM philosophy is based on Philip Phenix’s Realms of Meaning which has been updated and redesigned by Kritsonis to incorporate an integrated framework of learning to engender meaningful interaction between knowledge, the curriculum, and student instruction. Knowledge encompasses the understanding of the world and its intricate subtleties that enhance meaningful life and understanding. Utilizing an integrated framework for learning such as the ROM curriculum model, can help to facilitate student learning and perpetuate the ability to think critically and at higher cognitive, academic levels. If within the curriculum framework an “integral perspective is to be attained, a philosophy of the curriculum is necessary. By such a philosophy is meant a critically examined, coherent system of ideas by which all the constituent parts of the course of instruction are identified and ordered” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 5). The philosophy of an integrated curriculum can help and direct student academic learning and achievement. To understand the ROM curriculum model and philosophy, each of the six realms must be analyzed and defined. A description of the philosophy and the attributes of this stimulating and intellectual framework for learning is listed below.

78 The Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning Curriculum Philosophy of Learning The Realms of Meaning curriculum model “grew out of a course that Dr. Phillips H. Phenix taught at Teachers College, Columbia University, New York” (Kritsonis, 2007, ix). Later, based on the associations between Phenix and Kritsonis, the Realms of Meaning curriculum model was reworked and re-tooled utilizing “Kritsonis’s own version, unique perspective, style, and flare” (English in Kritsonis, 2007, p. vi). The resulting work from Kritsonis’s research has resulted in a curriculum philosophy now known as Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning. The Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning (ROM) curriculum philosophy emerges from the analysis of the possible distinctive modes of human understanding. Six patterns may be specifically designated respectively as “symbolics, empirics, esthetics, synnoetics, ethics, and synoptics” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 11). Educators “use symbols, they abstract and generalize, they create and perceive interesting objects, they relate to each other personally, they make judgments of good and evil, they reenact the past, they seek the ultimate, and they comprehensively analyze, evaluate, and synthesize” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 563). The Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy begins with addressing the needs of the whole student in a meaningful and provocative way. Rather than relying on basic memorization of facts and designs, a holistic approach is utilized in the curriculum model that allows the student to expand his or her boundaries beyond the basics of factual understanding and design to higher levels incorporating subject integration, critical thinking views, and higher-level thought processes. Through this process, student learning becomes more analytical, thought provoking, and

79 intellectually challenging. Therefore, “the foundations of curriculum set the external boundaries of the knowledge of curriculum and define what constitutes valid sources of information from which come accepted theories, principles, and ideas relevant to the field of curriculum” (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2004, p. 14). The enormity of the organized learning criteria available to student bodies in today’s society is overwhelming. Utilizing an effective curriculum structure and philosophy is necessary to perpetuate true learning and student academic achievement. Understanding the ROM Curriculum Philosophy The ROM curriculum philosophy embraces a structural, constructivist look at learning and the curriculum. The ROM philosophy embraces a holistic framework for learning and is fundamentally organized around six realms of meaning. These realms of meaning formulate a framework that provides both the teacher and student the opportunity to engage in higher level thinking, participate in critical analysis of a given subject, and to be able to view education as a meaningful and engendered approach to learning. In addition, the ROM curriculum model provides an understanding of the logic of sequence in academic studies, a guide for the scope of the curriculum, and an understanding of how the disciplines can be utilized in the curriculum. A working knowledge of how representative ideas and methods of inquiry can enhance student learning and curricula mastery in the classroom is also useful in understanding and developing a curriculum model based on the ROM philosophy. While each realm can inherently work together to enhance curriculum learning and scholarship, each realm can be defined and explained definitively in its own category and unique relationship to student learning and academic achievement.

80 The First Realm of Meaning: Symbolics The most fundamental expression of meaning is the first realm of symbolics. This realm is symbolic, communicative, and expressive and “comprises ordinary language, mathematics, and various types of nondiscursive symbolic forms, such as gestures, rituals, rhythmic patterns, and the like” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 11). Symbolics is foundational to all aspects of the ROM philosophy. Subject matter such as found in the arts and humanities can all be traced back to a foundational symbolic philosophy and origin. Educators who utilize the symbolics realm enhance their students’ ability to synthesize and learn challenging material. Through creative expression and integration of other subject matters into a student’s learning portfolio, the curricular mix combines “the best representations of our cultural history and the creative explorations of new cultural challenges” (Sylvester, 2006, p. 36). Symbolics is communicative and embodies both discursive and nondiscursive communications. Symbolic structures represent the visual representations of ideas, from the everyday routine items of life such as stop signs and traffic lights to the complex and intricate varieties of the written word and mathematical postulates and themes: “Symbols can function alone as meaningful entities, but very commonly, they enter as components or elements in a more highly elaborated system” (Gardner, 2004, p. 300). Symbols are synonymous with a scholarly approach to learning in that they enter to the fashioning of full-fledged symbolic products; stories and sonnets, plays and poetry, mathematical proofs and problem solutions, rituals, and reviews-all manner of symbolic entities that individuals create in order to convey a set of meanings, and that other

81 individuals imbued in the culture are able to understand, interpret, appreciate, criticize or transform. (Gardner, 2004, p. 301) Applying the realm of symbolics to the academic process is foundational to all true learning and academic success. The Second Realm of Meaning: Empirics The second realm of meaning is assigned to the realm of empirics. Empirics embrace “the sciences of the physical world, of living things, and of man” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 12). Empirics can be aligned with other realms in order to offer a wider breadth and depth to the learning process and understanding of this scholarly realm of meaning. To apply empirics to student learning, it is important to note that neurological studies have shown that “the brain is the only organ in the body that develops itself from its interactions with its environment. In a sense, our experience becomes biology” (Wolfe, 2006, p. 12). By challenging students and providing opportunities for rigorous curriculum interactions, students can become more engaged not only in the fields of science and psychology, they can also be immersed in deeper and more relevant academic understanding and challenges through a rigorous and integrated curriculum model as exemplified in the ROM curriculum model and framework. Bacon (1561-1626) also supported the inclusion of the empirical realm in education. Bacon believed “education should advance scientific inquiry” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 22). Bacon also “provided major rationale for the development of critical thinking skills [and] proposed the concept of a research university” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 22). Studies in the empirics realm offer the potential of not only incorporating knowledge in the classroom, but also of inspiring and cultivating world views, public

82 policy and norms: “Science, that body of procedures and findings which arose in the Renaissance and its aftermath, and has led to many of the most important innovations of our time” (Gardner, 2004, p. 361). The empirics realm is an integral component of any integrated model of study and learning expertise. By incorporating empirical study into the curriculum, all subject matter is enhanced and broadened through the tenets of a fully aligned and integrated curriculum model. The Third Realm of Meaning: Esthetics The third realm of meaning focuses on esthetics and the beauty of meaning and fulfillment: “Esthetics contains the various arts such as music, the visual arts, the arts of movement, and literature” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 12). The esthetics realm, when placed in the curriculum, offers the opportunity for students to communicate their mastery of a particular subject or area of expertise by expressing themselves through the visual-spatial arts. Music, art, and physical activity are all critical components of student learning and academic success. For example, research has shown that there is a direct correlation between reading and music: “Researchers suggest this relationship results because both music and written language involve similar decoding and comprehension reading processes and require sensitivity to phonological and tonal distinctions” (Sousa, 2006, p. 26). It is also important to note that the esthetics realm coupled with the empirics realm of meaning have lead many researchers to “believe the ability to perceive and enjoy music is an inborn human trait. This biological aspect is supported by the discovery that the brain has specialized areas that respond only to music and these areas provoke emotional responses” (Sousa, 2006, p. 27). This research supports the importance of including the esthetic realm in the overall curriculum structure of an academic institution.

83 Research data has also shown that “listening to certain music stimulates the parts of the brain responsible for memory recall and visual imagery” (Sousa, 2006, p. 27). This offers an explanation why background music in the classroom helps many students stay focused while completing specific learning tasks. Studies that seek to link the attributes of music to learning have found that “listening to music stimulates spatial thinking and that neural networks normally associated with one kind of mental activity readily share the cognitive processes involved in a different activity” (Sousa, 2006, p. 27). This supports the integrated curriculum philosophy in that “learning or thinking in one discipline may not be completely independent of another” (Sousa, 2006, p. 27). Mathematics is closely aligned with music in that the mathematical orientation of beats, meter, and representative symbols is parallel to algebraic equations, meaningful symbols that translate into solutions for problems, and representative diagrams that symbolically represent a given mathematical theorem or rule: “Of all academic subjects, mathematics is most closely connected to music” (Sousa, 2006, p. 29). The relationship between music and math is undeniable: “Music students use geometry to remember the correct finger positions for notes or chords on instruments. Reading music requires an understanding of ratios and proportions so that whole notes are held longer than half notes” (Sousa, 2006, p. 29). In addition, “music and mathematics also are related through sequences called intervals” (Sousa, 2006, p. 29). The integration of both music (esthetics) and mathematics (symbolics) can aid in the academic achievement of all students at all levels in the academic environment. Physical activity, another function of the esthetics realm, is of critical importance to the overall educational process: “Even short, moderate physical exercise improves

84 brain performance” (Sousa, 2006, p. 30). Physical activities can increase students’ cognitive abilities while at the same time using “up some kinesthetic energy so students’ can settle down and concentrate better” (Sousa, 2006, pp. 30-31). Movement activities are important also “because they involve more sensory input, hold the students’ attention for longer periods of time, (and) help them make connections between new and past learning and improve long-term recall” (Sousa, 2006, p. 30). Movement activities can be an important aspect in a viable and meaningful curriculum framework. Art integration is another important aspect of a fully aligned and integrated curriculum model. Research studies reveal that “the most powerful effects are found in programs that integrate the arts with subjects in the core curriculum” (Sousa, 2006, p. 30). By integrating the arts into the curriculum, the arts can “enhance the growth of cognitive, emotional, and psychomotor pathways” (Sousa, 2006, p. 31). When the esthetic realm through art is incorporated into the classroom, “learning in all subjects becomes attainable through the arts; curriculum becomes more authentic, hands-on and project-based assessment is more thoughtful and varied and teachers’ expectations for their students rise” (Sousa, 2006, p. 31). Based on these studies produced by educational scholars, art is an integral process of the learning process and therefore should be implemented in the general instructional and pedagogical processes of the curriculum and classroom. Literature is also part of the esthetics realm of meaning. The effects of literature scholarship “usually extend beyond the esthetic realm . . . a great deal of empirical knowledge may be acquired in reading novels or seeing plays. . . .Literature is one of the best sources of insight into personality and culture” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 366). To study

85 literature, the student must intrinsically “discover the unique patterns of sound, rhythm, meter, and semantic figuration as they are in the creation of singular unitary compositions” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 363). Building upon a structural knowledge of literature and the analytical components that make up the framework of literary study, the student of literature can focus on the highly developed critical reasoning skills found in the study of literature and literary texts. By building upon knowledge in the various disciplines, a constructivist framework of learning can be established. The constructivist approach utilized in the ROM curriculum philosophy is supported by the writings of Northrop Frye in his essay, “The Archetypes of Literature” (Northrop Frye [1912-1991], 2001). Frye asserts that “every organized body of knowledge can be learned progressively; and experience shows that there is also something progressive about the learning of literature” (Northrop Frye [1912-1991] , 2001), “The Archetypes of Literature” as rpt. in Vincent B. Leith, The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism 1545-1557). Literature is a critical component for student learning and academic achievement which engages the learner in literature’s overall relationships to other realms of learning. The Fourth Realm of Meaning: Synnoetics The fourth realm of meaning is synnoetics. The synnoetics realm concentrates on the knowledge of oneself and the “I-Thou” relation: “Synnoetics signifies relational insight or direct awareness. It is analogous in the sphere of knowing to sympathy in the sphere of feeling” (Kritsonis, 2007, p.12). Free will, personal choice, and responsibility can all be attributed to the synnoetics realm of meaning. It is necessary for students to take responsibility for their actions and the choices that they make. In education,

86 “emotion and attention are our brains activation systems in that our brain will only respond to emotionally arousing phenomena, and it must then frame and focus on the silent element that led to the arousal” (Sylvester, 2006, p.34). Historical studies state that people like Jean-Jacques Rousseau believe that “we should ask of everything in our lives, whether our private or public lives, that it meets the requirements not of reason, but of feeling and natural instincts in other words, feeling should replace reason as our guide to life and our judge” (Magee, 2001, p. 126). Following this logic, when a student learns to respond to his or educational environment positively, the student has the opportunity to reach new horizons and to set new and higher goals for his or her own learning goals and activities. Ortega Y.Gasset, Spanish philosopher and essayist, believed history and the self were irrevocably related. Gasset is famous for identifying the nature of self and history: “In a famous sentence, (Gasset) remarks that ‘man has no nature, what he has is . . . a history” (Irving Howe, History of the Novel, as cited in Vincent B. Leitch The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism, 2001, 1532-47). Philosophically, a knowledge of self has been important to understanding not only the personal and internal, but also to establish a relationship with one’s own self and the world. In regards to the idea of self, “a historically liberating hypothesis advanced during the Enlightenment and the age of Romanticism, the self becomes a shadow of our public lives, created within the modern historical moment while often turning upon it as a critical adversary” (Irving Howe, History of the Novel, as cited in Vincent B. Leitch, The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism, 2001, pp. 1532-47). R. G. Collingwood, English philosopher, aesthetician, and historian “holds that the value of history is self-understanding” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 487).

87 This intrinsic knowledge of the self and the self’s relationship to the world around this entity is critical to the self-mastery and discipline required to be academically successful and intellectually astute. Understanding one’s own self and environment greatly enhances a student’s ability to cope with the various realities and challenges found in the educational setting. A knowledge of the self is an important tool in obtaining maximum educational competencies and academic success and achievement in the classroom. The synnoetics realm is also reiterated by Collingwood when he states, “Knowing yourself means knowing, first, what it is to be a man; second, knowing what it is to be the kind of man that you are and third, knowing what is to be the man you are and nobody else is . . . The value of history, then, is that it teaches us what man has done and thus what man is” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 487). Therefore, “the self comes to be treasured as a reserve of consciousness, a resource beyond the press of social forms . . . The very assumption that we can locate a psychic presence that we call the self, or that it is useful to suppose such a presence exists, implies a separation of inner being from outer behavior” (Irving Howe, History of the Novel, as cited in Vincent B. Leitch The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism, 2001, pp. 1532-47). Incorporating the synnoetics realm into student learning and curriculum structure is therefore an important and reasoned validation for enhancing the curriculum through the relational aspects of a student’s own personal synnoetics factors, meanings, and personal understandings. The Fifth Realm of Meaning: Ethics The fifth realm of meaning is ethics: “Ethics includes moral meanings that express obligation rather than fact, perceptual form, or awareness of relation” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 13). Ethics presupposes a foundation of moral and personal knowledge “which

88 reflects inter-subjective understanding, morality has to do with personal conduct that is based on free, responsible, deliberate decision” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 13). The knowledge and practice of ethical practices and understanding is foundational to all learning and self mastery. Quintialian (c.a. 30/35 – c.a. 100) was a proponent of the value and nature of the moral and ethical realms of meaning. Quintilian elaborated on the benefits of choosing a moral and ethical way of life: The man who seeks true understanding “has a greater and nobler aim, to which he directs all his efforts with as much zeal as if he were a candidate for office, since he is to be made perfect not only in the glory of a virtuous life, but in that of eloquence as well” (Quintilian, 2001, Institutio Oratorio as cited in Vincent B. Leith, The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism, pp. 157-71). John Locke (1632-1704) followed Quintilian and other predecessors in addressing the moral and ethical needs of an educational system and society. John Locke’s ideal education includes four outcomes that are essential to ethics and good morals. These outcomes include “virtue…wisdom…good breeding [and] learning” (Kritsonis, 2002, p. 54). The ethics realm is an important and integral component in the overall structure and development of the curriculum structure. Moral proponents of curriculum “tend to elevate mind and language alike . . . for what subject can be found more fully adapted to a rich and weighty eloquence than the topics of virtue, politics, providence, the origin of the soul, and friendship?” (Quintilian, 2001, Institutio Oratorio as cited in Vincent B. Leith, The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism, pp. 157-71). For this reason, the moral realm of meaning is an intricate and integral part of the overall learning process for students who seek meaning and fulfillment in the area of curriculum understanding and subject mastery.

89 The Sixth Realm of Meaning: Synoptics The sixth and final realm of meaning is synoptics: “This realm includes history, religion, and philosophy” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 13). The synoptics realm “provides analytic clarification, evaluation, and synthetic coordination of all the other realms through a reflective conceptual interpretation of all possible kinds of meaning in their distinctiveness and in their interrelationships” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 13). realm is all compassing: History alone gives to time its integral meaning. It unites the abstract objectivity of parametric impersonal time in science, and the rhythmic time in language and the arts, with the concrete subjectivity of time in personal relations and particular moral decisions, yielding a realization of occurred. whole time, in which particular unique happenings actually (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 484) This historical

The disciplined nature of historical discourse integrates all facets of the curriculum program. History is definitely more than just a “recital of dead ‘facts’ that have no apparent relevance [or meaning]” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 488). There are relationships in historical studies that can be studied in tandem with other disciplines which will further add depth and understanding to the curriculum structure. Integrated curriculum relationships between history and other disciplines can be easily seen in both the sciences and the arts. For example, “history is like art-especially literature-in that its goal is particular unique presentation in the form of convincing stories” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 485). The differences between the sciences and arts can benefit the student learner in that the student academician can see not only the relationships between subject matters

90 but also develop deeper and higher cognitive levels of thought and meaningful perceptive skills through comparing and contrasting various aspects of the academic curriculum. When comparing two disciplines such as art and history, it can be noted that “history is unlike art in that, although its words are imaginatively constructed, they are intended as disclosures of the actual world and not of a fictional world” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 485). The study of history requires a high level of cognitive mental processes and analytical judgment. Background knowledge is extremely important in the study and interpretation of historical events. The making of history itself “is a process of drawing inferences from available evidence” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 490). When the historian gathers evidence for historical discourse, “history may then be defined as that imaginative recreation of past human evens that best accords with the evidence of the present, or more briefly, as the best possible explanation of the present in terms of the past” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 490). History recreates the choices and consequences of past generations and formulates a discussion for the future and facilitates scholarly discussion and research on current issues passed on past occurrences. The philosophical realm of meaning is also part of an integrated and intellectually stimulating curriculum model. Philosophy is the art and study of human thought and wisdom and is a critical component of deep student understanding, application, and curriculum design. By incorporating a thoughtful and provocative discourse on learning substantiated by an in-depth understanding and philosophical discourse, a more rigorous and in-depth presentation of the curriculum is possible. Application and Selection of the ROM’s Philosophy in Curriculum Selection

91 Curriculum philosophies of learning do not provide any benefit to the educational community unless they can be applied to the real world of academic learning in the classroom. The ROM curriculum philosophy can be useful in identifying parallel curriculum models that can be implemented in the educational classroom. By identifying parallel characteristics of the ROM philosophy, curriculum attributes in other models can be identified that can potentially aid and support the learning process of districts implementing parallel models of the ROM curriculum philosophy: “The educator must select qualitatively the most significant materials from the totality of what is known” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 208). This substantiates the fact that an “interdependence of specialists is the basis for the advancement of all knowledge and skill” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 808). In order for student learning to occur, a curriculum framework must be adapted in order to add sequence and logic to the learning process. Through researched-based studies, educational leaders can make viable decisions regarding the curriculum and its effect on the outcomes of student achievement and learning by studying the research and making research-based decisions on how to effectively implement a curriculum model in the educational framework of the classroom. Selecting a Parallel Curriculum Model Utilizing the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning Curriculum Philosophy Educational curricula philosophy is meaningful in that the principles of a philosophical design can be used to select and utilize a model of instruction in the classroom that can seek to engender meaningful instruction in the classroom. The purpose of a curriculum model is to provide an academic framework that will structure

92 the disciplines to be studied in an effective manner in order to facilitate a deeper understanding and mastery of the material being studied. There are significant numbers of curriculum designs in the world. However, determining which model is most beneficial to a student’s overall success is of primary concern to every educational leader who seeks to meet the diverse needs of high school students in the classroom. By developing a framework for learning and student academic achievement, a structural foundation and guide can be developed to effectively administer learning in the classroom and enhance student academic achievement. One constructivist model of the curriculum can be found in the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning (ROM) curriculum philosophy. This model provides a philosophical basis for curriculum design, understanding, and implementation. The philosophies embodied in the ROM model are similar in design and attributes of an emerging new curriculum design entitled CSCOPETM. Because of the structural similarities in curriculum philosophy embodied in these two curriculum models, the CSCOPETM philosophies can be considered a parallel philosophical curriculum related by similarities in philosophies to the philosophical framework of the ROM curriculum philosophy. Because the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning is a philosophy for choosing the curriculum, utilizing this philosophy and its six realms has helped to identify components in the CSCOPETM model which share the same philosophical and educational components. These similarities and philosophies are shared in detail later in this manuscript. Since the purpose of this study is to show how a curriculum model which adheres to a prescribed educational philosophy can affect student academic achievement, the CSCOPETM curriculum does show similar philosophical and curriculum framework structures with

93 the ROM philosophy of learning, allowing the two curriculum models to be considered parallel and similar in the core philosophical principles embraced in both learning models. In order to test the Realms philosophy in the classroom, the CSCOPETM curriculum model has been selected as an example of a school that utilizes parallel curriculum philosophies in the teaching and structure of subject matter curriculum. For the purpose of this study, CSCOPETM schools which have been identified as having philosophies that are similar to the ROM curricular philosophy are being utilized as schools to be called in this study Realms of Meaning schools in that they are implementing to various degrees and limitations similar philosophical attributes represented in both the CSCOPETM delivery of the curriculum and represented by the philosophical basis of curricular design found in the ROM curriculum philosophy. Attributes of the CSCOPETM curriculum have been identified through extant data available publicly on the Internet, and in communications and interviews, both formal and informal, with educational leaders knowledgeable of the CSCOPETM model. Parallel Models of Philosophy and Instruction: CSCOPETM and the ROM Curriculum Model The curriculum for general education should focus on the highest good to be served by the general education teachers and educational structures: “The course of study should be such as to maximize meanings” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 559). In Texas, the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) framework forms the state curriculum. This framework is built upon the premise that student learning and academic achievement is best promoted by the use of a strong curriculum, excellent instruction, and valid and reliable assessment procedures. The TEKS provide a broad framework for learning,

94 outlining and proposing what students should be taught through their public school educational careers. The CSCOPETM model, reflected in the ROM curriculum philosophy, builds upon this same jurisdiction. Each model incorporates student learning activities that meet or exceed the TEKS academic requirements for scope and sequence in the curriculum.

95 Curriculum Alignment Curriculum alignment holds great promise for being one of the academic tools which can level the playing field for all students regardless of race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status and background. Alignment can be either vertical or horizontal. Vertical alignment structures a curriculum scope and sequence through the various grade levels incorporated into the campus structure. Horizontal alignment assures that courses are integrated and that knowledge within the disciplines is supported by a broad knowledge base of integration among curriculum ideas that are inter-related across disciplines. Especially in the area of high stakes testing it is important to have a curriculum that is fully aligned in order to support student success and academic achievement: “The basic construct for curriculum alignment is to ensure that what is tested is what is taught” (English & Steffey, 2001, p. 25). The CSCOPETM model reflected in the ROM curriculum model and philosophy emphasizes a curriculum structure that aligns with the TEKS components for each grade level and that each subject area is supported with background knowledge and information to ensure a deep level of understanding and critical awareness of the subject matter. Specifically, the CSCOPETM curriculum model “is based on best practice models from top researchers” (Texas Educational Service Center Curriculum Cooperative (TESCCC, 2004, p. 1). The best practice models are drawn from educational research and academic studies that show how various structures and philosophies of learning are incorporated into successful academic curriculum structures and models. In the ROM curriculum philosophy, the structure of the curriculum model emphasizes that one “should select only curriculum that makes sense and has meaning to the student. The

96 ultimate goal is to improve curriculum in schools. To improve schools, curriculum content must be selected with realms of meaning” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 7). By selecting course work that is meaningful and structured, a framework for curriculum design is outlined that will contribute to both a vertical and horizontal alignment of the curriculum. To assess if curriculum alignment and curriculum integration has been successful, “the litmus test is always this: has the condition resulted in consistent score gains on the test(s)” (English & Steffey, 2001, p. 87). For Texas school students, a measure of academic gain is measured by the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and SkillsTM test. Success or failure on this test measures student academic achievement student and is currently used as an instrument to decide if a student is allowed to graduate from high school and receive his or her high school diploma. Therefore, a curriculum model that is successful must also be a flexible curricula structure that will correspond to the learning needs and attributes of a diverse and ever-changing student population. Pedagogical Parallelism Education that is effective requires that students be taught at standards that exceed basic facts and a simplistic knowledge of core curriculum ideas. To succeed, a student must be aware of the interrelationships of the various disciplines and to be able to apply the critical thinking skills necessary to succeed in the educational academic environment. An effective tool for teachers in this regard is to utilize a technique referred to as pedagogical parallelism: “Pedagogical parallelism refers to the notion that classroom teachers create an alternative but parallel environment in which their students not only learn what is on the test, but learn more. The teachers go deeper than the tested curriculum content” (English & Steffey, 2001, p. 97). The CSCOPETM model, developed

97 by the Texas Educational Service Center Curriculum Collaborative (TESCCC) is reflective of this model in that “rigor, relevance (and) quality” (TESCCC, 2004, p. 5) are important components of the CSCOPETM model. In comparison, the ROM curriculum philosophy engenders a high level of critical thinking and application which also implies a strong dedication to the rigorous and educationally relevant course material of the CSCOPETM model. CSCOPETM and ROM curriculum philosophy embody pedagogical parallelism structure and focus on parallel ideas of learning by structuring the curriculum to embody multifaceted dimensions of learning in the overall curriculum structure and curriculum philosophy. Through the implementation of a pedagogical parallel curriculum model, subject matter can be integrated and understood in relationship to the dynamics of other curriculum taught in the classroom. Schools identified as ROM schools are those schools which utilize and implement the CSCOPETM curriculum model and philosophy to various degrees of implementation levels, usage, and strategies. This researcher is utilizing the public information available from the CSCOPETM curriculum model to identify similar and parallel curriculum philosophies that build on similar philosophical frameworks of understanding and meaning in the classroom as outlined and defined in the ROM curriculum philosophy. CSCOPETM schools have been identified by a school list which was provided by one of the cooperating Educational Service centers in Texas which house and support the CSCOPETM curricula program in Texas. CSCOPETM is acquired through a district or school purchase from one of thirteen region centers in the state of Texas. It is a computer based curricular format that implements a wide range of curricular activity in the classroom based on strong educational research and design. Schools that choose to

98 purchase the CSCOPETM model are not mandated to use the program in its entirety, but may choose either to work with all of the elements of a curriculum or choose sections of the program that will most benefit their home campuses. To understand the basis of the CSCOPETM model, and the ROM curriculum model and philosophy, the underlying philosophy and curriculum of the CSCOPETM curriculum model and the ROM curriculum philosophy will be discussed to establish the philosophical and educational strategies that have been used to implement and design the CSCOPETM/Realms of Meaning parallel curriculum philosophies and attributes. Curriculum Design and Curricular Alignment Schools are now regulated by higher standards and expectations based on student achievement and academic success in the classroom. Higher and more rigorous academic standards have created an academic atmosphere that requires that educators seek to structure the learning environment to provide the highest and best learning opportunities available for all students regardless of race, ethnicity, or social status: “Since the launch of the accountability movement, many school districts have made progress with aligned systems of instruction . . . . These aligned systems link school practice with state and local standards” (Vanderark, 2006, p. 36). In this way, “students learn the material on what will be tested” (Vanderark, 2006, p. 36). This system of learning is evident in the ROM curriculum philosophy as well as the CSCOPETM model of instruction. These curriculum models can be presented both vertically and horizontally in the classroom and can help to level the playing fields of all students and provide a more in-depth model of curriculum mastery that will affect student learning and achievement: “In this system, the curriculum, assessment, and professional development all work together. Students

99 learn the material on which they will be tested, and teachers know what was covered in prior grades so they can build on students’ common bases” (Vanderark, 2006, p. 36). The opportunity to expand a student’s knowledge beyond the curriculum is also present in both the ROM and CSCOPETM curriculum models. Each model provides the structural framework to teach students more than just the basic required factual components of a given subject matter and expands the curriculum component to a more integrated and holistic framework for learning. Foundational Principles of the CSCOPETM Model and the ROM Curriculum Philosophy Background Knowledge and Information Robert Marzano’s (2004) work on background knowledge and information has been pivotal in the development of the CSCOPETM curriculum model. For students to be able to function literately and effectively in an integrated curriculum system, a broad background of educational material is a necessary component to the overall goal of learning and achievement: “Background knowledge is inherently multidimensional” (Marzano, 2004, p. 28). This type of knowledge is foundational to a student’s ability to compare and contrast the attributes of one discipline to another and to be able to actually articulate the meaning and function of a particular discipline in a practical and logical way in the curriculum. One of the pressing problems of education today is that a student’s level of knowledge, history, and foundational truths has been replaced with a level of academic study that simply looks at the surface of a subject without trying to understand the full meaning and significance of a particular study area or discipline. Lack of sufficient

100 background knowledge puts the general education student at-risk for failure and in danger of not being able to successfully participate in higher level intellectual discourses and learning paradigms. Adding to a student’s background knowledge will ultimately facilitate a deeper understanding of the curriculum and a greater chance of both individual and corporate academic success for all students. The Unified Perspectives of CSCOPETM and the ROM Curriculum Philosophy In an age of rigorous and demanding educational accountability, educational leaders are seeking the best and most effective ways to design curricular programs that truly affect student learning and academic achievement. The CSCOPETM curriculum model and the ROM model both embody the philosophies of relevant engagement and high academic standards. Although different in their names and origins, both curriculum models are unique in that each model is reflective of the philosophical and educational framework of both the CSCOPETM and ROM curriculum models: “World-wide, people are aware of the need for the most effective possible education system if we are to meet the challenges and demands of life in a highly precarious and rapidly changing world” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. vii). To accomplish these goals, the curriculum component of CSCOPETM is based on “the most current research-based practices in the field” (TESCCC, 2008, p. 1). Both models are framed by strong, philosophical frameworks that emphasize researched based curriculum components designed to maximize student learning and academic achievement. Knowledge is empowering and “has permanent value leading to greater meaning and greater understanding when drawn from the fundamental disciplines as exemplified in the realms of meaning” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. ix). The ROM curriculum model is

101 structured around a framework of six realms of meaning which directly correlate with the major components and framework strategies of the CSCOPETM model of learning. Curriculum Integration: CSCOPETM and the Realms of Meaning Curriculum Philosophy The CSCOPETM model of learning begins with the mission and goal of maximizing and facilitating student learning and achievement. Because the realities of the Texas curriculum begin with a state based curriculum, the TEKS, and a high-stakes accountability testing system (TAKSTM), researchers and curriculum designers who helped to implement this model of design based their model on the needs of student learners in general and student needs based on the state curriculum in particular. Preeminent in both the CSCOPETM and the ROM curriculum models is that students will learn and achieve at a deeper and higher cognitive level than previously mastered using other curriculum philosophies and programs. In order to accomplish this and the ROM model designed by Kritsonis, offer a pattern for student learning and success. When these models are utilized within the framework of academic exigency and expediency, both models have the potential of dramatically affecting the way students learn and achieve academically in the required academic work mandated through the TEKS and in the course of the educational process. While it is fully acknowledged that the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy and the CSCOPETM curriculum model are two totally separate entities, the purpose of this study is not to focus on the individual differences of each comparative model, but to see what similarities in relationship to curriculum philosophies these two entities share.

102 The Importance of Structuring the Curriculum Marzano, who’s learning and educational principles are foundational to both the CSCOPETM and ROM curriculum model, has identified five school level factors that affect student academic achievement. These factors as reported by Marzano are: “(1) guaranteed and viable curriculum (2) challenging goals and effective feedback (3) parent and community involvement (4) safe and orderly environment (5) collegiality and professionalism” (Marzano, 2003, p. 15). These goals, which are incorporated both into the ROM curriculum model and the CSCOPETM curriculum model, substantiate both the needs and potential rewards of utilizing an integrated and interdisciplinary curriculum model. In today’s highly competitive society, schools are challenged not only to provide an opportunity to learn in the classroom, schools must now seek “to provide a curriculum that is highly effective and beneficial to all learners” (Marzano, 2003, p. 15). Robert

Marzano further states that “a guaranteed and viable curriculum at the school-level factor will have the most impact on student achievement, followed by challenging goals and effective feedback” (Marzano, 2003, p. 15). These aspects of curriculum design are evident in the CSCOPETM curriculum model as well as the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy. A Unitary Philosophy of the Curriculum Curriculum philosophy can be defined as the values and core principles of a particular system of learning. Identifying the basic philosophies of a curriculum is important in structuring the learning process for student academic achievement. For this reason, “a unitary philosophy of the curriculum is important” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 3). By

103 showing the relationships between the various subjects studied in a curriculum, a student’s overall mastery of a subject can be enhanced. CSCOPETM literature has identified the importance of a strong curriculum philosophy based on expert knowledge in a particular field or subject discipline area: It is useful to look at how experts make sense of content and new information. Experts’ command of concept shapes their understanding of relationships and relevant knowledge not apparent to new information: it allows them to see patterns, discrepancies and make connections to novices. (TESCCC, 20008, p. 10)

This is in direct agreement and solidification with the ROM curriculum model: “The realms of meaning form an articulated whole” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 15). This is important because “a curriculum based upon the realms of meaning counteracts the fragmentation of experience that is one of the sources of meaninglessness” (Kritsonis, p. 15). The integration of the curriculum model is possible in large part to the symbolic and synoptic fields. These realms offer a foundational aspect for much of the curriculum and “serve as binding elements running through the various realms and welding them into a single meaningful pattern” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 15). Students must understand the fundamental concepts of a given subject matter before attempting to add to their learning base. Units of study in CSCOPETM build upon previous lessons to “support high quality instructional planning and delivery” (TESCCC, 2008, p. 2). This constructivist framework of learning is essential to student learning and success.

104 Classifying Meaning in CSCOPETM and the ROM Curriculum Philosophy Curriculum planning and structure require a scholarly division of course material in order to benefit the student learner. The CSCOPETM curriculum and the ROM curriculum philosophy model have each been divided into scholarly disciplines and broad categories in order to facilitate a greater depth of student learning, knowledge, and student academic achievement. The categories of study in both curriculums are structured “along lines of general similarity of logical structure. In this manner, certain basic ways of knowing can be described” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 46). Teaching to larger patterns in both philosophies allows the academic student learner to “characterize major themes, generalizeable features, and strategies rather than specific solutions” (TESCCC, 2002, p. 11). These constructivist patterns of learning enhance student achievement and add coherence to the overall educational process. Representative Ideas Representative ideas help to garner background information and form the basis and foundation for effective pedagogy and student academic learning and success. Representative ideas are symbolic and represent important and specific ideas of a particular learning model and discipline. Representative ideas are necessary in a curriculum because the breadth and depth of knowledge available for study require that a selection of what should be taught in the classroom be based on the magnitude of what is important and necessary to learning and acquiring knowledge. The TEKS standards are utilized as the framework for learning in the CSCOPETM model. This integration of the standards in the curriculum can also be seen in the Realms of Meaning model. Just as the TEKS offers a representation of knowledge found in each of the disciplines, the same

105 principles apply to curriculum selection and inclusion in the ROM model. In the ROM, only “those items should be chosen that are particularly representative of the field as a whole” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 19). A Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy establishes the importance of utilizing symbolic infrastructures in the learning process to incorporate a newer and higher significance level of meaning in the classroom. In the CSCOPETM model, “the Texas Education Service Center Curriculum Collaborative (TESCCC) has developed a systematic K-12 curriculum designed, maintained, and continuously developed by a team that represents all areas of the state” (TESCCC, 2008, p. 1). Representative ideas are important to this curriculum model in that the purpose of a strong and effective curriculum “is to provide a common language, structure, and process for curriculum development and implementation” (TESCCC, 2008, p. 1). The CSCOPETM curriculum model is built on representative ideas and therefore is parallel and consistent with the ROM curriculum philosophy in regards to the use and adherence to representative ideas and constructs within the curriculum. Curriculum Selection and Organization: CSCOPETM and the Realms of Meaning There are four principles of curriculum selection and organization that are consistent in both the CSCOPETM curriculum model and the Realms of Meaning model. These principles include disciplined inquiry, content selection from a large reservoir of material, comprehensive methods of inquiry, and a curriculum that inspires active participation and imagination. Curriculum Content Selection The CSCOPETM as well as the ROM curriculum model are both in agreement that “students reveal their understanding most effectively when they are provided with

106 complex, authentic opportunities to explain, interpret, apply, shift, perspective, empathize, and self-assess” (TESCCC, 2008, p. 13). These skills develop methods of inquiry skills that “develop a repertoire of flexible strategies learned and practiced in a community of learners where the emphasis on learning how to learn, and not (learning) the one correct answer” (TESCCC, 2008, p. 10). The CSCOPETM model is based on the fundamental disciplines of curriculum knowledge and direction: English language arts, mathematics, social studies, and science. Kritsonis (2007) also contends that “all material should come from the disciplines” (p. 809). The fields of English language arts, mathematics, social studies, and science are easily integrated with the other realms of meaning which include ethics, synnoetics, and esthetics. Course Selection, Sequence, and Scope Course selection should follow a logical sequence and scope in deference to the needs of the student body being served: “Developmentally, language clearly comes first (symbolics) and integrative studies last (synoptics). Moral meanings (ethics) appear relatively late, after a firm sense of oneself and of one’s relationships with others have been established (synnoetics)” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 306). In regards to science and art, “the priority developmentally seems to rest with art (esthetics)” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 306). Students who learn to appreciate the esthetic values of learning are more often ready to apply these sensitivities and skills to understanding the empiric and factually aligned components of a science curriculum. Therefore, how a curriculum is aligned and structured is important to the overall process of curriculum integration and design. By aligning the curriculum in a logical and systematic way, both the CSCOPETM model and the ROM curriculum philosophy model assure that student learning is “logical and

107 developmental factors are relevant to designs about the sequencing of studies” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 806). By organizing the curriculum content, a student can more readily see the interdisciplinary characteristics of each discipline studied and how this knowledge relates to the overall understanding and involvement in the learning process. The Four Principles of Curriculum Instruction CSCOPETM outlines four principles of curriculum instruction: “(1) disciplined inquiry, (2) content selection, (3) comprehensive methods of inquiry, and (4) invoking a curriculum that inspires active participation and imagination” (TESCCC, 2002, p. 1). These four proponents of curriculum instruction are directly supported in the ROM curriculum philosophy and model of curriculum design. Disciplined Inquiry The CSCOPETM curriculum model utilizes the disciplined inquiry approach through CSCOPE’sTM Vertical Alignment Documents. Specific and disciplined inquiry into the various academic disciplines is built around the TEKS framework and developed to include a knowledge base of the curriculum that is taught and aligned through a district wide curriculum plan and learning focus. Each discipline is built upon sound academic principles for the subject matter studied and is enhanced through integrating other curriculum subject areas into the major areas of academic consideration. This constructivist approach to learning allows the student to build upon his or her learning strengths and to add new knowledge and subject mastery to the student’s portfolio of learning. Kritsonis (2007) states, “if one possesses the tools of inquiry, he is not in need of a large store of accumulated knowledge. He is able to adapt and improvise to meet the needs of particular situations and is less dependent upon the results of others” (p. 728).

108 Disciplined inquiry is important because “the overall strategy of inquiry in the several realms does not change at all. The respective logics of language, science, art, personal understanding, morals, and the synoptic disciplines remain constant” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 729). According to Kritsonis (2007) and the ROM curriculum model, “good teaching . . . lies in a program of guided rediscovery, in which the student discovers for himself what others before him have found out” (p. 735). Likewise, the CSCOPETM model embodies the idea of student reflection and inquiry in the process of student learning and academic achievement. In both models, “students will make sense of complex ideas by thinking deeply, weighing alternatives, justifying their thinking process, and making connections with prior learning and experiences” (TESCCC, 2008, p.6). Kritsonis states that “methods of inquiry are relevant to the methods of teaching that discipline” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 812). In the CSCOPETM model, consistent with the philosophical basis and foundational principles of the ROM curriculum model, “students construct meaning through disciplined inquiry” (TESCCC, 2008, p. 10). This basic philosophical premise of inquiry relevance is directly and effectively utilized in both the CSCOPETM model and the ROM curriculum philosophy. The CSCOPETM model effectively bundles learning segments in bundles of related and inter-related material. This organization of the curriculum provides access to a wide array of subject matter and inter-disciplinarian methods of student inquiry. This organization of subject matter “presupposes a belief that the goal of education is to produce self-directed, self-aware students who are independent learners” (TESCCC, 2008, p. 6). A disciplined method of inquiry leads to a thoughtful and inter-active

109 educational experience for students engaged in the learning process and helps to stimulate and promote an active level of scholarly activity. Comprehensive Methods of Inquiry The organization of a curriculum is critical to the understanding and framework of imparting knowledge and instruction. In the CSCOPETM model, curricula alignment is an integral part of the overall curriculum design and learning process. Courses are not taught in isolation and are logically presented throughout the student’s academic career and academic programming. Guidelines for choosing an effective curriculum model as presented by the ROM curriculum philosophy emphasize the importance of defining and aligning the curriculum to make learning meaningful and curriculum presentation logical and connected. In the CSCOPETM model the comprehensive method of inquiry is found in the Instructional Focus Documents: “The instructional focus documents are used to group the specified standards from the Vertical Alignment Documents into a local sequence for instruction” (TESCCC 2008). Through alignment, a curriculum ensures that the required and appropriate subject material is taught across both grade levels and academic course disciplines. In the ROM curriculum philosophy knowledge is ”bundled” in categories represented by the realms and include six classifications of learning which include symbolics, empirics, esthetics, synnoetics, ethics, and synoptics. Inspiration, Participation, and Imagination Inspiration, participation, and imagination are three critical components for active student learning, involvement, and academic engagement. The ROM curriculum model mirrors these proponents of inspiration, participation, and imaginations. Students must be able to see meaning and purpose in their educational studies. Kritsonis (2007)

110 ascertains “if a student has no interest in the curriculum, he will not want to learn” (p. 813). According to the ROM curriculum model, “materials for instruction should always be selected that appeal to the imagination of the students” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 813). Imagination and creativity are important elements of the ROM curriculum model in that “distinctive human qualities of mind and spirit are the clue to human motivation” (Kritsonis, p. 813). CSCOPETM actively prescribes to the importance of inspiration, participation, and imagination in the curriculum. By teaching to the active imagination and inquisitive nature of a diverse population of student learners, the curriculum is better able to meet and reach diverse populations who work at different levels of academic understanding, have various degrees of intelligence, and have unique and varied learning styles. Teachers are encouraged in both the ROM curriculum philosophy and the CSCOPETM model to adhere to high rigorous standards but are also given the freedom to present the material in a manner conducive to the teacher’s own unique teaching style and mode of classroom academic presentation preference in the classroom. In the CSCOPETM model as well as the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy “the curriculum destination is non-negotiable since we are legally bound as educators to implement the state standards. However, the actual journey that teachers plan with their students may look quite different in that it will be responsive to differing student interests and abilities” (TESCCC, 2008, p. 8). This is how the needs of the individual student are met in that the opportunity for curriculum differentiation allows individualization of lesson plans and curriculum implementation. Teacher creativity can also be inserted into the curriculum to enhance a student’s overall opportunity for learning and academic success in the classroom.

111 Curriculum and Socializations The Realms of Meaning model “is itself inherently social. Meanings are relational. Meanings are shared” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 21). The CSCOPETM model also provides for social interaction and participation by all educational leaders who participate in the facilitation and implementation of a district’s curriculum. In the CSCOPETM model, “administrators and teachers are supported with sustained, intensive staff development to ensure systemic change district wide” (TESCCC 2008). From the adolescent learner’s perspective, “students reveal their understanding most effectively when they are provided with complex, authentic opportunities to explain, interpret, apply, shift perspective, empathize, and self-assess” (TESCCC 2008). This synnoetic perspective supports and encourages interaction. The CSCOPETM curriculum model is built around a communication model that involves district/system curriculum leaders, campus curriculum leaders, and teacher communication and social interaction in order to commuhnicate and develop the CSCOPETM model in the individual student’s life, thereby providing the opportunity for increased academic growth and change. State Requirements, CSCOPETM, and the Realms In the CSCOPETM model the curriculum philosophy is designed to articulate guidelines and specific core subject areas must be included in the state curriculum. Theses subject areas (aligned with the ROM curriculum model) are designated as follows: English language arts (symbolics and esthetics), mathematics (symbolics), science (empirics), and social studies (synoptics). These core courses are the basis of all educational programs for students who attend Texas public schools. The enrichment curriculum provided by the TEKS matrix for learning include fine arts (esthetics), health

112 (empirics and synnoetics), languages other than English (symbolics), and technology applications (symbolics, empirics, esthetics, synnoetics, ethics, synoptics). The CSCOPETM 5 E Model and the ROM Curriculum Model The CSCOPETM curriculum model and the ROM model both encourage and support inspiration, participation, and imagination in the curriculum. Both curriculums have embodied a curriculum philosophy parallel and consistent with the 5E instructional model. The 5E model consists of the framework embodied in the words engage, explore, explain, elaboration, and evaluate. This framework is consistent with both the CSCOPETM and ROM curriculum philosophies and structure allowing both curriculum philosophies to facilitate student learning through acrimonious symbolic, esthetic, and synoptic features of learning. Principle One: Engage A fundamental principle of the CSCOPETM model is that all students be engaged and active in the curriculum. Engagement can take many forms. Through speech, written communication, conversations, and participatory involvement in the classroom, engagement plays a crucial role in the student’s learning process. In the ROM model, the symbolics realm helps to define the structure for engagement and meaning in the classroom. Language and communication contain “meanings, ideation, or the mental power to form ideas” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 113), thereby allowing the student to become actively involved in the educational process. When students are active participants in their learning environments, learning becomes more practical and productive. The practical intellect encourages active participation (engagement) while the theoretical allows for knowledge of theory and

113 foundational knowledge: “Aristotle made a useful distinction between the theoretical or speculative intellect belonging to mathematics, science, and philosophy and the practical intellect belonging to art and morals” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 278). This distinction encourages and allows for integration and inter-relationships between the curriculums as justified and proposed by both the CSCOPETM curriculum philosophy and the ROM curriculum philosophy. Principle 2: Explore The second principle of the CSCOPETM curriculum philosophy is the curriculum mandate to explore. Encouraging students to seek out answers, explore solutions, and predict outcomes is synonymous with the empirics realm of meaning. This realm of meaning “includes the sciences of the physical world of living things, and of man. These sciences provide factual descriptions, generalizations and theoretical formulations and explanations that are based upon observation and experimentation in the world of matter, life, mind, and society” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 12). It is in the empirics realm that students learn to explore the unknown and seek answers outside of the realm of the known to empower and strengthen creative and constructive thinking conducive to a more rigorous and demanding curriculum. Principle 3: Explain When educators are able to take the curriculum and present the material in a format that meets the needs of the learner, then the explanation and strategy for learning is an integral part of the total student learning experience: “Evidence of student understanding is revealed when students apply (transfer) knowledge in authentic contexts” (TESCCC 2008). In dealing with curriculum development and

114 implementation, the teacher is one of the primary conduits for instruction and learning. The ability to communicate and explain is of the utmost importance in the classroom setting and environment. A fundamental grasp of the symbolics realm helps to build strong academic foundations and allows teachers to use mental images and hands-on activities to enhance student learning. Teachers must be able to utilize intellectual communication strategies in order to fully present the subject matter being taught in the classroom. Through thorough and effective explanation strategies in the classroom, students can grasp a more intricate and complex meaning of the curriculum. Explanations for educational ideals and concepts can be provided in various scenarios and contexts: “Some language and mathematics should be learned as such in their own domains in order to gain insight into the distinctive qualities of symbolics as a kind of meaning” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 595). In contrast, “some symbolic forms should also be learned in connection with other types of inquiry, in order to make evident how symbolism functions in the various other realms of meaning” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 595). The realm of symbolics is foundational to student learning and thus forms the foundational basis for all student learning and understanding. Principle Four: Elaboration The fourth principle of the CSCOPETM curriculum philosophy that is parallel to the ROM curriculum model is the principle of elaboration. By learning to elaborate on the important aspects of the curriculum, students master basic concepts and move on to higher constructs of learning through the ability to elaborate, explain and connect learning to other areas of disciplined inquiry and subject mastery. The ROM model

115 emphasizes an integrated curriculum which allows and supports the principle of elaboration in the curriculum. Each of the six realms supports the philosophy of elaboration and can be detailed in the realm’s six fundamental patterns of meaning. Principle Five: Evaluate The fifth principle of the CSCOPETM model reflective in the ROM curriculum philosophy is the principle of evaluation. Evaluation is reflective in the synoptic realm in that meanings in the synoptics realm are “comprehensively integrative” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 1). In the synoptics realm learning takes place through “analytic clarification, evaluation, and synthetic coordination of all the other realms through a reflective conceptual interpretation of all kinds of possible kinds of meaning in their distinctiveness and in their interrelationships” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 13). In the study of mathematics, “mathematical understanding consists in comprehending the method of complete logical abstraction and of drawing necessary conclusions from basic formal premises” (Kritsonis, p. 132). The synnoetics realm is also prevalent in the evaluation process of the CSCOPETM and ROM curriculum models. A student’s understanding is revealed “most effectively when they are provided with complex, authentic opportunities to explain, interpret, apply, shift perspective, empathize, and self-assess” (TESCCC 2008). Curriculum Alignment: CSCOPETM and the ROM Curriculum Model CSCOPETM is designed with both vertical and horizontal curriculum components. Each lesson builds upon a constructivist theory and builds on established representative curriculum components allowing a smooth transition form year to year in the given subject matter. CSCOPETM has an allotted time period for each segment of instruction, yet allows for flexibility in the curriculum design to account for slow learners or for

116 students who have not mastered content in a previous year. The ROM model mirrors and reflects the philosophy that the curriculum should be developed and modeled in a fashion that seeks to meet the individualized needs of learners. The ROM curriculum philosophy, as well as the CSCOPETM curriculum model emphasizes the uniqueness of the learner and the need to address learning inconsistencies and ensure that mastery of the content is achieved. According to the ROM curriculum model “human nature itself supplies the clue to the minimal scope of the curriculum” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 554). The CSCOPETM model has built into its curriculum framework a facet for instruction that allows the flexibility to help the at-risk or behind student learner. Meeting the needs of the diverse learner is advocated both in the ROM curriculum model and the CSCOPETM curriculum model. Horizontal and Vertical Alignment The ROM model also predisposes a vertical alignment strategy within its curriculum founded upon the student’s ability and readiness to learn. Although a student may have been promoted to a certain grade level, this does not mean that the student has mastered previous concepts and is ready to move ahead in the learning process. In the ROM model of instruction lessons are arranged in accordance to the learning style, age, and category of the student: “Appropriate lessons in the realm of personal relations vary according to the stage in life . . . .Teaching should be planned so as to take account of the particular tasks confronting the person at the stage in life in which he is living” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 623). The CSCOPETM model also reflects the ROM philosophy of responsive teaching and incorporates into the curriculum that a

117 student’s “incomplete understandings, false beliefs, and misconceptions may be barriers to their successful mastery on new and more complex ideas and content” (TESCCC 2008). The ROM model highlights the fact that “the educator needs to understand the sources of failure at any stage in the light of possible failures of achievement at earlier stages” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 622). The educator must also “be prepared to make available such remedial reeducation as may be necessary to share up the weak foundations” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 622). Good teaching requires that some convincing patterns be used to coordinate the materials taught” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 743). This alignment philosophy is physically realized in the CSCOPETM curriculum model where vertical and horizontal curriculum alignment structures have been developed. Within the CSCOPETM curriculum and the ROM model there are component lines of instruction focused on horizontal alignment in the curriculum. Alignment decisions are based on the premise that a student’s learning is based on the needs and challenges of various life stages and developments. The ROM model contends that “the stages of life are not separate and independent ways of function. They are continuous with each other, interrelated, and overlapping” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 624). In the CSCOPETM model, “establishing a curriculum continuum, vertical as well as horizontal, of student performance expectations is critical . . .This ensures that the teacher understands exactly what is to be taught and can plan effective instruction” (TESCCC 2007). In this model, there are non-negotiable items as well as opportunities to expand learning to a higher and more rigorous level of curriculum and curriculum intervention.

118 Related Research Studies: Best Practice Models A related research study focusing on best practice modules illustrates how student learning and academic achievement research has benefited the educational community. Through research modules and studies such as the “Best Practices” model and Henning’s curricula research on the importance of data driven decision making and teacher leadership, educators are able to disaggregate these findings to implement more effective learning opportunities for student academic achievement and success in the classroom. To maximize this knowledge, educators must determine what the ideal curriculum model is for their school and student body. According to Kritsonis (2007), “The ideal curriculum is one in which the maximum coherence is achieved, and segmentation is minimized” (Kritsonis, p. 593). Within this construct, utilizing a curriculum philosophy firmly rooted in the structural framework of the realms of meaning, truly offers a definitive curriculum outline for success that utilizes the “interrelationships of the various kinds of meaning and the integration of meanings into the person as a whole” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 593). The integration of the curriculum allows for the development of meaning in academic studies by facilitating the growth and formation of the complete person. The complete person, as seen through Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning should be skilled in the use of speech, symbol, and gesture (symbolics), factually well informed (empirics), capable of creating and appreciating objects of esthetic significance (esthetics), endowed with a rich and disciplined decisions an integral life in relation to self and others (synnoetics), able to make wise and to judge between right and wrong (ethics), and possessed of outlook (synoptics). (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 15)

119 In today’s competitive society, students must be engaged in meaningful venues of study in order to perpetuate the academic growth necessary to compete and participate in the modern academic classroom and 21st century workplace. Texas High School Best Practice Study In an effort to understand the components of effective schools, leadership, and student academic success, numerous studies have been enacted to foster an understanding of what policies and procedures contribute to student success. The “Texas High School Best Practice Study” was part of a larger national research study to investigate the practices of schools that consistently outperform their peers. The Texas study looked for the characteristics of high performing schools and compared these attributes to the structure and performance of schools who were not achieving academically at the same level. Through this study, best practices were identified that enhanced student achievement in the areas of “curriculum and academic goals; instructional programs, practices and arrangements; monitoring: compilation, analysis, and use of data and recognition, intervention and adjustment” (Just for Kids, 2005, p. 2). Four Texas high schools were included in this study and included Katy Taylor High School, Brownsville Lopez High School, Fredericksburg High School, and San Antonio Breckenridge High School. The National Center for Educational Accountability (NCEA) State Best Practice study was founded upon one primary research question: “How do higher performing schools in the state differ from average-performing schools?” (Just for Kids, 2005, p. 1). Supplemental questions were also posed, which included “How do the educational structures differ between the two types of schools?” (Just for Kids, 2005, p. 1).

120 Study Goals The study was conducted in the format of a case study: “Although the current federal research trend favors experimental research conducted to establish causal links, well-executed case study research serves a valuable purpose in illuminating possible correlations and promising areas for random-trial research” (Just for Kids, 2005, p. 1). The case study format allowed for the strengths and curriculum structures to be more fully detailed and explained in regards to the factors of each significant finding in this study. Case Study: Significant Findings In the “Best Practice” study, curriculum and academic goals were a prominent part of the project’s research agenda. Significant findings in curriculum implementation are listed below in alignment with the report from the four schools selected for the study. Taylor High School, Katy Independent School District At the time of this report (2003), Katy Taylor High School had an exemplary performance rating and received additional Performance Acknowledgements for attendance, campus comparable improvements in math and reading, algebra end of course exam, AP/IB Results, college admissions tests, TAAS/TASP Program. (Just for Kids, equivalency; and the Recommended High School 2005, p. 1)

In regards to their curriculum structure, a vertical and horizontal alignment of the curriculum was developed and implemented throughout the district. This was designed to create a more unified and cohesive learning environment throughout the district and

121 individual school campuses. In addition, “the district curriculum uses the TEKS as a starting point but includes higher standards to prepare students for advanced work” (Just for Kids, 2005, p. 3). This curriculum structure was appropriate in that the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) framework provides specific itemized learning objectives that should be mastered at each grade level in Texas schools. The third curriculum component within the academic structure was the mandate that “what is taught is not negotiable, but how it is taught is left up to the teachers” (Just for Kids, 2005, p. 1). This allowed teacher creativity while at the same time allowing for overall academic cohesiveness throughout the district. Lopez High School – Brownsville Independent School District Another school which has shown advanced academic standing throughout the state of Texas is Lopez High School of Brownsville ISD. Situated between the Texas and Mexico border, the district faces many challenges that other school districts do not have to contend with: “Nearly half of the students served by the Brownsville ISD are identified as English language learners. This poses a significant challenge for the district, as well as the individual schools, because many of these students have never received a formal education and have little or no English language skills” (Just for Kids, 2005. p. 1). Despite these challenges, the district and campus goals “are committed to the success of every student that walks through their doors. This is reflected in their desire to provide quality programming and in their belief that all students can learn” (Just for Kids, 2005, p. 1). Curriculum and academic goals are foundational pillars of this high performing school: “The district’s curriculum uses the TEKS as a starting point in order to create the district’s graduate profile” (Just for Kids, 2005, p. 1). From this vantage point, the

122 district utilizes the principle of backward design in order to align, plot, and plan the district and individual campus goals for instruction and student achievement. In order to enhance learning opportunities, the superintendent has stressed that curriculum documents be utilized in the classroom and used as a planning tool for campus instruction. Curriculum documents are developed for each subject area and realigned throughout the year to enhance instruction: “Instructional arrangements are based on student needs and developed through the collaborative efforts of the principal, counselors, department chairs, and the dean of instruction” (Just for Kids, 2005, p. 5). Teachers are allowed to make comments and suggestions to the documents and to address changes in the curriculum structure that will seek to evoke positive educational change in the student’s overall academic performance and success. Fredericksburg High School – Fredericksburg Independent School District Fredericksburg ISD is located in a small rural community in the Hill Country of the central portion of Texas: “The district provides curriculum guides, built upon the state standards, that identify what teachers should teach” (Just for Kids, 2005, p. 1). The curriculum is vertically aligned to ensure a smooth transition between grade levels and horizontally aligned “so that their instruction can build on the experiences students have in other classes, including Advanced Placement courses” (Just for Kids, 2005, p. 1). The superintendent ultimately makes the decision of the curriculum that will be used, but input from the campus principals and classroom teachers are accepted. Selection of instructional material is a coordinated effort between the school and educational district leaders in the community: “The superintendent reports that the district is ‘innovative but not experimental and that relevant research is reviewed before

123 adopting large-scale programs” (Just for Kids, 2005, p. 2). Although guided as to what to teach in the classroom is mandated, how to teach is left up to the teacher. The superintendent reports that “the district does not require all teachers to use the same resources, and states, ‘this is where the art of teaching comes in’ ” (Just for Kids, 2005, p. 2). This format gives teachers the freedom to utilize their own teaching styles and pedagogical strengths to enhance classroom learning and student academic achievement and performance. Breckenridge High School - San Antonio Independent School District Breckenridge High School supports student learning through a top-down curriculum implementation program. Curriculum planning, goals, and instructional mandates are clearly made at the central office district level: “The superintendent facilitates ongoing grade level discussions about the scope and sequence and regularly builds on the district nine month assessments” (Just for Kids, 2005, p. 1). The principal follows the superintendent’s lead by “using testing results to ensure teachers are following the curriculum and are aligned with the TEKS” (Just for Kids, 2005, p. 1). An aligned curriculum allows each grade level to constructively build upon previous years experience to support and enhance new learning that occurs in the classroom. This model has been successful for Breckenridge and has helped the district to gain significantly in student progress and achievement. Significant Study Findings Through these studies, a foundational basis and academic perspective was obtained that added to the body of academic research and best practice studies. These combined case studies have provided a framework and structure for curriculum design,

124 implementation, and student academic achievement in the classroom based on what has been successful in other schools. Reviewing the concepts, philosophies, and procedures of successful school districts such as the school listed above can aid to the understanding of how to translate best practice teaching strategies and curriculum implementations to other schools and districts faced with the dilemma of creating and maintaining high performing academic schools and learning communities. John Henney’s “Academic Research: Curricula Perceptions Research” A second research study that focused on subject matter parallel and related to this study was initiated by John E. Henney from the University of Northern Iowa. Henning’s study title summarizes the nature of his research, “Academic Research: Curricula Perceptions.” The focus of this “study was to provide a description of how a group of teacher leaders analyzed standardized achievement test scores in order to improve instruction” (Henney, 2006, p. 736). The methodology of this study involved selecting teacher leaders recommended by their principals. Data collection from this study came “from the program participants’ analyses of the Iowa Test of Basic Skill (ITBS) scores for their school building” (Henney, 2006, p. 731). Data from the ITBS tests were correlated among subject areas to determine the percentile of students who fell below the 40th percentile in academic scores between various pre-determined subject areas. The data was disaggregated and trends were analyzed in relationship to student academic achievement and success in the study. Various academic patterns and achievement goals were analyzed that “compared the trends of low, medium, and high performers from year to year” (Henney, 2006, p. 735). This disaggregated data provided the impetus for significant change by identifying the areas that needed the most attention for school

125 improvement. Educators were provided with significant data that provided guidelines for improving student academic achievement and performance. One significant contribution of this study was that new data and knowledge research was added to the current body of educational literature: “Each new description adds another model of practical application for the benefit of teachers, principals, and professors who are interested in making principled decisions based on standardized achievement data” (Henney, 2006, p. 736). By differentiating between what works in the classroom and what does not, a better, more advanced curriculum formulae is able to be developed and sustained in the classroom environment where student learning ultimately takes place. Conclusion Today’s educational secondary institutions are faced with the daunting challenge of providing a strong educational foundation and curriculum for its student body. The various curriculum models range from single subject texts to an array of multidisciplinary subject areas. Roland Barthes (1915-1980) has brought to light the fact that the discipline of learning in today’s society can most effectively be realized through an interdisciplinary unit of study. According to Barthes, “what is new and which affects the idea of the work comes not necessarily from the internal recasting of (disciplines), but rather from their encounter in relation to an object which traditionally is the province of none of them” (Barthes, (1968) From Work to Text, as rpt. in Vincent B. Lietch (2001) The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism, pp. 1457 – 61). In line with Barthes observation that integration of learning is an important component to human understanding and meaning, this study has focused on how an integrated and inter-related

126 curriculum philosophy based on the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning can affect student learning and academic achievement. Making the right decision on the type of curriculum model used on the district and campus level classroom can ensure that no child will be left behind in America’s progressive and dynamic public school educational system. Communication, investigation, understanding, and application are all important aspects of a well-rounded and viable educational curriculum philosophy. Challenging students to be eloquent in their learning and masterful in their ability to grasp new concepts in line with the ROM philosophy is recounted by great, philosophical discourse from the past. Education should teach discernment, wisdom, and give access to the application of all knowledge and learning. Dante Alighieri believed in the beauty and eloquence of the educational process: “I see that such eloquence is unquestionably needed by almost everyone, for not only men, but even women and children, the extent their nature allows, [should] strive for it” (Leitch, 2001, p. 247). Dante saw the purpose of education accelerating past the basic lines of rote memorization and repetitive, meaningless tasks. Indeed, his purpose in espousing the virtues of education was to “enlighten the discernment of those who, like the blind, roam the streets thinking for the most part that what is really behind is in front” (Leitch, 2001, p. 247). In essence, Dante was saying that discernment and understanding are essential to the virtues of sound knowledge and instruction. What educational leaders prioritize will ultimately define the nature and scope of our entire educational system. Curriculum theory, design, and implementation should be at the forefront of all educational discourse in that the curriculum will ultimately decide

127 the level and depth of student achievement and academic success: “In the end, we will conserve only what we love, we love only what understand, we will understand only what we are taught” (Sengalese, 2008, quotation Moody Gardens, Galveston, TX). A firm understanding of a curriculum philosophy, such as the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy, applied in the application of curriculum materials in the classroom can successfully implement a viable and rigorous implementation of the curriculum: “Knowledge can be derived from a variety of sources. Knowledge has permanent value leading to greater meaning and greater understanding when drawn from the fundamental disciplines as exemplified in the realms of meaning” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. ix). Curriculum design implemented through a realms philosophy can ultimately provide the framework for long-term and sustainable educational growth and development for all students.

128 CHAPTER III METHODOLOGY Introduction At the forefront of all teaching and academic pedagogy, intuitive educators and educational leaders have sought to answer the basic question regarding what curriculum or knowledge base will best prepare students for overall academic success and achievement in the classroom. To investigate the issue of curriculum selection and its affect on the overall academic achievement of students who are taught by a particular framework of curriculum design, a study regarding the effects of the curriculum is useful and beneficial to the academic community. The questions to consider in regards to methodologies, philosophies, and curriculums used in this study address the effects of how a curriculum based on the parallel principles of the ROM curriculum philosophy and the CSCOPETM curriculum model affect student learning. The rationale for this study is based upon the premise that a curriculum philosophy based on the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning leads to an integrated curriculum which leads to student academic achievement. In line with the specific goals and educational directives of any organization, any successful curriculum model must “deepen insight into relationships, and to counteract the provincialism of customary existence-in short, to engender a meaningful integrated outlook” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 5). It is incumbent upon all educational leaders who oversee instruction to be aware of how curriculum models and philosophies affect student achievement. An impetus for accountability in the educational process further mandates the need for a reliable and valid curriculum model to support and engender student learning

129 and academic achievement. In 2001, a state issued mandate updated the state-wide accountability system to a new and more rigorous measuring unit for student academic achievement and success. At its inception, the developers of this testing program stated: The TAKSTM testing program will, by law, include a higher education readiness component. Performance on the Grade 11 exit level mathematics and English language arts tests will be used to assess not only from a Texas in an 2001) To prepare students for educational success, administrators must ensure that a curriculum philosophy and curriculum structure chosen for utilization in the classroom is one that offers a strong framework for student learning and academic success. While educators must take into account accountability standards such as the TAKSTM testing program, teaching to the test will not ensure academic success. Instead, educators must seek to provide a curriculum structure that enables student discovery, high achievement, and rigorous academic standards. To understand how curriculum affects student learning and academic achievement, this research study looked at two venues of educational delivery and the type of schools that implement a particular curriculum model and philosophy in the classroom. The first type of delivery is based on a curriculum philosophy that utilizes a a student’s level of academic preparation for graduation public high school, but also the student’s readiness to enroll institution of higher learning. (Texas Education Agency,

research based philosophy of integrated learning and increased subject matter learning from a constructivist perspective. Utilizing the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of

130 Meaning as the guide and framework for choosing a philosophy of education conducive to sound learning and researched based paradigms, a new curriculum model currently in use in selected districts throughout the state was identified that builds upon similar assumptions and philosophies inherent in the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy. Utilizing the principles of the ROM curriculum philosophy, the relatively new curriculum model now known as CSCOPETM, was identified as a curriculum to have similar goals and philosophies as the ROM curriculum model. Schools in Texas that utilize the CSCOPETM curriculum in their classrooms were thereby recognized as schools which utilized a curriculum with similar tenets and parallel philosophies and models of instruction as the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning (ROM) curriculum philosophy. Schools that utilize the CSCOPETM model in their classrooms were then designated as Realms of Meaning (ROM) schools in that the curriculum philosophies, structure, and framework of each curriculum model had significant parallel attributes of similarities relevant to both the ROM curriculum philosophy and CSCOPETM curriculum model. CSCOPETM schools, those schools currently utilizing the CSCOPETM model of instruction in the classroom, were identified from a 2008 listing of schools and districts which had purchased the CSCOPETM model for use in their districts. At the time of the beginning of this study there were ten Educational Service Centers who were providers and trainers of the CSCOPETM model. The number of participating Texas Educational Service Centers has risen to twenty. For this study, a list of all school districts utilizing the CSCOPETM was accessed by obtaining a roster of schools that had purchased the CSCOPETM curriculum with a list provided by a Texas Educational Service Center in April 2008. The list was provided by e-mail and included elementary, middle, and

131 secondary school campuses. From this list, the researcher identified each high school campus in the district and then compiled a list of high school names that were members of districts which had been identified as purchasers of the CSCOPETM curriculum model. Once the high school list was compiled, detailed reports from the Testing/Accountability section of the Texas Education Agency (tea.state.tx.us) website were accessed. From this site, the Academic Excellence Indicator System (AEIS) reports for each school were generated for the 2007-2008 academic school year. These reports provided in-depth reports on a schools academic performance, statistically analyzed utilizing student performance on the TAKSTM test as one of the major indicators as to whether or not the districts and individual campuses within that district were meeting federal and state standards for academic success and accountability. The comparative group for this study involved those schools that do not adhere to a ROM philosophy in the classroom and therefore are not utilizing the CSCOPETM curriculum model. This secondary group is referred to as non-ROM schools and is representative of schools in Texas who do not use the ROM curriculum model and philosophy in the classroom. To identify the comparative group for this study, a campus Comparable Improvement (CI) report accessed through the Academic Excellence Indicator System (AEIS) TEA website was generated for each high school identified as a CSCOPETM (ROM) school campus: “Comparable Improvement (CI) is a measure that shows how student performance on the TAKSTM reading/ELA and mathematics tests at a given school has changed (or grown) from one year to the next, and then compares that change to that of the 40 schools that are demographically most similar to the given, or target school” (http://tea.state.tx.us). From these lists, one school not identified as

132 utilizing the CSCOPETM model was randomly selected for each CSCOPETM school. Each selected school from this list became a member of the comparative group for this study. These schools were then listed and identified as non-ROM schools indicating that these schools do not utilize the CSCOPETM curriculum model identified through the principles outlined in the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning philosophy for choosing a curriculum. The Conceptual and Theoretical Framework of this Study The conceptual and theoretical framework of this study was based on the Realms of Meaning curriculum model and what if any impact this model has on student academic achievement based on the outcome scores of the 11th grade exit level TAKSTM test in the areas of mathematics, English language arts, science, and social studies. The Realms of Meaning curriculum model is built on a philosophy for choosing the curriculum known as Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning. Through this philosophy a new curriculum currently in use in various schools and districts throughout Texas was identified as sharing many of the same principles and philosophies as the ROM curriculum model. Utilizing extant data available through the Internet and through published curricula information obtained by the researcher from the state director of this curriculum model, a thorough comparison was made of the two models. Through this model, a detail summary was presented that showed how many of the philosophies employed by the ROM curriculum philosophy were also a part of the CSCOPETM curriculum model. The significance of this comparison allowed the researcher to identify the CSCOPETM curriculum model as being a parallel curriculum model that shared significant shared philosophies in the implementation of learning and student

133 knowledge and academic achievement. Having identified a curriculum model that employed the facets of the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning, the researcher then designed a research study that employed the use of a ROM curriculum philosophy as reflected in the parallel curriculum model and tested this model against schools that utilized a curriculum model and curriculum philosophy that was not congruent with the philosophies and paradigms of the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning curriculum model. For the purpose of this study, the curriculum that was found to be parallel in philosophy and structure to the ROM philosophy was called a ROM curriculum model. School districts that utilized a curriculum that was not a ROM curriculum model were identified as non-ROM schools. Research Questions This research was guided by the following quantitative and qualitative research questions and null hypotheses. Quantitative Research Questions 1. Is there a difference in the 11th grade overall group mathematics TAKSTM scores between schools that implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model and schools that do not implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model? 2. Is there a difference in the 11th grade overall group English language arts TAKSTM scores between schools that implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model and schools that do not implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model? 3. Is there a difference in the 11th grade overall group science TAKSTM scores between schools that implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model and schools that do not implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model?

134 4. Is there a difference in the 11th grade overall social studies TAKSTM scores between schools that implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model and schools that do not implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model? 5. To what capacity as reported by classroom teachers on the Teacher Curricula Perceptions Instrument are CSCOPETM high schools functioning as Realms of Meaning schools? Qualitative Research Questions This study answered the following qualitative research questions. 6. What are the perceptions of classroom teachers of the overall CSCOPETM (ROM) curriculum in the classroom? 7. What perceptions do teachers have regarding the benefits and/or risks of implementing the CSCOPE TM (ROM) curriculum model? Null Hypotheses The following null hypotheses were developed in order to answer questions one through four as listed above. H01: There is no statistically significant difference in the 11th grade overall group mathematics TAKSTM scores between schools that implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model and schools that do not implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model. H02: There is no statistically significant difference in the 11th grade overall group English language arts TAKSTM scores between schools that implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model and schools that do not implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model.

135 H03: There is no statistically significant difference in the 11th grade overall group science TAKSTM scores between schools that implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model and schools that do not implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model. H04: There is no statistically significant difference in the 11th grade overall group social studies TAKSTM scores between schools that implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model and schools that do not implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model. Method of Procedure The research design for this study employed a mixed methods quantitative and qualitative study design. The quantitative section of this study utilized descriptive statistics “to describe systematically the facts and characteristics of a given population or area of interest, factually and accurately” (Isaac and Michael, 1997, p. 50). The purpose of this study was four fold: (1) to identify schools that are Realms of Meaning schools, (2) to discover if student achievement is impacted because of the school’s status as a Realms of Meaning school, (3) to understand the perceptions of classroom teachers and educational leaders on their view of the effectiveness of the Realms of Meaning curriculum model in the classroom, and (4) to understand the benefits and/or risks of implementing the Realms of Meaning curriculum model in the classroom.

136 Figure 3. 1 The Conceptual and Theoretical Framework for this Study

ROM Curriculum Philosophy CSCOPETM Implementation Student Academic Non- ROM Curriculum Philosophy CSCOPETM Implementation Achievement

Is there a difference in the 11th grade overall group mathematics, English language arts, science, and social studies TAKSTM scores between schools that implement the ROM curriculum model and schools that do not implement the ROM curriculum model?

_______________________________________________________________________ _

Research Methods Both descriptive and comparative research techniques were employed in the explanatory design of the mixed methods study. According to Fraenkel and Wallen (2006), in a triangulation design the researcher simultaneously collects both quantitative and qualitative data, compares results, and then uses those finds to see whether they validate each other. (p. 443). In an explanatory design, the researcher first collects and analyzes quantitative data, and then obtains qualitative data to follow up and refine the quantitative findings. (p. 443). For this study a triangulation design was utilized. The triangulation design involved a mixed method design incorporating both descriptive and comparative research techniques The triangulation design as described

137 by Fraenkel and Wallen (2006) is appropriate in that “the researcher simultaneously collects both quantitative and qualitative data, compares results, and then uses those finds to see whether they validate each other” (p. 443). This research investigation also utilized a “systematic approach to (a) identifying relationships of variables representing concepts (constructs) and/or (b) determining differences between or among groups in their standing on one or more variables of interest” (Isaac & Michael, 1997, p. 2). Through systematic evaluation strategies, the researcher addressed each of the quantitative and qualitative questions utilized for this study. In order to understand how curriculum philosophy and research affects student learning, the effects and perceptions of the CSCOPETM curriculum model have been investigated in order to see what impact or influence this particular curriculum philosophy and curricular framework has on student learning in the classroom. Contacts with various Educational Service Centers (ESC) were also made in order to glean as much information as possible on the similarities and philosophical attributes that the CSCOPETM model shares with the ROM curriculum philosophy. In addition, the researcher met with the state CSCOPETM director, made contact with randomly selected superintendents of schools who utilize or have utilized this model, and garnered information from teachers who utilize this curriculum model in their classrooms. By testing CSCOPE’sTM effectiveness and vision for student academic achievement, the researcher was also testing the validity and reliability of the ROM curriculum philosophy. The factor of interest in these comparisons was that the ROM schools have significant philosophy similarities and constructs with the CSCOPETM model and

138 therefore, because of this shared philosophy of learning, an integrated research study was enacted upon in order to analyze how curriculum, and therefore the curriculum philosophy, can impact or potentially impact student learning. Quantitative Data The quantitative data for this study was generated from the online, extant data base of the Texas Education Agency. From this website, 11th grade academic TAKSTM school scores were generated for ROM and non-ROM schools and then analyzed to see if there was a significant difference in the level of student academic achievement based on p < .05. Qualitative Data The qualitative portion of this study was conducted through descriptive statistics and survey research. Descriptive statistics are “statistics in which frequency distributions or relationships between variables are described” (Sirkin, 2006, p. 591). Survey research is “a term sometimes applied to non-experimental research based on questionnaires or interviews” (Kritsonis, Griffith, Marshall, Herrington, Hughes & Brown, 2008, p. 141). Utilizing the Teacher Curricula Perception Instrument (see Appendix A) and the Teacher Demographic Profile (see Appendix E) data sheet. Emergent themes evolved which revealed patterns and themes emerging from the various perceptions and opinions of the participating teachers responding to this study. Research Design Quantitative Data This research consisted of both independent and dependent variables: “A variable is something that exists in more than one amount or in more than one form” (Spatz, 2001,

139 p. 7). This research study included two types of variables: independent and dependent. An independent variable can be defined as “a variable that is presumed to cause a change in another variable” (Kritsonis, Griffith, Marshall, Herrington, Hughes & Brown, 2007, p. 123). The independent variables for this study included the types of schools being investigated and compared. These schools included: (1) schools that implement a Realms of Meaning (ROM) curriculum model and (2) schools that do not implement a Realms of Meaning (non-ROM) curriculum model. A dependent variable is “a variable that is presumed to be influenced by one or more independent variables” (Kritsonis, et al., 2007, p. 118). The dependent variable in this study constituted student academic achievement as measured by the 11th grade mathematics, English language arts, science, and social studies TAKSTM (Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills) scores. Descriptive statistics were collected from the Teacher Curricula Perceptions Instrument (see Appendix A) and extant data bases to describe participating schools. The descriptive statistics included percentages about the socio-economic status (SES), English language learners, ethnicity of students, gifted and talented populations, and special education populations. TAKSTM scores in mathematics, English language arts, science, and social studies were collected from extant data bases of participating schools for the 2007-2008 school year. Descriptive statistics were calculated to determine the capacity CSCOPETM high schools were functioning as ROM schools. A t-test for independent means was used to compare the TAKSTM score means of ROM and non-ROM schools. A comparison was made using the 2007-2008 TAKSTM data for math, English language arts, science, and social studies.

140

Identification of the Population In that the foundational purpose of this study was to identify schools which utilize a curriculum model with similar curriculum philosophies as prescribed in the ROM curriculum philosophy, schools utilizing the CSCOPETM curriculum model were noted as ROM schools, while schools not utilizing a curriculum which mirrored similar philosophical curriculum philosophies as the ROM curriculum philosophy were noted for the purpose of this study as non-ROM schools. To conduct this study, CSCOPETM schools – those schools which had purchased the CSCOPETM curriculum for academic use, were identified in order to develop a population and sample size that would reflect CSCOPE’sTM overall impact on the curriculum. CSCOPETM school districts were identified through a list provided by one of the Texas Educational Service Centers which kept records on the purchaser names of participating districts. Utilizing this list, the researcher was able to ascertain the names of high schools which were utilizing the CSCOPETM model in the classroom. These high schools were then identified as ROM schools in that by utilizing the CSCOPETM curriculum model in the classroom, participating high schools and districts were implementing a curriculum with parallel, pedagogical similarities coherent and in line with the ROM curriculum philosophy. CSCOPETM schools in this study were identified as ROM schools with no insinuation or claim that the two curriculum philosophies are one and the same. Schools which did not subscribe to the CSCOPETM philosophy and curriculum in the classroom were considered for the purposes of this study non-Realms of Meaning (non-ROM)

141 schools. The schools identified as CSCOPETM schools will remain confidential, but the original list of schools selected for this study will remain under lock and key for an extended period of time not to exceed three years. The population schools utilized in this study contained a grouping of all identified high schools who utilized the CSCOPETM curriculum model in the classroom during the 2008 school year based on a purchase list provided by one of the Educational Service Centers (ESC) which was authorized to keep this information for the overall distribution and record keeping of the CSCOPETM program. Utilizing criterion sampling, the subject schools were selected from districts in Texas who taught 11th grade math, English language arts, science, and social studies and met the criteria of being either a ROM or non-ROM school. According to Isaac & Michael (1997) “the logic of this strategy is to study all cases that meet some predetermined criterion of importance” (p. 224). Once schools were identified for this study, each school was placed in one of two categories. Group one was comprised of schools that had purchased for use the CSCOPETM curriculum model. Group two was comprised of schools which had not purchased this curriculum model and therefore were not utilizing the CSCOPETM curriculum model in the classroom. Two hundred and thirty-one schools were identified as meeting the

criteria as ROM schools. The comparison school population group was selected by criterion sampling. The predetermined criteria for the comparison group were that these schools did not implement the ROM curriculum model in the 11th grade math, English language arts, science, and social studies classroom. Comparison schools were selected from the Texas Education Agency comparable improvement list which provided a listing of 40 schools

142 with similar demographic characteristics which included ethnicity, socioeconomic status of the campus, the percentage of limited English proficient students (LEP), and the percentage of mobile students on each campus. Once non-ROM schools were identified, systematic random sampling was employed to select the participating schools for group two. In Texas, there are twenty state wide education service centers. These service centers provide educational training and develop various products that can be utilized throughout various districts in the state of Texas. The CSCOPETM curriculum model was created through a consortium of educators through selected Educational Service Centers in the state of Texas. At the beginning of this study, ten service centers provided access to the CSCOPETM curriculum model. Since the inception of this study the number of districts utilizing this curriculum model has dramatically increased. However, for the purpose of this study, schools in the original 10 district list provided to the researcher at the inception of this study will remain the focus of discussion. School districts that utilize the CSCOPETM curriculum model have access to the program through a district wide purchase. Once the curriculum is purchased, the district may use the curriculum with the support and professional back-up of trained CSCOPETM educators in the region centers. School districts choose the level of involvement with the CSCOPETM curriculum, making its use throughout the various schools wide-ranging and diverse in regards to the amount and type of implementation the school district chooses to utilize. High schools implementing the CSCOPETM curriculum model represent the ROM sample for this research study. Two hundred and thirty-one high schools have been

143 identified as being ROM schools and implementing the CSCOPETM curriculum model. Two hundred and thirty-one high schools not utilizing the CSCOPETM curriculum model were chosen based on random sampling, campus population size, and similar campus demographic characteristics including ethnicity, socio-economic status, limited English proficiency (LEP) learners, and mobility status. Random sampling was used to identify the non-ROM participating schools for this district. Random sampling ensures an unbiased and fair representation of the facts and occurs when “selecting cases or subjects in such a way that all have an equal probability of being included and the selection of one case has no influence on the selection of any other case” (Isaac & Michael, 1997, p. 198). For each ROM school identified, two reports were generated from the Texas Education Agency performance reporting section on the TEA website (www.tea.state.tx.us). The first report was the Academic Excellence Indicator System (AEIS) report that reported on the campus academic achievement scores for students in the areas of mathematics, English language arts, science, and social studies. The second report generated was the Comparable Improvement (CI) chart which was accessed for each of the 231 identified ROM schools. This report statistically listed 40 schools with like characteristics of the selected target school which included ethnicity, socio-economic status, limited English proficiency (LEP) learners, and mobility status of the targeted school reported on. This list was generated and listed randomly by the school’s state identification number. To choose which school would be included in the population and sample size for the non-Realms school category, the researcher further identified both the Realms and non-Realms potential school populations by district population size. This

144 number was generated from the AEIS report for each school under consideration. Using an Excel spreadsheet, the researcher began with the first listed ROM school and then identified the first non-Realm school from the Comparable list chart which was similar not only in ethnicity, socio-economic status, limited English proficiency (LEP) learners, and mobility status, but also had a similar school population. The researcher began with the first school name on the Comparable Improvement (CI) list and continued throughout the list until a suitable school with the comparable attributes of ethnicity, socio-economic status, limited English proficiency (LEP) learners, and mobility status was matched. Charter, elementary, junior high, and senior high schools without an 11th grade campus were not included in this study. Instrumentation The Teacher Curricula Perceptions Instrument (see Appendix A) was used to determine the capacity CSCOPETM high schools were functioning as ROM schools. The Teacher Curricula Perceptions Instrument used in this study was composed of two parts: Part A and Part B. Part A included 28 quantitative Likert type questions which focused on the six realms of meaning in the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy. Part B included 37 quantitative Likert type questions regarding the ROM curriculum philosophy. Likert scales were used in this section in that they helped to reveal the attitudes and understanding of the participating teachers in reference to the curriculum philosophy and implementation of such philosophy in their own subject and classrooms: “Attitude scales determine what an individual believes, perceives, or feels about self or others, activities, institutions, or situations” (Isaac & Michael, 1997, p. 131). The

145 responses from this instrument ranged from zero to four with zero representing don’t know and four as strongly agree. To compare the level of academic achievement for 11th grade students in the areas of mathematics, English language arts, science, and social studies, extant data from the TAKS 2008 testing period was utilized to gather the scores needed for this study. Utilizing the Texas Education Agency, AEIS reports were generated for each ROM and non-ROM school included in the population and sample size for this study. Five hundred and twenty reports were generated representing the ROM and non-ROM school population and sample sizes for this study. TAKSTM scores for each school were entered in an Excel spreadsheet for the subject areas of mathematics, English language arts, science, and social studies. The reliability and validity of utilizing the TAKSTM scores as a measurement for academic achievement was researched and validated through information located from the Texas Education Agency website and presented as evidence for the reliability and validity of this test for the purposes of analyzing student academic achievement. The TAKSTM test was developed in response to Texas Senate Bill 103 requesting that a more rigorous and challenging test assessment be designed for students in the Texas public school system. Committees of Texas educators met from January to March 2000 to review the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). For each identified new statewide targeted subject area and each grade level, committee members those student expectations that should be assessed in the assessment” (Texas Education Agency (TEA), 2001, p. 92).

146 Specific prototype TAKSTM objectives were developed and reviewed “by test contractors Harcourt Educational Measurement and NCS Pearson” (TEA, 2001, p. 92). Twenty-nine review committee meetings were held during this time period attended by 583 Texas educators. The TAKSTM field test went through extensive data and field testing scrutiny. In all subject and grade level areas tested, “approximately 2 million TAKSTM field-test booklets, including 407 district field-test forms, were distributed to districts and campuses around the state” (TEA, 2001, p. 93). The field testing booklets for the core subject areas were distributed and administered between April 22, 2002 through May 10, 2002. The total number for statewide field tested exit level tests sent out by the Texas Education Agency for field testing and data review included: Grade 11 English Language Arts - 5,532 Grade 11 Mathematics – 40,251 Grade 11 Social Studies – 40,414 Grade 11 Science – 39,198 During the field-test administration window, a survey was distributed to a small sample of teachers to determine approximately how long it took student and administration students to complete the field tests. The survey also asked for teacher comments about the testing process and test procedures. (TEA, 2001, p. 93)

TAKSTM performance on Grade 11 exit level mathematics and English Language Arts tests was also used by law “to assess not only a student’s level of academic

147 preparation for graduation from a Texas public high school but also the student’s readiness to enroll in an institution of higher education” (TEA, 2001, p. 96).

148 Pilot Study Three expert witnesses were asked to test the psychometric properties of the Teacher Curricula Perceptions Instrument. These witnesses were educational leaders who are experienced and knowledgeable in the attributes of curriculum, curriculum implementation, and the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy. Through a thorough review of the Teacher Curricula Perceptions Instrument, the expert witnesses were able to asses the reliability and validity of this instrument for the purposes and relationships identified and needed to expedite this study. The state of Texas has already established the reliability and validity of the TAKSTM test given to 11th grade students in the state of Texas in the subject areas of mathematics, English language arts, science, and social studies. By aligning the TAKSTM test with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), a determination was made as to the validity and reliability of the test. In this case, “construct validity is evaluated by investigating what qualities a test measures” (Isaac & Michael, 1997, p. 128). A pilot test or further investigation into the reliability and validity of the TAKSTM assessment test was not needed. Research Procedures The researcher began with the premise that the philosophy of the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy could enhance student learning and academic achievement. To test this theory, the researcher began investigating curriculum models that reflected and modeled similar principals of instruction and curriculum philosophy as modeled in the ROM curriculum philosophy. Through the researcher’s investigative efforts, a new and innovative curriculum model

149 was discovered that upon further investigation showed similar characteristics and philosophical structures embedded in the curriculum. The researcher then utilized the extant knowledge bases available through this curriculum’s internet information site and began to make comparisons on the significant attributes and similar characteristics of each model. The researcher further investigated the philosophies of contributors who contributed to the development of this curriculum model. The researcher found that similar philosophies and frameworks existed between both the CSCOPETM curriculum model and the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy. The researcher did a thorough comparison of each curriculum philosophy utilizing information published online and provided by the state CSCOPETM director and Kritsonis’s curriculum as addressed in the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning. In addition, the researcher attended a district informational meeting on CSCOPETM, an Educational Service Center (ESC) CSCOPETM training meeting, and spoke with various professionals involved in the oversight and development of the CSCOPETM curriculum model. A two hour meeting was granted to the researcher in Austin, TX to discuss more about the CSCOPETM program and vision with the state director. From these investigative procedures, the researcher determined that the ROM curriculum philosophy employed many of the fundamental and basic principals utilized by the CSCOPETM curriculum mandates. Utilizing this knowledge, the researcher then developed a research design that implemented a comparison of schools that utilized a ROM philosophy as evidenced through the curriculum structure of the CSCOPETM framework for learning. The first procedure in this study was for the researcher to identify school districts and schools that utilize the parallel curriculum structures of the CSCOPETM model of

150 curriculum design and the Realms of Meaning (ROM) curriculum philosophy. To test how schools perform who ascertain to a ROM curriculum philosophy, identified schools which utilized the CSCOPETM curriculum models were utilized as schools which had manifested similar characteristics (as explained in detail in chapter 2) with the ROM curriculum philosophy. For the qualitative portion of this study, the researcher randomly selected twentythree Texas school districts currently utilizing the CSCOPETM curriculum model on the 11th grade level. Contact was then made with each district superintendent (see Appendix B) in order to gain permission to contact teachers on the high school campus in order to solicit voluntary participation in participating in this study and completing the Teacher Curricula Perception Instrument and the Teacher Demographic Profile and Teacher Response Instrument. Eleventh grade teachers on each identified campus were invited to participate in this study. Once permission was received from the district superintendent’s office to contact the participating high schools, The Teacher Curricula Perceptions Instrument was mailed directly to the teachers selected for participation in this study. The contents of the mailing envelope included a cover letter (see Appendix C), the Teacher Curricula Perceptions Instrument, Demographic Teacher Profile instrument (see Appendix D) and a self-addressed stamped envelope which was used to return the instrument to the researcher upon completion of the instrument by the study participant. Extant data was then retrieved from the TEA website for non-ROM identified schools. AEIS reports for the 11th grade mathematics, English language arts, science, and

151 social studies TAKS scores for the 2008 TAKS administration spring semester for each identified non-ROM school were printed to be utilized in this study. Data Collection and Recording Two different school types were identified to conduct this study: ROM schools and non-ROM schools. Data was collected and recorded to measure the significance of the curriculum intervention strategies in place for ROM schools as compared to non-ROM schools. A number was assigned to each school for anonymity purposes and categorized by the type of curriculum model implemented. TAKSTM data was then be extracted from the district student achievement scores on the 11th grade exitlevel mathematics, English language arts, science, and social studies TAKSTM test. Extant data bases were used to extract the student achievement scores as measured by TAKSTM. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) houses the TAKSTM student academic achievement scores. These extant data bases can be found on the TEA webpage (www.tea.state.tx.us) and are available to the public without cost or obligation. Academic Excellence Indicator System (AEIS) reports for ROM and non-ROM schools were printed. TAKSTM scores for the academic subject areas of mathematics, English language arts, science, and social studies were entered in an Excel spreadsheet. Upon receipt of the Teacher Curricula Perceptions Instrument, data was recorded in an Excel spreadsheet and then transferred to the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) software. Teachers’ names are not included in the study and have remained anonymous.

152 Once data was entered in an Excel spread sheet, the information was then transferred to the SPSS software version where a t test for independent means was generated for each independent subject category. Data Analysis To analyze the findings, t tests for independent means were calculated to answer research questions 1-4. The mean TAKSTM scores were compared between schools implementing the ROM curriculum model and schools not implementing the ROM curriculum model. A t test for independent means was computed to determine if the difference in mean TAKSTM scores is statistically significant. Utilizing the data from the independent t test for independent means and analysis procedure, each null hypothesis was either accepted or rejected. A significance level of .05 (p < .05) was used to determine whether to accept or reject the null hypotheses. Descriptive statistics were used to answer research question five. Frequencies and percentages were calculated to determine the capacity from Part A of the Teacher Curricula Perceptions Instrument to determine the capacity each high school is functioning as a ROM school. Descriptive statistics were also be used to describe the demographic properties of each participating ROM high school. Qualitative Data In the qualitative portion of this study, an instrument was designed to determine to what capacity a school was functioning as a Realms of Meaning school. In addition, teachers were given the opportunity to participate in three open-ended questions at the end of the Teacher Curricula Perceptions Instrument in order to determine their perceptions on the benefits and/or risks of implementing the Realms of Meaning

153 curricular model. The findings of this portion of the study have been reported by analyzing the perception of the overall CSCOPETM curriculum model, which inherently reflects a philosophical comparative view with the ROM curriculum model, through the teacher responses from the Teacher Curricula Perceptions Instrument, Part B. The findings for the remaining two questions have been combined and report on the teachers perceptions of the benefits and risks of utilizing the CSCOPETM curriculum model in the classroom. Qualitative Research Questions To direct this portion of the study, qualitative research questions were developed to address teacher response to the CSCOPETM (ROM) curriculum. The two qualitative research questions were as follows: 6. What are the perceptions of classroom teachers of the overall CSCOPETM (ROM) curriculum in the classroom? 7. What perceptions do teachers have regarding the benefits and/or risks of implementing the CSCOPETM (ROM) curriculum model? Research Design There were two qualitative variables for this study. The independent variable is the ROM school and the dependent variable is the teacher perceptions of the benefits and/or risks of the ROM school model. Qualitative variables “exist in different kinds rather different amounts” (Spatz, 2001, p. 384). Qualitative variables are also nominal which “pertains to the act of naming” (Sirkin, 2006, p. 595). By utilizing the independent and dependent variables in this study, a comparison could be made of the overall effect of one curriculum model over the other in relation to the time period the testing occurred.

154 This section of the study was based on descriptive statistics and emergent themes. Descriptive statistics were appropriate for this study in that descriptive statistics are a “division of statistics focused on describing, summarizing, or making sense of a particular set of data” (Isaac & Michael, 1997, p. 134) Statistics were calculated to describe the demographics of teacher participants. Frequencies and percentages were analyzed. Descriptive statistics were also used to determine the effectiveness of the ROM schools curriculum model. Three open ended questions were utilized in this study to determine the perceptions teachers have in regards to the ROM curriculum, the benefits these teachers feel that are associated with the ROM curriculum, and the risks these teachers feel that are associated wit the ROM model, and the risks that area associated with the ROM model. Teachers’ responses were documented using emergent themes and analyzed. Subjects of the Study There are 20 Educational Service Center districts in the state of Texas. Of these districts, 10 districts as of April 2008 had been identified as having schools within their districts that were implementing the CSCOPETM curriculum model in their schools. These districts were as follows: Region 1, Region 2, Region 6, Region 7, Region 8, Region 10, Region 13, Region 16, and Region 19, and Region 20 Educational Service Centers (ESC). Teacher participants from ROM curriculum model schools comprised the population of the qualitative study. The superintendent from each school district was contacted and sent a letter requesting permission to contact the exit-level high school teachers on their campuses. Superintendents willing to allow their districts to voluntary

155 participate in this portion of the study returned a signed permission letter to the researcher via fax. This letter was then copied and sent with an educator research packet directly to the principal of each school. Teachers were then selected by the principal through snowballing or chain sampling. “The aim of this approach is to locate key informants or information-rich cases that zoom in on significant aspects of a study. The process begins by asking, “Who knows a lot about ________?” One informant leads to another, until the more knowledgeable ones are identified through repeated reference, along with the more significant events” (Isaac & Michael, 1997, p. 224). Once teachers were identified for the study, a total of 80 research packets were sent to potential research participants. Instrumentation The TAKSTM test was the qualitative information utilized for this study. For the qualitative portion of this study, two researcher-designed instruments were utilized. The first instrument was entitled Teacher Demographic Profile and Teacher Response Instrument. The Teacher Demographic Profile section of this instrument solicited information from the teacher participants and reported on specific demographics attributes of teachers who responded to this instrument by way of their voluntary participation in completing the instruments utilized for this study. Questions presented in this portion of the Demographic Teacher Profile included: 1. How many years have you been n the teaching profession? 2. What CSCOPETM curriculum subject area are you involved in? 3. How many years have you worked with the CSCOPETM curriculum model? 4. What educational degree(s) and teaching certifications do you hold in the state of Texas?

156 The second portion of the Teacher Demographic Profile and Teacher Response Instrument included in this instrument included three open ended questions. The questions used in this section of the study were as follows: 1. What are the perceptions of classroom teachers of the overall CSCOPETM (ROM) curriculum in the classroom? 2. What perceptions do teachers have regarding the benefits of implementing the CSCOPE TM (ROM) curriculum model? 3. What perceptions do teachers have regarding the risks of implementing the CSCOPETM (ROM) curriculum model? Data generated from the Teacher Curricula Perception Instrument Part A was utilized to formulate conclusions for research question five. Emergent themes were also developed from the Teacher Demographic Profile and Teacher Response Instrument to complete the analysis and data collection and reporting of this question. The title of the second instrument that was used in this study is the Teacher Curricula Perceptions Instrument (see Appendix A) and was comprised of two sections. Part A included 28 Likert type statements. The response statements were developed directly from the text of the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy in order to generate exact representations of the ROM curriculum philosophy in the Teacher Curricula Perceptions Instrument. In Likert scales, as utilized in this portion of the study, participants respond to a series of statements and indicate to what level they agree or disagree with the statement presented. A Likert type instrument labeled from 1 to 4 will be used with 0 being don’t know, 1 strongly disagree, 2 disagree, 3 agree, and 4 strongly agree.

157 Part B was utilized to answer question six of the qualitative section of the Teacher Curricula Perceptions Instrument. There were 37 response statements generated for this portion of the test. The response statements were developed directly from the text of the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy in order to generate exact representations of the ROM curriculum philosophy in the Teacher Curricula Perceptions Instrument. This instrument targeted the teacher population and was used to gain information regarding the perceptions of teachers who utilize the CSCOPETM (ROM) curriculum model in their classrooms to glean their thoughts and perceptions of using the CSCOPETM model in their classrooms. The responses from this instrument will remain under lock and key for no less than seven years from the time the initial instrument was implemented for this study. The informed consent for this study from the Institution Review Board (IRB) will also be protected and stored under the same guidelines as listed above for the Teacher Curricula Perceptions Instrument. The first instrument utilized in this study was the Teacher Curricula Perceptions Instrument (see Appendix A). The Teacher Curricula Perceptions Instrument was distributed to participating teachers and was organized into two sections. Part A (the quantitative section) included 28 Likert type questions. Part B had 40 Likert type questions. The responses to these questions were analyzed using descriptive statistics including frequencies and percentages. To further expand this study. a qualitative instrument was used entitled Demographic Teacher Profile and Teacher Response Instrument (see Appendix E) From the Demographic Teacher Profile (see appendix E) demographic information was

158 collected on each teacher participating in the study. Demographic information included the participating teacher’s school, district, and grade level taught. In addition, information was gathered that detailed how long a teacher had taught in the public school system, what grades and subjects were taught, and what subject in the current CSCOPETM curriculum was or had been taught in the classroom. Descriptive statistics were calculated from the responses and displayed in table format. From the Teacher Response Instrument (see Appendix E), teacher responses to the open-ended response items were recorded and triangulated to determine major themes and outcomes of this portion of the research examination. Pilot Studies A pilot study was not conducted to determine the reliability and validity on the Teacher Curricula Perceptions Instrument and Demographic Teacher Profile and Teacher Response Instrument (see Appendix E). Three expert witnesses were utilized to determine the validity and reliability of the instruments utilized in this study. Changes were made to the instruments based on the feedback of the expert witnesses. Validity and Reliability The reliability and validity of the qualitative portion of the test was verified by expert witnesses. Expert witnesses who were familiar with the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning reviewed the Teacher Curricula Perceptions Instrument (see Appendix A) and the Demographic Teacher Profile and Teacher Response Instrument (see Appendix E) to judge the reliability and validity of these two instruments. Reliability refers to the “consistency or stability” (Kritsonis et al., 2008, p. 136). Validity of the instruments was validated by the expert witnesses to ensure “a judgment

159 of the appropriateness of the interpretation, inferences, and actions made on the basis of a test score or scores” (Kritsonis et al., 2008, p. 144). Through these instruments the degree to which a student was performing as a ROM curriculum model school was determined as well as the teachers perception of utilizing the CSCOPETM curriculum model in the classroom. Procedures Once the participating school districts were chosen, the superintendents of each district were contacted to enlist support and participation for the study (see Appendix B). The superintendent of each qualified, participating district was contacted by letter in order to gain permission to send the Teacher Curricula Perceptions Instrument to teachers in his or her district. Three superintendents denied the researcher permission to continue with this study, 20 districts gave permission for the researcher to continue her study. Once permission was received from the superintendent, the researcher prepared 11 x 13 research packets to each district randomly chosen for this section of the study. Included in the larger envelope was a letter to the secondary campus principal (see Appendix C) and a copy of the signed permission letter from the district superintendent giving permission for this study to be conducted. Four smaller envelopes were then added to this packet which included an invitation to the core subject area 11th grade teachers on each campus who had experience in the use and implementation of the CSCOPETM curriculum model in their classroom. Each teacher research packet included a letter of invitation (see Appendix D), a copy of the Teacher Curricula Perception Instrument (see Appendix A), and a copy of the Demographic Teacher Profile and Teacher Response Instrument (see Appendix E). A follow-up letter was sent to all school

160 participants which included the opportunity for those teachers who had not responded to the instruments previously provided to complete the instruments (see Appendix F). A Certificate of Appreciation (see Appendix G) was also included in each packet as a thank-you from the researcher for the participant’s voluntary participation in this study. The teacher research packets were mailed via the U.S. postal service. A self-addressed, pre-stamped envelope was included in each teacher research packet to facilitate the teacher’s ability to return the instruments to the researcher in a timely manner. As responses were returned, they were coded for date of receipt and data was entered into an Excel spreadsheet. Once the instruments were received, the process of analyzing and coding the information will begin. After recording the information provided by the Teacher Curricula Perception Instrument and the Demographic Teacher Profile and Teacher Response Instrument the researcher then began the data analysis portion of this study. Data Collection and Recording Identified teachers were assigned a number to ensure confidentiality. The study instruments including the Teacher Curricula Perceptions Instrument (see Appendix A), the Demographic Teacher Profile and the Teacher Response Instrument (see Appendix E) were mailed to the participating teachers at each school. After the teachers completed the instruments they were instructed in writing to return the instrument in a selfaddressed envelope which was included in the instrument packet. Upon receiving the returned instruments, demographic data was entered into an Excel spreadsheet. Data gathered from the open-ended questions were first generated in a Microsoft word document that included a listing of all open-ended responses received

161 from teacher participants. These responses were coded for emerging themes. Emerging themes were developed utilizing the themes and philosophies embedded within the ROM curriculum framework. Data from Part A and B, reported in an Excel spreadsheet, were transferred to a second spreadsheet created in the Statistical Package for the Social Science (SPSS) statistical software package. Results were recorded and analyzed in reference to the emergent themes as developed and reported through the teacher response portion of the Teacher Curricula Perceptions Instrument (see Appendix A). Data from the Demographic Teacher Profile and Teacher Response Instrument (see Appendix E) was recorded in a Microsoft word document. Mean averages were recorded for number of years the participant has in teaching and in utilizing the CSCOPETM curriculum in the classroom. Individual responses to the three open-ended questions on the Demographic Teacher Profile and Teacher Response Instrument were entered in a Microsoft office document. From these responses emergent themes were developed on teachers perceptions of utilizing the CSCOPETM curriculum in the classroom and their perceptions of the benefits and risks of utilizing the CSCOPE TM curriculum model in the classroom. This information was organized and saved in a dissertation project file on my computer to be used at the appropriate time in the study. Data Analysis Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics and emergent themes. Data from the quantitative section and qualitative section was triangulated to validate results. The data collection method in this study was based on Part A and B of the Teacher Curricula Perceptions Instrument (see Appendix A). Frequencies and percentages were analyzed

162 based on the teacher’s response to each of the 65 questions posed on the researcher developed Teacher Curricula Perceptions Instrument. (see Appendix A). A spreadsheet was initiated in order to record the responses and information generated from this portion of the study. Utilizing this format, open-ended responses were categorized and analyzed using emergent themes. Emergent themes were determined from the open-ended questions taken directly from the instrument. Emergent themes are those main ideas and repeated scenarios that link the teacher’s perceptions to general conclusions and applicable theory. Once the instruments were reviewed, frequencies and percentages of the emergent themes were calculated and then reported in narrative style. Demographic statistic information was then collected on each teacher participant utilizing the Demographic Teacher Profile and Teacher Response Instrument (see Appendix E) created by the researcher. Demographic information included subject taught, total years teaching experience, years teaching this subject, and degree or degrees held. Descriptive statistics were analyzed based on the responses from the teacher participants from the ROM curriculum model. A spreadsheet was initiated in order to record the responses and information generated from this portion of the study. The results from the qualitative portion were triangulated with results from the qualitative portion of this study for validation. Triangulation methods were important to this study and were defined as the procedure in which “the use of multiple methods, data collection strategies, and/or data sources to get a more complete picture and to crosscheck information” (Gay & Airasian, 2003, p.593). Once triangulated, the results were recorded and reported as data for the final dissertation findings and conclusion section of this study.

163 Summary Chapter III has included a detailed summary and explanation of the methodology and procedures proposed to carry out this study. Detailed explanations of the research design and methods have been outlined. Descriptions of the study including population and sample have also been included. Instruments, both quantitative and qualitative, have been explained in detail including information regarding the reliability and validity of each study instrument included in this study. A thorough explanation about procedures, data collection, and data analysis have also been included in order to fully explain the nature, scope, and testing procedures for this study.

164 CHAPTER IV ANALYSIS OF DATA The curriculum plays a major role in student success. Understanding the effect of a particular curriculum model and the philosophy underlying its inception is of critical importance to the educational community and is therefore is an integral component of the overall plan and mission of educating our nation’s youth. In this study four objectives were outlined for consideration: (1) to identify schools that are Realms of Meaning schools, (2) to discover if student achievement is impacted because of the school’s status as a Realms of Meaning school, (3) to understand the perceptions of classroom teachers and educational leaders on their view of the effectiveness of the Realms of Meaning curriculum model in the classroom, and (4) to understand the benefits and/or risks of implementing the Realms of Meaning curriculum model in the classroom. Within this chapter, the findings of the qualitative and quantitative portion of this study have been reported. In the quantitative portion of this study, the data analyses of the differences in academic achievement between schools that utilize a ROM curriculum model in relationship to schools that do not use a ROM curriculum model based on the 2008 high school TAKSTM scores of 11th grade math, English language arts, science, and social studies in these population groups have been reported. Extant data was accessed from the Texas Education Agency (TEA) website (tea.state.tx.us) for each identified ROM and non-ROM schools from school scores of academic achievement. Eleventh grade Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKSTM) results were generated for both the ROM and non-ROM schools for the 2008 TAKSTM administration in math, English language arts, science, and social studies. A t-test for independent means was

165 generated to determine if there were significant differences between schools that utilize a ROM curriculum philosophy in the classroom and schools that do not utilize a ROM curriculum philosophy (non-ROM) in the classroom. To support the qualitative portion of this study, two instruments were developed by the researcher to investigate the perceptions of teachers who actually utilize the ROM curriculum model in the classroom. The qualitative data were collected from teachers who utilize the CSCOPETM curriculum in the classroom based on their completion of the Teacher Demographic Profile (see Appendix A) and Teacher Response Instrument and the Teacher Curricula Perception Instrument (see Appendix E). In the qualitative portion of this study the perceptions of teachers who utilize the CSCOPETM curriculum model in 11th grade classrooms were analyzed based on emergent themes and reported in this section. Teachers specifically responded to the following questions: (1) What are the perceptions of classroom teachers of the CSCOPETM (ROM) curriculum in the classroom? (2) (3) What are the benefits of using CSCOPETM curriculum in the classroom? What are the risks of using the CSCOPETM curriculum in the classroom?

The emergent themes were determined from the responses to these three questions by voluntary teacher respondents who utilize the CSCOPETM curriculum model in the classroom. The percentages were based on the total number of respondents; the totals may have varied in that some responses may have included more than one theme or respondents may have refrained from answering a particular question. The qualitative portion of this study also analyzed demographic information collected from the Teacher Demographic Profile and Teacher Response Instrument (see

166 Appendix E) from each randomly selected teacher participants who utilize the ROM curriculum in their high school classrooms. There were 84 teacher research packets sent to potential participants in the qualitative portion of this study who were invited to respond to the Teacher Curricula Perception Instrument and the Teacher Demographic Profile and Teacher Response Instrument. Thirty teachers responded for a 37.5 % rate of return. Two teachers were disqualified from participating in this study to the fact that they indicated that they had never taught utilizing the CSCOPETM curriculum model in the classroom. Teachers who agreed to participate in this study, mailed back their completed responses to the Teacher Curricula Perception Instrument and the Teacher Demographic Profile and Teacher Response Instrument. Demographic information was collected from each respondent on the Teacher Demographic Profile and Teacher Response Instrument. Teachers responded to this section of the instrument by answering the following questions: (1) How many years have you been in the teaching profession; (2) What CSCOPETM curriculum subject area are you involved in?; (3) How many years have you worked with the CSCOPETM curriculum model? ; and (4) What educational degree(s) and teaching certifications do you hold in the state of Texas? Findings for each of these responses were tabulated and reported in the significant findings section of this study. Research Questions This research has been guided by the following quantitative and qualitative research questions and null hypotheses:

167 Quantitative Research Questions 1. Is there a difference in the 11th grade overall group mathematics TAKSTM scores between schools that implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model and schools that do not implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model? 2. Is there a difference in the 11th grade overall group English language arts TAKSTM scores between schools that implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model and schools that do not implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model? 3. Is there a difference in the 11th grade overall group science TAKSTM scores between schools that implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model and schools that do not implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model? 4. Is there a difference in the 11th grade overall social studies TAKSTM scores between schools that implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model and schools that do not implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model? 5. To what capacity as reported by classroom teachers on the Teacher Curricula Perceptions Instrument are CSCOPETM high schools functioning as Realms of Meaning schools?

168 Qualitative Research Questions This study answered the following qualitative research questions. 6. What are the perceptions of classroom teachers of the overall CSCOPETM (ROM) curriculum in the classroom? 7. What perceptions do teachers have regarding the benefits and/or risks of implementing the CSCOPE TM (ROM) curriculum model? Null Hypotheses The following null hypotheses were developed in order to answer questions one through four as listed above. H01: There is no statistically significant difference in the 11th grade overall group mathematics TAKSTM scores between schools that implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model and schools that do not implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model. H02: There is no statistically significant difference in the 11th grade overall group English language arts TAKSTM scores between schools that implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model and schools that do not implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model. H03: There is no statistically significant difference in the 11th grade overall group science TAKSTM scores between schools that implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model and schools that do not implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model. H04: There is no statistically significant difference in the 11th grade overall group social studies TAKSTM scores between schools that implement the Realms of Meaning

169 curriculum model and schools that do not implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model. Findings Based on TAKSTM reports generated from the Texas Education Agency, 231 TAKSTM reports were generated from the TEA website representing the public high schools that utilized the CSCOPETM curriculum model/ROM philosophy in the classroom during the 2008 TAKS administration. A second group of 231 TAKSTM reports were generated representing 11th grade high school campuses that did not utilize the ROM curriculum in the classroom. The ROM schools were identified through a printed list of CSCOPETM schools provided by one of the CSCOPETM offices based in a Texas Educational Service Center Region which kept records on schools which had purchased the CSCOPETM curriculum. In that the curriculum in its present form is only three years old, the researcher was not able to access any earlier records of schools which utilized the CSCOPETM curriculum model in the classroom. For the qualitative portion of this study, 25 ROM schools were randomly selected for participation. Superintendents of each school district were contacted by the researcher in order to gain permission to contact their high school campuses for this study. ROM school contacts were identified from an initial list of schools provided by a CSCOPETM participating Texas Educational Service Center. The list was not in any determinant order and therefore was already in a random order. The researcher began at the top of the list and began making phone calls to each perspective district until 25 contacts were made. From this initial contact list, a letter to the district superintendent (see Appendix B) was faxed to each district contacted. Superintendents were asked to

170 return the letter via fax to the researcher and indicate by checking one of the two provided boxes if the researcher could contact their high schools in order to invited teachers to participate in this study. Statistical information for the quantitative portion of this study was compiled by utilizing computer accessed extant data from the Texas Education Agency (TEA) in the Academic Excellence Indicator Systems (AEIS) report, the 2008 AEIS reports for each of the 231 identified ROM schools were accessed by the researcher and printed giving the researcher access to reports on student academic achievement in the areas of math, English language arts, science, and social studies. In addition, demographic information was retrieved from this data base that provided additional information about the students scored in the 2008 exit level TAKSTM administration. For the qualitative portion of this study, a total of 80 research packets were sent to identified CSCOPETM potential teacher respondents. Thirty completed research instruments packets were returned producing an overall 37.5% rate of return. Two surveys were eliminated due to the respondent’s lack of actual experience with the CSCOPETM curriculum model in the classroom. The results from the findings of this study are reported in the following order: (1) findings from research questions 1 – 4 which utilized descriptive statistics generated from the t test for independent means analyzing the differences or lack of differences in 2008 11th grade TAKS scores in the subject areas of math, English language arts, science, and social studies between ROM and non-ROM schools; (2) findings for research question 5 which were generated from teacher responses on the Teacher Demographic Profile and Teacher Response Instrument, Part A; (3) findings for research question 6 were generated from the Teacher Demographic Profile and Teacher Response Instrument, Part B; (4)

171 findings for research question 7 were based on teacher open –ended responses from the Teacher Demographic Profile and Teacher Response Instrument, Your Opinion Matters instrument. In addition, teacher demographic information is also reported in this section of the study based on teacher responses on the Teacher Demographic Profile and Teacher Response Instrument answering questions regarding the years respondents have been in the teaching profession, the CSCOPETM curriculum model the respondents are involved in, and the educational degree(s) and teaching certifications held by respondents in the state of Texas. Results Research Question One 1. Is there a difference in the 11th grade overall group mathematics TAKSTM scores between schools that implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model and schools that do not implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model? H01: There is no statistically significant difference in the 11th grade overall group mathematics TAKSTM scores between schools that implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model and schools that do not implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model. A t test for independent means was performed to produce test results for H01. The independent variables for this qualitative section included the Texas schools being investigated and compared for this study. These schools included: (1) schools that implemented a Realms of Meaning (ROM) curriculum model, and (2) schools that did not implement a Realms of Meaning curriculum model. This group was identified in the

172 study as non-Realms of Meaning schools or non-ROM. The dependent variable was student achievement as measured by the 11th grade mathematics 2008 TAKSTM scores in the identified ROM and non-ROM school categories. Data were measured at the 95% level of significance. Table 4.1 records the mean, std. deviation, and std. error mean for group statistics for Math 2008 TAKSTM scores. Results of the t-test on Table 4.2 shows a t of .886 that was not statistically significant (p = .376). Therefore the null hypothesis of H01 was not rejected. Table 4.1 Group Statistics for Math 2008 TAKSTM Scores Subject Math 08 School Type 1 2 Table 4.2 Math t-Test for Independent Means N 233 229 Mean 79.03 78.96 Std. Deviation 10.522 11.000 Std. Error Mean .689 .727

Subject Math 08 Equal variances assumed Equal variances assumed
*p < .05

t .078

df 460

Sig.* (2-tailed) .938

Mean Differences .078

.078

458.25

.938

.078

173 Research Question Two 2. Is there a difference in the 11th grade overall group English language arts TAKSTM scores between schools that implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model and schools that do not implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model? H02: There is no statistically significant difference in the 11th grade overall group English language arts TAKSTM scores between schools that implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model and schools that do not implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model. A t-test for independent means was performed to produce test results for H02. The independent variables for this qualitative section included the Texas schools being investigated and compared for this study. These schools included: (1) schools that implemented a Realms of Meaning (ROM) curriculum model, and (2) schools that did not implement a Realms of Meaning (non-ROM) curriculum model. The dependent variable was student achievement as measured by the 11th grade English language arts 2008 TAKSTM scores in the identified ROM and non-ROM school categories. Data were measured at the 95% level of significance. Table 4.3 records the mean, std. deviation, and std. error mean for group statistics for English 2008 TAKSTM scores. Results of the t-test on Table 4.4 shows a t of .886 that was not statistically significant (p = .376). Therefore the null hypothesis of H02 was not rejected.

174 Table 4.3 Group Statistics for ELA 2008 TAKSTM Scores Subject ELA 08 School Type 1 2 N 233 229 Mean 91.32 90.83 Std. Deviation 5.68 6.36 Std. Error Mean .372 .420

Table 4.4 ELA t-Test for Independent Means Subject t df 460 Sig.* (2-tailed) .376 Mean Differences .497

ELA 08 .886 Equal variances assumed Equal variances .885 not assumed
*p < .05

452.55

.377

.497

Research Question Three 3. Is there a difference in the 11th grade overall group science TAKSTM scores between schools that implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model and schools that do not implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model? H03: There is no statistically significant difference in the 11th grade overall group science TAKSTM scores between schools that implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model and schools that do not implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model.

175 A t test for independent means was performed to produce test results for H03. The independent variables for this qualitative section included the Texas schools being investigated and compared for this study. These schools included: (1) schools that implemented a Realms of Meaning (ROM) curriculum model, and (2) schools that did not implement a Realms of Meaning (non-ROM) curriculum model. The dependent variable was student achievement as measured by the 11th grade science 2008 TAKSTM scores in the identified ROM and non-ROM school categories. Data were measured at the 95% level of significance. Table 4.5 records the mean, std. deviation, and std. error mean for group statistics for science 2008 TAKSTM scores. Results of the t-test on Table 4.6 shows a t of .165 that was not statistically significant (p = .869). Therefore the null hypothesis of H03 was not rejected. Table 4.5 Group Statistics for Science 2008 TAKSTM Scores Subject SCI 08 School Type 1 2 N 233 229 Mean 79.96 80.12 Std. Deviation 10.04 10.87 Std. Error Mean .658 .718

176 Table 4.6 Science t-Test for Independent Means Sig.*. (2-tailed) .869 Mean Differences -.161

Subject SCI 08 Equal variances assumed Equal variances not assumed
*p < .05

.

t .165

df 460

.165

455.79

.869

-.161

Research Question Four 4. Is there a difference in the 11th grade overall social studies TAKSTM scores between schools that implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model and schools that do not implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model? Ho4: There is no statistically significant difference in the 11th grade overall group social studies TAKSTM scores between schools that implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model and schools that do not implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model. A t-test for independent means was performed to produce test results for H04. The independent variables for this qualitative section included the Texas schools being investigated and compared for this study. These schools included: (1) schools that implemented a Realms of Meaning (ROM) curriculum model, and (2) schools that did not implement a Realms of Meaning curriculum model. This group was identified in the

177 study as non-Realms of Meaning schools or non-ROM. The dependent variable was student achievement as measured by the 11th grade science 2008 TAKS scores in the identified ROM and non-ROM school categories. Data were measured at the 95% level of significance. Table 4.7 records the mean, std. deviation, and std. error mean for group statistics for social studies 2008 TAKSTM scores. Results of the t test on Table 4.8 shows a t of .384 that was not statistically significant (p = .701). Therefore the null hypothesis of H04 was not rejected. Table 4.7 Group Statistics for Social Studies 2008 TAKSTM Scores Subject SS 08 School Type 1 2 N 233 229 Mean 94.90 94.74 Std. Deviation 3.88 4.74 Std. Error Mean .254 .313

Table 4.8 Social Studies t-Test for Independent Means

Subject SS 08 Equal variances assumed Equal variances not assumed
*p < .05

t .384

df 460

Sig.* (2-tailed) .701

Mean Differences .155

.383

439.75

.702

.155

______________________________________________________________________________________

178 Research Question Five 5. To what capacity as reported by classroom teachers on the Teacher Curricula Perceptions Instrument are CSCOPETM high schools functioning as Realms of Meaning schools? To answer question five, responses from the Teacher Curricula Perceptions Instrument were utilized. The Teacher Curricula Participations Instrument was a 16 page instrument that included two sections: Part A, reflected a teachers understanding of the Realms of Meaning (ROM) curriculum model. Prior to the Likert-response section of this the instrument, Within Part A of this instrument, teachers responded regarding their understanding of the six realms of meaning: symbolics, empirics, esthetics, synnoetics, ethics, and synoptics. There were five Likert style questions in the symbolics realms section, three Likert style questions in the empirics realms section, six questions in the esthetics realm section, two questions in the synnoetics realms section, two questions in the ethics realms section, and ten questions in the synoptics realms section. Each teacher participant was asked to circle the number which most closed reflected their knowledge of the six Realms of Meaning and their knowledge of the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy. Totals from each teacher respondent were then analyzed to form the following conclusions. Realm One: Symbolics Symbolics had a total of five question statements with a total point range of twenty points. The perceptions of teachers regarding the capacity the high school is functioning as a Realms of Meaning school with respect to symbolics was 425. The possible range of scores based on the number of teacher instruments received could have

179 been 0 to 600. The average score for symbolics was 14.17. This indicates that the teachers agree that symbolics is implemented in the CSCOPETM high schools functioning as ROM schools. Figure 4.1 Symbolics Average Representations _____________________________________________________________________ Average Representation Agree 0 Strongly Disagree Realm Symbolics 0 5 Disagree Possible Score 600 10 Agree Score 425 15 20 Strongly Agree Average 14.17

Realm Two: Empirics Empirics had a total of three question statements with a total point range of twelve points. The perceptions of teachers regarding the capacity the high school is functioning as a Realms of Meaning school with respect to empirics was 175. The possible range of scores based on the number of teacher instruments received could have been 0 to 360. The average score for empirics was 5.83. This indicates that the teachers disagree that empirics is implemented in the CSCOPETM high schools functioning as ROM schools.

180 Figure 4.2 Empirics Average Representations _______________________________________________________________________ _ Average Representation Disagree 0 Strongly Disagree Realm Empirics 0 3 Disagree Possible Score 360 6 Agree Score 175 9 12____ Strongly Agree Average 5.83

Realm Three: Esthetics Esthetics had a total of three question statements with a total point range of twelve points. The perceptions of teachers regarding the capacity the high school is functioning as a Realms of Meaning school with respect to empirics was 175. The possible range of scores based on the number of teacher instruments received could have been 0 to 360. The average score for empirics was 5.83. This indicates that the teachers disagree that empirics is implemented in the CSCOPETM high schools functioning as ROM schools. Figure 4.3 Esthetics Average Representations _______________________________________________________________________ Average Representation Agree 0 Strongly Disagree Realm Esthetics 0 6 Disagree Possible Score 720 12 Agree Score 401 18 Strongly Agree Average 13.37 24

181

Realm Four: Synnoetics Synnoetics had a total of two question statements with a total point range of eight points. The perceptions of teachers regarding the capacity the high school is functioning as a Realms of Meaning school with respect to synnoetics was 153. The possible range of scores based on the number of teacher instruments received could have been 0 to 240. The average score for synnoetics was 5.1. This indicates that the teachers agree that empirics are implemented in the CSCOPETM high schools functioning as ROM schools. Figure 4.4 Synnoetics Average Representations _______________________________________________________________________ _ Average Representation Agree 0 Strongly Disagree Realm 2 Disagree Possible Score 4 Agree Score 6 Strongly Agree Average 8

Synnoetics 0 240 153 5.1 _______________________________________________________________________ _ Realm Five: Ethics Ethics had a total of two question statements with a total point range of eight points. The perceptions of teachers regarding the capacity the high school is functioning as a Realms of Meaning school with respect to esthetics was 182. The possible range of scores based on the number of teacher instruments received could have been 0 to 240.

182 The average score for ethics was 6.07. This indicates that the teachers strongly agree that ethics is a strong and important part of the curriculum. Figure 4.5 Ethics Average Representations ______________________________________________________________________ Average Representation Strongly Agree 0 Strongly Disagree Realm 2 Disagree Possible Score 4 Agree Score 6 Strongly Agree Average 8

Ethics 0 240 182 6.07 ______________________________________________________________________ Realm Six: Synoptics Synoptics had a total of ten question statements with a total point range of forty points. The perceptions of teachers regarding the capacity the high school is functioning as a Realms of Meaning school with respect to synnoetics was 831. The possible range of scores based on the number of teacher instruments received could have been 0 to 1200. The average score for synoptics was 27.7. This indicates that the teachers agree that synoptics is implemented in the CSCOPETM high schools functioning as ROM schools. Figure 4.6 Synoptics Average Representations ______________________________________________________________________ Average Representation 0 Strongly Disagree Realm 10 Disagree Possible Score Agree 20 Agree Score 30 Strongly Agree Average 40

183 Synoptics 0 1200 831 27.7 _______________________________________________________________________ _

184 Research Question Six 6. What are the perceptions of classroom teachers of the overall CSCOPETM (ROM) curriculum in the classroom? The Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy embodies more than just a framework knowledge of the six realms of meaning, i.e., symbolics, empirics, esthetics, synnoetics, ethics, and synoptics. A well rounded approach to the curriculum also entails an understanding and implementation of the scope and depth of fundamental curriculum issues which include an implantation and knowledge of the following components for the curriculum implemented in the general education classroom. These framework components representative of the curriculum for general education in the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy include: (1) the logic of sequence in the studies, (2) the scope of the curriculum, (3) the use of the disciplines, (4) representative ideas, and (5) methods of inquiry. Teacher responses for research question 6 were generated from teacher perceptions on the Teacher Demographic Profile and Teacher Response Instrument. The perceptions of teachers regarding the overall CSCOPETM (ROM) curriculum in the five combined areas of the logic of sequence in the studies, the scope of the curriculum, the use of the disciplines, representative ideas, and methods of inquiry in the classroom had a total of twenty-eight question statements with a total point range of 3360. The perceptions of teachers regarding the overall CSCOPETM (ROM) curriculum in the five combined areas listed above based on the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy was 2167. The possible range of scores based on the number of teacher instruments received could have been 0 to 3360. The average score for the combined

185 areas of the logic of sequence in the studies, the scope of the curriculum, the use of the disciplines, representative ideas, and methods of inquiry in the classroom was 72.23. This indicates that the teachers agree that the combined curricula areas implemented in the CSCOPETM high schools functioning as ROM schools are integral parts of the curriculum philosophy in the classroom. The findings show that teacher participants agree with the overall perceptions of the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy. Figure 4.7 Overall Perceptions of the Realms of Meaning Curriculum Philosophy in the Classroom _______________________________________________________________________ Agree 0 Strongly Disagree 28 Disagree 56 Agree Possible Score 84 Strongly Agree Score Average 112

ROM Curriculum Philosophy

Overall Curriculum Ideas 0 3360 2167 72.23 _______________________________________________________________________ _ Logic of Sequence Average Representations The perceptions of teachers regarding the overall CSCOPETM (ROM) curriculum in regards to the logic of sequence in the classroom had a total of five question statements with a total point range of twenty points. The perceptions of teachers regarding the logic of sequence in the studies based on the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy was 429. The possible range of scores based on the number of teacher instruments received could have been 0 to 600. The average score for synnoetics was 14.3. This indicates that the teachers agree that the logic of sequence implemented in the CSCOPETM high schools functioning as ROM schools is an integral part of the curriculum philosophy in the

186 classroom. As Figure 4.8 shows, participating teachers agree with the Realms philosophy of understanding and implementing the logic of sequence into the curriculum. Figure 4.8 Logic of Sequence Average Representation Agree 0 20 Strongly Disagree 5 Disagree 10 Agree 15 Strongly Agree Score 425 Average 14.17

ROM Curriculum Philosophy Logic of Sequence 0

Possible Score 600

Scope of Curriculum Average Perceptions The perceptions of teachers regarding the overall CSCOPETM (ROM) curriculum in regards to the scope of curriculum in the classroom had a total of seven question statements with a total point range of twenty-eight points. The perceptions of teachers regarding the scope of curriculum based on the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy was 637. The possible range of scores based on the number of teacher instruments received could have been 0 to 840. The average score for the scope of curriculum was 21.3. This indicates that the teachers strongly agree that the scope of curriculum implemented in the CSCOPETM high schools functioning as ROM schools is an integral part of the curriculum philosophy in the classroom. Figure 4.9 indicates that teacher participants strongly agree with the Realms philosophy in relationship to the scope of the curriculum.

187

Figure 4.9 Scope of Curriculum Average Representation Strongly Agree 0 Strongly Disagree 7 Disagree 14 Agree Possible Score 0 840 21 28 Strongly Agree Score 637 Average 21.23

ROM Curriculum Philosophy Scope of Curriculum

The Use of Disciplines The perceptions of teachers regarding the overall CSCOPETM (ROM) curriculum in the use of disciplines in the classroom had a total of 15 question statements with a total point range of 60 points. The perceptions of teachers regarding disciplines in the curriculum based on the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy was 1352. The possible range of scores based on the number of teacher instruments received could have been 0 to 1800. The average score for use of disciplines was 45.07. This indicates that the teachers strongly agree that the logic of sequence implemented in the CSCOPETM high schools functioning as ROM schools is an integral part of the curriculum philosophy in the classroom.

188 Figure. 4.10 The Use of Disciplines Average Representation ______________________________________________________________________ Agree 0 Strongly Disagree 15 Disagree 30 Agree Possible Score 0 1800 45 Strongly Agree Score 1352 Average 45.07 60

ROM Curriculum Philosophy The Use of Disciplines

Representative Ideas The perceptions of teachers regarding the overall CSCOPETM (ROM) curriculum in representative ideas in the classroom had a total of five question statements with a total point range of twenty points. The perceptions of teachers regarding the logic of sequence in the studies based on the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy was 339. The possible range of scores based on the number of teacher instruments received could have been 0 to 600. The average score for representative ideas was 12.97. This indicates that the teachers agree that the logic of sequence implemented in the CSCOPETM high schools functioning as ROM schools is an integral part of the curriculum philosophy in the classroom.

189 Figure 4.11 Representative Ideas Average Representation _____________________________________________________________________ Agree 0 Strongly Disagree 5 Disagree 0 10 Agree 15 20 Strongly Agree Score 339 Average 12.97

ROM Curriculum Philosophy Representative Ideas Methods of Inquiry

Possible Score 600

The perceptions of teachers regarding the overall CSCOPETM (ROM) curriculum in methods of inquiry in the classroom had a total of five question statements with a total point range of twenty points. The perceptions of teachers regarding methods of inquiry in the studies based on the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy was 406. The possible range of scores based on the number of teacher instruments received could have been 0 to 600. The average score for methods of inquiry was 13.53. This indicates that the teachers agree that methods of inquiry implemented in the CSCOPETM high schools functioning as ROM schools is an integral part of the curriculum philosophy in the classroom.

190 Figure 4.12 Methods of Inquiry Average Representation _______________________________________________________________________ _ Agree 0 Strongly Disagree 5 Disagree 10 Agree Possible Score 0 600 15 20 Strongly Agree Score 406 Average 13.53

ROM Curriculum Philosophy Representative Ideas

Summary Research questions one through four of the quantitative portion of the study analyzed the differences or lack of differences in the academic achievement of 11th grade high school students in the subject areas of math, English language arts, science, and social studies. ROM and non-ROM schools were identified. TAKSTM scores from each representative school were then listed in an excel spreadsheet. The data were then transferred to the SPSS statistical software. A t test for independent means was generated for each subject matter to determine if there was a significant difference in the academic achievement of students utilizing the ROM curriculum philosophy and curriculum model in comparison to non-ROM curriculum philosophy and curriculum model in the classroom. In the 2008 subject areas tested in the areas of math, English language arts, science, and social studies there was no significant difference in the academic achievement of students utilizing the ROM philosophy and curriculum model as compared to the non-ROM philosophy and curriculum model.

191 Research question five reported on the teachers’ responses in regards to the evidence as to what capacity as reported by classroom teachers on the Teacher Curricula Perceptions Instrument their high schools were functioning as Realms of Meaning schools? The findings for research question five indicate that in the areas of symbolics, esthetics, synnoetics, and synoptics teachers agreed in the importance and implementation of these realms of meaning in the classroom, thereby indicating their classrooms and therefore their schools were operating as ROM schools in these areas. Teachers strongly agreed in the importance and implementation of the ethics realm in the classroom, thereby indicating their classrooms and therefore their schools were operating as ROM schools in the ethics realm. Teachers however disagreed that the empirics realm of meaning was being implemented in the classroom. Therefore, in the empirics realm, teachers disagreed that their classrooms and therefore their schools were not operating as a ROM school in the area of empirics. Qualitative Research Questions Research question six showed that teacher’s perceptions toward the ROM curriculum philosophy were positive. Teachers agreed that the logic of sequence in the curriculum, the scope of the curriculum, the use of disciplines, representative ideas, and methods of inquiry were important components of the curriculum process. In research question seven, teachers were expressive in their views about the perceived benefits and risks of the utilizing the CSCOPETM curriculum model in the classroom. Emergent themes regarding the benefits included the following:

192 a. Teachers’ perceptions were that the CSCOPETM curriculum model was an excellent resource and benefit to new teachers. b. Teachers’ perceptions were that the CSCOPETM curriculum model covered the TEKS well. c. Teachers’ perceptions were that the CSCOPETM curriculum model was user friendly d. Teachers’ perceptions were that the CSCOPETM curriculum model did provide some resources for the classroom. e. Teachers’ perceptions were that the alignment of the of the CSCOPETM curriculum model provided a structure for student learning and academic achievement. f. Teachers’ perceptions were that the CSCOPETM curriculum model helped to mirror bet practice structures and ideas in the classroom. g. Teachers’ perceptions were that the CSCOPETM curriculum model helped to mirror best practice structures and ideas in the classroom. h. Teachers’ perceptions were that the CSCOPETM curriculum model ensured that all important subject areas were being covered in the classroom. i. Teachers’ perceptions were that the CSCOPETM curriculum model addresses different learning styles and needs. Emergent themes for the risks of utilizing the CSCOPETM curriculum model in the classroom are as follows: a. Teachers’ perceptions were that the curriculum was too narrow in focus and scope.

193 b. Teachers’ perceptions were that there was a lack of creativity and teacher autonomy. c. Teachers’ perceptions were that the pacing of the curriculum did not give enough time to teach and re-teach important concepts. d. Teachers’ perceptions were that there were not enough activities to meet the needs of special populations which included special education students, limited English proficient students (LEP), and the more accelerated needs of the gifted and talented student population. e. Teachers’ perceptions were that the curriculum encouraged a lack of accountability from both students and teachers utilizing this model. f. Teachers’ perceptions were that there were gaps in the curriculum in that they felt that not all material was covered appropriately and aligned properly within the district. g. Teachers’ felt that management was forcing the curriculum on them and that if they did not measure up with the new curriculum model they would be reprimanded or blamed for lack of student improvement and achievement in the classroom. Discussion The purpose of this study was to see if there was a difference in student academic achievement in schools that utilized the ROM curriculum model in the 11th grade classrooms in the subject areas of math, English language arts, science, and social studies as compared to the academic achievement of 11th grade classrooms in the subject areas of math, English language arts, science, and social studies of schools that did not implement

194 the ROM (non-ROM) curriculum philosophy in their classrooms. Results of the t-test for independent means produced no statistically significant differences between any of the four subject areas of math, English language arts, science, and social studies. In that the curriculum is so new, the results of this portion of the test can be said to be inconclusive as more research needs to be conducted to see if there are significant differences in academic improvement in the classroom as students and teachers adjust and adapt to the new curriculum model. However, teachers utilizing the ROM curriculum model agreed that five realms of meaning were important factors in the teaching philosophies of their classrooms indicating that these teachers were operating in ROM schools (those schools implementing the ROM in the classroom) in the realm areas of synoptics, esthetics, synnoetics, ethics, and synoptics. Teachers disagreed that the empirics realm was important to their teaching philosophies thereby indicating that in the empirics realms their schools were not functioning as ROM schools. In the implementation and philosophy of the curriculum in the areas of the logic of sequence in the studies, the scope of the curriculum, the use of disciplines, and representative ideas, teachers agreed that these philosophical curriculum components were important to the curriculum philosophy and curricula implementation in the classroom. Michael Fullan, an important figure in the movement to address positive change in schools, cautions all who would seek to implement change in the curriculum and to implement a program for academic achievement and success for all students, must realistically ascertain the real-world learning environment and the realistic model of

195 implementing a new curriculum. One component educators must look at in regards to making significant change in the classroom and in the overall educational program of a district is to factor in the implementation dip that research has shown can be expected when implementing a new curriculum model. Districts must allow for time to implement the model properly, adjust the curriculum modules as necessary for optimal student learning, and provide sufficient training time and professional development opportunities for teachers in the classroom to implement the new curriculum model.

196 CHAPTER V SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS, IMPLICATIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS Introduction Chapter V includes a summary of the study, research questions, hypotheses, methods, and findings. Conclusions are drawn from the review of the literature, hypotheses, and the quantitative and qualitative research questions posed during the study. Implications and recommendations for further studies are also included. The introduction for this study is presented first and includes (1) the statement of the problem, (2) the purpose of the study, (3) quantitative research questions, (4) qualitative research questions, (5) null hypotheses, and (6) methodology. A summary of this research study is then presented. Significant findings and trends are reported in this section. The third section presents the conclusions for the study based on significant findings of this research, educational trends, and academic research and previously published studies. Recommendations for further study and research are also included in this chapter. Summary of the Study Statement of the Problem Our country is now facing a time in our history when we do meet or exceed many of the world’s standards for academic achievement and success: “For the first time in the history of our country, the educational skills of one generation will not surpass, will not equal, will not even approach, those of their parents” (Gardner, 1983, p. 4). Acknowledging the fact that curriculum plays a major role in student academic achievement and that there is a need to address the foundational core and fortress of all student learning, the issue of concern and statement of the problem that was addressed in

197 this study can be articulated as follows: Is there a difference in student academic achievement based on the type of curriculum philosophy used in the school setting to prepare students for learning, academic achievement, and success? Purpose of the Study The purpose of this study was four-fold: (1) to identify schools that are Realms of Meaning schools, (2) to discover if student achievement is impacted because of the school’s status as a Realms of Meaning school, (3) to understand the perceptions of classroom teachers and educational leaders on their view of the effectiveness of the Realms of Meaning curriculum model in the classroom, and (4) to understand the benefits and/or risks of implementing the Realms of Meaning curriculum model in the classroom. Research Questions The following quantitative and qualitative research questions and null hypotheses guided this study. Quantitative Research Questions 1. Is there a difference in the 11th grade overall group mathematics TAKSTM scores between schools that implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model and schools that do not implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model? 2. Is there a difference in the 11th grade overall group English language arts TAKSTM scores between schools that implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model and schools that do not implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model? 3. Is there a difference in the 11th grade overall group science TAKSTM scores between schools that implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model and schools that do not implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model?

198 4. Is there a difference in the 11th grade overall social studies TAKSTM scores between schools that implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model and schools that do not implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model? 5. To what capacity as reported by classroom teachers on the Teacher Curricula Perceptions Instrument are CSCOPETM high schools functioning as Realms of Meaning schools? Qualitative Research Questions This study answered the following qualitative research questions. 6. What are the perceptions of classroom teachers of the overall CSCOPETM (ROM) curriculum in the classroom? 7. What perceptions do teachers have regarding the benefits and/or risks of implementing the CSCOPE TM (ROM) curriculum model? Null Hypotheses The following null hypotheses were developed in order to answer questions one through four as listed above. H01: There is no statistically significant difference in the 11th grade overall group mathematics TAKSTM scores between schools that implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model and schools that do not implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model. H02: There is no statistically significant difference in the 11th grade overall group English language arts TAKSTM scores between schools that implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model and schools that do not implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model.

199 H03: There is no statistically significant difference in the 11th grade overall group science TAKSTM scores between schools that implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model and schools that do not implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model. H04: There is no statistically significant difference in the 11th grade overall group social studies TAKSTM scores between schools that implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model and schools that do not implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model. Method of Procedure A mixed method research design utilizing both qualitative and quantitative research was used in this study. Quantitative research was utilized in questions 1 -5 in order to statistically analyze the differences or lack of differences in the academic achievement between schools that utilize the ROM curriculum philosophy and schools that do not utilize the ROM curriculum philosophy. The qualitative portion of this study was based on two researcher developed instruments that analyzed the perceptions of teachers in regards to their usage of the CSCOPETM curriculum model and their knowledge of the ROM curriculum philosophy and its importance to the application of classroom principles and educational philosophies.

200 Quantitative Methods Utilizing the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning Curriculum philosophy, a parallel curriculum model was identified that utilized the Realms philosophy and parallel curriculum principles in the classroom. Once identified, a list was obtained of schools that had purchased this curriculum model and were listed has having the curriculum in spring 2008. This information was obtained directly from an Educational Service Center representative who had compiled this state-wide list of schools which had purchased the curriculum model which had been identified as having parallel philosophies and learning attributes of the ROM curriculum philosophy. From this list, high schools were identified that utilized the CSCOPETM curriculum model in the classroom. Because this study is based on the philosophy of the Realms of Meaning curriculum model, the similarities of curriculum philosophy and design were utilized to ascertain that the attributes of the CSCOPETM and the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy shared significant academic attributes. Once determined that there were unique similarities and parallel philosophies in both the CSCOPETM and the ROM curriculum model, schools utilizing the CSCOPETM schools were designated as schools which utilized a similar curriculum philosophy as ROM schools indicating the parallel philosophies and curriculum ideas embodied in both designs. A comparative list of schools that did not utilize the CSCOPETM model was generated from a Comparative Improvement school list from the Texas Education Agency (tea.state.tx.us) which provided the names of schools with similar demographic characteristics as the CSCOPETM schools list. A total of 231 high schools in the state of Texas that utilized the Realms of Meaning curriculum model were identified. Another

201 231 schools were randomly selected to include the non-ROM school population. The academic achievement levels of 462 schools were reviewed for this study in both ROM and non-ROM high schools. For each of the 462 high schools, Academic Indicator Excellence Reports were generated individually for each school. The 2008 Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKSTM) reports were then printed out for 11th grade exit level TAKSTM scores for exit-level math, English language arts, science, and social studies. The scores for both the ROM and non-ROM in these subject areas were then recorded in an Excel spreadsheet and then transferred to an SPSS software file. Once entered, descriptive statistics were performed to generate data that fully described the participants of this study in regards to race, ethnicity, and special population status. A t-test for independent means was then generated utilizing the statistical data provided generated from the student TAKSTM scores from the 2008 TAKS TM test administration in math, English language arts, science, and social studies. Using a significance factor of .05, test scores were utilized to see if there was a difference in academic achievement for schools that utilized the ROM curriculum model and schools that did not use this model. Qualitative Methods Classroom teachers utilizing the CSCOPETM (ROM) curriculum model in the classroom were randomly selected to participate in this portion of the study through the process of systematic random sampling. Utilizing the list of schools previously identified as ROM schools, the researcher began with the first listing of the school names and began the procedure of gaining permission for sending out the teacher instruments to qualified ROM schools: “Systematic sampling is not used very often, but it is appropriate in

202 certain situations” (Gay and Airasian, 200, p. 110). In this study, systematic sampling was appropriate in that the population list provided through the Texas Education Agency online (TEA.state.tx.us), in the form of the AEIS Comparable School Progress report was already presented in a random listing order. Twenty seven school districts were randomly selected for participation in this portion of the study. Direct contact was made by phone with the administrative offices of 28 potential participating districts in order to speak with the superintendent or another administrator in regards to gaining permission to contact participating teachers for this study. The researcher personally visited six administrative offices in the potential participating districts in order to further explain the study and to gain approval to send a research packet to potential teacher participants in their districts. From this number, six school districts denied participation. One district was excluded in that the school district name, although included on the list, was not a CSCOPETM school. Two districts declined approval from the study and indicated so by checking “No, I do not give permission for the 11th grade core discipline teachers to be invited to be a part of this study” on the initial request letter sent to superintendents of potential research study districts (see Appendix B). No explanation was given as for the reason for their denial. Four other schools responded verbally and gave reasons for their decision not to allow the researcher to invited 11th grade core discipline teacher to participate in the qualitative portion of this study. A far west school district curriculum director indicated that at this time not all teachers were on board with the CSCOPETM model, therefore she believed that giving permission for participation at this time would not be appropriate at this time. Two rural school superintendents declined with comments. The first superintendent stated that although they had purchased the

203 CSCOPETM program, they had not fully implemented the program at this time. He further stated that they were pleased with the program, but wanted to give their teachers an opportunity to be thoroughly trained before the curriculum was implemented. The second rural school district superintendent simply declined stating that they had decided not to continue to use the curriculum due to the rigorous requirements of implementing the program. One school district declined from the program in that they were no longer utilizing the CSCOPETM model and had chosen another curriculum model for use in their district. Based on the researcher’s ability to gain permission to seek teacher participants from eligible campuses, a total of 20 campuses became the focus for seeking teacher participants in the qualitative portion of this study. Once permission was gained from the eligible, participating school districts, a letter was generated and sent to the high school principal of each district (see Appendix C) asking for permission to contact their high school campuses in order to invite their 11th grade CSCOPETM teachers in the subject areas of math, English language arts, science, and social studies to participate in this study. Four research participant envelopes were prepared and sent to potential participating school districts. The initial packet was addressed to the principal of the high school and included a copy of the permission letter from the superintendent to conduct the study, a letter to the principal explaining the study, and a letter of invitation to the potential teacher participant (see Appendix D). The two instruments for this study were included in each individual packet which included the Teacher Curricula Perceptions Instrument (see Appendix A) and the Teacher Demographic Profile and Teacher Response Instrument (see Appendix E). A self addressed stamped envelope was also included in the envelope to allow the teacher

204 respondents to return their completed instruments to the researcher. After an appropriate period of time, the researcher gave a second opportunity to potential teacher participants by sending a second letter of opportunity (see Appendix F). Professional certificates of appreciation were mailed to each campus principal in order that participating respondents could have this certificate as a record of their participation in this study and documentation of participation for their own professional portfolios (see Appendix G). Teacher research packets were sent to each participating district which allowed for participation by at least one math, English language arts, science, and social studies to participate in this study. Two schools asked for additional packets. A total of 80 teacher research packets which included a Letter to Campus Administrator (see Appendix C), a Cover Letter to Teachers, (see Appendix D), one copy of the Teacher Curricula Perception Instrument (see Appendix A), and one copy of the Teacher Demographic Profile and Teacher Response Instrument (see Appendix E) and a self-addressed, stamped return envelope. Six of the district research mailing envelopes teacher research packets were hand-delivered to the participating districts and contained a minimum number of 24 packets. Fourteen district envelopes were mailed to the remaining participating school districts and contained 56 teacher research packets. Teachers responded by returning the completed instruments to the researcher in the self-addressed envelopes provided in the earlier research packet. Thirty Teacher Curricula Perception Instruments (see Appendix A) were returned in the self-addressed stamped envelopes provided by the researcher. Thirty Teacher Demographic Profile and Teacher Response Instruments were also returned via United States mail service in the self-addressed, stamped envelope provided by the researcher. A Notice of Second Opportunity in the

205 form of “Notice of Second Opportunity for Teacher Participation” (see Appendix F) was sent out to all participating high schools following the initial letters of invitation and instruction giving a second opportunity for teacher participation in this study. The rate of return for this portion of the study was 37.5%. Two of the 30 returned packets were disqualified in that the teachers indicated that they had not utilized the CSCOPETM curriculum model in the classroom. A Certificate of Participation (see Appendix G) was sent to each teacher participant as a thank-you for their professional participation in this study. Responses of all teacher respondents were analyzed for recurring themes and then coded accordingly. These coded data were used to further explain and understand the findings presented in the qualitative portions of the study and to aid in the formulation of conclusions and recommendations made in this study. Summary of Findings Quantitative Research Findings Each research question addressed in this study is listed below with an explanation of the major findings discovered during this study. An alpha level of .05 was used for all statistical tests. Research Question One The findings for research question one were found by generating a t test for independent means with the following conclusions. With an alpha level of .05, p = .938. Based on these statistical findings, there was no significant difference in the 11th grade overall group mathematics TAKSTM scores between schools that implement the

206 Realms of Meaning curriculum model and schools that do not implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model. The null hypothesis was not rejected. Research Question Two The findings for research question two were found by generating a t test for independent means with the following conclusions. With an alpha level of .05, p = .377. Based on these statistical findings, there was no significant difference in the 11th grade overall group English language arts TAKSTM scores between schools that implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model and schools that do not implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model. The null hypothesis was not rejected. Research Question Three The findings for research question three were found by generating a t test for independent means with the following conclusions. With an alpha level of .05, p = .869. Based on these statistical findings, there was no significant difference in the 11th grade overall group science TAKSTM scores between schools that implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model and schools that do not implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model. The null hypothesis was not rejected. Research Question Four The findings for research question four were found by generating a t test for independent means with the following conclusions. With an alpha level of .05, p = .702. Based on these statistical findings, there was no significant difference in the 11th grade overall group social studies TAKSTM scores between schools that implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model and schools that do not implement the Realms of Meaning curriculum model. The null hypothesis was not rejected.

207 Research Question Five Research question five addressed the following educational concern and asked: To what capacity as reported by classroom teachers on the Teacher Curricula Perceptions Instrument are CSCOPETM high schools functioning as Realms of Meaning schools? Teachers responded to this question by answering Likert-type questions in a researcher generated Teacher Curricula Perceptions Instrument. Each of the six realms was described prior to the instrument. Participants were then able to choose one of the following options in regards to what capacity high schools were functioning as Realms of Meaning schools: (1) don’t know, (2) strongly disagree, (3) disagree, (4) agree, and (5) strongly agree. Teachers answers were then calculated by averaging the sum total of possible scores and finding the average teacher response for each category. Findings from this portion of the study included the following: 1. Teachers agreed that symbolics was important in the classroom and agreed that symbolics was a part of their curriculum philosophy and that utilizing this knowledge, the teachers agreed that their high schools were functioning as Realms of Meaning schools. 2. Teachers disagreed that empirics was important in the classroom and therefore disagreed that empirics was a part of their curriculum philosophy Utilizing this knowledge, the teachers disagreed that their high schools were functioning as Realms of Meaning schools. 3. Teachers agreed that esthetics was important in the classroom and agreed that esthetics was a part of their curriculum philosophy and that utilizing this

208 knowledge, the teachers agreed that their high schools were functioning as Realms of Meaning schools. 4. Teachers agreed that synnoetics was important in the classroom and agreed that synnoetics was a part of their curriculum philosophy and that utilizing this knowledge, the teachers agreed that their high schools were functioning as Realms of Meaning schools. 5. Teachers agreed that ethics was important in the classroom and agreed that ethics was a part of their curriculum philosophy and that utilizing this knowledge, the teachers strongly agreed that their high schools were functioning as Realms of Meaning schools. 6. Teachers agreed that synoptics was important in the classroom and agreed that synoptics was a part of their curriculum philosophy and that utilizing this knowledge, the teachers agreed that their high schools were functioning as Realms of Meaning schools. Research Question Six Research question six addressed the following educational concern and asked: What perceptions do teachers have regarding the benefits and/or risks of implementing the CSCOPE TM (ROM) curriculum model? Emergent themes were developed for both the benefits and risks of the utilizing the CSCOPETM (ROM) curriculum philosophy in the classroom based on teacher’s responses on teacher’s open-ended responses on the Teacher Demographic Profile and Teacher Response Instrument. The emergent themes of the risks involved in this study are as follows: (1) curriculum too narrow in focus and scope, (2) lack of creativity and

209 teacher autonomy, (3) pacing, (4) not enough activities to meet the needs of special populations which included special education students, limited English proficient (LEP) students, and the more accelerated needs of the gifted and talent student population, (5) teachers felt the curriculum encouraged a lack of accountability from both students and teachers utilizing this model, (6) teachers also noted gaps in the curriculum in that they felt that not all material was covered appropriately and aligned properly within the district, and (7) teachers felt that management was “forcing” the curriculum on them and that if they did not measure up with the new curriculum model they would be reprimanded or blamed for lack of student improvement and achievement in the classroom. An integrated curriculum allows the student to compare and contrast information, events, and phenomena through integrative eyes and intellectual structures: “Deep understanding occurs when the presence of new information prompts the emergence or enhancement of cognitive structures that enable us to rethink our prior ideas” (Brooks and Brooks, 1999, p. 15). Constructivist teaching is a challenging but rewarding process: “A constructivist framework challenges teachers to create environments in which they and their students are encouraged to think and explore. This is a formidable challenge, but to do otherwise is to perpetuate the ever-present behavioral approach to teaching and learning” (Brooks and Brooks, 1999, p. 30). The Realms of Meaning (ROM) curriculum model builds upon a constructivist framework: “It remains a provocative model that continues to nourish and stimulate thinking about what is important in creating coherency and purpose in general education settings” (English as rpt. in Kritsonis, 2007, p. v). The Realms of Meaning (ROM) curriculum philosophy involves the interaction of categories

210 and design in the learning process: “The selection of categories is essentially a search for patterns” (Fenwick English in Kritsonis, 2007, p. vi). A thorough analysis of patterns and philosophies of learning leads to the emergence of “six fundamental patterns of meaning. These six patterns may be designated respectively as symbolics, empirics, esthetics, synnoetics, ethics, and synoptics” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 11). By exploring the six realms of meaning, the entire range of possible meaning and curriculum knowledge can be acknowledged and perpetuated in a general framework of curriculum efficacy and knowledge. The six realms of meaning provides a framework for education and learning which provides a structured approach to the learning process through the philosophical guidelines of the ROM curricula philosophy. Teacher concerns reveal that there is uncertainty regarding the curriculum, their responsibilities, and management’s support in regards to this new curriculum model in the classroom. Management and teachers alike must realize that effective change does not occur overnight. Fullan reflects on a time around the late 90s, that we had a 3-6-8 rule. It takes about three years to turn around an elementary school, about six years to turn around a high school, and eight years to turn around the district or county, depending on its size . . . Now you can cut the 3-6-8 rates in half by using the knowledge more systematically and achieve major improvement in a district within four years.” (Fullan, 2004, p.1) Change does not occur overnight, but will slowly emerge if leaders maintain a solid commitment to the future of the district and determine to “stay the course” (Fullan 2004) in their chosen plan of viable and productive research based strategies for educational

211 reform and change in the classroom, district, state, and federal educational institutions and agencies. While teachers in this study responded to both the positive and negative aspects of this curriculum model based on their own perceptions of the curricula, a greater insight and depth of knowledge can be gained from this portion of the study by comparing the various responses of new teachers in the classroom vs. older, more seasoned teachers with more experience in education and the teaching profession. Conclusions The researcher carefully assessed how the data from both the quantitative and qualitative portions of this study worked together to produce findings applicable to student learning, curricula research, and curriculum implementation. The researcher returned to the review of the literature to triangulate the combination of data and to produce and draw reasonable conclusions to this study. The triangulation of the data produced the following conclusions. Conclusion One The null hypotheses for H01, H02, H03, and H04 were developed to test the mean academic achievement scores of 11th grade exit level high school students in ROM and non-ROM schools in order to see if there was a difference in academic achievement between these two schools in the core subject areas of math, English language arts, science, and social studies. Student academic achievement was determined by the campus rating the 2008 accountability school year. A t-test for independent means was performed on data from both the ROM and non-ROM schools during this time period. The results of the t-tests for all four sets of mean academic achievement scores in the subject areas listed above were not statistically significant when the alpha was set at

212 p < 05. The four null hypotheses for this study were not rejected. The findings of the first four research questions illustrate how significant academic change is not an overnight occurrence. This is supported by educational research conducted by Michael Fullan and others who contend that educators must not expect an overnight remedy for long-term improvement in academic achievement. The limitations of this study included the fact that the degree of use and implementation of this curriculum model was not fully known and could not be fully discovered by the researcher. Therefore, the commitment of utilizing the ROM philosophies in the classroom could have varied significantly from campus to campus therefore leaving the definitive findings of the ROM influence in the classroom inconclusive. It could be reasonably argued that not enough data was available to make a conclusive judgment on the full impact of the ROM curricula option in the classroom. A triangulation of the statistical data and the review of literature also revealed a possible connection and explanation for the lack of significant differences between schools that utilize the ROM curriculum in the classroom in relationship to the schools that do not utilize the ROM curriculum, i.e., the non-ROM schools. The research which has supported this study has found that student academic success in relation to the curriculum in the classroom is not an automatic result of implementing new curriculum designs in the classroom. The findings in this study related to research questions 1-4 support Michael Fullan’s assessment regarding curricular change and impact on a school and district. Although research questions 1 – 4, indicate that the null hypothesis is not rejected; these findings do not discredit or invalidate the worth of the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy or the CSCOPETM

213 model for curricular instruction. In fact, this study supports Fullan’s research on change theory and sustainability in education. True curricular change requires years of sustainable growth possible only when a strong and substantial foundation for learning is established. This research has shown that the foundation for the CSCOPETM model is based on strong, principled, research and reflects the constructivist approach to learning and academic achievement as mirrored in the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy. Fullan states that sustained and measurable academic growth can be obtained when utilizing strong, researched based curricula, but that educational leaders must take a strong and principled approach to implementing their chosen curriculum model and philosophy over a committed and extended period of time. Educational and community leaders must evaluate the process and progress of learning in the classroom. The implementation dip diagram below is an example of a realistic expectation model that shows how sustained and expected growth can occur in a district or educational classroom setting. Change is necessary for our schools to stay relevant; however, the process can be seen as initially self-defeating. However, educators who choose to commit to sound educational practices and researched-based curriculum models can expect positive and sustained potential growth and academic achievement for their student body populations.

214 Figure 4.13 The Implementation Dip

http://www.dangerouslyirrelevant.org/2007/07/implementation-.html

The CSCOPETM model in its present form is only three years old. The newness of this curriculum model indicates that significant academic growth will not occur overnight. Educators who choose this model and commit to implementing the model in the classroom are supported by research studies and academicians such as Michael Fullan who has stated that positive change can occur when implementing a new curriculum model or learning tool in the classroom if educators will simply “stay the course” (Fullan 2004). Conclusion Two Question five addressed the issue of what capacity teachers were operating in their classrooms as ROM schools. This question of the study is important in that teachers who understand and are committed to a curriculum philosophy in the classroom are more likely to work towards mastering the tenets of the curriculum and applying the curriculum philosophy more enthusiastically and energetically in the classroom. The

215 Teacher Curricula Perceptions Instrument utilized in this study show that teachers agree with the principles of symbolics; disagree with empirics, and agree that esthetics synnoetics, and synoptics are integral components of a successful curriculum model in the classroom. They strongly agree that ethics is an important component of a strong curriculum model. The Realms of Meaning philosophy incorporates these attributes in the curriculum. It can be noted that these philosophies are also reflected in the CSCOPETM curriculum model. By affirming the importance of five of the six areas of ROM curriculum philosophy, these teachers have initiated the process of capacity building which gives teachers ownership of the curriculum and allows teachers to build and develop their own professional skills and teaching talents through the nature and scope of the curriculum. According to Fullan’s research, the depth of capacity building indicators in a school is indicative of the long-term success and viability of academic progress and therefore a substantial foundation for academic change and student success. Conclusion Three Question six looked at the degree to which teachers understood the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy structures and framework. The results of this study indicate that teachers agree that (1) the curriculum for general education should include the scope of the curriculum; (2) they strongly agree in the logic of sequence of studies; (3) they agree that the use of disciplines is important to the curriculum; and (4) agree that representative ideas and (5) methods of inquiry are important aspects of the curriculum model they utilize in the classroom. Once again, Fullan’s study indicates that for a curriculum to be successfully implemented in a district, teachers must understand the underlying rationale and principles involved in the curriculum. This study has shown that

216 teachers have a firm grasp of the Realms philosophy and therefore have a substantial educational foundation to build upon for sustained and measurable academic growth in the classroom. Conclusion Four Question seven examined the perceptions of teachers on the benefits and risks of implementing the CSCOPETM curriculum model in the classroom. Through a triangulation of the literature and a review of the findings, the following conclusions were made regarding teachers perceptions of the benefits and risks of the curriculum. The emergent themes of the risks involved in this study are as follows: (1) curriculum too narrow in focus and scope, (2) lack of creativity and teacher autonomy, (3) pacing, (4) not enough activities to meet the needs of special populations which included special education students, limited English proficient (LEP) students, and the more accelerated needs of the gifted and talent student population, (5) teachers felt the curriculum encouraged a lack of accountability from both students and teachers utilizing this model, (6) teachers also noted “gaps” in the curriculum in that they felt that not all material was covered appropriately and aligned properly within the district, and (7) teachers felt that management was “forcing” the curriculum on them and that if they did not measure up with the new curriculum model they would be reprimanded or blamed for lack of student improvement and achievement in the classroom. To address the risks expressed by the teacher, research has shown that an integrated curriculum model will allow a greater depth and meaningful dialogue between teachers and students in classroom instruction: “Deep understanding occurs when the presence of new information prompts the emergence or enhancement of cognitive

217 structures that enable us to rethink our prior ideas” (Brooks and Brooks, 1999, p. 15). By adhering to the constructivist framework provided both in the ROM curriculum philosophy and the CSCOPETM curriculum model, the curriculum base will broaden and provide the needed depth of understanding and curriculum knowledge necessary to effectively teach the student body population. The CSCOPE’sTM design flexibility allows curriculum writers to improve upon the curriculum instantaneously through the use of computer technology and infusion of new academic components and additions as deemed appropriate. As the curriculum develops, the state director has stated that the writers and distributors of this program are committed to improving and strengthening the curriculum in order to better meet the needs of all constituents. Continuance of the constructivist principles in the curriculum design will help to ensure that the educators concerns regarding the benefits and risks of this model can be more fully addressed. Teachers’ responses to this portion of the study show how the Realms of Meaning (ROM) curriculum philosophy provides structure and guidance to the everyday needs and nuances of curriculum program development and implementation. By exploring the six realms of meaning, the entire range of possible meaning and curriculum knowledge can be acknowledged and perpetuated in a general framework of curriculum efficacy and knowledge. Implications It is recognized today “that knowledge does not belong to specialists alone, but that, through general education, understanding of a high order can and should be available to everyone” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. v). It is important that in these challenging times, the curriculum is not watered-down and geared to the lowest common denominator

218 for student achievement and success. Instead, educators should seek to challenge students to master challenging and rigorous course material as adhered to in the ROM curriculum philosophy. Students should be provided a rigorous curriculum with consistent alignment throughout the grades levels and a definitive plan of instruction and delivery. As this study indicates, implementing a curriculum utilizing the philosophical framework based on the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning curriculum model has the potential to bring about measurable and sustained student academic growth and achievement in the education process. At the core of this study, the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy has examined, reviewed, and triangulated researched material through an extensive review of literature, statistical tests, and studies to see if utilizing the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy can impact student academic learning and achievement. The sample size of this population was limited to 11th grade students in the public school setting who participated in the 2008 administration of the exit level TAKSTM test. It should be noted that while this research reviewed this sample population, the CSCOPETM curriculum model and therefore the ROM curriculum philosophy has been utilized across the state of Texas in growing and increasing numbers over the past three years throughout all grade levels. The researcher met with CSCOPE’sTM state director in Austin, Texas to discuss a wide range of topics in regards to the development, implementation, and vision for the CSCOPETM curriculum in Texas. According to the director, CSCOPETM in its present form has only been available for a total of three years. At the time of our interview, April 2008, the CSCOPETM distribution sites had increased from the original ten ESC sites which had been

219 operational at the beginning of this study, to a total of 13 ESC distribution support sites in Texas. In addition, he stated that at the time of our interview there was a least one school in every ESC district which had purchased the CSCOPETM curriculum model for one or more schools in their district. The director cautioned me that they did not require full compliance to their curriculum model when purchased by other districts. Therefore, it was acknowledged that not all schools in this study would be utilizing the CSCOPETM model to the same degree and therefore this could be one of the reasons why there appeared to be no significant difference between schools that utilized the CSCOPETM, ROM curriculum philosophy and those non-ROM schools which did not adhere to this philosophy. This disparity in usage can also indicate that the quantitative portion of this study is inconclusive in that the availability of data to significantly test the academic achievement of the 11th grade students in the subject areas of math, English language arts, science, and social studies was not available due to the newness of the tested curriculum model. Revisions are ongoing to meet the increasing demand and popularity of this new curriculum model. Periodic updates through e-mail communications on the progress and development of the CSCOPETM program are sent regularly to CSCOPETM subscribers. A recent state conference generated over 1,000 statewide participants and attendees which support the fact that educational leaders, supervisors, and educational leaders are supporting this program. These educational leaders who have supported their administrators, teachers, and other school leaders to participate in this conference shows that statewide curriculum leaders have committed to this program and are willing follow

220 Michael’s Fullan’s guidelines in “persistence and flexibility for staying the course” (Fullan, 2006, pp. 8-11). The impact of the effects of a particular curriculum model or philosophy can more fully be ascertained by analyzing multiple years of implementation which will allow future researchers to monitor the growth and success of this program. While some teachers have applauded the structure of the Realms philosophy implemented through the CSCOPETM curriculum model, others have found that this curriculum model is not effective in their personal classroom and school districts. However, this diversity of opinion can be expected. The rigor of this curriculum model requires a high degree of professionalism and intellectual integrity and commitment. However, those educators who are willing to stay the course and commit to a sound structure of learning and academic excellence in the curriculum will find that, as Fullan’s educational research indicates, this researched based curriculum philosophy can provide the impetus for positive academic change and growth in any school regardless of size, population, or socio-economic status. The Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy provides a viable framework for choosing a curriculum and utilizing its philosophies to build upon the curriculum to enhance student learning and academic achievement. This philosophy provides a springboard for aligning the curriculum that when implemented in the classroom will provide to both faculty and staff a theoretical framework and structure from which to generate sustained student academic achievement and measurable academic improvement in the classroom.

221 The ROM curriculum philosophy, evidenced in practicality through the CSCOPETM curriculum model, shows great promise in incorporating higher levels of student academic achievement and success in the classroom. According to the Realms philosophy, “knowledge can be derived from a variety of sources. However, knowledge has permanent value leading to greater meaning and greater understanding when drawn from the fundamental disciplines as exemplified in the realms of meaning” (Kritsonis, 2007, ix). The ROM curriculum philosophy, evidenced in practicality through the CSCOPETM curriculum model, shows great promise in incorporating higher levels of student academic achievement and success in the classroom utilizing a heuristic study for of the curriculum. As this study shows, implementing a curriculum utilizing the philosophical framework based on the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning curriculum model has the potential to bring about measurable and sustained student academic growth and achievement in the education process. This study has provided a benchmark for further studies that can focus on student improvement and academic achievement based on the sustained use of a ROM curriculum philosophy in the classroom. A growing body of research alludes to the importance of generating a sustainable curriculum model and learning paradigm that will guide educators in presenting the vast and growing field of knowledge to students in a way that challenges students to integrate their knowledge and apply their learning opportunities to real world situations and life strategies. While educators look for effective ways to teach and educate their students, the renewed interest in curriculum structure and presentation has afforded the opportunity for researchers to test what

222 curriculum models and philosophies show the greatest potential for increasing student learning and academic achievement. In the quest for qualifying and constructing the curriculum in a way that enhances the student’s ability to grasp higher and more challenging concepts, this research has shown that providing a framework for learning that challenges students and allows for a greater growth in academic achievement and success can provide a foundation for learning that can be built upon to provide sustainable growth and future academic achievement and success Fenwick English has stated that the Realms of Meaning remains a provocative model that continues to nourish and stimulate thinking about what is important in creating coherency and purpose in general education settings. It is not the answer, but is an answer to some of the most pressing curricular issues today, not the least of which are the pressures of national curricular content standards and new forms of national assessment. (English, as cited in Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning, 2007, p. vi) Knowledge and the pursuit of wisdom are attributes of successful and productive individuals in our society. Therefore, understanding curriculum philosophy and its impact on student learning and academic achievement is an important aspect of all planning and research for student academic success. As this study has shown, academic change is not an overnight sensation, but a journey towards a long and committed path of structured learning and academic discipline. Those who seek to learn, to teach, and to do will ultimately find that a structured curriculum model as found in the Ways of Knowing

223 through the Realms of Meaning is an integral and viable philosophy upon which knowledge, learning, and wisdom skills can be obtained. In conclusion, the six realms of meaning explore the full range of meaning and knowledge in the curriculum. The realms then can be regarded as being foundational to all basic competencies in the general education curriculum. In addition, the Realms philosophy offers a structure and guide for the competencies needed to live a full and complete life. In the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy, the attributes of a complete person are outlined, and thus the foundational scope and sequence of all learning and knowledge mastery are articulated: A complete person should be skilled in the use of speech, symbol, and gesture (symbolics), factually well informed (empirics), capable of creating and appreciating objects of esthetic significance (esthetics), endowed with a rich and disciplined life in relation to self and others (synnoetics), able to make wise decisions and to judge between right and wrong (ethics), and possessed of an integral outlook (synoptics) (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 15). These aims are based on the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning, a philosophy for choosing the curriculum to support and enhance deep learning and critical thinking in the educational programs of students and adults who desire to know and study on a deeper and more prolific level of learning. To those who ascertain to know truth and to study critically, this study has revealed how a framework for learning and the acquisition of knowledge can be structured and applied in the classroom. As King Solomon sought to uncover the mysteries of the world, students in today’s academic and

224 educational communities can seek to know and explore the thresholds of knowledge “that people may know skillful and godly wisdom and instruction; discern, and comprehend the words of understanding and insight, receive instruction in wise dealing and the discipline of wise thoughtfulness, righteousness, justice, and integrity” (Proverbs 1:1-3). Inherent in these basic philosophies is an affirmation of how knowledge depth and understanding can benefit the whole person in all learning and educational pursuits. Meaningful approaches to education will utilize a holistic curriculum framework which will help engender academic achievement and meaning in the classroom. The Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning supports utilizing this framework for learning and utilizes the ROM philosophy to engender “the aims of general education for the development of the whole persons” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 1). Recommendations for Practical Implementations of this Study As Michael Fullan’s research has pointed out, significant and long-lasting change is not an overnight or easy process and endeavor. To effectually work towards making significant strides in helping our students learn more effectively and to be able to utilize this knowledge in an integrated and in-depth manner, a long term solution and plan is needed to implement the philosophical and structural philosophies of the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy in the classroom setting. The following practical suggestions for implementation of the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy based on the findings are as follows. Recommendation One The findings of this study are in line with the most current research studies and findings regarding student academic achievement and the curriculum. While we do not

225 reject the null hypothesis for research questions 1 - 4, a foundation has been laid for strong curricular change in that the participating teachers have exhibited a strong capacity for understanding the Realms philosophy and therefore through further professional development and professional academic support, have shown their aptitude and willingness to commit to long time proactive intervention and persevere and “stay the course” (Ful1an, 2006, 8-11). Districts implementing the CSCOPETM curriculum model utilizing the ROM philosophy in the classroom should continue utilizing this curriculum based on Fullan’s research which states it takes at least 3 to 6 years to fully implement curricula academic change. (Fullan, 2006, 8-11) Recommendation Two Educators and curriculum leaders should increase the utilization of the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy in the classroom and in the curriculum structure. Through utilizing the ROM curriculum philosophy in the classroom, many of the everyday practical applications of the CSCOPETM model could be improved by implementing the ROM curriculum philosophy more fully into the program. For example, a major risk enumerated consistently within the responses found in the Teacher Curricula Perceptions Instrument was that the CSCOPETM impeded teacher creativity in the classroom. Teachers saw the loss of creativity has stifling and as an endangerment to their professional pedagogical practices in the classroom and ability to meet the needs of their students in creative and effective teaching strategies. The Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy addresses this issue through the implementation of the esthetics Realms of Meaning in

226 the overall creative process. Teachers who fully understand the Realms model will be able to integrate a high degree of professional and effective teaching practices in the classroom while at the same time integrating creativity and artistic components in the curriculum that will elevate and strengthen their academic presentations to their students. Recommendation Three Teachers should be allowed to have professional input into curricular decisions made at the high school level. In this study, responses included teacher participants who believed that the new curriculum was being forced upon them without their consent, approval, or buy-in to the new curriculum philosophy and framework. Teachers who do not feel their values or input is important to school administrative leaders may feel alienated from the educational process and therefore potentially hamper the successful implementation of any new curriculum and will not allow the new curriculum to be implemented to its highest and best potential in the classroom. Recommendation Four Teacher training and professional development activities should include how to incorporate curriculum philosophies and strategies in the curriculum based on curricular philosophies such as the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning. When utilizing the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy in the classroom, teachers should be fully instructed on the Realms philosophy and its thorough and practical framework for enhancing student learning and academic achievement in the classroom. Once teachers are thoroughly familiar with the Realms philosophy and how it impacts student learning and the curriculum, professional development activities can be developed that will allow teachers to share with their peers

227 and educational administrators how the Realms philosophy is beneficial to their overall teaching strategies and enhancement of learning opportunities for students in their classroom. This recommendation is supported by Fullan’s moral purpose in education (California News Report, 2004). Educational leaders should enact a moral purpose in their leadership to allow “precision, professional learning, and personalization” (Crevola, Hill, & Fullan, 2006, p. 1). Recommendation Five Once a curriculum has been chosen for implementation, educators should be encouraged to “stay the course” (Fullan, 2006, pp. 8-11) and work towards long term solutions and results utilizing the curriculum chosen. When a sound curriculum philosophy has been introduced into a school classroom or district, immediate and dramatic results should not be expected in the first few years of the implementation process. While progress can be seen on individual and selected areas of subject matter progress, as a whole, a district must commit to the faithful and sustained implementation of the curriculum program process selected for the district. As Michael Fullan’s research has stated, the Change Theory model suggests that it can take as long as three to six years for sustained, deep, and significant educational growth to be realized within a school or district. (Fullan, 2006) Recommendation Six Educators should incorporate the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning in undergraduate and graduate level teacher preparation programs. Teachers will ultimately implement change in the classroom; therefore, teacher colleges and university must implement a curriculum philosophy in their classrooms which teach

228 the teachers how to recognize, direct, and implement a sustained and integrated approach of learning to the classroom. Recommendation Seven Educational leaders should continue research on the effectiveness of utilizing the ROM curriculum philosophy in the classroom. Through scholarly discourse and continued research, a deeper understanding of the effect of curriculum design and implementation can be facilitated through new published articles, journals, and textbooks. Scholarly research can facilitate new guidelines for teacher training and guide principals, educators, and other administrators to implement and choose a curriculum model best suited to the learning needs and aptitudes of each leader’s educational sphere of influence. Recommendation Eight Educational leaders should write and publish material on the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy that will enhance student learning, teacher productivity, and academic administrative leadership qualities and outcomes in the classroom. Academic and scholarly journals and articles based on best practice studies and current research such as found in “Educational Leadership Directives: Analyzing the Effect of an Integrated Curriculum Model on Student Academic Achievement Based on the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning” can inform and educate teachers on the multi-faceted layers of student learning, achievement, and academic success.

229 Recommendations for Future Research Based on the results of this study, the researcher recommends the following suggestions for further study in the following categories. Pre-School and Elementary Recommendations for Future Research 1. A study could be conducted that investigates how the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning curriculum model is utilized in the Montessori curriculum and how this utilization affects student learning for pre-school and elementary school students. 2. A study could be conducted that analyzes the symbolics realm and its relationship to the teaching of reading and math at the pre-school and elementary grade levels. Middle School and High School Recommendations for Future Research 1. A study could be conducted that analyzes the effect that the integration of the esthetics realm and the empirics realm have on student academic achievement. 2. A study could be conducted that analyzes the effect of an integrated social studies curriculum based on the synoptics realm of the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning. Special Populations Recommendations for Research Based on the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning Curriculum Philosophy 1. A study could be conducted that evaluates the effects a Realms curriculum model has on the learning and academic achievement of special needs students. 2. A study could be conducted analyzing the effect of a Realms curriculum model

230 on student learning with English language learners in the areas of science and math. 3. A study could be conducted that analyzes the effect an integrated curriculum philosophy has on the academic achievement of gifted and talented students over a sustained three year time period. College and University Recommendations for Future Research Study 1. A study could be conducted that analyzes the effect of implementing the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy in the academic curriculum of remedial learners in math and reading remedial courses on the freshman and sophomore college levels. 2. A study could be conducted that analyzes the effects of implementing the Ways of Knowing Through the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy in freshman English classes to enhance and improve academic writing skills at the college level.

231 REFERENCES Botstein, L. (2006).The trouble with high school. The School Administrator. 16-19. Breaden, M. (2008). English language learners. Education Week. 5 Brooks, J.G., & Brooks, M.G. (1999). In search of understanding: The case for constructivist classrooms. Alexandria: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Brown v. Board of Educ. 347 U.S. 483 (1954) Bruner, Jerome. The Process of Education. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1977. Carroll, L. (1994). The complete works of Lewis Carroll. New York, NY: Barnes and Noble. Crevola, Carmel, Peter Hill, and Michael Fullan. "Critical learning instruction path: Assessment for learning in action." Orbit 2006: 10-14. Print. Dougherty, C. (2005). English, F.W., & Steffy, B. E. (2001). Deep curriculum alignment: Creating a level playing field for all children on high-stakes tests of educational accountability. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Education. English, F. W. (2003). The postmodern challenge to the theory and practice of educational administration. Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas Publisher, LTD. Fraenkel, J.R., & Wallen, N.E. (2006). How to design and evaluate research in education. Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill. Fullan, Michael. "Change theory: A force for school improvement." Centre for Strategic Education Seminar Series Paper No. 157(2006): 1-13.

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Fullan, Michael. "The Moral Imperative.” California Curriculum News Report. 2004. Gardner, D. (Ed.). (1983). A nation at risk: The imperative for educational reform. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Gardner, H. (2004). Frames of mind: The theory of multiple intelligences. New York, NY: Basic Books. Gay, L. & Airasian, P. (2003). Educational research: Competencies for analysis and applications. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Merrill Prentice Hall. Henney, J. (2006). Teacher leaders at work: Analyzing standardized achievement data to improve instruction. Education Around the World. 126, 729-737. Isaac, S., & Michael, W. (1997). Handbook in research and evaluation. San Diego: EDITS/Educational and Industrial Testing Services. Just for Kids. Identifying and studying high-performing schools. 1, [1-24]. Kritsonis, W. A. (2002). William Kritsonis, PhD on schooling: Historical, philosophical, contemporary events and milestones. Ohio, TX: Book Masters, Inc. Kritsonis, W. A. (2007). Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning. Houston, TX: National Forum Journals. Kritsonis, W. A., Griffith, K.G., Marshall, R.L. , Herrington, D., Hughes, T.A. & Brown, V.E. (2008). Practical applications of educational research and basic statistics. Houston, TX: National Forum Journals. Leitch, V. B. (2001). The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. Magee, B. (2001). The story of philosophy. New York: DK Publishing.

233 Marzano, R. (2003). What works in schools: Translating research into action. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Marzano, R. (2004). Building background knowledge for academic achievement: Research on what works in schools. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Mooney, C.G. (2000). Theories of childhood: An introduction to Dewey, Montessori, Erikson, Piaget & Vygotsky. St. Paul, MN: Redleaf Press. No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 PL 107-110 (NCLB). (2001). Retrieved - January 8, 2007, from http://www.ed.gov/policy/elsec/leg/esea02/index.html Ornstein, A., & Hunkins, F. (2004). Curriculum foundations, principles, and issues. Boston: Pearson Allyn & Bacon. Peck & Scarpetti, 2005, p. 7 Petersen, G. & Young, M. (2004). The No Child Left Behind Act and its influence on current and future district leaders. Journal of Law and Education. 33, 343-363. Rand, A. (1964). The virtues of selfishness. New York, NY: New American Library. Sengalese B.D., (2008, June 8) Conservationist, Posted Quotation – Moody Gardens, Galveston. Senge, P., Cambron-McCabe, N., Lucas T., Smith B., Dutton J. & Kleinar, A. (2000). Schools that learn: A fifth discipline field book for educators, parents, and everyone who cares about education. Sirkin, R. M. (2006). Statistics for the social sciences. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Sousa, D.A. (2006). How the arts develop the young brain. The School Administrator, 26 – 31

234 Spatz, C. (2001). Basic statistics: Tales of distributions. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thompson Learning. Sunderman, G., Orfield, G., & Kim, J. The principals denied by NCLB are central to visionary school reform. Education Digest, 72, Retrieved August 12, 2007, from http//eddigest.com. Sylvester, R. (2006). Texas Education Agency. The School Administrator: Cognitive Neuroscience Discoveries and Educational Practices Retrieved August 6, 2008, from http://tea.state.tx.us Texas Education Agency Website, tea.state.tx.us Texas Education Agency (TEA) (2001). TAKS Test Development and Implementation [Brochure]. Austin, TX: Texas Education Agency, Retrieved September 15, 2008, http://www.tea.state.tx.us/student.assessment/resources/techdig02/chap18.pdf pp. 93, 94, 96 Texas Education Code: 79th Legislative Session, (2005). Texas education code chapters 1 through 46. Denton, TX: Rogers Publishing and Consulting, Inc. Texas Education Service Center Curriculum Collaborative (TESCCC) , (2008). CSCOPE. Retrieved August 15, 2008, from Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment web site: http://cscope.us/ Texas Senate Bill 103 Vanderark, T. (2006). High challenge, high support. The School Administrator, Retrieved August 15, 2006, from http://Vaderark@gatesfoundation.org Wiggins, G. & McTighe, J. (2005) Understanding by design. Alexandria: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

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APPENDICES

236

APPENDIX A TEACHER CURRICULA PERCEPTIONS INSTRUMENT

237

Teacher Curricula Perceptions Instrument
Based on the Curriculum Philosophy Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning
The Realms of Meaning Curriculum Model is a Parallel Curriculum Model with the CSCOPE Model of Curriculum and Instruction
Questions or comments regarding this instrument may be directed to Marcia Shelton, Prairie View A & M Research and Development at 936-261-1588,

238 mcshelton@pvamu.edu or William Allan Kritsonis, PhD, Dissertation Chair at 936-2613652, wakritsonis@pvamu.edu.

239

Teacher Curricula Perceptions Instrument
Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning Realms of Meaning (ROM) Understanding Part A
Teacher Instructions: The Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning Curriculum model is built on a philosophical, researched based structure for the curriculum. CSCOPETM utilizes the same philosophies, therefore, CSCOPETM can be said to be a Realms of Meaning (ROM) curriculum model. Part A is based on actual curriculum wording of the ROM curriculum model, yet still is highly related to the intuitiveness and curriculum philosophy of CSCOPETM. Utilizing your knowledge of the Realms of Meaning curriculum model, good teaching practices, rate each of the statements according to the closest association of your knowledge and understanding of sound researched practices and the ROM curriculum model as reflected in your expertise and experience with CSCOPETM. To understand the dialogue in Part A, the following definitions might be helpful to you while you are responding to each statement. The Six Realms of Meaning 1. Symbolics: “The first realm, symbolics, comprises ordinary language, mathematics, and various types of non-discursive symbolic forms, such as gestures, rituals, rhythmic patterns, and the like. These meanings are contained in arbitrary symbolic structures, with socially accepted rules of formation and transformation, created as instruments for the expression and communication of any meaning whatsoever” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 11). 2. Empirics: “The second realm, empirics, includes the sciences of the physical world, of living things, and of man” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 12). 3. Esthetics: “The third realm, esthetics, contains the various arts, such as music, the visual arts, the arts of movement, and literature. Meanings in this realm are concerned with the contemplative perception of particular significant things as unique objectifications of ideated subjectivities” Kritsonis, 2007, p. 12). 4. Synnoetics: “The fourth realm, synnoetics, embraces what Michael Polanyi calls “personal knowledge” and Martin Buber the “I-Thou” relation. Synnoetics signifies “relational insight” or “direct awareness.” It is analogous in the sphere of knowing to sympathy in the sphere of feeling. This personal or relational

240 knowledge is concrete, direct, and existential. It may apply to other persons, to oneself, or even to things” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 12). 5. Ethics: “The fifth realm, ethics, includes moral meanings that express obligation rather than fact, perceptual form, or awareness of relation. In contrast to the science, which are concerned with abstract cognitive understanding ,to the arts, which express idealized esthetic perceptions, and to personal knowledge, which reflects intersubjective understanding, morality, morality has to do with personal conduct that is based on free, responsible, deliberate decision” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 13). 6. Synoptics: The sixth realm, synoptics, refers to meanings that are comprehensively integrative. This realm includes history, religion, and philosophy. These disciplines combine empirical, esthetic, and synnoetic meanings into coherent wholes. Historical interpretation comprises and artful recreation of the past, in obedience to factual evidence, for the purpose of revealing what man by his deliberate choices has made of himself within the context of his given circumstances” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 13).

241

Teacher Curricula Perceptions Instrument
Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning Realms of Meaning (ROM) Understanding Part A
Symbolics-Ordinary Language, Mathematics, and Symbolic Forms
1. 2. The test of a person’s knowledge of a language is whether or not he can use it. 0 1 2 3 4 Don’t Know Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree The uses of ordinary language are largely practical. 0 Don’t Know 3. 1 Strongly Disagree 2 Disagree 3 4 Agree Strongly Agree

“Knowing a language is not the same as “knowing about language.” 0 Don’t Know 1 Strongly Disagree 2 Disagree 3 4 Agree Strongly Agree

4.

Mathematical symbolisms are essentially theoretical. 0 Don’t Know 1 Strongly Disagree 2 Disagree 3 4 Agree Strongly Agree

5.

The student of mathematics can be said to know mathematically only if he understands and can articulate reasons for each assertion he makes. 0 Don’t Know 1 Strongly Disagree 2 Disagree 3 4 Agree Strongly Agree

242

Empirics: Sciences of the Physical World, Living Things, and Man
1. Empirical meanings require ordinary language and mathematics for their expression. 0 Don’t Know 2. 1 Strongly Disagree 2 Disagree 3 4 Agree Strongly Agree

Science, or systemic empirical inquiry, is concerned with matters of fact, not with symbolic conventions. 0 Don’t Know 1 Strongly Disagree 2 Disagree 3 4 Agree Strongly Agree

3.

Science is characterized by descriptions that are essentially abstract. 0 Don’t Know 1 Strongly Disagree 2 Disagree 3 4 Agree Strongly Agree

Esthetics: Arts, Music, Visual Arts, Arts of Movement, and Literature
1. The power of the esthetic work is to create delight in the observer. 0 Don’t Know 2. 1 Strongly Disagree 2 Disagree 3 4 Agree Strongly Agree

The artist’s problem is to use materials to express an esthetic idea to achieve certain perceptual effects. 0 Don’t Know 1 Strongly Disagree 2 Disagree 3 4 Agree Strongly Agree

3.

The arts of movement are the foundation for the earnings that take place under the heading of physical education. This also includes health, recreation, and physical education. 0 Don’t Know 1 Strongly Disagree 2 Disagree 3 4 Agree Strongly Agree

243

4.

The fundamental concept of the arts of movement is the organize unity of the person. 0 Don’t Know 1 Strongly Disagree 2 Disagree 3 4 Agree Strongly Agree

5.

The arts of movement are the source of esthetic meanings in which the inner lives of persons are objectified through significant dynamic forums using the human body as the instrument. 0 1 2 3 4 Don’t Know Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree The central fact is that the objects of knowledge in the art of literature are particular verbal patterns designed to serve specific literary purposes. 0 Don’t Know 1 Strongly Disagree 2 Disagree 3 4 Agree Strongly Agree

6.

Synnoetics: Personal Knowledge
1. Synnoetic meanings require engagement. 0 Don’t Know 2. 1 Strongly Disagree 2 Disagree 3 4 Agree Strongly Agree

Synnoetic meanings relate subject to subjects. 0 Don’t Know 1 Strongly Disagree 2 Disagree 3 4 Agree Strongly Agree

Ethics: Moral Knowledge
1. The essence of ethical meanings, or of moral knowledge, is right deliberate action, that is, what a person ought voluntarily to do. 0 1 2 3 4 Don’t Know Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree The realm of ethics is right action. The central concept in this domain is obligation of what ought to be done. 0 1 2 3 4 Don’t Know Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree

2.

244

Synoptics: Religion
1. The content of religious meanings may be anything at all provided it is regarded from an ultimate perspective. 0 1 2 3 4 Don’t Know Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree In the religious sphere, the basis of understanding is said to be faith. 0 1 2 3 4 Don’t Know Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree The person of faith believes God is the Source of all beauty. 0 Don’t Know 4. 1 Strongly Disagree 2 Disagree 3 4 Agree Strongly Agree

2.

3.

Religious realms incorporate all the realms of meaning. 0 Don’t Know 1 Strongly Disagree 2 Disagree 3 4 Agree Strongly Agree

Synoptics: Philosophy
1. The distinctive feature of philosophy is the interpretation of meanings. 0 Don’t Know 2. 1 Strongly Disagree 2 Disagree 3 4 Agree Strongly Agree

Philosophers seek to construct a synoptic view of the entire range of experiences. 0 Don’t Know 1 Strongly Disagree 2 Disagree 3 4 Agree Strongly Agree

3.

Philosophy is devoted to the interpretation of the fundamental patters in the realms of meaning. 0 Don’t Know 1 Strongly Disagree 2 Disagree 3 4 Agree Strongly Agree

245 4. One can regard the objects of nature as objects to be used and consumed. 0 Don’t Know 1 Strongly Disagree 2 Disagree 3 4 Agree Strongly Agree

Synoptics- History
1. Personal engagement is required to understand history. 0 1 2 3 4 Don’t Know Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree History is the study of what human beings have deliberately done in the past. 0 Don’t Know 1 Strongly Disagree 2 Disagree 3 4 Agree Strongly Agree

2.

246

Teacher Curricula Perceptions Instrument
Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning Realms of Meaning (ROM) Curriculum Philosophy Part B
Teacher Instructions: The Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning Curriculum model is built on a philosophical, researched base structure for the curriculum. CSCOPETM utilizes the same philosophies, therefore, CSCOPE TM can be said to be Realms of Meaning (ROM) curriculum model. Part B is highly related to the structure and research framework of the curriculum. Material for this portion is taken direction from the ROM curriculum model but is highly related to the intuitiveness and curriculum philosophy of CSCOPE TM. Therefore, utilizing your knowledge of classroom curriculum, students learning, and good teaching practices, rate each of the statements according to your knowledge and understanding of sound researched practices and the ROM curriculum model as reflected in your expertise and experience with CSCOPE TM.

247

Teacher Curricula Perceptions Instrument
Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning Realms of Meaning(ROM) Curriculum Philosophy

Part B
The Logic of Sequence in the Studies
1. History requires a knowledge of symbols, empirical data, dramatic methods, decision, making, and moral judgments to be welded together into a reenactment of the past. 0 Don’t Know 2. 1 Strongly Disagree 2 Disagree 3 4 Agree Strongly Agree

Philosophy requires a comprehensive world of meanings to analyze, evaluate, and synthesize. 0 Don’t Know 1 Strongly Disagree 2 Disagree 3 4 Agree Strongly Agree

3.

Since there is no limit to what can be learned in any realm, it is impossible to complete one kind of study before starting the next. 0 Don’t Know 1 Strongly Disagree 2 Disagree 3 4 Agree Strongly Agree

4.

All that logic requires is that enough learning take place in one subject to enable work to precede in other subjects at are logically dependent on it. 0 Don’t Know 1 Strongly Disagree 2 Disagree 3 4 Agree Strongly Agree

5.

The ideal curriculum is one in which the maximum coherence is achieved and segmentation is minimized. 0 Don’t Know 1 Strongly Disagree 2 Disagree 3 4 Agree Strongly Agree

248 6. The optimum curriculum for general education consists in all six realms of meaning. 0 Don’t Know 1 Strongly Disagree 2 Disagree 3 4 Agree Strongly Agree

The Scope of the Curriculum
1. The course of study should maximize meanings. 0 Don’t Know 2. 1 Strongly Disagree 2 Disagree 3 4 Agree Strongly Agree

The curriculum should provide for learning in all six realms of meaning. 0 Don’t Know 1 Strongly Disagree 2 Disagree 3 4 Agree Strongly Agree

3.

Six realms of meaning are required if a person is to achieve the highest excellence. 0 Don’t Know 1 Strongly Disagree 2 Disagree 3 4 Agree Strongly Agree

4.

Specialized study is requisite for the common good in a complex civilization. 0 Don’t Know 1 Strongly Disagree 2 Disagree 3 4 Agree Strongly Agree

5.

Effective curricula needs to be designed to take into account each person’s aptitudes and enthusiasms. 0 Don’t Know 1 Strongly Disagree 2 Disagree 3 4 Agree Strongly Agree

6.

All six fundamental realms of meaning provide a program for the curriculum of general education in schools. 0 Don’t Know 1 Strongly Disagree 2 Disagree 3 4 Agree Strongly Agree

7.

No one curriculum is the best for all people and for every culture and situation. 0 1 2 3 4

249 Don’t Know 8. Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree

Understanding learning theories and the psychology for learning are important attributes to student understanding and knowledge. 0 Don’t Know 1 Strongly Disagree 2 Disagree 3 4 Agree Strongly Agree

The Use of the Disciplines
1. The educator must select qualitatively the most significant materials from the totality of what is known. 0 Don’t Know 2. 1 Strongly Disagree 2 Disagree 3 4 Agree Strongly Agree

Interdependence of specialists is the basis for the advancement of all knowledge and skill. 0 Don’t Know 1 Strongly Disagree 2 Disagree 3 4 Agree Strongly Agree

3.

An organized field of inquiry, pursued by a particular group of men in knowledge may be called a scholarly discipline. 0 Don’t Know 1 Strongly Disagree 2 Disagree 3 4 Agree Strongly Agree

4.

The men of knowledge within the disciplines comprise public communities of scholars. 0 Don’t Know 1 Strongly Disagree 2 Disagree 3 4 Agree Strongly Agree

5.

All material should come from the disciplines. 0 Don’t Know 1 Strongly Disagree 2 Disagree 3 4 Agree Strongly Agree

250 6. The principle of disciplined understanding is the foundation for general education-the proper content of general education is authentic disciplined knowledge. 0 Don’t Know 7. 1 Strongly Disagree 2 Disagree 3 4 Agree Strongly Agree

The teacher is a humanizer of knowledge. 0 Don’t Know 1 Strongly Disagree 2 Disagree 3 4 Agree Strongly Agree

8.

A discipline is a field of inquiry wherein learning has been achieved in a productive way. 0 Don’t Know 1 Strongly Disagree 2 Disagree 3 4 Agree Strongly Agree

9.

Every discipline is a pattern of investigation for the growth of understanding. 0 Don’t Know 1 Strongly Disagree 2 Disagree 3 4 Agree Strongly Agree

10.

Understanding the disciplines is essential to good teaching. 0 Don’t Know 1 Strongly Disagree 2 Disagree 3 4 Agree Strongly Agree

11.

Many clues to effective teaching and learning are found within the disciplines themselves. 0 Don’t Know 1 Strongly Disagree 2 Disagree 3 4 Agree Strongly Agree

12.

It is positive to use the knowledge from the disciplines in connection with studies that cut across several disciplines. 0 Don’t Know 1 Strongly Disagree 2 Disagree 3 4 Agree Strongly Agree

13.

Every discipline is to some degree integrative in nature. 0 Don’t Know 1 Strongly Disagree 2 Disagree 3 4 Agree Strongly Agree

251 14. No one plan is best for every teacher and for all students in all situations. 0 Don’t Know 15. 1 Strongly Disagree 2 Disagree 3 4 Agree Strongly Agree

What is taught should just be drawn from the scholarly disciplines. 0 Don’t Know 1 Strongly Disagree 2 Disagree 3 4 Agree Strongly Agree

Representative Ideals
1. Content should be chosen to exemplify the representative ideas of the disciplines. 0 Don’t Know 2. 1 Strongly Disagree 2 Disagree 3 4 Agree Strongly Agree

The task of the specialist or expert is to work out patterns of representative ideas within the disciplines. 0 Don’t Know 1 Strongly Disagree 2 Disagree 3 4 Agree Strongly Agree

3.

Teaching first the representative ideas would be a mistake. 0 Don’t Know 1 Strongly Disagree 2 Disagree 3 4 Agree Strongly Agree

4.

The aim of teaching is comprehensive understanding. 0 Don’t Know 1 Strongly Disagree 2 Disagree 3 4 Agree Strongly Agree

5.

A student taught by the use of representative ideas understands meaningfully. 0 1 2 3 4 Don’t Know Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree

252

Methods of Inquiry
1. Materials should be selected so as to exemplify the methods of inquiry in the disciplines. 0 Don’t Know 2. 1 Strongly Disagree 2 Disagree 3 4 Agree Strongly Agree

Understanding of methods overcomes cynicism because it provides clear means for the acquisition of understanding. 0 Don’t Know 1 Strongly Disagree 2 Disagree 3 4 Agree Strongly Agree

3.

Methods are unifying elements in a discipline, binding them together. 0 1 2 3 4 Don’t Know Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree Understanding methods helps solve the problem of surge I knowledge. 0 Don’t Know 1 Strongly Disagree 2 Disagree 3 4 Agree Strongly Agree

4.

5.

Methods are ways of learning. 0 Don’t Know 1 Strongly Disagree 2 Disagree 3 4 Agree Strongly Agree

6.

Methods of inquiry by experts in a discipline provide a pattern to be imitated by the teacher and student in general education at all levels. 0 Don’t Know 1 Strongly Disagree 2 Disagree 3 4 Agree Strongly Agree

All statements are taken directly from the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning curriculum guide. References Kritsonis, W.A. (2007). Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning. Houston, TX: National Forum Journals

253 Dear Teachers: Your opinion and experience is a valued component of this study. Please answer the following questions regarding your opinion and experiences with the CSCOPE TM (ROM) curriculum in your classroom. 1. What are the perceptions of classroom teachers of the CSCOPE TM (ROM) curriculum in the classroom?

2.

What are the benefits of using the CSCOPE TM (ROM) curriculum in the classroom?

3.

What are the risks of using the CSCOPE TM (ROM) curriculum in the classroom?

254

APPENDIX B LETTER TO DISTRICT SUPERINTENDENTS

255 Debbie Watkins
540 Hickory Creek Rd. - Bellville, TX 77418 Fax: (979) 865-4563(979) 865-4562 (home) – (979)220-8869 (cell) dwat@academicplanet.com

Dear Superintendent: I am a doctoral student at Prairie View A & M University and will be conducting research on the effect of the curriculum on student academic achievement using the CSCOPE TM model and the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy as the basis for my study. The name of my study is: Educational Leadership Directives: Analyzing the Effect of an Integrated Curriculum Model on Student Academic Achievement Based on the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning. Knowing that student academic achievement is the number one goal of all districts and school campuses in our state and throughout our nation, I have chosen to research the effect of an integrated curriculum model on student learning. I will be utilizing extant data from the Texas Education Agency (TEA) website on school exit level Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) scores of schools that utilize the CSCOPE TM model within their district in that the CSCOPE TM model is parallel and in line with the philosophy of the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy. In addition, I will seek input from junior level core subject area teachers who utilize the CSCOPE TM curriculum model in their classroom to complete a confidential survey and a confidential demographic information sheet. To begin this study, the

Institutional Review Board (IRB) has requested that I have permission from the school superintendent to contact the junior level teachers on his or her high school campus in regards to participation for this study. Please check the appropriate box and return this completed form by fax. With your permission I will then contact the high school campus in order to invite the 11th core discipline teachers to be a part of this study by simply completing a confidential survey and confidential demographic survey. If you need further information, please feel free to contact me at anytime. FAX NUMBER: 979-865-4563 Cell: 979-220-8869 Home: 979-865-4562 ______ Yes, you may contact the 11th grade core discipline teachers (English language arts, science, history, and social studies) in order to invite their participation in completing a confidential survey and confidential demographic information sheet. _______ No, I do not give permission for the 11th grade core discipline teachers to be invited to be a part of this study. Signed:_______________________________________ _______________ Superintendent Name District Date Signed:_______________________________ Contact Number:_______________
Thank you for your consideration and participation. Debbie Watkins, M.Ed. Doctoral Student, Educational Leadership, Prairie View A & M University
Questions or comments regarding this instrument may be directed to Marcia Shelton, Prairie View A & M Research and Development at 936-261-1588, mcshelton@pvamu.edu or William Allan Kritsonis, PhD, Dissertation Chair at 936-261-3652, wakritsonis@pvamu.edu.

256

APPENDIX C COVER LETTER TO CAMPUS ADMINISTRATOR

257

Debbie Watkins
540 Hickory Creek Rd. Bellville, TX 77418 (979) 865-4562 (home) – (979)220-8869 (cell) Dear Campus Administrator: I have received permission from your district superintendent to invite your 11th grade teachers to participate in a study regarding student academic achievement and a combined structure of curriculum philosophy based on the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning and the application of this philosophy to the CSCOPE TM curriculum model. The qualitative portion of this research study involves the voluntary participation of junior level 11th grade teachers who specifically teach a CSCOPE TM course area which includes mathematics, English Language Arts, science, and social studies. Thank you for your help in distributing the teacher research packets to teachers in your district who are currently using the CSCOPE TM curriculum (to any degree) and teach 11th grade core classes. The four research envelopes can be distributed at your discretion based on the number of teachers you have in each 11th grade subject area, not exceeding four teacher participants. Teachers can return the completed instruments in the self-addressedstamped envelope provided. It would be extremely helpful if the participating teachers could return these instruments in the accompanying envelopes by Tuesday, February 24, 2009. If this is not possible, returning by their earliest possible time frame would be greatly appreciated. I will send a small token of appreciation to each participant once I receive their completed Teacher Demographic Profile and Teacher Curricula Perceptions Instrument in the mail. If you have further questions or concerns, please contact me regarding this study. Respectfully submitted,

Debbie Watkins, M.Ed.
Educational Leadership Prairie View A & M University Questions or comments regarding this instrument may be directed to Marcia Shelton, PhD, Prairie View A & M Research and Development at 936-261-1588, mcshelton@pvamu.edu or William Allan Kritsonis, PhD, Dissertation Chair at 936-261-3652, wakritsonis@pvamu.edu.

258

APPENDIX D COVER LETTER TO TEACHERS

259

Debbie Watkins
540 Hickory Creek Rd. - Bellville, TX 77418 Fax: (979) 865-4563 (979) 865-4562 (home) – (979) 220-8869 (cell) dwat@academicplanet.com

Dear High School Exit-Level Professional Educator: You are being asked to participate in an important research study based on the effect of a curriculum philosophy and curriculum model based on CSCOPE TM and your participation (in any degree) with this model in the classroom. If you agree to participate, simply complete the Teacher Demographic Profile and the Teacher Curricula Perceptions Instrument and return in the self-addressed envelope. By participating in this study, your opinion will help to provide researched based data that will help to facilitate and strengthen student learning and academic achievement in the classroom. Each participant of this study will receive a certificate of participation for your own academic portfolio and professional career growth and learning. Upon receipt of the completed instrument, you will receive the certificate and a small token of appreciation for your participation in this study. Findings of this study will be available upon request after the study has been completed. Your participation is completely voluntary and confidential. If you have questions regarding this study, please feel free to contact me at any of the above numbers or e-mail address. Your participation is greatly appreciated! Respectfully submitted,

Debbie Watkins, M.Ed.
Doctoral Student, Educational Leadership Prairie View A& M University

Questions or comments regarding this instrument may be directed to Marcia Shelton, Prairie View A & M Research and Development at 936-261-1588, mcshelton@pvamu.edu or William Allan Kritsonis, PhD, Dissertation Chair at

260 936-261-3652, wakritsonis@pvamu.edu.

261

APPENDIX E DEMOGRAPHIC TEACHER PROFILE AND TEACHER RESPONSE INSTRUMENT

262

Demographic Teacher Profile
Confidential Directions: Please answer the following questions regarding your teaching experience, expertise and knowledge regarding the CSCOPETM curriculum model. All Demographic Teacher Profile instruments are confidential. The information below is for statistical purposes only.

1.

How many years have you been in the teaching profession?

2.

What CSCOPETM curriculum subject area are you involved in?

3.

How many years have you worked with the CSCOPETM curriculum model?

4.

What educational degree(s) and teaching certifications do you hold in the state of Texas?

Questions or comments regarding this instrument may be directed to Marcia Shelton, Prairie View A & M Research and Development at 936-261-1588, mcshelton@pvamu.edu or William Allan Kritsonis, PhD, Dissertation Chair at 936-2613652, wakritsonis@pvamu.edu.

263 Dear Teachers: Your opinion and experience is a valued component of this study. Please answer the following questions regarding your opinion and experiences with the CSCOPETM (ROM) curriculum in your classroom. 1. What are the perceptions of classroom teachers of the CSCOPE TM (ROM) curriculum in the classroom?

2.

What are the benefits of using the CSCOPETM (ROM) curriculum in the classroom?

3.

What are the risks of using the CSCOPE TM (ROM) curriculum in the classroom?

264

APPENDIX F NOTICE OF SECOND OPPORTUNITY FOR TEACHER PARTICIPATION

265

Debbie Watkins
540 Hickory Creek Rd. Bellville, TX 77418 (979) 865-4562 (home) – (979)220-8869 (cell)

Notice of Second Opportunity

Dear Principal and Administrator: Thank you for your help in distributing the research instruments, “Teacher Curriculum Perceptions Instrument” and the “Teacher Demographic Profile.” The instruments I have received have helped to facilitate a deeper and more meaningful study in regards to academic curriculum models and student success. If any of your teachers would still like to participate in this study but were not able to complete the instruments when they were first received may complete and send to me to be included in this study. Best wishes in all of your academic endeavors,

Debbie Watkins, M.Ed.
Educational Leadership Prairie View A & M University Questions or comments regarding this instrument may be directed to Marcia Shelton, PhD, Prairie View A & M Research and Development at 936-261-1588, mcshelton@pvamu.edu or William Allan Kritsonis, PhD, Dissertation Chair at 936-261-3652, wakritsonis@pvamu.edu.

266

APPENDIX G CERTIFICATE OF PARTICIPATION

267

Academic Research Contributor

Your Contributions to Educational Research through Your Participation in the Qualitative Portion of the Following Doctoral Study for Academic Research and Learning is Greatly Appreciated.

Educational Leadership Directives: Analyzing the Effect of an Integrated Curriculum Model on Student Academic Achievement Based on the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning
Thank You for Your Time and Participation in This Study!

Debbie Watkins, Doctoral Candidate Educational Leadership - Prairie View A & M University Spring 2009

268

VITA
DEBRA DENISE WATKINS
540 Hickory Creek Rd Bellville, TX 77418 dwat@academicplanet.com EDUCATIONAL HISTORY Prairie View A & M University, Prairie View, TX PhD in Educational Leadership, 2009 Prairie View A & M University, Prairie View, TX M.Ed. in Educational Administration, 2003 University of Houston - Victoria, Victoria, TX B.A. in Humanities, 1997 CERTIFICATIONS Administrative Certification: English as a Second Language: Principal: Grades EC through Grade 12 Teaching Certification – Grades PK - 12

English Language Arts and Reading: Grades 8 – 12 Generic Special Education: EMPLOYMENT HISTORY 2009 – 2010 - Wharton County Junior College Houston Community College Lone Star College Cyfair University of Phoenix 2005 – 2010 – Brazos ISD Adjunct Professor Adjunct Professor Adjunct Professor Adjunct Mentorship Grades PK – 12

Special Education Department Chair Dual Credit English, ESL Instructional Leader, Resource English Teacher Special Education/Dyslexia Teacher Resource English – Grades 9-12 Special Education Teacher Resource English - Grades 9-12

2005 – 2005 – Waller ISD 1999 – 2002 Brazos ISD

269 Content Mastery - Grades 9-12 1998 – 1999 - Columbus ISD VAC Coordinator/Behavior Management

1997 – 1998 - Weimar ISD/Columbus ISD Supervising Life Skills Teacher

Publications Watkins, D. & Kritsonis, W. (2006) Developing a Curriculum for At Risk and Low Performing High School Students: Teaching Shakespeare to At-Risk Youth Utilizing the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning. National FORUM of Educational Administration and Supervision Journal Watkins, D. & Kritsonis, W. (2007) “National Focus: Enhancing Student Achievement and Teacher Efficacy Through Effective Grant Writing and Creative Instructional Programming” Lamar University Electronic Journal of Student Research Volume 6, Fall 2007 Watkins, D. & Kritsonis, W. (2007) “Atlas Shrugged by Ayan Rand: A Comparative Epistemological Philosophical Perspective Based on the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning by William A. Kritsonis, PhD” DOCTORAL FORUM - National Journal for Publishing and Mentoring Doctoral Student Research – ISBN – 1559 Vol. 5, No. 1, 2008 Watkins, D. & Kritsonis, W. (2007) “Postmodern Approach to Affecting Change in Special Education” National Forum of Teacher Education Journal Vol. 16, Number 1 & 2, 2007-2008 (pp. 20-35) Watkins, D. & Kritsonis, W. “Aristotle, philosophy, and the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning: A National Study on Integrating a Postmodernist Approach to Education and Student Achievement” (ERIC Index: ED499545)