Debra Watkins, Dissertation, Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Dissertation Chair, PVAMU/Member of the Texas A&M University System

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Debra Watkins, Dissertation, Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Dissertation Chair, PVAMU/Member of the Texas A&M University System

Debra Watkins, Dissertation, Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Dissertation Chair, PVAMU/Member of the Texas A&M University System

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  • 1. EFFECTS OF AN INTEGRATED CURRICULUM MODEL 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 reflectionof the directionless Cheshire cat who seems to believe that no matter which direction youchoose, you will always arrive at an appropriate destination. For the Cheshire cat thiswas sufficient; however, for educators this philosophy applied to education is not enough.Analogous to Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland, educational leaders must have adefinitive understanding of the purpose of education and a clear plan and educationaldirective on best practice methods for the academic classroom. Without a directed set ofacademic purposes, goals, and objectives, the educational system will emerge into ameaningless metaphor of repetitive exercises, rote assignments, and memorization tasksthat do not tie into any interaction, assimilation, or understanding of the real everydayworld in which the students live. Through an understanding of how students cansuccessfully be engaged in the learning process, educators can enable their classroomprodigies to be productive and successful students in the classroom.
  • 2. 2Purposeful Education Educational leaders must have a purposeful, educational goal in teachingAmerica’s youth that will fortify sound judgment, independent thinking, and a programof learning that will encourage analytical thinking and real-world applications to thelearning process. There must be a sound curriculum philosophy in place to facilitate aframework and structure for learning that will enable students from all backgrounds andlearning abilities to have the opportunity to learn purposefully and meaningfully in orderto reach their highest and best potential. While many curriculum philosophies exist,determining which philosophy and structure will best suit the academic needs of aparticular district or school is left to the judgment of school leaders which may include acombination of the elected school board, district and campus administrators, andprofessional educators in the classroom. It is important that each generation be allowed to receive and gain the knowledgenecessary to participate in a democratic and free society. Teaching students to synthesizeknowledge and apply their findings to real-world problems and scenarios is critical toboth personal and professional success in the students’ lives. The ability to see the endresults, goals, and destinations for educationally reforming programs is a criticalcomponent of academic leadership and change within the educational community.Proverbs 29:18, states that “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Vision istherefore an important component of learning and the educational process. Schoolleaders must be focused and visionary in the development of goals and objectives in theeducational process. Ayn Rand has stated that “throughout the centuries there were menwho took first steps down new roads armed with nothing but their own vision” (Rand,
  • 3. 31964, p. 64). Visionary pioneers, especially those involved in education, can pave theway for dramatic and effective change in the educational system. History has shown thatwithout a strong vision of outcome related goals for a curriculum, the effectiveness andbenefits of a curriculum model will not meet the expectations or goals a district sets forits students personal and cooperative academic achievements.Curriculum Choice: Guidelines and Objectives Choosing a curriculum that will nourish and intellectually challenge a diverse andever changing school population is a challenging and daunting task. Educational leadersmust ensure that what is being taught in the classroom will sufficiently prepare theirstudents to succeed academically and to think critically across the boundaries of allsubject areas. While a case can be made for the effectiveness and practice of sound andcreative pedagogy classroom techniques, the ultimate test for a school or district is toassess whether or not students are learning and being successful in the mastery ofacademic subject matter and classroom requirements. The responsibility for ensuring that all students achieve their maximum academicpotential 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 mustbe 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 boardrooms of America’s corporations and finally to the schools and classrooms across ournation, what our students achieve in the school setting is paramount to the safety, wellbeing, and economic freedoms currently enjoyed in our free and democratic society. A
  • 4. 4thorough understanding of what is taught in the classroom and why it is taught isfundamental to the overall well being of our entire educational system. Especially in thearea of state and federal accountability, “the heavy emphasis on testing andaccountability has refocused attention on underperforming subgroups but also has createdincentives that drive curriculum and instruction in the classroom” (Sunderman, Orfield &Kim, 2006, p. 20). The new accountability standards require that what is taught in theclassroom be logically integrated into verifiable results such as reflected on achievementand accountability tests measured by the Texas Academic Knowledge and Skills(TAKSTM) test administered annually in Texas state schools. The emphasis of highstudent achievement and accountability made by state and national legislators highlightsthe importance of the curriculum. To meet the challenges and goals mandated bygovernment officials, a sound curriculum philosophy must be embraced in order tochoose 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 leadersand workforce. However, “the American high school is an anachronism. The currentAmerican high school system fails in satisfying the demands placed upon it by all sectorsof American society in all classes, regions, and ethnicities” (Botstein, 2006, p. 16).Emerging technologies, world wide communications, and the sophistication of a newgeneration require that educators meet the challenge of effectively educating thisgeneration to ensure that real learning and academic achievement occurs in theschool setting.
  • 5. 5 How and what students are taught in the classroom should be considered as thenumber one priority for today’s school leaders and school systems. Based on the currentchallenges faced by educators who must support and implement a curriculum model, it isevident that our educational system is in need of revitalization. The academic standardsand 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 alevel conducive with the requirements and demands of a global, 21st century workingenvironment. Without a strong and educated populace, our nation’s strength and politicalvirility will be endangered. Educators who are cognizant of the worth and value of astrong, substantive education must ensure that true learning and content mastery of thecurriculum is achieved and prioritized in the classroom. Those who succeed in learningwill ultimately have the tools and knowledge needed to successfully compete and work inthe 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 thepillars of democracy and freedom. If our schools, in particular our high schools, are notable to compete academically in a global market, the reality is sinking in: “Our nation’soutdated high school expectations jeopardize our future” (Vanderark, 2006, p. 34). Acknowledging the fact that curriculum plays a major role in student academicachievement, there is a need to address the foundational core and fortress of all studentlearning, 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. 6accomplished, the issue of concern and statement of the problem to be addressed in thisstudy can be articulated as follows: “Is there a difference in student academicachievement based on the type of curriculum model used in the school setting to preparestudents for academic achievement and success?” Research Questions The focus of this study was to determine if there was a difference in academicachievement between schools which utilize a Realms of Meaning (ROM) curriculumphilosophy based on an integrated curriculum model as compared to those schools whichdo not utilize a ROM curriculum philosophy in the classroom. In addition a qualitativeportion of this study was also implemented which analyzed the perceptions of teachers onthe overall perceptions, risks, and benefits of teachers who utilize the CSCOPETMcurriculum model, a curriculum model which exhibits similar characteristics andphilosophies as the ROM curriculum philosophy, in the classroom. Schools which havebeen identified as those schools whose curriculum model exhibits a Realms of Meaningcurriculum philosophy have been designated as Realms of Meaning (ROM) schools.Schools whose curriculum models have not been identified as exhibiting characteristicsof the ROM curriculum philosophy were designated as non-Realms of Meaning (non-ROM) schools. This research has been guided by the following quantitative andqualitative research questions and null hypotheses.Quantitative Research Questions1. 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. 72. 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 QuestionsThis 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 onethrough 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. 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 awareof how curriculum models and curricular philosophies affect student academicachievement. Using this central idea as the context for this investigation, the rationale forthis study was based on the premise that a curriculum philosophy based on the Ways ofKnowing through the Realms of Meaning leads to an integrated curriculum which leads tostudent academic achievement. In line with the specific goals and educational directivesof any organization, any successful curriculum model must “deepen insight intorelationships, and to counteract the provincialism of customary existence-in short, to
  • 9. 9engender a meaningful integrated outlook” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 5). Therefore, thepurpose of this study was to analyze the effect on an integrated curriculum model onstudent academic achievement based on the Ways of Knowing through the Realms ofMeaning. The components of this study were four-fold and included the followingobjectives : (1) to identify schools that are Realms of Meaning schools, (2) to discover ifstudent achievement is impacted because of the school’s status as a Realms of Meaningschool, (3) to understand the perceptions of classroom teachers and educational leaderson their view of the effectiveness of the Realms of Meaning curriculum model in theclassroom, and (4) to understand the benefits and/or risks of implementing the Realms ofMeaning curriculum model in the classroom. Significance of the Study The importance of this study lies in the fact that by understanding the similaritiesand differences of student academic achievement in relationship to the effectiveness ofthe curriculum model used in the classroom, educational leaders will be able to utilize thefindings of this study to aid in the determination of the type of curriculum model thatyields 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 schoolsor broadly as experiences that individuals require for full and authentic participation insociety, there is no denying that curriculum affects us all, both those within the field, theeducators and curricularists of various stripes, and those in the general society” (Ornstein& Hunkins, 2004, p. 1). As educational and psychological researchers seek to uncoverthe mysteries of learning and student success, studies such as “Educational leadership
  • 10. 10directives: Analyzing the effect of an integrated curriculum model on student academicachievement based on the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning” canultimately add to the body of knowledge of student achievement and success and providecreative answers and program opportunities for educational communities and schooldistricts 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 Waysof Knowing through the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy, students have theopportunity to incorporate learning and demonstrate academic achievement and masteryin required subject matter presented in a more holistic, viable, and challenging manner.This study will be particularly important for colleges and universities in that howcurriculum choice is taught in teacher preparation programs will structure the educationalphilosophies for teacher leaders and future administrators for generations to come. Inaddition, school districts will benefit from this research in that they will have theopportunity to utilize this study to make sound and reliable researched based decisionsregarding a district’s selection and implementation of the curriculum. This study is also important because of the high accountability placed oneducational institutions in regards to how students learn and achieve. Nationally, one ofthe most significant forms of federal accountability has been developed and outlined by
  • 11. 11federally mandated goals and accountability standards through the No Child Left BehindAct 2001 (NCLB). Educators are faced with going beyond the previous prescriptivecurriculum frameworks in order to strengthen and deepen a student’s ability to achieveand academically succeed. Therefore, understanding how the curriculum affects studentlearning is paramount in the discussion and study of factors which influence and createlearning opportunities and meaningful educational paradigms for students. In Texas, accountability for learning has been defined through the administrationand 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 instrumentsthat define a school’s excellence (in regards to student achievement) and/or the lack ofsuch progress. The TAKSTM test determines not only a school’s academic rating andstanding in the state, but also whether or not a general education student will ultimatelybe able to complete his or her education by graduating from high school. Knowing howto prepare students for the level and depth of learning necessary to do well on this test iscritical not only to Texas school districts and local campuses, but also to future nationalacademic studies and research projects that seek to find better ways to acclimate studentachievement and success. To engender this high level of learning expectation, Kritsonishas stated that the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy is significant to teachers inthat 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 artsand sciences, and other professional workers in education . . . this
  • 12. 12will have something to offer any person, in formal education oroutside of it, who seeks perspective on knowledge in the modern world andwho is in search of order and meaning in his own life. (Kritsonis, 2007,p. xi) By analyzing an orderly and systematic approach to education, this studyperpetuates the assumption that not only students will benefit from the application ofthese strategies, but teachers and administrators will also benefit from a structuredlearning environment and curriculum that provides an educational framework for learningthat stimulates student learning and academic success. A major facet of the importance of this study lies in the fact that the research andresults of this investigation will be able to contribute to the national body of literature andresearch that seeks to expand the rigor and relevance of curriculum implementation to allschools and academic classrooms. The outcome of this study will potentially have farreaching effects in that school leaders operating on the national, district, and campuslevels will have data based research to guide district and campus decision makers on themost appropriate curriculum and learning models to use on their campuses. Through this study, school districts will be able to make intelligent decisions onthe most effective curriculum models that can best enhance and provide effective learningopportunities for all students. Findings from this investigative study will also add to theliterature on curriculum implementation and delivery. The research conclusions of thisstudy will provide a basis for others who may choose to research or study the impacts ofcurriculum on a student’s learning and overall academic achievement and success inother grade levels, subject areas, or teaching environments.
  • 13. 13 AssumptionsThe 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 administered to 11th grade students in Texas classrooms in thesubject 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.9. The participant’s responses in this study will be accurately coded. Limitations of the Study
  • 14. 14 Limitations of the study will include the following observations and expectations.These limitations were considered in conducting this research and in analyzing the finalresults 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.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.
  • 15. 157. 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. 16 Definition of Terms To facilitate a better understanding of the terms utilized in this study, thefollowing definitions are provided to provide a deeper understanding of the meanings ofterms 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. 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. 18standardized 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 εϖεν 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. 19understanding – “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 ofthe problem, and an overview of the study. A comprehensive review of the literature ispresented and discussed in Chapter II. Chapter III consists of the data collectionmethods, procedures, protocols, instrumentation, and data analysis necessary to completethis study. Chapter IV reports on the findings of the study and includes the quantitativeand qualitative results of the study. Chapter V offers a summary of the findings andconclusions generated through this study. Recommendations for future studies are alsoincluded in this chapter.
  • 20. 20 CHAPTER II REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE Overview The world we now live in has changed dramatically from the world of ourgrandfathers and great grandfathers from times past: “Unlike the industrial age, the 21stcentury requires all workers to master skills our schools previously considered necessaryonly 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 solverswith a solid foundation in basic skills” (Vanderark, 2006, p. 24). Our current educationalsystem 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 highschools 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 needa 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 soundstructure and framework for learning. This framework can be found in the selection andimplementation of a rigorous and effective model for curriculum and curriculum study.Curriculum, therefore, becomes the central component of all educational work andactivity 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 andconcerns 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. 21core of all educational discourse regarding educational philosophy, curriculum, and thelearning process. To understand where we are going in the educational process, it is important tonote where we have been. Understanding the development of our current educationalsystem can help educational leaders and providers learn from both the failures andsuccesses of past generations in order to design and implement a framework for learningthat will enhance student academic achievement in the classroom. Historical Foundations of Learning Knowledge, education, and the application of learning have been fundamental tothe well-being of not only our students, but also our own democracy as well. Our nationhas been founded upon the premise that “education is the cornerstone to life anddemocracy and is purposeful in that it is the means of perpetuating culture fromgeneration to generation” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 5). History has recorded that as early as theage 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 thegoals of “political enlightenment, common values, and loyalties [and] job skills”(Kritsonis, 2002, p. 25). Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States andauthor of the Declaration of Independence, “laid the foundation for public education inthe United States with the introduction of his ‘Bill for the More General Diffusion ofKnowledge’ ”(Kritsonis, 2002, p 29). This bill laid the foundation for providingfundamental 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. 22educators would need to be cognizant of the fact that there would be diverse learners inthe classroom; therefore, new strategies and curriculum models would be needed to meetthe demands of the new federal mandates for public education. The development of a curriculum model and learning system became morepronounced as educators, government leaders, and researchers saw the need to establish amore pertinent and well-rounded curriculum model designed to meet the needs of boththe participating students and their communities. After World War I, the NationalEducation Association’s Commission on the Reorganization of Secondary Education in1918 issued its own report emphasizing the need for “(1) health (2) command offundamental processes (3) worthy home membership (4) vocational education (5) civiceducation, (and) (6) worthy use of leisure and ethical character” (Ornstein & Hunkins,2004, p. 274). This early 20th century outline prescribed a formula for learning thatemphasized the learning needs and values of students attending America’s classroom inthe midst of traumatic world wide events and universal changes within the boundaries ofthe United States itself. After World War I and following the Great Depression, the “Purpose ofEducation in American Democracy” report was introduced that challenged schools toencourage “inquiry, mental capabilities, speech, reading, writing, numbers, sight andhearing, health knowledge, health habits, public health, recreation, intellectual interests,aesthetic interests, and character formation” (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2004, p. 275). In1944, at the close of World War II, educational goals were concerned about “democracyand 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. 23responded to the educational challenges and needs of their constituents based on theworld environment and the needs of the nation for a literate, educated, and informedpopulace. Educators, politicians, and civic leaders continued to write legislation and newreforms to upgrade the quality of education and the benefits to the students involved inthe process. The infamous Brown vs. Board of Education, Topeka Kansas, 347 U.S. 4831954 ruling “declared separate inherently unequal and mandated school desegregation”(Kritsonis, 2002, p. 26). Providing equality in education was a significant step towardsequalizing and improving the nation’s overall educational programs and goals. Sputnik was a major turning point in U.S. educational policies and discourse. Theimpetus for this reform was the Soviet Union’s successful launch of an artificial satelliteinto orbit. The American competitive spirit did not want its nation to be left behind in thescientific and cultural revolution underway because of new and growing technologies inthe world market. Renewed interest in higher level thinking skills and applicationabilities directly resulted in America’s desire to compete effectively in the global worldmarket. Almost three decades after Sputnik another report surfaced challenging theefficacy and effectiveness of America’s schools and educational systems. In one of themost disturbing reports here to date relating to the condition of the American educationalschool system, A Nation at Risk (1983) shocked both the political, educational, andgeneral citizenry of this country regarding the state of America’s educational schools andacademic institutions. Based on the fact that our nation was falling behind in educationalleadership, the commission offered strong directives to the nation on how to implement
  • 24. 24effective change in the nation’s schools and educational economy. The nation respondedby challenging schools to have a more rigorous and dynamic curriculum, especially in theareas of mathematics and science. Major changes were directed toward the structure ofthe curriculum emphasizing the fact that curriculum is a major component of all learningand academic achievement and success. One of the most recent federal legislative reform efforts in place has been enactedin the form of the No Child Left Behind Act (2001). This act set high accountabilitystandards for all schools ensuring that the academic needs of all students weresufficiently addressed. In Texas, this standard is being actualized through theadministration of a state developed achievement test currently known as the TexasAssessment of Knowledge and SkillsTM (TAKSTM) test. This test is administeredthroughout the state and measures the academic progress of students, schools, anddistricts in regards to academic achievement and student success. Administrators,curriculum leaders, and other appointed professionals then use this data to developprograms and curriculum models that will help to facilitate student success and learning.Curriculum is therefore an important component to all learning and student academicachievement. Based on new accountability demands, many educators and law makers haveinitiated a thrust towards higher accountability standards and have mandated thateducators provide a rigorous and effective curriculum model in the classroom. Byrequiring more of students and educators, lawmakers contend that students will be moreacademically challenged and able to make greater strides in their learning and academiccareers.
  • 25. 25 Examining the Need for a Rigorous and Effective Curriculum Model At the crux of all educational discourse is the foundational question of whatshould encompass the amount and type of knowledge our students should be required toknow and articulate. Educators should reflect upon the foundational and philosophicalquestion: “What is education and how do we know that we have achieved our goalsregarding educational success and academic achievement?” Past generations havestruggled with this same philosophical question and have had to make decisions based ontheir own current research models and critical needs assessments for their owngeneration. 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 fertilizers, and blue jeans did earlier. If only to keep and improve on 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 studieson the state of education throughout the United States and the world: “According to theNational Center for Education Statistics (2003), every day from September to June some53.5 million students in the United States walk into classes that teach English,mathematics, science, history, and geography and face the daunting task of learning newcontent” (Marzano, 2004, p. 1). Educators must ask, “Are the students enrolled in oureducational systems truly learning or merely gaining certificates of attendance without
  • 26. 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 inthe information age we are entering” (Gardner, 1983, p. 2). Students emerging from ourhigh school campuses will need to be well versed and proficient in the knowledge andneeds of an inter-connected society and ever increasing competitive workplace. Mandatessuch as those formulated in the NCLB act specifically charge administrators to takeresponsibility and action in regards to the implementation and supervision of an effectivecurriculum model: “Many of NCLB’s provisions have important implications for
  • 27. 27principals” (Sunderman et al., p. 24). Principals will be held responsible for studentachievement. Therefore, expectations for high student achievement have challengedschool leaders to re-evaluate the curriculum used in the classroom: “The heavy emphasison testing and accountability has refocused attention on underperforming subgroups butalso has created incentives that drive curriculum and instruction in the classroom”(Sunderman et al., p. 20). These incentives for mastery can stimulate an administrator’sresolve 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 tohelp 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 teachersmust work towards meeting the needs of the academic classroom and set primary goals forstudent learning and achievement. For educational administrators, a pivotal place to beginchange is at the core and heart of curriculum selection and implementation. The rationalefor beginning change with the curriculum is important in that the curriculum forms thebasis of a student’s learning capabilities and is foundational to the knowledge that thestudent 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. 28education is to widen one’s view of life, to deepen insight into relationships, and tocounteract the provincialism of customary existence - in short, to engender a meaningfulintegrated outlook” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 5). Without thoughtful attention to what is beingtaught and how it is being comprehended by the student, the goals for student academicachievement and success will produce inadequate and disappointing results. In the questfor creating and leading more effective schools, educational leadership is paramount tothe success of any future educational developments or implemented curriculum models inthe classroom.The Superintendent’s Role in Curriculum Selection The chief executive officer of a school district is the superintendent. It is thesuperintendent who will ultimately decide what curriculum philosophy will be utilized inthe classroom. By definition, a superintendent is an educational leader who not onlypromotes the success of all students by facilitating the design and implementation ofcurricula 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. Increasedaccountability from NCLB “requires district administrators to have an increasedphilosophical and technical expertise in curriculum scope, sequence, and alignment”(Petersen & Young, 2004, p. 351). A superintendent must also have the expertise to
  • 29. 29effectively ensure that the learning programs in place are the most effective programs forhis or her district.The Principal’s Role as Curriculum Leader The campus principal also shares responsibility on how students performacademically and fare on state and local academic achievement tests. Historically, theprincipal has always been considered the educational and curriculum leader of the schooland now joins forces with the leadership from the office of the school superintendent.While both groups must work congruously with each other and collaborate effectivelywithin their own domains of power and influence, it is necessary that all educationalleaders have a firm grasp of curriculum theory, implementation, and outcomemeasurement classroom strategies. Today “given the national and state standards movement and the need to upgradethe curriculum to meet these standards, the school principal’s attention has increasinglyfocused on curriculum, especially aligning curriculum to state standards and high-stakestests” (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2004, p. 25). With this objective in mind, it is clear that animportant role of the educational leader is to facilitate curriculum leadership through theoversight and implementation of effective goals, strategies, evaluation, and assessmenttechniques. The implications for meeting the current academic and curriculum demandsplaced on educational districts and communities “have important implications forprincipals” (Sunderman et al., 2006, p. 21). How well students perform in the classroomultimately affects the perceptions of how well a principal or other educational leader ismanaging his or her school district: “Principals should carefully consider how test-basedaccountability affects the educational process” (Sunderman, et. al, p. 24). This is
  • 30. 30important not only to the students participating in the educational process, but also hassupreme importance in the overall stability and academic ratings of the districts that areserved through a principal’s leadership: “Principals are in a position to evaluate thesuccess of their current reform program and encourage the continuation of those that areworking while discouraging practices that disrupt good reform programs alreadyunderway” (Sunderman et al., p. 24). The principal’s role as curriculum leader requirethat as the campus administrator, he or she must be knowledgeable and up-to-date on thelatest educational trends and research in curriculum development and implementation inthe classroom. Keeping abreast of the latest educational trends and academic researchwill help to ensure that the most effective curriculum framework philosophies andprograms are available to classroom teachers for direct implementation into classroomstudies 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 thateducational leaders receive their working orders from federal, state, and local laws thatgovern how their schools, districts, and realms of influence should be established. Onesuch 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 academicachievement for all students. In an effort to inspire and direct student learning on the federal level, the NCLB2001 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. 31performance in the classroom, it is evident that the law has not been able to address intotality 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 teacherswill 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 thathave been mandated by NCLB, but left without any concrete or solidified directive onhow 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 hasprompted educational leaders to review the fundamental basis of learning strategies andparadigms in order to meet the vigorous, new requirements that new governmentlegislation has proposed. What to teach and how to teach the knowledge required for aneducated populace becomes of extreme importance in the educational discussionregarding student achievement and success. Education’s Responsibility: Accountability and Viability Despite a long and even distinguished attempt by past generations to facilitate aneffective model and framework for student academic achievement, today’s schools arefaced with significant challenges in educating America’s youth. Addressing the newrealities of student needs, demographics, and educational prowess requires thatdiscriminating educational leaders look forward to the future and relinquish past attemptsto coordinate educational strategies not working in today’s highly sophisticated andtechnical educational society: “If schools do not find new ways to engage their attention,
  • 32. 32adolescents will continue to be distracted (and) lose crucial years for intellectualdevelopment” (Botstein, 2006, p. 16). Schools therefore need to employ rigorous andrelevant demands and opportunities in the curriculum and educational process. Whileeducators will usually agree that there is need for significant change in the educationalcommitments to our students, how to enact that change seems unclear. The one fact thatdoes draw educational researchers and leaders together is the fact that today’s studentsare exposed to an information age never experienced anytime before in history. Students“communicate with the wider world in ways and at speeds heretofore wereinconceivable” (Botstein, 2006, p. 16). In today’s society “adolescents have a freedom ofmovement we associate with adulthood. The fashion and entertainment industries, eversensitive to social change, have come to regard adolescents as consumers on par withadults” (Botstein, 2006, p. 16). While the marketplace recognizes the new sophisticationof the young, high school student, many schools have not tapped into the realities of theeducational 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 isnecessary to evaluate the strategies being utilized in the classroom for their effectivenessand productivity in the classroom. Standardized testing is one assessment model fortesting academic achievement and is a common venue to assess student academicachievement and success. Standardized tests can measure student academic achievement;however, this should not be the only resource for evaluation. Although the era of studentaccountability has encouraged a mentality of teaching towards a specific test ofaccountability, it is important to note that “high school principals and superintendents
  • 33. 33must be less deferential to standardized tests and more activist in promoting other waysof evaluating learning” (Botstein, 2006, p. 18). If we fail to meet the academic needs ofour students, high school will be “a wasted opportunity to challenge the intellectualfaculties of adolescents. If schools do not find new ways to engage their attention,adolescents who continue to be distracted and lose crucial years for intellectualdevelopment” (Botstein, 2006, p. 16). Therefore, the need for utilizing a strongcurriculum in the classroom becomes paramount in facilitating a framework for studentacademic achievement that will guide and direct effective learning in the classroom. Ininitiating and directing educational frameworks for structure and curricula used in theclassroom, it is important that the focus of all educational endeavors, especially that ofchoosing the curriculum, be focused on the academic needs and achievement of thestudents 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 missionwhich is stated in Sec. 40.001 recorded in the Texas Education Code updated and revisedby the 79th Texas legislature. The legislature’s purpose mission statement says that thestate’s educational mission is “grounded on the conviction that a general diffusion ofknowledge is essential for the welfare of this state and for the preservation of the libertiesand 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 forthe general welfare of the state and country. Legislators have highlighted the importance of student achievement. It isimperative to understand what student academic success entails. Student academic
  • 34. 34success and achievement is based on what a student knows and to what degree thestudent can apply his or her knowledge to new problems and situations. As studentsprogress through the educational system, it is expected that they will increase inknowledge and wisdom and be able to develop analytical and higher level thinking skillsin order to solve the many problems and challenges they will face not only in theclassroom, but also in their future adult lives and workplace environments. In our currenteducational system, there are mandated courses in literature, math, science, and socialstudies, but the level of knowledge and expertise students glean from these courses is notalways mastered on the level necessary to analyze, synthesize, and apply higher levelcritical thinking skills in today’s highly sophisticated and technically oriented workplace.For this reason, accountability standards have been developed to act as benchmarks forall student achievement in order to give public officials and professional educators aguide as to what student academic achievement should look like and what it entails on apractical daily basis. By understanding the framework of student success, curriculastructures can be developed to encourage and develop the intellectual capacities of allstudents. Local, State, and Federal Accountability Educational leaders are responsible for the oversight of the curriculum andstudent learning. In today’s educational society and culture, the efficacy of theeducational administrator is based on how well he (or she) as the principal administratoror superintendent has done in helping his or her school or district achieve high scores onthe statewide accountability test known as the Texas Assessment of Knowledge andSkillsTM (TAKSTM) test. Curriculum models that extend beyond “teaching to the test”
  • 35. 35will ultimately produce greater academic rewards for students and higher levels ofacademic achievement and educational competency and literacy. The Consequence of Accountability Although not the only measure for student academic achievement, the TAKSTMmandatory testing system is considered a high stakes testing benchmark. Students, whopass and do well, will go on to graduate from high school and begin work towards theirown personal career or professional goals. Students who are not successful will not beable to graduate from high school. The entire educational system hinges upon howeffective the curriculum is in preparing students to succeed in mastering this high stakesaccountability test which measures factual knowledge, critical thinking skills, and theinteractive skills of applying a student’s understanding of a subject matter to other subjectareas that are interrelated and intertwined in the curriculum. Although proponents of the educational system will decry the fact that oureducational system is not to hinge on one high stakes test, the reality for many districts isthat the test has become inordinately important in the overall success of not only theaffected individual student, but also to the school districts and campuses that have beengiven the mandate to prepare our students to be critical thinkers and knowledgeableproponents of the world in which they participate, work, and will ultimately spend theirlives.The Goldilocks Standard of Student Learning and Accountability New approaches to education can add to gains in true student accomplishmentsand learning abilities. Curriculums that challenge, inspire, and provide a true platformfor learning should be the norm and not the exception for student learning and academic
  • 36. 36accountability in our schools: “Anthony P. Carnevale of Georgetown University has saidthis approach meets the Goldilocks standard, because nothing would be too difficult ortoo easy, always just right, for every child every day” (Hoss, 2007, p. 1). Ensuring thateducational directives meet the needs and priorities of each student helps to validate andempower the administrator who seeks to ensure that every child is reaching his or hermaximum 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 asignificant indicator of whether or not student academic achievement and learning hastaken 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 schoolsand districts are successful and meet pre-determined academic standards, the level oflearning that has occurred within the schools, and ultimately if students completing 12years of academic and classroom instruction will actually graduate from high school.Texas utilizes an objective and statistical approach for measuring student academicachievement. Determining what data will be used for the statistical decisions ofaccountability requires that a standard of measurement be developed and applied to allstudents and tested subject areas in the state of Texas: “In the act of creatingaccountability for results, it becomes important to focus on data that will be used toenable accountability to become a reality” (English, 2003, p. 201). For Texas, the TAKSTM test measures student and district academic success andachievement. The exit level TAKSTM test occurs during a student’s junior year in high
  • 37. 37school. Four academic tests are given to test and judge a student’s ability to perform wellon the given subject matter test material. Students are required to analyze data and applythe knowledge which he or she has mastered during their period of academicparticipation and instruction in the public educational school system. Students, who aresuccessful in passing each of the four tests given, will be able to graduate and receive ahigh school diploma. Students not successful in achieving the required passing score willnot graduate from high school unless protected under the umbrella and jurisdiction ofSpecial Education laws and procedures. The TAKSTM state assessment test has been developed to test a student’sknowledge level, critical thinking ability, and general competencies. At the 11th gradeexit level four major academic disciplines, (English language arts, mathematics, science,and social studies), are tested to assess if students have met the academic criteria requiredof graduating high school seniors as evidenced by the students’ overall academicperformance on the TAKSTM examination and their completion of a required corecurriculum. In this high stakes testing scenario, many school administrators assume that“data-driven decision making centered on “hard data” will provide a quantitatively andqualitatively better base and framework for decisions which will lead to improved (moreaccurate, timely, reliable) decisions” (English, 2003, p. 201). Although evidence maylean toward “the conjecture that data-driven decision making will not be superior, butmay actually “dumb down” the quality of decisions rendered is definitely counterintuitive to the concept’s attractiveness to school administrators” (English, 2003, p. 201).While educators must be aware of the state requirements and standards for studentachievement as measured through such instruments as the TAKSTM examination,
  • 38. 38educators must also be aware that standardized test scores should not be the only measurefor student academic achievement. While the state’s mandates must be met, educational leaders must work to ensurethat students do not simply learn to pass tests that are considered high-stakes, but theyalmost must ensure that students are becoming critical thinkers and not just simplistic,one item thinkers. Educational administrators and school leaders must decide what typeof curriculum model and educational philosophy to use in the classroom that will bestmeet the learning needs of the individual student and educational learning needs of aparticular school or district. The Importance of a Strong Academic Curriculum The importance of the curriculum in a student’s education is that the quality andcontent of a student’s learning experience, through the curriculum, will not only affectthe learner’s own personal lifetime outcomes and objectives such as career and work, butwill ultimately affect the society as a whole in which the student lives. The educator’schallenge is then how to select, organize, and prioritize curriculum and learningobjectives in order to prepare students to be critical thinkers, empowered workers, andactive participants in today’s democratic society. A strong philosophical base forcurriculum design is necessary in order to have a logical and cohesive framework uponwhich to base educational strategies and goals. Educators must be careful in the selectionas well as the implementation of any curricula model used to promote student learningand academic success. Effective curriculum frameworks must be based on the classicaldiscipline 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. 39view of the curriculum which can significantly engender student learning and academicachievement. Curriculum Choice The official curriculum for the state of Texas is the Texas Essential Knowledgeand Skills (TEKS) listing of all learning benchmarks required by students in the state ofTexas. However, to implement this curriculum mandate, educators must choose acurriculum model that will teach the TEKS and provide impetus for student learning andacademic achievement. When choosing a curriculum, it is important that educatorsunderstand the importance of their decision and also to be able to recognize viableeducational strategies built into a district’s chosen curriculum model. For education to bemeaningful, the curriculum must be read, understood, and comprehended. To strengthenmeaning in the classroom, a deep understanding of the curriculum and study materialmust be understood and articulated. Structuring an effective curriculum model must bebased on a foundation of strong, research based principles in order to facilitate that thecurriculum in use facilitates meaning and understanding for all students. Curriculumshould be meaningful; therefore, principles that enhance this meaningful structure forlearning must be understood and facilitated in regards to curriculum choice andimplementation. A unified view of the curriculum can enhance learning and student academicachievement through both the philosophy and implementation of a particular curriculummodel or design. Having a unified view of the curriculum philosophy provides a strongframework for successful student achievement and learning. First, “a comprehensiveoutlook is necessary for all intelligent decisions about what shall be included and
  • 40. 40excluded from the course of study” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 6). This is important because thebreadth 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 arecritical components to the success and education of the individual and corporate group ofstudent learners in today’s learning environment and educational setting. Secondly, because people are complex, total beings, “the curriculum ought tohave a corresponding organic quality” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 6). A holistic pattern of studycan “best contribute to the person’s growth if it is governed by the goal of wholeness forthe human being” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 6). A third consideration in the selection andperpetration of a unified curriculum is that educators must realize that our society andindividualized 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 thegrowth of community, while a fragmented program of studies engenders disintegrationinto the life of society” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 6). And finally, “a comprehensive concept ofthe structure of learning gives added significance to each of the component segments ofthe curriculum” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 6). Curriculum subject matter is enhanced by anunderstanding and grasp of relationships between the particular disciplines involved in anacademic course of study: “Distinctive features of any subject are best comprehended inthe light of its similarities and contrasts with other subjects” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 6). Thisinter-disciplinarian approach to education facilitates a deeper understanding of allcurriculum and allows the student learner to facilitate learning and meaning in a deeperand more philosophical construct of meaning and understanding.
  • 41. 41Coherency and Integration A curriculum based on coherent and integrated ideas is also a curriculum ofmeaning and understanding. Because human beings have the unique component of beingable to experience meaning and understanding, general education becomes “the processof engendering essential meaning” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 7). To determine the mosteffective and productive curriculum path of learning for our students, “we should speaknot 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 ofacademic success and achievement for all students. The impact a curriculum has onstudent achievement in many ways is enhanced by understanding student diversity andthe various fields of study that support the learning process. Inherent to a basicknowledge of the curriculum structure, is an understanding of the philosophy that hashelped to develop a particular model of curriculum understanding and insight. Tounderstand student achievement, an understanding the diverse needs of learners is neededin 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 studentacademic achievement known as the curriculum: “The only way to compete successfullywith the diversions and excitement of young adulthood in contemporary America is toadjust curricular and pedagogical approaches based on the assumptions that students canbe interested in serious intellectual engagement” (Botstein, 2006, p. 16). Thisprescription for change “is not teaching to the test and simply hoping students advance to
  • 42. 42the next grade” (Botstein, 2006, p. 16). Instead, it is opening up a new and vibrantsystem of learning that challenges the student to reach out, explore, and discover newrealities and truths on a consistent and daily basis. In order to revitalize change, effectivecurriculum 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 knowledgeacquisition that integrates curriculum, nurtures the mind, and stimulates academiccuriosity, and student academic achievement. A disciplined approach to the curriculumincludes the application and mastery of core subject areas such as mathematics, Englishlanguage arts, science, and social studies. In addition to the core requirements alreadymandated 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 thatincludes a mastery of a wide, but integrated curriculum of learning will include aframework for academic study that provides a disciplined and ordered study of theclassics. The classics include subject matter encompassing literature, science,philosophy, history, and religion. A classical education that forms the basis for studentlearning and provides an in-depth structure and foundation for student learning willprovide a sound educational foundation upon which all areas of learning can build upon.
  • 43. 43Evaluating achievement can be accomplished through observing how students apply theinformation they have learned as well as providing opportunities for the student todemonstrate his or her knowledge on educational tests, written responses, or projectdemonstration. Student Diversity and Educational Needs This study has also looked at diverse populations in the learning community toanalyze the effect an integrated curriculum model has had on their learning experiencesin the classroom. This is important because America is a melting pot of differentcultures, ethnicities, backgrounds, and educational and economic backgrounds whichpredispose to the educator the need for creative and meaningful classroom curriculaimplementation and intervention strategies in the classroom. Legislatively, various lawshave 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 andeducational 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 inthe public school system have the right to a fair and equal opportunity for education equaland accessible to all students regardless of ethnicity, social status, or background. Tofacilitate the needs of all students, a level playing field is necessary in our classrooms inorder to facilitate a high level of learning for all students. This level playing field can bemanifested in a research based curriculum model that focuses on facilitating an academicenvironment and framework for learning in which all students can succeed.
  • 44. 44 Leveling the Playing Field through Understanding Diversity in the Classroom Schools are held to a standard of excellence by local stake holders, statelegislators, and federally enacted mandated standards for student learning and academicachievement. It is assumed that with strict accountability standards in education,academic achievement scores among all students will increase. This premise ofeducational accountability is intrinsically flawed: “The downside has been the persistentgap 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). Thetheory of Darwinism prevails making the educational gap a “spawning ground for theresurrection of flawed explanations of differences that cannot be erased by good schoolsand which are purported to be the results of Darwinism processes at work” (Jencks andPhillips as rpt. in English & Steffey, 2001, p. 2). High stakes testing continues to be atthe forefront of all levels of student accountability and success. However, “high stakestesting 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, hasstated 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 EdwardDeming, legislators and many educational leaders believe that academic “improvementmeans better test scores” (English & Steffey, 2001, p. v). With no evidence of innateacademic discrepancies between children of different ethnicities, state based high stakescurricular tests many times favor those students of higher socio-economic status opposedto those not in this category regardless of race or ethnicity. Educators must seek to findout why there is a difference in student academic performance and then seek to level the
  • 45. 45academic playing field so all students will have the opportunity to academically succeedand 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 whereall students can learn and succeed. It is necessary to ensure that in the classroomenvironment, real and sustained learning emerges that can effectually promote andencourage student academic achievement and success. The main component of asuccessful learning environment is reticent upon the curriculum that is used in theclassroom. Educational leaders must come to a consensus on how to make sound andviable researched based decisions related to providing the best possible learningprograms for the student body. Through the induction of new theories and educationalresearch for the classroom, new levels of student accountability have occurred throughlegislative initiatives such as the state administered Texas Assessment of Knowledge andSkillsTM (TAKSTM) test and the federal No Child Left Behind Act (2001) that have raisedthe level of excellence and mastery required of all students attending a public elementaryor secondary school in the state of Texas. This inherent reality epitomizes the significantchallenges that lie ahead for educational leaders who must educate and prepare thisgeneration for the innate challenges and opportunities in educational constructs, socialopportunities, and work-related requirements and expectations.Multiple Intelligences and the ROM Curriculum Model Educational institutions throughout the nation and even the world are challengedwith the fact that each student is uniquely gifted and talented in the way they appropriatenew information and learning in the classroom. Educational leaders must implement
  • 46. 46curriculum models in the classroom that address the needs of all learners. One theorythat addresses the uniqueness of all learners is Howard Gardner’s theory of multipleintelligences. Gardner’s work on learning theory has shown that “intelligences typicallywork in harmony” (Gardner, 2004, p. 9). Gardner’s theory emphasizes the fact thatintelligence is a multi-faceted organism that manifests itself in different ways dependingupon the student’s particular academic bent and intellectual capabilities for learning. Analyzed through the comparative lens of the Realms of Meaning curriculumphilosophy, educational leaders can gain new understanding on how a diverse schoolpopulation can be taught to achieve and excel academically utilizing a structuredframework for learning that emphasizes academic success and achievement for allstudents. Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences has its root and foundation in thecommunicative linguistic foundations. Built upon the premise that there are differentlevels of learning and student academic achievement, Gardner’s theory of multipleintelligences emphasizes how intelligence can be viewed from more than just a purelyacademic viewpoint. Gardner’s model emphasizes six unique characteristics ofintelligence that go beyond the basic academic perceptions of what it means to beintelligent. Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences can be more fully understood byunderstanding how the theory of multiple intelligences corresponds to the Ways ofKnowing through the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy. From this point, “afuller appreciation of human beings occurs if we take into account spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, musical, inter-personal, and intrapersonal intelligences” (Gardner, 2004, p.xv). The following chart shows how Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences and the
  • 47. 47Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy supports anunderstanding of diverse learning patterns and an integrated curriculum model.Table 2.1Comparative Learning Styles and the ROM Curriculum Model Howard Gardner, PhD William Allen Kritsonis, PhD Ways of Knowing Through the Theory of Multiple Intelligences Realms of Meaning Linguistic Intelligence Symbolics Musical Intelligence Esthetics Logical-Mathematical Intelligence Symbolics, Empirics, and Synoptics Spatial Intelligence Symbolics, Esthetics Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence Esthetics An integrated curriculum model can easily be defined and enhanced toincorporate Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences and Kritsonis’s six realms ofmeaning. Gardner listed six theories of multiple intelligences. They are linguisticintelligence, musical intelligence, logical-mathematical intelligence, spatial intelligence,bodily-kinesthetic intelligence, and the personal intelligences. These intelligencescorrespond to the realms model of curriculum instruction and delivery (Gardner, 2004, p.xv). The symbolic realm of meaning correlates with the linguistic intelligence mode oflearning. The musical and bodily kinesthetic intelligences are reflective of the estheticrealm. The logical-mathematical intelligence category correlates with the symbolic,empiric, and synoptic realms of meaning. Spatial intelligence can clearly be seen in thesymbolic and esthetic realms. And finally, the personal intelligence theory is in tandemwith the synnoetic realm of meaning: “A curriculum developing the above basic
  • 48. 48competencies is designed to satisfy the essential human need for meaning” (Kritsonis,2007, p. 15). The ROM curriculum supports the theories of multiple intelligences in thatthe symbolic, linguistic, scientific, and mathematical structures that constitute theGardner theory of multiples are foundational to the six realms of meaning. As illustratedin the mind diagram below (Figure 2.1), intelligence is multi-faceted and can includeanalytical strengths exemplified through the puzzle diagram (synoptics) , musicalattributes exemplified by the diagram of the piano (esthetics), scientific and investigativestrengths as demonstrated symbolically by the light bulb (empirics), the sun glassesrepresenting personal property and expression (synnoetics), and the remaining symbolicfabric of the mind which represents the remaining symbolic and ethical attributes oflearning (ethics) which are foundational to the ROM curriculum model and frameworkfor student academic achievement learning and success.
  • 49. 49Figure 2.1A Comparative Diagram of Multiple Learning Theories and the RealmsLinguistic IntelligenceSymbolics Logical-Mathematical IntelligenceSymbolics, EmpiricsSpatialEsthetics, SymbolicsSynoptics: a comprehensiveview of learning andknowledgeMusical IntelligenceEstheticsPersonal IntelligencesSynnoetics Copyright free graphic courtesy of Clipart.com The comprehensive nature of the Ways of Knowing through the Realms ofMeaning curriculum philosophy is uniquely designed and correlated to address and meetthe 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 beachieved by all learners is enhanced through the use of the integrated Ways of Knowingthrough the Realms of Meaning (ROM) curriculum model. Regardless of the student population being served by a district or othereducational institution, it is important that educational leaders are accountable for the
  • 50. 50type of curriculum and learning environment that his or her leadership provides for theirown sphere of influence within the educational community. Principles for Curriculum Mastery To be effective, a curriculum model must provide a framework for studentmastery and academic success in the classroom. Principles of mastery utilized in theROM of curriculum model can be utilized in any curriculum structure and are invaluabletools in the teaching and educational process of students. In this study, the Realms ofMeaning curriculum philosophy has been shown to have similar characteristics andlearning paradigms as those schools in the state of Texas which utilize anothercurriculum model entitled CSCOPETM. Therefore, identifying the characteristics withinan established, independent curriculum model will show how learning and curriculumdesign can be affected and enhanced through the understanding of a dynamic andpervasive curriculum philosophy as demonstrated through the Ways of Knowing throughthe Realms of Meaning. According to the ROM curriculum philosophy, the first principle for maximizedmeanings in the curriculum is mastery. Curriculum decisions should be made with therealization 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 theperson finds one thing to do and learns to do it very well” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 560). Thisviewpoint encourages a curriculum that concentrates more on depth of knowledge ratherthan breath: “Depth of knowledge and skill should be the goal, rather than superficialacquaintance with a variety of fields” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 560). A second principle forattaining maximized meanings in the classroom is to realize the importance education
  • 51. 51plays in an integrated society. In this curriculum model, curriculum mastery is importantbecause “each individual plays his part and is required to develop competencies that bestequip him to contribute to the whole” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 561). Specialized curriculaallows for the development of “competencies that best equip (the student) to contribute tothe whole” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 561). Utilizing these competencies strengthens thelearning process and supports maximum student academic achievement and change. A third principle for finding meaning in the curriculum is to provide a wellrounded and diverse choice of subject matter for learning and integration. For learningand the curriculum to provide meaning, a diverse curriculum model should be in place inorder to facilitate the highest levels of learning and achievement possible: “The desirablegoal is well-roundedness and variety of interests . . . curriculum should becorrespondingly broad and diverse” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 561). Interdependency uponcurriculum subjects allows for the diversity necessary to incorporate the highest level ofstudent academic achievement possible in the modern classroom environment. The fourth principle “for the fulfillment of meaning consists in the integrity of theperson” (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 ofmeanings in his own self without depending for the significance of his lifeupon his position in the social whole. (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 562)
  • 52. 52This principle specifically involves the ability to respond synnoetically to knowledge andapply one’s own understanding of the curriculum presented to the student’s personalschematic understanding of life and meaning. The fifth principle that addresses meaningful fulfillment in the curriculumascertains “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 andessential: “In this case the breadth of the curriculum depends upon what it is deemedessential to know, whether a few things or many” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 562). Quality mustprecede quantity in regards to implementing a meaningful and beneficial curriculumframework in the classroom. The Order and Design of the Curriculum Dante Alighieri, author of The Divine Comedy and noted to be “the greatest poetof the Middle Ages” (Leitch, 2001, p 247), has constructed an allegory on education inthe II Convivio, Book Two in which “Dante uses the conceit of a banquet to representhuman 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 perplexingquestion of which course must be eaten first. In education and the curriculum, the order and design of the curriculum isfoundational to the acquisition and retention of all learning and academic knowledge andachievement. Educational leaders must have a clear direction and path on which toemerge and lead their academic charges. Educational leaders must seek to instill in theirprograms a fresh vision for academic change, achievement, and success for all students
  • 53. 53involved in the educational process. For this reason, in education, “the fundamental taskof any educational institution is to determine the manner of defining and organizing itscurriculum” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 5). Educational programs determined by unrealisticgoals and destinations are ultimately doomed to failure. Strong and effectual educationalleadership programs should begin with a firm grasp and understanding of how goals andobjectives of learner-centered educational programs should emerge. One method of organizing the curriculum is through utilizing the Ways ofKnowing The Realms of Meaning (ROM) curriculum philosophy. Understanding theframework of the Realms helps to logically order a system of learning that willincorporate student mastery of complex subjects and support a level of critical thinkingskills necessary for a student’s sustained learning goals and academic achievement.Utilizing the Realms philosophy in the curriculum offers a framework for learning thatsupports researched based strategies and paradigms of effective learning models for awide 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 orderto have true understanding and application to the lives and needs of the traditional highschool student: “The complexity of curriculum and the complexity surroundingcurriculum can only be processed by having some theoretical understanding” (Ornsteinand Hunkins, 2004, p. 172). Curriculum theorists organize learning categories in orderto be able to utilize these divisions more effectively in the study and development ofcurriculum: “George Beauchamp has asserted that all theories are derived from three
  • 54. 54broad categories of knowledge: (1) the humanities, (2) the natural sciences, and (3) thesocial sciences” (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2004, p. 172). Beauchamp concludes that “fromthese basic knowledge divisions come areas of applied knowledge – architecture,medicine, engineering, education, and law” (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2004, p. 172). Thisformula for understanding the categories of knowledge supports and establishes thecategories implicit in an integrated and rigorously developed model of curriculum andinstruction. This framework coincides with the curriculum model developed by the author ofthe Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning which categorizes learning intorealms of meaning. In the Kritsonis framework, six realms of meaning are categorized toincorporate all levels of meaning and purpose in education. The realms of meaninginclude symbolics, empirics, esthetics, synnoetics, ethics, and synoptics. Through the sixrealms of meaning, a sound and substantial integrated curriculum philosophy andprogram can be developed that can perpetuate student academic achievement to deeperand more sustained levels of learning and academic success. The relationship between Beauchamp’s Categories of Knowledge and Kritsonis’sWays of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning is outlined in the table below.
  • 55. 55Table 2.2Categories of Knowledge and the Realms of Meaning Beauchamp’s Kritsonis’sCategories of Knowledge Realms of MeaningHumanities Symbolics: Ordinary Language, Mathematics, Non-discursive Symbolic Forms Esthetics: Music, The Visual Arts, The Arts of Movement, LiteratureNatural Sciences Empirics: ScienceSocial Sciences Synoptics: Social Sciences The ROM model is inclusive for all subject areas and translates to use in bothelementary, secondary, and university curriculums. Through the use of an integratedcurriculum 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 asubject matter, but also to understand the subject area in a more holistic and highercognitive level of academic achievement and mastery. This is important in that in orderfor learning to be viable, a curriculum must be meaningful and purposeful. To facilitatemeaning, the curriculum must offer pillars of understanding to enhance, lead, and guidethe pathway to student learning and academic achievement. The ROM curriculum modelis one such curriculum model and philosophy that offers a viable framework for studentlearning and academic achievement and success. The ROM curriculum embodiment of the six realms of meaning helps to facilitatethe curriculum needed for the complete and well-rounded person. Each realm plays animportant role in the curriculum of a school and the overall well-being and education of a
  • 56. 56student: “Each makes possible a particular mode of functioning without which theperson cannot live according to his own true nature” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 564).The six realms cover the entire range of meanings possible. Therefore, incorporating thesix realms of meaning into the curriculum comprises a holistic approach to studentlearning and achievement. Students being educated in a thorough program of meta-narratives and holistic understandings can work toward new and higher levels ofacademic achievement and success. By focusing on substantial educational attributes andrelationships, students can become more involved and active in the academic andlearning process. In this process, the students’ interaction with the curriculum becomesviable and meaningful to the participating student. Knowledge of a discipline becomesparamount to a student’s understanding of a particular subject matter and relationship toother disciplines and applications: “Knowledge can be derived from a variety of sources.However, knowledge has permanent value leading to greater meaning and greaterunderstanding when drawn from the fundamental disciplines as exemplified in the realmsof meaning” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. ix). When educators are willing to facilitate learning innew 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 appliedintuitively and constructively in the classroom. Academic learners must find meaningand purpose in the material being studied. History has shown that fundamental learningand acquisition of knowledge can be attributed and acquired in numerous ways. It is alsoimportant to know and understand that knowledge and understanding are interconnectedand therefore understanding and applying the curriculum is extremely important for the
  • 57. 57development of critical thinking skills needed to improve and show academic mastery inthe classical disciplines. Curriculum Implementation and Application A curriculum is more than just a presentation of basic facts and academicconstructs. Curriculum becomes a philosophical masterpiece of knowledge that whenintegrated, can provide not only an understanding of concepts and ideas, but an overalldiscourse in meaning and appreciation for life. The general “philosophy of thecurriculum for general education is intended as a comprehensive but not exhaustive guideto the fulfillment of human existence through education” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 22).Educational goals and objectives require excellence and adequacy of knowledge: “It isrecognized that all knowledge does not belong to the specialist alone, but that throughgeneral 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 studentlearning that can be a springboard to a fuller and more meaningful life. Learningbecomes meaningful when the material presented is thought provoking and challenging:“In order to engage students in high quality academic content, valid decisions need to bemade 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 overalllearning opportunities for students and therefore enhances student learning andunderstanding.
  • 58. 58 Theorists, Theories, and Curriculum ModelsJean Piaget Jean Piaget, a Swiss psychologist, is remembered for his many contributions toeducation 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 howlearning 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 ofknowledge)” (Mooney, 2000, p. 59). It is the combination of these abilities that add to theconstructivist and post-modernistic attributes of the Realms of Meaning curriculumphilosophy. The ROM curriculum model focuses on the factors of development and thesequence of academic studies. Just as Piaget believed that learning occurred in variousstages of development, the ROM curriculum model ascertains that “each stage inpersonal growth presupposes the successful completion of the earlier stages” (Kritsonis,2007, p. 805). Building upon the premise that knowledge is built upon by experience andexposure, the student learner has an ever increasing “body of memories upon which todraw, providing a basis for generalization and discrimination, both of which arenecessary for the formation of scientific abstractions” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 632). Thisdepth of understanding is mirrored in the framework and curriculum model based on theWays of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning curriculum model and the facets andknowledge based on an integrated and intellectually cohesive curriculum model. The six
  • 59. 59“realms of meaning form an articulated whole” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 15) and therefore areable 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 ispossible when we are able to construct meanings from what we know thereby integratingand expanding our knowledge and understanding of the world around us. The goal ofconstructivism differs from traditional education models in that “deep understanding, notimitative behavior is the goal” (Brooks and Brooks, 1999, p. 16). Constructivismprescribes transformation rather than conformation. Although transformative classroomsare the goal of the constructivist teacher, the varied concepts and products that emergefrom this philosophical array of classroom pedagogy is that in the “constructivistapproach, 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 curriculumdesign, such as in the ROM curriculum model, curriculum is divided into patterns thatinteract and complement each other in order to create a broader knowledge base and truecurriculum understanding. Patterns that build upon previous knowledge can widen and expand a student’sknowledge level to incorporate understanding in multiple subject areas and disciplines.In curriculum design, selection of categories is essentially a search pattern, and it isconstructed rather than “empirically discovered” (English as rpt. in Kritsonis, 2007, p.vi). In the ROM curriculum model, the constructivist model is built around the sixrealms of meaning. Each realm can be intertwined with knowledge from the othercategories and realms, thereby producing an intellectual data base of information that can
  • 60. 60be 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 generalprinciples, but also the development of an attitude toward learning and inquiry, towardguessing 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 tothe 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 understandingoccurs when the presence of new information prompts the emergence or enhancement ofcognitive structures that enable us to rethink our prior ideas” (Brooks & Brooks, 1999, p.15). Constructivist teaching is a challenging but rewarding process: “A constructivistframework challenges teachers to create environments in which they and their studentsare encouraged to think and explore. This is a formidable challenge, but to do otherwiseis 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 aconstructivist framework: “It remains a provocative model that continues to nourish andstimulate thinking about what is important in creating coherency and purpose in generaleducation settings” (English as rpt. in Kritsonis, 2007, p. v). The Realms of Meaning(ROM) curriculum philosophy involves the interaction of categories and design in thelearning 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. 61philosophies 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 ofmeaning, the entire range of possible meaning and curriculum, knowledge can beperpetuated in a general framework of academic efficacy and knowledge. The six realms of meaning offer the framework of education and knowledgenecessary to add relevance, vigor, and quality into the mainstream aspects of curriculumdevelopment and delivery. This curriculum structure not only helps to develop integratedcompetencies within the curriculum, but also to define the qualities necessary to beconsidered a complete person capable of interacting intellectually and competitively in ahighly complex and demanding global and technically oriented society. By educatingstudents in a meaningful and purposeful manner, education becomes a way of “helpinghuman 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, butalso can benefit the academic learner in regards to the student’s own personal overallknowledge, 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 oflearning, postmodernism, can be studied and applied to enhance the overall educationalprocess. Postmodernism is a predominant theory of learning that seeks to provideanother viewpoint on educational philosophies in the classroom. A post-modernisticview of education offers educational leaders an alternative view of curriculum design andinstruction. In the area of curriculum and curriculum reform,
  • 62. 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 alwayspluralities 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, postmodernismascertains 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 toclassify and construct meanings in new and purposeful ways for the student learner. Thisclassification of knowledge becomes the curriculum for a district and the foundation forall student learning and academic achievement. There are many options and choices forchoosing an effective school curriculum. One curricular choice is found in the Realms ofMeaning curriculum model. Fenwick English has stated his support and understanding
  • 63. 63of this model as one venue for curriculum design that can potentially benefit students inthe overall learning process: “As we enter the postmodern period, it’s clear that Realmsof Meaning is one of the but many ways to conceptualize curriculum disciplines to worktowards realizing general education” (English as cited in Kritsonis, 2007, p. v). Once amodel of curriculum is chosen, superintendents, principals, teachers, and other membersof the educational community will be held accountable as to the success and workabilityof the model chosen. Therefore, choosing the right model is critical in that whatcurriculum model is chosen can affect the learning and academic achievement of allstudents regardless of race, ethnicity, or socio-economic status. Educators may choose “a traditional subject-matter curriculum related neither tothe needs or abilities of the individual learner nor to the social and psychological factorsaffecting education” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 38) or they may choose an integrated andinterdisciplinary model that seeks to teach beyond the basic knowledge required forunderstanding and provide the opportunity for critical and analytical applications andacademic design. Regardless of the model chosen, all schools will be held accountable asto 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 andone’s own ability to make important decisions in an ethical and moral manner.Objectivism teaches self-responsibility and encourages the proponent of such aphilosophy to work hard and understand that if one is to “maintain his life by his owneffort; the values he needs-such as wealth or knowledge are not given to himautomatically, as a gift of nature, but have to be discovered and achieved by his own
  • 64. 64thinking and work” (Rand, 1964, p. 54). Students should be encouraged to take theinitiative in their own learning process and work towards mastery of difficult andchallenging subject matter offered in a diversified and integrated model of curriculumlearning and discourse. A foundational principle of the Realms of Meaning (ROM) curriculum model isthat students engaged in learning and the curriculum model gains an innate sense of whothey 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 curriculumbased upon the realms of meaning counteracts the fragmentation of experience that is oneof the sources of meaninglessness” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 15). Meaning, consisting of adeep and inter-related knowledge base in the curriculum, seeks to educate students to notonly know the course material for classroom assignments, but also how to apply and usethe knowledge gained to analyze, apply, and evaluate new situations in an educated andthoughtful 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 becollaborated with the ROM curriculum model as noted in the figure below.
  • 65. 65Figure 2.2A Comparison of the Five Discipline Model and the Realms of Meaning CurriculumPhilosophy The Five Disciplines and the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning Five Disciplines Five Disciplines Five Disciplines Personal Mastery: Shared Vision: Mental Models: Ways of Knowing through Ways of Knowing through Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning: the Realms of Meaning: the Realms of Meaning: Synoptics Symbolics Synnoetics Five Disciplines Five Disciplines Systems Thinking: Team Ways of Knowing through Learning: the Realms of Meaning: Ways of Knowing through Empirics: (Physical the Realms of Meaning: Science and Biology) Empirics: Esthetics: Music, the Visual Arts, the Arts of (Psychology and Movement, and Literature Social Science) Ethics
  • 66. 66 Peter Senge (2000), author and primary developer of the five disciplineapproach to education, has emphasized the need for schools to reevaluate the learningprocess and incorporate and design schools that focus on student learning andachievement. Senge (2000) focuses on building learning organizations through adiscipline model that reaches across curriculum lines and barriers and integrates studentlearning 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 ROMcurriculum model, the emphasis on developing the five discipline model can potentiallyenhance student learning and achievement to achieve greater degrees of content masteryand academic success.Personal Mastery and the Synnoetics Realm Senge’s first learning discipline is personal mastery: “Personal mastery is thepractice of articulating a coherent image of your personal vision-the results you mostwant to create in your life-alongside a realistic assessment of the current reality of yourlife today” (Senge et al., 2000, p. 7). Personal mastery is reflective in the synnoeticsrealm in that synnoetics “refers to meanings in which a person has direct insight intoother beings (or oneself) as concrete wholes existing in relation” (Kritsonis, 2007, p.393). Translating the philosophy of synnoetics structures and understanding to theclassroom situation, the works of Hans Robert Jauss articulate how the synnoetics realmcan influence the relationship between a student and the curriculum. For example, “theway 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. 67a criterion for the determination of its aesthetic value” (Jauss, as rpt. in Vincent B. LeitchThe Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism, 2001, 1547-63). The interaction betweena text and reader can constitute a synnoetic relationship just as the interactions betweentwo individuals conversing on a particular topic or subject matter. This level of thinkingincorporates 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. Thesynoptics realm is comprehensively integrated and includes “history, religion, andphilosophy” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 13). Philosophically, students and teachers can worktogether “to nourish a sense of commitment in a group or organization by developingshared images of the future they seek to create and the principles and guiding practices byhow they hope to get there” (Senge et al., 2000, p. 7). Synoptics is also acrimonious tothe philosophy of a shared vision in that choices and understanding of the past aresignificantly related to our understanding and participation of not only where we havebeen, 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 valueof symbolic language in the process of learning and understanding: “All doctrineconcerns either things or signs but things are learned by signs” (Augustine of Hippo, asrpt. 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 ofmeaning in the ROM curriculum philosophy. For these symbolic gestures to be
  • 68. 68important and meaningful to the participating parties, there must be a mutualunderstanding about the signification of the non-discursive communication symbols and areflective outlook on the purpose and meaning intended by these gestures: “Thediscipline of reflection and inquiry skills is focused around developing awareness ofattitudes and perceptions—your own and those of others around you. Working withmental models can also help you more clearly and honestly define current reality” (Sengeet al., 2000, p. 7). These mental models in the realm of symbolics comprise “ordinarylanguage, mathematics, and various types of nondiscursive symbolic forms” (Kritsonis,2007, p. 11). Through an understanding of the symbolic form of communication, ancientand 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 skillfuldiscussion, small groups of people transform their collective thinking and learning tomobilize 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 newunderstandings are critical to the expansion of knowledge and development of new ideasand solutions.Systems Thinking and the Empirics, Esthetics, and Ethical Realms Systems thinking involves a collaborative effort among the disciplines to worktogether: “In this discipline, people learn to better understand interdependency andchange and thereby are able to deal more effectively with the forces that shape the
  • 69. 69consequences of their actions” (Senge et al., 2000, p. 8). Systems thinking focuses on theimportance of an inter-disciplinarian curriculum. The systems thinking philosophyemphasizes the fact that curriculum becomes more relevant when its components areinter-related with other disciplines and academic pursuits. The systems thinkingapproach “provides a different way of looking at problems and goals - not as isolatedevents but as components of larger structures” (Senge et. al, 2000, p. 78). The systemsthinking approach is parallel to the ROM curriculum philosophy as evidenced by theeffect of this triad conglomerate of curriculum pillars of academic philosophy. Theintegration of empirics, esthetics, and the ethical realms provides a framework for studentlearning and achievement that is based on intellectual and critical thinking throughindependent and inter-related curriculum objects of study and therefore aligns with thesystems thinking approach to learning. Patterns of Influence and Design Organization, patterns, and design are important aspects to curriculum design andimplementation: 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 ofBeauchamp and Kritsonis: “Since learning takes place over time, the materials ofinstruction have to be arranged in temporal sequence” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 587). Purpose,
  • 70. 70order, learning, and connectivity are all integral proponents of a meaningful curriculum.In designing a meaningful curriculum, “an educational institution or school systemclaiming to be purposive must make some attempt to classify, codify, and integrate theknowledge 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 befacilitated 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 academicachievement is a complex process which entails looking at the curriculumimplementation process holistically rather than selectively. Michael Fullan, a topresearcher in implementing effective and long-term educational change in districts, hasdeveloped several models for successful implementation of a curriculum model andacademic change in a district’s overall educational agenda. His research on changetheory, theories of merit, flawed change theory, and moral purpose of learning can helpthe researcher to analyze more fully the factors that facilitate student learning andacademic achievement.Change Theory Any new endeavor, especially in the area focused on student achievement andlearning, requires a dedicated and formal commitment to a particular curriculumphilosophy and framework for student learning and academic achievement. Fullancontends that learning must be sustainable and cannot be judged by one test, onescenario, or one example of success. Instead, a deep cultural and educational communitymust be developed that will instill deep learning and complex change. These deep and
  • 71. 71lasting facets of change are implicitly stated and implied in the Ways of Knowing throughthe Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy.Flawed Change Theory Michael Fullan has identified three flawed perceptions of change theory that arecurrently being utilized in educational districts and communities throughout variouseducational systems. These flawed perceptions include: 1. designing curriculum models suited to a particular test, relying on standards- based 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 schoolsand educational environment. However, Fullan points out that these attributes are onlysurface reflectors and do not reflect the true depth of community, learning, and progressthat 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 amodel of seven principles that provide the structure for change knowledge and theory toemerge in the classroom. The seven premises for change knowledge implanted byMichael Fullan are: “(1), a focus on motivation; (2) capacity building, with a focus onresults; (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. 722006, pp. 8-11). These agents of change are also implicit in the Ways of Knowingthrough the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy.Developing a Moral Purpose in Learning Having a moral purpose for learning and teaching is a critical component ofanother component of Michael Fullan’s developed learning strategies entitled: “CriticalLearning Instruction Path.” In this pathway of learning, educators are encouraged todevelop a passion and purpose for teaching students with the best of their resources andto the best of their ability. Moral purpose in the classroom involves “precision,professional learning, and personalization” (Crevola, Hill, and Fullan, 2006, p. 1). Moralpurpose seeks to engage all learners and to seek out the resources necessary for thesuccess of all students regardless of their socioeconomic status, ethnicity, or social classin the community. By ensuring that all learners receive a personalized and dynamiceducation in the classroom, the educational culture and climate of a particular schooldistrict and educational community will ultimately grow into a vibrant, and sustainededucational entity which will support academic growth and success among all learners inthe educational classroom and district. The ethics realm in the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaningcurriculum philosophy also supports a sustained atmosphere of moral and right actions inthe classroom. In the ethics realm, “moral conduct is a universal responsibility”(Kritsonis, 2007, p. 438) and requires students, teachers, administrators, and theeducational community to make right decisions based on the needs and aptitudes of thestudent population being served. Through the interaction of Kritsonis’s ethics realm ofmeaning and Fullan’s model for moral purpose, a collaborative spirit of cooperation and
  • 73. 73community can be built in the educational community which will foster a systemicatmosphere 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 Meaningcurriculum philosophy share attributes which are represented in both Fullan’s Theories ofMerit and Kritsonis’s Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy. However, bothphilosophies are long term solutions and should not be garnered as “quick fixes” to solvelearning problems or structural change issues in the school community or particulardistrict 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 goalof 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 fewyears 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 sustainedlearning in the classroom. Meritorious long term goals include motivation, capacitybuilding, learning in context, changing context, reflective action, and tri-levelengagement. As illustrated in the chart below, the six realms of meaning support Fullan’sguide to productive schools and action oriented theories for student change and academicachievement.
  • 74. 74Table 2.3Theories of Action with Merit and the Realms PhilosophyFullan’s Theories of Merit Kritsonis’s Ways of Knowing Through the Realms of Meaning Curriculum PhilosophyMotivation Ethics – Morally driven to direct purposes and goalsCapacity Building Symbolics – Establishing foundations of communication and learningLearning in Context Empirics – Factually Well InformedChanging Context Synoptics – Having a comprehensive view of the entire learning process and valueReflective Action Synnoetics – Reflective and directedTri-Level Engagement 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 themost important and potentially fruitful endeavors in a student’s life. Through educationand the curriculum, students’ minds are developed, reasoning skills enhanced, and criticalthinking skills challenged and developed. The dispersing of education in our schoolsmust be founded upon sound principles and educational philosophies. Jerome Brunerarticulates this viewpoint in his generational assessment regarding the quality andstructure of an effective curriculum model of instruction:
  • 75. 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 well- balanced citizens for a democracy. Rather, we have reached a level of public education in America where a considerable portion of our population has become interested in a question that until recently was the concern of specialists: What shall we teach and to 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 ameaningful integrated outlook” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 5). To act upon these basic premisesof 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 instructionare identified and ordered” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 5). A learning model that is ordered andcoherent 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, anddeepens one’s academic knowledge through the understanding of the subject matter andits relationship to other parts of the curriculum as a whole.
  • 76. 76 Choosing the most effective educational philosophy for the curriculum isfundamental to all student learning and success. The administrator must first be able toestablish his or her philosophy of the curriculum: “Philosophy is central to curriculumbecause the philosophy advocated or reflected by a particular school and its officialsinfluences 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 wellversed and founded on the curriculum principles of various programs related to studentlearning and achievement: “Since the 1950’s, many educators have continued to callattention 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. Educatorsmust be able to present and organize a knowledge base appropriate to student needs andlearning abilities in order to maximize academic success in the classroom. Before a curriculum can be fully understood, it is important to know why thecurriculum structure has been created and what philosophical principles have beenestablished in the development and framework of any model for learning and curriculumimplementation. It is important to note that learning is a principled approach to acquiringknowledge. Learning leads to the premise that knowledge must be categorized andpresented in such a way that meaning can be engendered and applied to one’s ownpersonal life, career, and world view. The philosophy of the curriculum is foundationalin the quest for learning and knowledge. This study has been founded upon the basicpremises of a curriculum philosophy that focuses on the alignment and integration ofknowledge in a way that seeks to enhance student learning and academic achievement.
  • 77. 77This 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 understandthe impact of the ROM curriculum model in the classroom, a thorough understanding ofthis model can be understood more fully through a review of the literature and acomparison of the Realms philosophies with other educational philosophies, trends, andresearch studies seeking to effectively implement student learning and achievement in theclassroom. There are many philosophies of education and curriculum development. TheROM philosophy is based on Philip Phenix’s Realms of Meaning which has been updatedand redesigned by Kritsonis to incorporate an integrated framework of learning toengender meaningful interaction between knowledge, the curriculum, and studentinstruction. Knowledge encompasses the understanding of the world and its intricatesubtleties that enhance meaningful life and understanding. Utilizing an integratedframework for learning such as the ROM curriculum model, can help to facilitate studentlearning and perpetuate the ability to think critically and at higher cognitive, academiclevels. If within the curriculum framework an “integral perspective is to be attained, aphilosophy of the curriculum is necessary. By such a philosophy is meant a criticallyexamined, coherent system of ideas by which all the constituent parts of the course ofinstruction are identified and ordered” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 5). The philosophy of anintegrated curriculum can help and direct student academic learning and achievement.To understand the ROM curriculum model and philosophy, each of the six realms mustbe analyzed and defined. A description of the philosophy and the attributes of thisstimulating and intellectual framework for learning is listed below.
  • 78. 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. PhillipsH. Phenix taught at Teachers College, Columbia University, New York” (Kritsonis, 2007,ix). Later, based on the associations between Phenix and Kritsonis, the Realms ofMeaning curriculum model was reworked and re-tooled utilizing “Kritsonis’s ownversion, unique perspective, style, and flare” (English in Kritsonis, 2007, p. vi). Theresulting work from Kritsonis’s research has resulted in a curriculum philosophy nowknown as Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning. The Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning (ROM) curriculumphilosophy emerges from the analysis of the possible distinctive modes of humanunderstanding. 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 reenactthe past, they seek the ultimate, and they comprehensively analyze, evaluate, andsynthesize” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 563). The Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophybegins with addressing the needs of the whole student in a meaningful and provocativeway. Rather than relying on basic memorization of facts and designs, a holistic approachis utilized in the curriculum model that allows the student to expand his or her boundariesbeyond the basics of factual understanding and design to higher levels incorporatingsubject integration, critical thinking views, and higher-level thought processes. Throughthis process, student learning becomes more analytical, thought provoking, and
  • 79. 79intellectually challenging. Therefore, “the foundations of curriculum set the externalboundaries of the knowledge of curriculum and define what constitutes valid sources ofinformation from which come accepted theories, principles, and ideas relevant to the fieldof curriculum” (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2004, p. 14). The enormity of the organizedlearning criteria available to student bodies in today’s society is overwhelming. Utilizingan effective curriculum structure and philosophy is necessary to perpetuate true learningand student academic achievement. Understanding the ROM Curriculum Philosophy The ROM curriculum philosophy embraces a structural, constructivist look atlearning and the curriculum. The ROM philosophy embraces a holistic framework forlearning and is fundamentally organized around six realms of meaning. These realms ofmeaning formulate a framework that provides both the teacher and student theopportunity to engage in higher level thinking, participate in critical analysis of a givensubject, and to be able to view education as a meaningful and engendered approach tolearning. In addition, the ROM curriculum model provides an understanding of the logicof sequence in academic studies, a guide for the scope of the curriculum, and anunderstanding of how the disciplines can be utilized in the curriculum. A workingknowledge of how representative ideas and methods of inquiry can enhance studentlearning and curricula mastery in the classroom is also useful in understanding anddeveloping a curriculum model based on the ROM philosophy. While each realm caninherently work together to enhance curriculum learning and scholarship, each realm canbe defined and explained definitively in its own category and unique relationship tostudent learning and academic achievement.
  • 80. 80The First Realm of Meaning: Symbolics The most fundamental expression of meaning is the first realm of symbolics. Thisrealm 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 isfoundational to all aspects of the ROM philosophy. Subject matter such as found in thearts and humanities can all be traced back to a foundational symbolic philosophy andorigin. Educators who utilize the symbolics realm enhance their students’ ability tosynthesize and learn challenging material. Through creative expression and integration of other subject matters into astudent’s learning portfolio, the curricular mix combines “the best representations of ourcultural history and the creative explorations of new cultural challenges” (Sylvester,2006, p. 36). Symbolics is communicative and embodies both discursive andnondiscursive communications. Symbolic structures represent the visual representationsof ideas, from the everyday routine items of life such as stop signs and traffic lights to thecomplex and intricate varieties of the written word and mathematical postulates andthemes: “Symbols can function alone as meaningful entities, but very commonly, theyenter 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 individuals imbued in the
  • 81. 81 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 truelearning and academic success.The Second Realm of Meaning: Empirics The second realm of meaning is assigned to the realm of empirics. Empiricsembrace “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 breadthand 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 neurologicalstudies have shown that “the brain is the only organ in the body that develops itself fromits interactions with its environment. In a sense, our experience becomes biology”(Wolfe, 2006, p. 12). By challenging students and providing opportunities for rigorouscurriculum interactions, students can become more engaged not only in the fields ofscience and psychology, they can also be immersed in deeper and more relevantacademic understanding and challenges through a rigorous and integrated curriculummodel as exemplified in the ROM curriculum model and framework. Bacon (1561-1626) also supported the inclusion of the empirical realm ineducation. Bacon believed “education should advance scientific inquiry” (Kritsonis,2007, p. 22). Bacon also “provided major rationale for the development of criticalthinking skills [and] proposed the concept of a research university” (Kritsonis, 2007, p.22). Studies in the empirics realm offer the potential of not only incorporatingknowledge in the classroom, but also of inspiring and cultivating world views, public
  • 82. 82policy and norms: “Science, that body of procedures and findings which arose in theRenaissance and its aftermath, and has led to many of the most important innovations ofour time” (Gardner, 2004, p. 361). The empirics realm is an integral component of anyintegrated model of study and learning expertise. By incorporating empirical study intothe curriculum, all subject matter is enhanced and broadened through the tenets of a fullyaligned and integrated curriculum model.The Third Realm of Meaning: Esthetics The third realm of meaning focuses on esthetics and the beauty of meaning andfulfillment: “Esthetics contains the various arts such as music, the visual arts, the arts ofmovement, and literature” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 12). The esthetics realm, when placed inthe curriculum, offers the opportunity for students to communicate their mastery of aparticular subject or area of expertise by expressing themselves through the visual-spatialarts. Music, art, and physical activity are all critical components of student learning andacademic success. For example, research has shown that there is a direct correlationbetween reading and music: “Researchers suggest this relationship results because bothmusic and written language involve similar decoding and comprehension readingprocesses 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 realmof meaning have lead many researchers to “believe the ability to perceive and enjoymusic is an inborn human trait. This biological aspect is supported by the discovery thatthe brain has specialized areas that respond only to music and these areas provokeemotional responses” (Sousa, 2006, p. 27). This research supports the importance ofincluding the esthetic realm in the overall curriculum structure of an academic institution.
  • 83. 83 Research data has also shown that “listening to certain music stimulates the partsof 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 studentsstay focused while completing specific learning tasks. Studies that seek to link theattributes of music to learning have found that “listening to music stimulates spatialthinking and that neural networks normally associated with one kind of mental activityreadily share the cognitive processes involved in a different activity” (Sousa, 2006, p.27). This supports the integrated curriculum philosophy in that “learning or thinking inone 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 symbolsthat translate into solutions for problems, and representative diagrams that symbolicallyrepresent a given mathematical theorem or rule: “Of all academic subjects, mathematicsis most closely connected to music” (Sousa, 2006, p. 29). The relationship betweenmusic and math is undeniable: “Music students use geometry to remember the correctfinger positions for notes or chords on instruments. Reading music requires anunderstanding of ratios and proportions so that whole notes are held longer than halfnotes” (Sousa, 2006, p. 29). In addition, “music and mathematics also are relatedthrough sequences called intervals” (Sousa, 2006, p. 29). The integration of both music(esthetics) and mathematics (symbolics) can aid in the academic achievement of allstudents at all levels in the academic environment. Physical activity, another function of the esthetics realm, is of critical importanceto the overall educational process: “Even short, moderate physical exercise improves
  • 84. 84brain 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 activitiesare important also “because they involve more sensory input, hold the students’ attentionfor longer periods of time, (and) help them make connections between new and pastlearning and improve long-term recall” (Sousa, 2006, p. 30). Movement activities can bean important aspect in a viable and meaningful curriculum framework. Art integration is another important aspect of a fully aligned and integratedcurriculum model. Research studies reveal that “the most powerful effects are found inprograms 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 ofcognitive, emotional, and psychomotor pathways” (Sousa, 2006, p. 31). When theesthetic realm through art is incorporated into the classroom, “learning in all subjectsbecomes attainable through the arts; curriculum becomes more authentic, hands-on andproject-based assessment is more thoughtful and varied and teachers’ expectations fortheir students rise” (Sousa, 2006, p. 31). Based on these studies produced by educationalscholars, art is an integral process of the learning process and therefore should beimplemented in the general instructional and pedagogical processes of the curriculum andclassroom. Literature is also part of the esthetics realm of meaning. The effects of literaturescholarship “usually extend beyond the esthetic realm . . . a great deal of empiricalknowledge may be acquired in reading novels or seeing plays. . . .Literature is one of thebest sources of insight into personality and culture” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 366). To study
  • 85. 85literature, the student must intrinsically “discover the unique patterns of sound, rhythm,meter, and semantic figuration as they are in the creation of singular unitarycompositions” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 363). Building upon a structural knowledge ofliterature and the analytical components that make up the framework of literary study, thestudent of literature can focus on the highly developed critical reasoning skills found inthe study of literature and literary texts. By building upon knowledge in the various disciplines, a constructivistframework of learning can be established. The constructivist approach utilized in theROM 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 showsthat 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, TheNorton Anthology of Theory and Criticism 1545-1557). Literature is a criticalcomponent for student learning and academic achievement which engages the learner inliterature’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 onthe knowledge of oneself and the “I-Thou” relation: “Synnoetics signifies relationalinsight or direct awareness. It is analogous in the sphere of knowing to sympathy in thesphere of feeling” (Kritsonis, 2007, p.12). Free will, personal choice, and responsibilitycan all be attributed to the synnoetics realm of meaning. It is necessary for students totake responsibility for their actions and the choices that they make. In education,
  • 86. 86“emotion and attention are our brains activation systems in that our brain will onlyrespond to emotionally arousing phenomena, and it must then frame and focus on thesilent element that led to the arousal” (Sylvester, 2006, p.34). Historical studies state thatpeople 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 offeeling and natural instincts in other words, feeling should replace reason as our guide tolife and our judge” (Magee, 2001, p. 126). Following this logic, when a student learns torespond to his or educational environment positively, the student has the opportunity toreach new horizons and to set new and higher goals for his or her own learning goals andactivities. Ortega Y.Gasset, Spanish philosopher and essayist, believed history and the selfwere 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 . . . ahistory” (Irving Howe, History of the Novel, as cited in Vincent B. Leitch The NortonAnthology of Theory and Criticism, 2001, 1532-47). Philosophically, a knowledge of selfhas been important to understanding not only the personal and internal, but also toestablish 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 ofRomanticism, the self becomes a shadow of our public lives, created within the modernhistorical 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 andCriticism, 2001, pp. 1532-47). R. G. Collingwood, English philosopher, aesthetician, andhistorian “holds that the value of history is self-understanding” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 487).
  • 87. 87This intrinsic knowledge of the self and the self’s relationship to the world around thisentity is critical to the self-mastery and discipline required to be academically successfuland intellectually astute. Understanding one’s own self and environment greatlyenhances a student’s ability to cope with the various realities and challenges found in theeducational setting. A knowledge of the self is an important tool in obtaining maximumeducational competencies and academic success and achievement in the classroom. The synnoetics realm is also reiterated by Collingwood when he states, “Knowingyourself means knowing, first, what it is to be a man; second, knowing what it is to be thekind of man that you are and third, knowing what is to be the man you are and nobodyelse is . . . The value of history, then, is that it teaches us what man has done and thuswhat man is” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 487). Therefore, “the self comes to be treasured as areserve of consciousness, a resource beyond the press of social forms . . . The veryassumption that we can locate a psychic presence that we call the self, or that it is usefulto suppose such a presence exists, implies a separation of inner being from outerbehavior” (Irving Howe, History of the Novel, as cited in Vincent B. Leitch The NortonAnthology of Theory and Criticism, 2001, pp. 1532-47). Incorporating the synnoeticsrealm into student learning and curriculum structure is therefore an important andreasoned validation for enhancing the curriculum through the relational aspects of astudent’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 thatexpress 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. 88reflects inter-subjective understanding, morality has to do with personal conduct that isbased on free, responsible, deliberate decision” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 13). The knowledgeand practice of ethical practices and understanding is foundational to all learning and selfmastery. Quintialian (c.a. 30/35 – c.a. 100) was a proponent of the value and nature ofthe moral and ethical realms of meaning. Quintilian elaborated on the benefits ofchoosing a moral and ethical way of life: The man who seeks true understanding “has agreater and nobler aim, to which he directs all his efforts with as much zeal as if he werea candidate for office, since he is to be made perfect not only in the glory of a virtuouslife, but in that of eloquence as well” (Quintilian, 2001, Institutio Oratorio as cited inVincent B. Leith, The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism, pp. 157-71). JohnLocke (1632-1704) followed Quintilian and other predecessors in addressing the moraland ethical needs of an educational system and society. John Locke’s ideal educationincludes four outcomes that are essential to ethics and good morals. These outcomesinclude “virtue…wisdom…good breeding [and] learning” (Kritsonis, 2002, p. 54). Theethics realm is an important and integral component in the overall structure anddevelopment of the curriculum structure. Moral proponents of curriculum “tend toelevate mind and language alike . . . for what subject can be found more fully adapted toa rich and weighty eloquence than the topics of virtue, politics, providence, the origin ofthe 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, themoral realm of meaning is an intricate and integral part of the overall learning process forstudents who seek meaning and fulfillment in the area of curriculum understanding andsubject mastery.
  • 89. 89The 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 “providesanalytic clarification, evaluation, and synthetic coordination of all the other realmsthrough a reflective conceptual interpretation of all possible kinds of meaning in theirdistinctiveness and in their interrelationships” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 13). This historicalrealm 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 arealization of whole time, in which particular unique happenings actuallyoccurred. (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 484) The disciplined nature of historical discourse integrates all facets of thecurriculum program. History is definitely more than just a “recital of dead ‘facts’ thathave no apparent relevance [or meaning]” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 488). There arerelationships in historical studies that can be studied in tandem with other disciplineswhich will further add depth and understanding to the curriculum structure. Integratedcurriculum relationships between history and other disciplines can be easily seen in boththe sciences and the arts. For example, “history is like art-especially literature-in that itsgoal 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 inthat the student academician can see not only the relationships between subject matters
  • 90. 90but also develop deeper and higher cognitive levels of thought and meaningful perceptiveskills 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 isunlike art in that, although its words are imaginatively constructed, they are intended asdisclosures 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 andanalytical judgment. Background knowledge is extremely important in the study andinterpretation of historical events. The making of history itself “is a process of drawinginferences from available evidence” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 490). When the historian gathersevidence for historical discourse, “history may then be defined as that imaginative re-creation of past human evens that best accords with the evidence of the present, or morebriefly, 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 andformulates a discussion for the future and facilitates scholarly discussion and research oncurrent issues passed on past occurrences. The philosophical realm of meaning is also part of an integrated and intellectuallystimulating curriculum model. Philosophy is the art and study of human thought andwisdom and is a critical component of deep student understanding, application, andcurriculum design. By incorporating a thoughtful and provocative discourse on learningsubstantiated by an in-depth understanding and philosophical discourse, a more rigorousand in-depth presentation of the curriculum is possible. Application and Selection of the ROM’s Philosophy in Curriculum Selection
  • 91. 91 Curriculum philosophies of learning do not provide any benefit to the educationalcommunity unless they can be applied to the real world of academic learning in theclassroom. The ROM curriculum philosophy can be useful in identifying parallelcurriculum models that can be implemented in the educational classroom. By identifyingparallel characteristics of the ROM philosophy, curriculum attributes in other models canbe identified that can potentially aid and support the learning process of districtsimplementing parallel models of the ROM curriculum philosophy: “The educator mustselect qualitatively the most significant materials from the totality of what is known”(Kritsonis, 2007, p. 208). This substantiates the fact that an “interdependence ofspecialists 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 adaptedin order to add sequence and logic to the learning process. Through researched-basedstudies, educational leaders can make viable decisions regarding the curriculum and itseffect on the outcomes of student achievement and learning by studying the research andmaking research-based decisions on how to effectively implement a curriculum model inthe 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 aphilosophical design can be used to select and utilize a model of instruction in theclassroom that can seek to engender meaningful instruction in the classroom. Thepurpose of a curriculum model is to provide an academic framework that will structure
  • 92. 92the disciplines to be studied in an effective manner in order to facilitate a deeperunderstanding 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 primaryconcern to every educational leader who seeks to meet the diverse needs of high schoolstudents in the classroom. By developing a framework for learning and student academicachievement, a structural foundation and guide can be developed to effectively administerlearning in the classroom and enhance student academic achievement. One constructivistmodel of the curriculum can be found in the Ways of Knowing through the Realms ofMeaning (ROM) curriculum philosophy. This model provides a philosophical basis forcurriculum design, understanding, and implementation. The philosophies embodied inthe ROM model are similar in design and attributes of an emerging new curriculumdesign entitled CSCOPETM. Because of the structural similarities in curriculumphilosophy embodied in these two curriculum models, the CSCOPETM philosophies canbe considered a parallel philosophical curriculum related by similarities in philosophiesto the philosophical framework of the ROM curriculum philosophy. Because the Waysof 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 theCSCOPETM model which share the same philosophical and educational components.These similarities and philosophies are shared in detail later in this manuscript. Since thepurpose of this study is to show how a curriculum model which adheres to a prescribededucational philosophy can affect student academic achievement, the CSCOPETMcurriculum does show similar philosophical and curriculum framework structures with
  • 93. 93the ROM philosophy of learning, allowing the two curriculum models to be consideredparallel and similar in the core philosophical principles embraced in both learningmodels. In order to test the Realms philosophy in the classroom, the CSCOPETMcurriculum model has been selected as an example of a school that utilizes parallelcurriculum philosophies in the teaching and structure of subject matter curriculum. Forthe purpose of this study, CSCOPETM schools which have been identified as havingphilosophies that are similar to the ROM curricular philosophy are being utilized asschools to be called in this study Realms of Meaning schools in that they areimplementing to various degrees and limitations similar philosophical attributesrepresented in both the CSCOPETM delivery of the curriculum and represented by thephilosophical basis of curricular design found in the ROM curriculum philosophy.Attributes of the CSCOPETM curriculum have been identified through extant dataavailable publicly on the Internet, and in communications and interviews, both formaland 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 beserved by the general education teachers and educational structures: “The course ofstudy should be such as to maximize meanings” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 559). In Texas, theTexas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) framework forms the state curriculum.This framework is built upon the premise that student learning and academic achievementis best promoted by the use of a strong curriculum, excellent instruction, and valid andreliable assessment procedures. The TEKS provide a broad framework for learning,
  • 94. 94outlining and proposing what students should be taught through their public schooleducational careers. The CSCOPETM model, reflected in the ROM curriculumphilosophy, builds upon this same jurisdiction. Each model incorporates student learningactivities that meet or exceed the TEKS academic requirements for scope and sequence inthe curriculum.
  • 95. 95 Curriculum Alignment Curriculum alignment holds great promise for being one of the academic toolswhich can level the playing field for all students regardless of race, ethnicity, or socio-economic status and background. Alignment can be either vertical or horizontal.Vertical alignment structures a curriculum scope and sequence through the various gradelevels incorporated into the campus structure. Horizontal alignment assures that coursesare integrated and that knowledge within the disciplines is supported by a broadknowledge base of integration among curriculum ideas that are inter-related acrossdisciplines. Especially in the area of high stakes testing it is important to have acurriculum that is fully aligned in order to support student success and academicachievement: “The basic construct for curriculum alignment is to ensure that what istested is what is taught” (English & Steffey, 2001, p. 25). The CSCOPETM modelreflected in the ROM curriculum model and philosophy emphasizes a curriculumstructure that aligns with the TEKS components for each grade level and that each subjectarea is supported with background knowledge and information to ensure a deep level ofunderstanding and critical awareness of the subject matter. Specifically, the CSCOPETM curriculum model “is based on best practice modelsfrom top researchers” (Texas Educational Service Center Curriculum Cooperative(TESCCC, 2004, p. 1). The best practice models are drawn from educational researchand academic studies that show how various structures and philosophies of learning areincorporated into successful academic curriculum structures and models. In the ROMcurriculum 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. 96ultimate goal is to improve curriculum in schools. To improve schools, curriculumcontent must be selected with realms of meaning” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 7). By selectingcourse work that is meaningful and structured, a framework for curriculum design isoutlined that will contribute to both a vertical and horizontal alignment of the curriculum.To assess if curriculum alignment and curriculum integration has been successful, “thelitmus test is always this: has the condition resulted in consistent score gains on thetest(s)” (English & Steffey, 2001, p. 87). For Texas school students, a measure ofacademic gain is measured by the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and SkillsTM test.Success or failure on this test measures student academic achievement student and iscurrently used as an instrument to decide if a student is allowed to graduate from highschool and receive his or her high school diploma. Therefore, a curriculum model that issuccessful must also be a flexible curricula structure that will correspond to the learningneeds and attributes of a diverse and ever-changing student population. Pedagogical Parallelism Education that is effective requires that students be taught at standards that exceedbasic facts and a simplistic knowledge of core curriculum ideas. To succeed, a studentmust be aware of the interrelationships of the various disciplines and to be able to applythe 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 aspedagogical parallelism: “Pedagogical parallelism refers to the notion that classroomteachers create an alternative but parallel environment in which their students not onlylearn what is on the test, but learn more. The teachers go deeper than the testedcurriculum content” (English & Steffey, 2001, p. 97). The CSCOPETM model, developed
  • 97. 97by the Texas Educational Service Center Curriculum Collaborative (TESCCC) isreflective of this model in that “rigor, relevance (and) quality” (TESCCC, 2004, p. 5) areimportant components of the CSCOPETM model. In comparison, the ROM curriculumphilosophy engenders a high level of critical thinking and application which also impliesa strong dedication to the rigorous and educationally relevant course material of theCSCOPETM model. CSCOPETM and ROM curriculum philosophy embody pedagogicalparallelism structure and focus on parallel ideas of learning by structuring the curriculumto embody multifaceted dimensions of learning in the overall curriculum structure andcurriculum philosophy. Through the implementation of a pedagogical parallel curriculummodel, subject matter can be integrated and understood in relationship to the dynamics ofother curriculum taught in the classroom. Schools identified as ROM schools are those schools which utilize and implementthe CSCOPETM curriculum model and philosophy to various degrees of implementationlevels, usage, and strategies. This researcher is utilizing the public information availablefrom the CSCOPETM curriculum model to identify similar and parallel curriculumphilosophies that build on similar philosophical frameworks of understanding andmeaning 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 ofthe cooperating Educational Service centers in Texas which house and support theCSCOPETM curricula program in Texas. CSCOPETM is acquired through a district orschool purchase from one of thirteen region centers in the state of Texas. It is a computerbased curricular format that implements a wide range of curricular activity in theclassroom based on strong educational research and design. Schools that choose to
  • 98. 98purchase the CSCOPETM model are not mandated to use the program in its entirety, butmay choose either to work with all of the elements of a curriculum or choose sections ofthe program that will most benefit their home campuses. To understand the basis of the CSCOPETM model, and the ROM curriculummodel and philosophy, the underlying philosophy and curriculum of the CSCOPETMcurriculum model and the ROM curriculum philosophy will be discussed to establish thephilosophical and educational strategies that have been used to implement and design theCSCOPETM/Realms of Meaning parallel curriculum philosophies and attributes. Curriculum Design and Curricular Alignment Schools are now regulated by higher standards and expectations based on studentachievement and academic success in the classroom. Higher and more rigorous academicstandards have created an academic atmosphere that requires that educators seek tostructure the learning environment to provide the highest and best learning opportunitiesavailable for all students regardless of race, ethnicity, or social status: “Since the launchof the accountability movement, many school districts have made progress with alignedsystems of instruction . . . . These aligned systems link school practice with state andlocal standards” (Vanderark, 2006, p. 36). In this way, “students learn the material onwhat will be tested” (Vanderark, 2006, p. 36). This system of learning is evident in theROM curriculum philosophy as well as the CSCOPETM model of instruction. Thesecurriculum models can be presented both vertically and horizontally in the classroom andcan help to level the playing fields of all students and provide a more in-depth model ofcurriculum mastery that will affect student learning and achievement: “In this system,the curriculum, assessment, and professional development all work together. Students
  • 99. 99learn the material on which they will be tested, and teachers know what was covered inprior 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 presentin both the ROM and CSCOPETM curriculum models. Each model provides the structuralframework to teach students more than just the basic required factual components of agiven subject matter and expands the curriculum component to a more integrated andholistic framework for learning. Foundational Principles of the CSCOPETM Model and the ROM Curriculum PhilosophyBackground Knowledge and Information Robert Marzano’s (2004) work on background knowledge and information hasbeen pivotal in the development of the CSCOPETM curriculum model. For students to beable to function literately and effectively in an integrated curriculum system, a broadbackground of educational material is a necessary component to the overall goal oflearning and achievement: “Background knowledge is inherently multidimensional”(Marzano, 2004, p. 28). This type of knowledge is foundational to a student’s ability tocompare and contrast the attributes of one discipline to another and to be able to actuallyarticulate the meaning and function of a particular discipline in a practical and logicalway in the curriculum. One of the pressing problems of education today is that a student’s level ofknowledge, history, and foundational truths has been replaced with a level of academicstudy that simply looks at the surface of a subject without trying to understand the fullmeaning and significance of a particular study area or discipline. Lack of sufficient
  • 100. 100background knowledge puts the general education student at-risk for failure and in dangerof not being able to successfully participate in higher level intellectual discourses andlearning paradigms. Adding to a student’s background knowledge will ultimatelyfacilitate a deeper understanding of the curriculum and a greater chance of bothindividual 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, educationalleaders are seeking the best and most effective ways to design curricular programs thattruly affect student learning and academic achievement. The CSCOPETM curriculummodel and the ROM model both embody the philosophies of relevant engagement andhigh academic standards. Although different in their names and origins, both curriculummodels are unique in that each model is reflective of the philosophical and educationalframework of both the CSCOPETM and ROM curriculum models: “World-wide, peopleare aware of the need for the most effective possible education system if we are to meetthe challenges and demands of life in a highly precarious and rapidly changing world”(Kritsonis, 2007, p. vii). To accomplish these goals, the curriculum component ofCSCOPETM is based on “the most current research-based practices in the field”(TESCCC, 2008, p. 1). Both models are framed by strong, philosophical frameworks thatemphasize researched based curriculum components designed to maximize studentlearning and academic achievement. Knowledge is empowering and “has permanent value leading to greater meaningand greater understanding when drawn from the fundamental disciplines as exemplifiedin the realms of meaning” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. ix). The ROM curriculum model is
  • 101. 101structured around a framework of six realms of meaning which directly correlate with themajor 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 ofmaximizing and facilitating student learning and achievement. Because the realities ofthe Texas curriculum begin with a state based curriculum, the TEKS, and a high-stakesaccountability testing system (TAKSTM), researchers and curriculum designers whohelped to implement this model of design based their model on the needs of studentlearners in general and student needs based on the state curriculum in particular. Preeminent in both the CSCOPETM and the ROM curriculum models is thatstudents will learn and achieve at a deeper and higher cognitive level than previouslymastered using other curriculum philosophies and programs. In order to accomplish thisand the ROM model designed by Kritsonis, offer a pattern for student learning andsuccess. When these models are utilized within the framework of academic exigency andexpediency, both models have the potential of dramatically affecting the way studentslearn and achieve academically in the required academic work mandated through theTEKS and in the course of the educational process. While it is fully acknowledged thatthe Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy and theCSCOPETM curriculum model are two totally separate entities, the purpose of this study isnot to focus on the individual differences of each comparative model, but to see whatsimilarities in relationship to curriculum philosophies these two entities share.
  • 102. 102The Importance of Structuring the Curriculum Marzano, who’s learning and educational principles are foundational to both theCSCOPETM and ROM curriculum model, has identified five school level factors thataffect student academic achievement. These factors as reported by Marzano are: “(1)guaranteed and viable curriculum (2) challenging goals and effective feedback (3) parentand community involvement (4) safe and orderly environment (5) collegiality andprofessionalism” (Marzano, 2003, p. 15). These goals, which are incorporated both intothe ROM curriculum model and the CSCOPETM curriculum model, substantiate both theneeds and potential rewards of utilizing an integrated and interdisciplinary curriculummodel. In today’s highly competitive society, schools are challenged not only to providean opportunity to learn in the classroom, schools must now seek “to provide a curriculumthat is highly effective and beneficial to all learners” (Marzano, 2003, p. 15). RobertMarzano further states that “a guaranteed and viable curriculum at the school-level factorwill have the most impact on student achievement, followed by challenging goals andeffective feedback” (Marzano, 2003, p. 15). These aspects of curriculum design areevident in the CSCOPETM curriculum model as well as the Realms of Meaningcurriculum philosophy.A Unitary Philosophy of the Curriculum Curriculum philosophy can be defined as the values and core principles of aparticular system of learning. Identifying the basic philosophies of a curriculum isimportant in structuring the learning process for student academic achievement. For thisreason, “a unitary philosophy of the curriculum is important” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 3). By
  • 103. 103showing the relationships between the various subjects studied in a curriculum, astudent’s overall mastery of a subject can be enhanced. CSCOPETM literature hasidentified the importance of a strong curriculum philosophy based on expert knowledgein 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 theirunderstanding of new information: it allows them to see patterns,relationships and discrepancies and make connections torelevant knowledge not apparent 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 isimportant because “a curriculum based upon the realms of meaning counteracts thefragmentation 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 andsynoptic 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 asingle meaningful pattern” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 15). Students must understand thefundamental concepts of a given subject matter before attempting to add to their learningbase. Units of study in CSCOPETM build upon previous lessons to “support high qualityinstructional planning and delivery” (TESCCC, 2008, p. 2). This constructivistframework of learning is essential to student learning and success.
  • 104. 104 Classifying Meaning in CSCOPETM and the ROM Curriculum Philosophy Curriculum planning and structure require a scholarly division of course materialin order to benefit the student learner. The CSCOPETM curriculum and the ROMcurriculum philosophy model have each been divided into scholarly disciplines and broadcategories in order to facilitate a greater depth of student learning, knowledge, andstudent academic achievement. The categories of study in both curriculums are structured“along lines of general similarity of logical structure. In this manner, certain basic waysof knowing can be described” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 46). Teaching to larger patterns in bothphilosophies 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 addcoherence to the overall educational process.Representative Ideas Representative ideas help to garner background information and form the basisand foundation for effective pedagogy and student academic learning and success.Representative ideas are symbolic and represent important and specific ideas of aparticular learning model and discipline. Representative ideas are necessary in acurriculum because the breadth and depth of knowledge available for study require that aselection of what should be taught in the classroom be based on the magnitude of what isimportant and necessary to learning and acquiring knowledge. The TEKS standards areutilized as the framework for learning in the CSCOPETM model. This integration of thestandards in the curriculum can also be seen in the Realms of Meaning model. Just as theTEKS offers a representation of knowledge found in each of the disciplines, the same
  • 105. 105principles 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 awhole” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 19). A Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy establishesthe importance of utilizing symbolic infrastructures in the learning process to incorporatea newer and higher significance level of meaning in the classroom. In the CSCOPETMmodel, “the Texas Education Service Center Curriculum Collaborative (TESCCC) hasdeveloped a systematic K-12 curriculum designed, maintained, and continuouslydeveloped 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 astrong and effective curriculum “is to provide a common language, structure, and processfor curriculum development and implementation” (TESCCC, 2008, p. 1). TheCSCOPETM curriculum model is built on representative ideas and therefore is parallel andconsistent with the ROM curriculum philosophy in regards to the use and adherence torepresentative 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 areconsistent in both the CSCOPETM curriculum model and the Realms of Meaning model.These principles include disciplined inquiry, content selection from a large reservoir ofmaterial, comprehensive methods of inquiry, and a curriculum that inspires activeparticipation 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. 106complex, authentic opportunities to explain, interpret, apply, shift, perspective,empathize, and self-assess” (TESCCC, 2008, p. 13). These skills develop methods ofinquiry skills that “develop a repertoire of flexible strategies learned and practiced in acommunity 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 thefundamental disciplines of curriculum knowledge and direction: English language arts,mathematics, social studies, and science. Kritsonis (2007) also contends that “allmaterial 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 ofmeaning which include ethics, synnoetics, and esthetics.Course Selection, Sequence, and Scope Course selection should follow a logical sequence and scope in deference to theneeds of the student body being served: “Developmentally, language clearly comes first(symbolics) and integrative studies last (synoptics). Moral meanings (ethics) appearrelatively late, after a firm sense of oneself and of one’s relationships with others havebeen 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 toapply these sensitivities and skills to understanding the empiric and factually alignedcomponents of a science curriculum. Therefore, how a curriculum is aligned andstructured is important to the overall process of curriculum integration and design. Byaligning the curriculum in a logical and systematic way, both the CSCOPETM model andthe ROM curriculum philosophy model assure that student learning is “logical and
  • 107. 107developmental 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 theinterdisciplinary characteristics of each discipline studied and how this knowledge relatesto the overall understanding and involvement in the learning process. The Four Principles of Curriculum Instruction CSCOPETM outlines four principles of curriculum instruction: “(1) disciplinedinquiry, (2) content selection, (3) comprehensive methods of inquiry, and (4) invoking acurriculum that inspires active participation and imagination” (TESCCC, 2002, p. 1).These four proponents of curriculum instruction are directly supported in the ROMcurriculum philosophy and model of curriculum design.Disciplined Inquiry The CSCOPETM curriculum model utilizes the disciplined inquiry approachthrough CSCOPE’sTM Vertical Alignment Documents. Specific and disciplined inquiryinto the various academic disciplines is built around the TEKS framework and developedto include a knowledge base of the curriculum that is taught and aligned through a districtwide curriculum plan and learning focus. Each discipline is built upon sound academicprinciples for the subject matter studied and is enhanced through integrating othercurriculum subject areas into the major areas of academic consideration. Thisconstructivist approach to learning allows the student to build upon his or her learningstrengths and to add new knowledge and subject mastery to the student’s portfolio oflearning. Kritsonis (2007) states, “if one possesses the tools of inquiry, he is not in needof a large store of accumulated knowledge. He is able to adapt and improvise to meet theneeds of particular situations and is less dependent upon the results of others” (p. 728).
  • 108. 108Disciplined inquiry is important because “the overall strategy of inquiry in the severalrealms does not change at all. The respective logics of language, science, art, personalunderstanding, morals, and the synoptic disciplines remain constant” (Kritsonis, 2007, p.729). According to Kritsonis (2007) and the ROM curriculum model, “goodteaching . . . lies in a program of guided rediscovery, in which the student discovers forhimself what others before him have found out” (p. 735). Likewise, the CSCOPETMmodel embodies the idea of student reflection and inquiry in the process of studentlearning and academic achievement. In both models, “students will make sense ofcomplex ideas by thinking deeply, weighing alternatives, justifying their thinkingprocess, and making connections with prior learning and experiences” (TESCCC, 2008,p.6). Kritsonis states that “methods of inquiry are relevant to the methods of teachingthat discipline” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 812). In the CSCOPETM model, consistent with thephilosophical basis and foundational principles of the ROM curriculum model, “studentsconstruct meaning through disciplined inquiry” (TESCCC, 2008, p. 10). This basicphilosophical premise of inquiry relevance is directly and effectively utilized in both theCSCOPETM model and the ROM curriculum philosophy. The CSCOPETM model effectively bundles learning segments in bundles ofrelated and inter-related material. This organization of the curriculum provides access toa wide array of subject matter and inter-disciplinarian methods of student inquiry. Thisorganization of subject matter “presupposes a belief that the goal of education is toproduce 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. 109educational experience for students engaged in the learning process and helps to stimulateand promote an active level of scholarly activity.Comprehensive Methods of Inquiry The organization of a curriculum is critical to the understanding and framework ofimparting knowledge and instruction. In the CSCOPETM model, curricula alignment is anintegral part of the overall curriculum design and learning process. Courses are nottaught in isolation and are logically presented throughout the student’s academic careerand academic programming. Guidelines for choosing an effective curriculum model aspresented by the ROM curriculum philosophy emphasize the importance of defining andaligning the curriculum to make learning meaningful and curriculum presentation logicaland connected. In the CSCOPETM model the comprehensive method of inquiry is foundin the Instructional Focus Documents: “The instructional focus documents are used togroup the specified standards from the Vertical Alignment Documents into a localsequence for instruction” (TESCCC 2008). Through alignment, a curriculum ensuresthat the required and appropriate subject material is taught across both grade levels andacademic course disciplines. In the ROM curriculum philosophy knowledge is”bundled” in categories represented by the realms and include six classifications oflearning which include symbolics, empirics, esthetics, synnoetics, ethics, and synoptics.Inspiration, Participation, and Imagination Inspiration, participation, and imagination are three critical components for activestudent learning, involvement, and academic engagement. The ROM curriculum modelmirrors these proponents of inspiration, participation, and imaginations. Students mustbe able to see meaning and purpose in their educational studies. Kritsonis (2007)
  • 110. 110ascertains “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 alwaysbe 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 imaginationand inquisitive nature of a diverse population of student learners, the curriculum is betterable to meet and reach diverse populations who work at different levels of academicunderstanding, have various degrees of intelligence, and have unique and varied learningstyles. Teachers are encouraged in both the ROM curriculum philosophy and theCSCOPETM model to adhere to high rigorous standards but are also given the freedom topresent the material in a manner conducive to the teacher’s own unique teaching style andmode of classroom academic presentation preference in the classroom. In the CSCOPETMmodel as well as the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy “the curriculumdestination is non-negotiable since we are legally bound as educators to implement thestate standards. However, the actual journey that teachers plan with their students maylook 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 theopportunity for curriculum differentiation allows individualization of lesson plans andcurriculum implementation. Teacher creativity can also be inserted into the curriculum toenhance a student’s overall opportunity for learning and academic success in theclassroom.
  • 111. 111Curriculum and Socializations The Realms of Meaning model “is itself inherently social. Meanings arerelational. Meanings are shared” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 21). The CSCOPETM model alsoprovides for social interaction and participation by all educational leaders who participatein the facilitation and implementation of a district’s curriculum. In the CSCOPETMmodel, “administrators and teachers are supported with sustained, intensive staffdevelopment to ensure systemic change district wide” (TESCCC 2008). From theadolescent learner’s perspective, “students reveal their understanding most effectivelywhen they are provided with complex, authentic opportunities to explain, interpret, apply,shift perspective, empathize, and self-assess” (TESCCC 2008). This synnoeticperspective supports and encourages interaction. The CSCOPETM curriculum model isbuilt around a communication model that involves district/system curriculum leaders,campus curriculum leaders, and teacher communication and social interaction in order tocommuhnicate and develop the CSCOPETM model in the individual student’s life, therebyproviding the opportunity for increased academic growth and change. State Requirements, CSCOPETM, and the Realms In the CSCOPETM model the curriculum philosophy is designed to articulateguidelines and specific core subject areas must be included in the state curriculum.Theses subject areas (aligned with the ROM curriculum model) are designated asfollows: English language arts (symbolics and esthetics), mathematics (symbolics),science (empirics), and social studies (synoptics). These core courses are the basis of alleducational programs for students who attend Texas public schools. The enrichmentcurriculum provided by the TEKS matrix for learning include fine arts (esthetics), health
  • 112. 112(empirics and synnoetics), languages other than English (symbolics), and technologyapplications (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 andsupport inspiration, participation, and imagination in the curriculum. Both curriculumshave embodied a curriculum philosophy parallel and consistent with the 5E instructionalmodel. 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 curriculumphilosophies and structure allowing both curriculum philosophies to facilitate studentlearning through acrimonious symbolic, esthetic, and synoptic features of learning.Principle One: Engage A fundamental principle of the CSCOPETM model is that all students be engagedand 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, thesymbolics realm helps to define the structure for engagement and meaning in theclassroom. Language and communication contain “meanings, ideation, or the mentalpower to form ideas” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 113), thereby allowing the student to becomeactively involved in the educational process. When students are active participants in their learning environments, learningbecomes more practical and productive. The practical intellect encourages activeparticipation (engagement) while the theoretical allows for knowledge of theory and
  • 113. 113foundational knowledge: “Aristotle made a useful distinction between the theoretical orspeculative intellect belonging to mathematics, science, and philosophy and the practicalintellect belonging to art and morals” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 278). This distinctionencourages and allows for integration and inter-relationships between the curriculums asjustified and proposed by both the CSCOPETM curriculum philosophy and the ROMcurriculum philosophy.Principle 2: Explore The second principle of the CSCOPETM curriculum philosophy is the curriculummandate to explore. Encouraging students to seek out answers, explore solutions, andpredict outcomes is synonymous with the empirics realm of meaning. This realm ofmeaning “includes the sciences of the physical world of living things, and of man. Thesesciences provide factual descriptions, generalizations and theoretical formulations andexplanations 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 studentslearn to explore the unknown and seek answers outside of the realm of the known toempower and strengthen creative and constructive thinking conducive to a more rigorousand demanding curriculum.Principle 3: Explain When educators are able to take the curriculum and present the material in aformat that meets the needs of the learner, then the explanation and strategy for learningis an integral part of the total student learning experience: “Evidence of studentunderstanding is revealed when students apply (transfer) knowledge in authenticcontexts” (TESCCC 2008). In dealing with curriculum development and
  • 114. 114implementation, 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 classroomsetting and environment. A fundamental grasp of the symbolics realm helps to build strong academicfoundations and allows teachers to use mental images and hands-on activities to enhancestudent learning. Teachers must be able to utilize intellectual communication strategiesin order to fully present the subject matter being taught in the classroom. Throughthorough and effective explanation strategies in the classroom, students can grasp a moreintricate and complex meaning of the curriculum. Explanations for educational ideals and concepts can be provided in variousscenarios and contexts: “Some language and mathematics should be learned as such intheir own domains in order to gain insight into the distinctive qualities of symbolics as akind of meaning” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 595). In contrast, “some symbolic forms shouldalso be learned in connection with other types of inquiry, in order to make evident howsymbolism functions in the various other realms of meaning” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 595).The realm of symbolics is foundational to student learning and thus forms thefoundational basis for all student learning and understanding.Principle Four: Elaboration The fourth principle of the CSCOPETM curriculum philosophy that is parallel tothe ROM curriculum model is the principle of elaboration. By learning to elaborate onthe important aspects of the curriculum, students master basic concepts and move on tohigher constructs of learning through the ability to elaborate, explain and connectlearning to other areas of disciplined inquiry and subject mastery. The ROM model
  • 115. 115emphasizes an integrated curriculum which allows and supports the principle ofelaboration in the curriculum. Each of the six realms supports the philosophy ofelaboration 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 curriculumphilosophy is the principle of evaluation. Evaluation is reflective in the synoptic realm inthat 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 reflectiveconceptual interpretation of all kinds of possible kinds of meaning in their distinctivenessand in their interrelationships” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 13). In the study of mathematics,“mathematical understanding consists in comprehending the method of complete logicalabstraction and of drawing necessary conclusions from basic formal premises” (Kritsonis,p. 132). The synnoetics realm is also prevalent in the evaluation process of theCSCOPETM and ROM curriculum models. A student’s understanding is revealed “mosteffectively 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 representativecurriculum components allowing a smooth transition form year to year in the givensubject 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. 116students who have not mastered content in a previous year. The ROM model mirrors andreflects the philosophy that the curriculum should be developed and modeled in a fashionthat seeks to meet the individualized needs of learners. The ROM curriculumphilosophy, as well as the CSCOPETM curriculum model emphasizes the uniqueness ofthe learner and the need to address learning inconsistencies and ensure that mastery of thecontent is achieved. According to the ROM curriculum model “human nature itself supplies the clue tothe minimal scope of the curriculum” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 554). The CSCOPETM modelhas built into its curriculum framework a facet for instruction that allows the flexibility tohelp the at-risk or behind student learner. Meeting the needs of the diverse learner isadvocated 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 itscurriculum founded upon the student’s ability and readiness to learn. Although a studentmay have been promoted to a certain grade level, this does not mean that the student hasmastered previous concepts and is ready to move ahead in the learning process. In the ROM model of instruction lessons are arranged in accordance to thelearning style, age, and category of the student: “Appropriate lessons in the realm ofpersonal relations vary according to the stage in life . . . .Teaching should be planned soas to take account of the particular tasks confronting the person at the stage in life inwhich he is living” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 623). The CSCOPETM model also reflects theROM philosophy of responsive teaching and incorporates into the curriculum that a
  • 117. 117student’s “incomplete understandings, false beliefs, and misconceptions may be barriersto their successful mastery on new and more complex ideas and content”(TESCCC 2008). The ROM model highlights the fact that “the educator needs tounderstand the sources of failure at any stage in the light of possible failures ofachievement at earlier stages” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 622). The educator must also “beprepared to make available such remedial reeducation as may be necessary to share upthe weak foundations” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 622). Good teaching requires that someconvincing patterns be used to coordinate the materials taught” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 743).This alignment philosophy is physically realized in the CSCOPETM curriculum modelwhere vertical and horizontal curriculum alignment structures have been developed. Within the CSCOPETM curriculum and the ROM model there are component linesof instruction focused on horizontal alignment in the curriculum. Alignment decisions arebased on the premise that a student’s learning is based on the needs and challenges ofvarious life stages and developments. The ROM model contends that “the stages of lifeare 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 studentperformance expectations is critical . . .This ensures that the teacher understands exactlywhat 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 andmore rigorous level of curriculum and curriculum intervention.
  • 118. 118 Related Research Studies: Best Practice Models A related research study focusing on best practice modules illustrates how studentlearning and academic achievement research has benefited the educational community.Through research modules and studies such as the “Best Practices” model and Henning’scurricula research on the importance of data driven decision making and teacherleadership, educators are able to disaggregate these findings to implement more effectivelearning opportunities for student academic achievement and success in the classroom.To maximize this knowledge, educators must determine what the ideal curriculum modelis for their school and student body. According to Kritsonis (2007), “The idealcurriculum is one in which the maximum coherence is achieved, and segmentation isminimized” (Kritsonis, p. 593). Within this construct, utilizing a curriculum philosophyfirmly rooted in the structural framework of the realms of meaning, truly offers adefinitive curriculum outline for success that utilizes the “interrelationships of the variouskinds 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 meaningin academic studies by facilitating the growth and formation of the complete person. Thecomplete 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 anddisciplined life in relation to self and others (synnoetics), able to make wisedecisions and to judge between right and wrong (ethics), and possessed ofan integral outlook (synoptics). (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 15)
  • 119. 119 In today’s competitive society, students must be engaged in meaningful venues ofstudy in order to perpetuate the academic growth necessary to compete and participate inthe modern academic classroom and 21st century workplace.Texas High School Best Practice Study In an effort to understand the components of effective schools, leadership, andstudent academic success, numerous studies have been enacted to foster an understandingof what policies and procedures contribute to student success. The “Texas High SchoolBest Practice Study” was part of a larger national research study to investigate thepractices of schools that consistently outperform their peers. The Texas study looked forthe characteristics of high performing schools and compared these attributes to thestructure and performance of schools who were not achieving academically at the samelevel. Through this study, best practices were identified that enhanced studentachievement in the areas of “curriculum and academic goals; instructional programs,practices and arrangements; monitoring: compilation, analysis, and use of data andrecognition, intervention and adjustment” (Just for Kids, 2005, p. 2). Four Texas highschools were included in this study and included Katy Taylor High School, BrownsvilleLopez High School, Fredericksburg High School, and San Antonio Breckenridge HighSchool. The National Center for Educational Accountability (NCEA) State Best Practicestudy was founded upon one primary research question: “How do higher performingschools in the state differ from average-performing schools?” (Just for Kids, 2005, p. 1).Supplemental questions were also posed, which included “How do the educationalstructures differ between the two types of schools?” (Just for Kids, 2005, p. 1).
  • 120. 120Study Goals The study was conducted in the format of a case study: “Although the currentfederal research trend favors experimental research conducted to establish causal links,well-executed case study research serves a valuable purpose in illuminating possiblecorrelations 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 morefully detailed and explained in regards to the factors of each significant finding in thisstudy.Case Study: Significant Findings In the “Best Practice” study, curriculum and academic goals were a prominentpart of the project’s research agenda. Significant findings in curriculum implementationare 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 exemplaryperformance 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 equivalency; and the Recommended High SchoolProgram. (Just for Kids, 2005, p. 1) In regards to their curriculum structure, a vertical and horizontal alignment of thecurriculum was developed and implemented throughout the district. This was designedto create a more unified and cohesive learning environment throughout the district and
  • 121. 121individual school campuses. In addition, “the district curriculum uses the TEKS as astarting 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 TexasEssential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) framework provides specific itemized learningobjectives that should be mastered at each grade level in Texas schools. The thirdcurriculum component within the academic structure was the mandate that “what istaught 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 overallacademic cohesiveness throughout the district.Lopez High School – Brownsville Independent School District Another school which has shown advanced academic standing throughout thestate of Texas is Lopez High School of Brownsville ISD. Situated between the Texas andMexico border, the district faces many challenges that other school districts do not haveto contend with: “Nearly half of the students served by the Brownsville ISD areidentified 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 aformal 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 ofevery student that walks through their doors. This is reflected in their desire to providequality 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 performingschool: “The district’s curriculum uses the TEKS as a starting point in order to create thedistrict’s graduate profile” (Just for Kids, 2005, p. 1). From this vantage point, the
  • 122. 122district utilizes the principle of backward design in order to align, plot, and plan thedistrict and individual campus goals for instruction and student achievement. In order to enhance learning opportunities, the superintendent has stressed thatcurriculum documents be utilized in the classroom and used as a planning tool forcampus instruction. Curriculum documents are developed for each subject area andrealigned throughout the year to enhance instruction: “Instructional arrangements arebased 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 addresschanges in the curriculum structure that will seek to evoke positive educational change inthe 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 ofthe central portion of Texas: “The district provides curriculum guides, built upon thestate standards, that identify what teachers should teach” (Just for Kids, 2005, p. 1). Thecurriculum is vertically aligned to ensure a smooth transition between grade levels andhorizontally aligned “so that their instruction can build on the experiences students havein other classes, including Advanced Placement courses” (Just for Kids, 2005, p. 1). Thesuperintendent ultimately makes the decision of the curriculum that will be used, butinput from the campus principals and classroom teachers are accepted. Selection of instructional material is a coordinated effort between the school andeducational district leaders in the community: “The superintendent reports that thedistrict is ‘innovative but not experimental and that relevant research is reviewed before
  • 123. 123adopting large-scale programs” (Just for Kids, 2005, p. 2). Although guided as to what toteach in the classroom is mandated, how to teach is left up to the teacher. Thesuperintendent reports that “the district does not require all teachers to use the sameresources, 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 andpedagogical strengths to enhance classroom learning and student academic achievementand performance.Breckenridge High School - San Antonio Independent School District Breckenridge High School supports student learning through a top-downcurriculum implementation program. Curriculum planning, goals, and instructionalmandates are clearly made at the central office district level: “The superintendentfacilitates ongoing grade level discussions about the scope and sequence and regularlybuilds on the district nine month assessments” (Just for Kids, 2005, p. 1). The principalfollows the superintendent’s lead by “using testing results to ensure teachers arefollowing the curriculum and are aligned with the TEKS” (Just for Kids, 2005, p. 1). Analigned curriculum allows each grade level to constructively build upon previous yearsexperience to support and enhance new learning that occurs in the classroom. This modelhas been successful for Breckenridge and has helped the district to gain significantly instudent progress and achievement.Significant Study Findings Through these studies, a foundational basis and academic perspective wasobtained that added to the body of academic research and best practice studies. Thesecombined case studies have provided a framework and structure for curriculum design,
  • 124. 124implementation, and student academic achievement in the classroom based on what hasbeen successful in other schools. Reviewing the concepts, philosophies, and proceduresof successful school districts such as the school listed above can aid to the understandingof how to translate best practice teaching strategies and curriculum implementations toother schools and districts faced with the dilemma of creating and maintaining highperforming 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 thisstudy was initiated by John E. Henney from the University of Northern Iowa. Henning’sstudy title summarizes the nature of his research, “Academic Research: CurriculaPerceptions.” The focus of this “study was to provide a description of how a group ofteacher leaders analyzed standardized achievement test scores in order to improveinstruction” (Henney, 2006, p. 736). The methodology of this study involved selectingteacher 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 fortheir school building” (Henney, 2006, p. 731). Data from the ITBS tests were correlatedamong subject areas to determine the percentile of students who fell below the 40thpercentile in academic scores between various pre-determined subject areas. The datawas disaggregated and trends were analyzed in relationship to student academicachievement and success in the study. Various academic patterns and achievement goalswere analyzed that “compared the trends of low, medium, and high performers from yearto year” (Henney, 2006, p. 735). This disaggregated data provided the impetus forsignificant change by identifying the areas that needed the most attention for school
  • 125. 125improvement. Educators were provided with significant data that provided guidelines forimproving student academic achievement and performance. One significant contribution of this study was that new data and knowledgeresearch was added to the current body of educational literature: “Each new descriptionadds another model of practical application for the benefit of teachers, principals, andprofessors who are interested in making principled decisions based on standardizedachievement data” (Henney, 2006, p. 736). By differentiating between what works in theclassroom and what does not, a better, more advanced curriculum formulae is able to bedeveloped and sustained in the classroom environment where student learning ultimatelytakes place. Conclusion Today’s educational secondary institutions are faced with the daunting challengeof providing a strong educational foundation and curriculum for its student body. Thevarious curriculum models range from single subject texts to an array of multi-disciplinary subject areas. Roland Barthes (1915-1980) has brought to light the fact thatthe discipline of learning in today’s society can most effectively be realized through aninterdisciplinary unit of study. According to Barthes, “what is new and which affects theidea of the work comes not necessarily from the internal recasting of (disciplines), butrather from their encounter in relation to an object which traditionally is the province ofnone 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 Barthesobservation that integration of learning is an important component to humanunderstanding and meaning, this study has focused on how an integrated and inter-related
  • 126. 126curriculum philosophy based on the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaningcan affect student learning and academic achievement. Making the right decision on thetype of curriculum model used on the district and campus level classroom can ensure thatno child will be left behind in America’s progressive and dynamic public schooleducational system. Communication, investigation, understanding, and application are all importantaspects of a well-rounded and viable educational curriculum philosophy. Challengingstudents to be eloquent in their learning and masterful in their ability to grasp newconcepts in line with the ROM philosophy is recounted by great, philosophical discoursefrom the past. Education should teach discernment, wisdom, and give access to theapplication of all knowledge and learning. Dante Alighieri believed in the beauty andeloquence of the educational process: “I see that such eloquence is unquestionablyneeded by almost everyone, for not only men, but even women and children, the extenttheir nature allows, [should] strive for it” (Leitch, 2001, p. 247). Dante saw the purposeof 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 themost part that what is really behind is in front” (Leitch, 2001, p. 247). In essence, Dantewas saying that discernment and understanding are essential to the virtues of soundknowledge and instruction. What educational leaders prioritize will ultimately define the nature and scope ofour entire educational system. Curriculum theory, design, and implementation should beat the forefront of all educational discourse in that the curriculum will ultimately decide
  • 127. 127the level and depth of student achievement and academic success: “In the end, we willconserve only what we love, we love only what understand, we will understand only whatwe are taught” (Sengalese, 2008, quotation Moody Gardens, Galveston, TX). A firmunderstanding of a curriculum philosophy, such as the Realms of Meaning curriculumphilosophy, applied in the application of curriculum materials in the classroom cansuccessfully implement a viable and rigorous implementation of the curriculum:“Knowledge can be derived from a variety of sources. Knowledge has permanent valueleading to greater meaning and greater understanding when drawn from the fundamentaldisciplines as exemplified in the realms of meaning” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. ix). Curriculumdesign implemented through a realms philosophy can ultimately provide the frameworkfor long-term and sustainable educational growth and development for all students.
  • 128. 128 CHAPTER III METHODOLOGY Introduction At the forefront of all teaching and academic pedagogy, intuitive educators andeducational leaders have sought to answer the basic question regarding what curriculumor knowledge base will best prepare students for overall academic success andachievement in the classroom. To investigate the issue of curriculum selection and itsaffect on the overall academic achievement of students who are taught by a particularframework of curriculum design, a study regarding the effects of the curriculum is usefuland beneficial to the academic community. The questions to consider in regards tomethodologies, philosophies, and curriculums used in this study address the effects ofhow a curriculum based on the parallel principles of the ROM curriculum philosophy andthe CSCOPETM curriculum model affect student learning. The rationale for this study is based upon the premise that a curriculumphilosophy based on the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning leads to anintegrated curriculum which leads to student academic achievement. In line with thespecific goals and educational directives of any organization, any successful curriculummodel must “deepen insight into relationships, and to counteract the provincialism ofcustomary existence-in short, to engender a meaningful integrated outlook” (Kritsonis,2007, p. 5). It is incumbent upon all educational leaders who oversee instruction to beaware of how curriculum models and philosophies affect student achievement. An impetus for accountability in the educational process further mandates theneed for a reliable and valid curriculum model to support and engender student learning
  • 129. 129and academic achievement. In 2001, a state issued mandate updated the state-wideaccountability system to a new and more rigorous measuring unit for student academicachievement 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 toassess not only a student’s level of academic preparation for graduationfrom a Texas public high school, but also the student’s readiness to enrollin an institution of higher learning. (Texas Education Agency,2001)To prepare students for educational success, administrators must ensure that a curriculumphilosophy and curriculum structure chosen for utilization in the classroom is one thatoffers a strong framework for student learning and academic success. While educatorsmust take into account accountability standards such as the TAKSTM testing program,teaching to the test will not ensure academic success. Instead, educators must seek toprovide a curriculum structure that enables student discovery, high achievement, andrigorous academic standards. To understand how curriculum affects student learning and academicachievement, this research study looked at two venues of educational delivery and thetype of schools that implement a particular curriculum model and philosophy in theclassroom. The first type of delivery is based on a curriculum philosophy that utilizes aresearch based philosophy of integrated learning and increased subject matter learningfrom a constructivist perspective. Utilizing the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of
  • 130. 130Meaning as the guide and framework for choosing a philosophy of education conduciveto sound learning and researched based paradigms, a new curriculum model currently inuse in selected districts throughout the state was identified that builds upon similarassumptions and philosophies inherent in the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy. Utilizing the principles of the ROM curriculum philosophy, the relatively newcurriculum model now known as CSCOPETM, was identified as a curriculum to havesimilar goals and philosophies as the ROM curriculum model. Schools in Texas thatutilize the CSCOPETM curriculum in their classrooms were thereby recognized as schoolswhich utilized a curriculum with similar tenets and parallel philosophies and models ofinstruction as the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning (ROM) curriculumphilosophy. Schools that utilize the CSCOPETM model in their classrooms were thendesignated as Realms of Meaning (ROM) schools in that the curriculum philosophies,structure, and framework of each curriculum model had significant parallel attributes ofsimilarities relevant to both the ROM curriculum philosophy and CSCOPETM curriculummodel. CSCOPETM schools, those schools currently utilizing the CSCOPETM model ofinstruction in the classroom, were identified from a 2008 listing of schools and districtswhich had purchased the CSCOPETM model for use in their districts. At the time of thebeginning of this study there were ten Educational Service Centers who were providersand trainers of the CSCOPETM model. The number of participating Texas EducationalService Centers has risen to twenty. For this study, a list of all school districts utilizingthe CSCOPETM was accessed by obtaining a roster of schools that had purchased theCSCOPETM curriculum with a list provided by a Texas Educational Service Center inApril 2008. The list was provided by e-mail and included elementary, middle, and
  • 131. 131secondary school campuses. From this list, the researcher identified each high schoolcampus in the district and then compiled a list of high school names that were membersof districts which had been identified as purchasers of the CSCOPETM curriculum model.Once the high school list was compiled, detailed reports from the Testing/Accountabilitysection of the Texas Education Agency (tea.state.tx.us) website were accessed. From thissite, the Academic Excellence Indicator System (AEIS) reports for each school weregenerated for the 2007-2008 academic school year. These reports provided in-depthreports on a schools academic performance, statistically analyzed utilizing studentperformance on the TAKSTM test as one of the major indicators as to whether or not thedistricts and individual campuses within that district were meeting federal and statestandards for academic success and accountability. The comparative group for this study involved those schools that do not adhere toa ROM philosophy in the classroom and therefore are not utilizing the CSCOPETMcurriculum model. This secondary group is referred to as non-ROM schools and isrepresentative of schools in Texas who do not use the ROM curriculum model andphilosophy in the classroom. To identify the comparative group for this study, a campusComparable Improvement (CI) report accessed through the Academic ExcellenceIndicator System (AEIS) TEA website was generated for each high school identified as aCSCOPETM (ROM) school campus: “Comparable Improvement (CI) is a measure thatshows how student performance on the TAKSTM reading/ELA and mathematics tests at agiven school has changed (or grown) from one year to the next, and then compares thatchange to that of the 40 schools that are demographically most similar to the given, ortarget school” (http://tea.state.tx.us). From these lists, one school not identified as
  • 132. 132utilizing the CSCOPETM model was randomly selected for each CSCOPETM school. Eachselected 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 theseschools do not utilize the CSCOPETM curriculum model identified through the principlesoutlined in the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning philosophy for choosinga curriculum. The Conceptual and Theoretical Framework of this Study The conceptual and theoretical framework of this study was based on the Realmsof Meaning curriculum model and what if any impact this model has on student academicachievement based on the outcome scores of the 11th grade exit level TAKSTM test in theareas of mathematics, English language arts, science, and social studies. The Realms ofMeaning curriculum model is built on a philosophy for choosing the curriculum knownas Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning. Through this philosophy a newcurriculum currently in use in various schools and districts throughout Texas wasidentified as sharing many of the same principles and philosophies as the ROMcurriculum model. Utilizing extant data available through the Internet and throughpublished curricula information obtained by the researcher from the state director of thiscurriculum model, a thorough comparison was made of the two models. Through thismodel, a detail summary was presented that showed how many of the philosophiesemployed by the ROM curriculum philosophy were also a part of the CSCOPETMcurriculum model. The significance of this comparison allowed the researcher toidentify the CSCOPETM curriculum model as being a parallel curriculum model thatshared significant shared philosophies in the implementation of learning and student
  • 133. 133knowledge and academic achievement. Having identified a curriculum model thatemployed the facets of the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning, theresearcher then designed a research study that employed the use of a ROM curriculumphilosophy as reflected in the parallel curriculum model and tested this model againstschools that utilized a curriculum model and curriculum philosophy that was notcongruent with the philosophies and paradigms of the Ways of Knowing through theRealms of Meaning curriculum model. For the purpose of this study, the curriculum thatwas found to be parallel in philosophy and structure to the ROM philosophy was called aROM curriculum model. School districts that utilized a curriculum that was not a ROMcurriculum model were identified as non-ROM schools. Research Questions This research was guided by the following quantitative and qualitative researchquestions and null hypotheses.Quantitative Research Questions1. 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. 1344. 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 QuestionsThis 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 onethrough 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. 135H03: 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 andqualitative study design. The quantitative section of this study utilized descriptivestatistics “to describe systematically the facts and characteristics of a given population orarea of interest, factually and accurately” (Isaac and Michael, 1997, p. 50). The purposeof 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 aRealms of Meaning school, (3) to understand the perceptions of classroom teachers andeducational leaders on their view of the effectiveness of the Realms of Meaningcurriculum model in the classroom, and (4) to understand the benefits and/or risks ofimplementing the Realms of Meaning curriculum model in the classroom.
  • 136. 136Figure 3. 1The Conceptual and Theoretical Framework for this Study ROM Curriculum Philosophy Is there a difference in the 11th grade overall CSCOPETM group mathematics, Implementation English language arts, Student science, and social studies TAKSTM scores Academic between schools that implement the ROM Non- ROM Achievement curriculum model and Curriculum Philosophy schools that do not implement the ROM CSCOPETM Implementation curriculum model?________________________________________________________________________ Research Methods Both descriptive and comparative research techniques were employed in theexplanatory design of the mixed methods study. According to Fraenkel and Wallen(2006), in a triangulation design the researcher simultaneously collects both quantitativeand qualitative data, compares results, and then uses those finds to see whether theyvalidate each other (p. 443). In an explanatory design, the researcher first collects andanalyzes quantitative data, and then obtains qualitative data to follow up and refine thequantitative findings. (p. 443). For this study a triangulation design was utilized. The triangulation design involved a mixed method design incorporating bothdescriptive and comparative research techniques The triangulation design as described
  • 137. 137by Fraenkel and Wallen (2006) is appropriate in that “the researcher simultaneouslycollects both quantitative and qualitative data, compares results, and then uses those findsto see whether they validate each other” (p. 443). This research investigation also utilizeda “systematic approach to (a) identifying relationships of variables representing concepts(constructs) and/or (b) determining differences between or among groups in theirstanding on one or more variables of interest” (Isaac & Michael, 1997, p. 2). Throughsystematic evaluation strategies, the researcher addressed each of the quantitative andqualitative questions utilized for this study. In order to understand how curriculum philosophy and research affects studentlearning, the effects and perceptions of the CSCOPETM curriculum model have beeninvestigated in order to see what impact or influence this particular curriculumphilosophy and curricular framework has on student learning in the classroom. Contactswith various Educational Service Centers (ESC) were also made in order to glean asmuch information as possible on the similarities and philosophical attributes that theCSCOPETM model shares with the ROM curriculum philosophy. In addition, the researcher met with the state CSCOPETM director, made contactwith randomly selected superintendents of schools who utilize or have utilized thismodel, and garnered information from teachers who utilize this curriculum model in theirclassrooms. By testing CSCOPE’sTM effectiveness and vision for student academicachievement, the researcher was also testing the validity and reliability of the ROMcurriculum philosophy. The factor of interest in these comparisons was that the ROM schools havesignificant philosophy similarities and constructs with the CSCOPETM model and
  • 138. 138therefore, because of this shared philosophy of learning, an integrated research study wasenacted upon in order to analyze how curriculum, and therefore the curriculumphilosophy, can impact or potentially impact student learning.Quantitative Data The quantitative data for this study was generated from the online, extant database of the Texas Education Agency. From this website, 11th grade academic TAKSTMschool scores were generated for ROM and non-ROM schools and then analyzed to see ifthere was a significant difference in the level of student academic achievement based onp < .05.Qualitative Data The qualitative portion of this study was conducted through descriptive statisticsand survey research. Descriptive statistics are “statistics in which frequency distributionsor relationships between variables are described” (Sirkin, 2006, p. 591). Survey researchis “a term sometimes applied to non-experimental research based on questionnaires orinterviews” (Kritsonis, Griffith, Marshall, Herrington, Hughes & Brown, 2008, p. 141).Utilizing the Teacher Curricula Perception Instrument (see Appendix A) and theTeacher Demographic Profile (see Appendix E) data sheet. Emergent themes evolvedwhich revealed patterns and themes emerging from the various perceptions and opinionsof the participating teachers responding to this study. Research DesignQuantitative Data This research consisted of both independent and dependent variables: “A variableis something that exists in more than one amount or in more than one form” (Spatz, 2001,
  • 139. 139p. 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 changein another variable” (Kritsonis, Griffith, Marshall, Herrington, Hughes & Brown, 2007, p.123). The independent variables for this study included the types of schools beinginvestigated and compared. These schools included: (1) schools that implement aRealms of Meaning (ROM) curriculum model and (2) schools that do not implement aRealms of Meaning (non-ROM) curriculum model. A dependent variable is “a variable that is presumed to be influenced by one ormore independent variables” (Kritsonis, et al., 2007, p. 118). The dependent variable inthis study constituted student academic achievement as measured by the 11th grademathematics, English language arts, science, and social studies TAKSTM (TexasAssessment of Knowledge and Skills) scores. Descriptive statistics were collected fromthe Teacher Curricula Perceptions Instrument (see Appendix A) and extant data bases todescribe participating schools. The descriptive statistics included percentages about thesocio-economic status (SES), English language learners, ethnicity of students, gifted andtalented populations, and special education populations. TAKSTM scores in mathematics,English language arts, science, and social studies were collected from extant data bases ofparticipating schools for the 2007-2008 school year. Descriptive statistics were calculated to determine the capacity CSCOPETM highschools were functioning as ROM schools. A t-test for independent means was used tocompare the TAKSTM score means of ROM and non-ROM schools. A comparison wasmade using the 2007-2008 TAKSTM data for math, English language arts, science, andsocial studies.
  • 140. 140Identification of the Population In that the foundational purpose of this study was to identify schools which utilizea curriculum model with similar curriculum philosophies as prescribed in the ROMcurriculum philosophy, schools utilizing the CSCOPETM curriculum model were noted asROM schools, while schools not utilizing a curriculum which mirrored similarphilosophical curriculum philosophies as the ROM curriculum philosophy were noted forthe purpose of this study as non-ROM schools. To conduct this study, CSCOPETM schools – those schools which had purchasedthe CSCOPETM curriculum for academic use, were identified in order to develop apopulation and sample size that would reflect CSCOPE’sTM overall impact on thecurriculum. CSCOPETM school districts were identified through a list provided by one ofthe Texas Educational Service Centers which kept records on the purchaser names ofparticipating districts. Utilizing this list, the researcher was able to ascertain the names ofhigh schools which were utilizing the CSCOPETM model in the classroom. These highschools were then identified as ROM schools in that by utilizing the CSCOPETMcurriculum model in the classroom, participating high schools and districts wereimplementing a curriculum with parallel, pedagogical similarities coherent and in linewith the ROM curriculum philosophy. CSCOPETM schools in this study were identified as ROM schools with noinsinuation or claim that the two curriculum philosophies are one and the same. Schoolswhich did not subscribe to the CSCOPETM philosophy and curriculum in the classroomwere considered for the purposes of this study non-Realms of Meaning (non-ROM)
  • 141. 141schools. The schools identified as CSCOPETM schools will remain confidential, but theoriginal list of schools selected for this study will remain under lock and key for anextended period of time not to exceed three years. The population schools utilized in this study contained a grouping of all identifiedhigh schools who utilized the CSCOPETM curriculum model in the classroom during the2008 school year based on a purchase list provided by one of the Educational ServiceCenters (ESC) which was authorized to keep this information for the overall distributionand record keeping of the CSCOPETM program. Utilizing criterion sampling, the subjectschools were selected from districts in Texas who taught 11th grade math, Englishlanguage arts, science, and social studies and met the criteria of being either a ROM ornon-ROM school. According to Isaac & Michael (1997) “the logic of this strategy is tostudy all cases that meet some predetermined criterion of importance” (p. 224). Onceschools 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 CSCOPETMcurriculum model. Group two was comprised of schools which had not purchased thiscurriculum model and therefore were not utilizing the CSCOPETM curriculum model inthe classroom. Two hundred and thirty-one schools were identified as meeting thecriteria as ROM schools. The comparison school population group was selected by criterion sampling. Thepredetermined criteria for the comparison group were that these schools did notimplement the ROM curriculum model in the 11th grade math, English language arts,science, and social studies classroom. Comparison schools were selected from the TexasEducation Agency comparable improvement list which provided a listing of 40 schools
  • 142. 142with similar demographic characteristics which included ethnicity, socioeconomic statusof the campus, the percentage of limited English proficient students (LEP), and thepercentage of mobile students on each campus. Once non-ROM schools were identified,systematic random sampling was employed to select the participating schools for grouptwo. In Texas, there are twenty state wide education service centers. These servicecenters provide educational training and develop various products that can be utilizedthroughout various districts in the state of Texas. The CSCOPETM curriculum modelwas created through a consortium of educators through selected Educational ServiceCenters in the state of Texas. At the beginning of this study, ten service centers providedaccess to the CSCOPETM curriculum model. Since the inception of this study the numberof districts utilizing this curriculum model has dramatically increased. However, for thepurpose of this study, schools in the original 10 district list provided to the researcher atthe inception of this study will remain the focus of discussion. School districts that utilize the CSCOPETM curriculum model have access to theprogram through a district wide purchase. Once the curriculum is purchased, the districtmay use the curriculum with the support and professional back-up of trained CSCOPETMeducators in the region centers. School districts choose the level of involvement with theCSCOPETM curriculum, making its use throughout the various schools wide-ranging anddiverse in regards to the amount and type of implementation the school district chooses toutilize. High schools implementing the CSCOPETM curriculum model represent the ROMsample for this research study. Two hundred and thirty-one high schools have been
  • 143. 143identified as being ROM schools and implementing the CSCOPETM curriculum model.Two hundred and thirty-one high schools not utilizing the CSCOPETM curriculum modelwere chosen based on random sampling, campus population size, and similar campusdemographic characteristics including ethnicity, socio-economic status, limited Englishproficiency (LEP) learners, and mobility status. Random sampling was used to identify the non-ROM participating schools forthis district. Random sampling ensures an unbiased and fair representation of the factsand occurs when “selecting cases or subjects in such a way that all have an equalprobability of being included and the selection of one case has no influence on theselection of any other case” (Isaac & Michael, 1997, p. 198). For each ROM school identified, two reports were generated from the TexasEducation 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 inthe areas of mathematics, English language arts, science, and social studies. The secondreport generated was the Comparable Improvement (CI) chart which was accessed foreach of the 231 identified ROM schools. This report statistically listed 40 schools withlike characteristics of the selected target school which included ethnicity, socio-economicstatus, limited English proficiency (LEP) learners, and mobility status of the targetedschool reported on. This list was generated and listed randomly by the school’s stateidentification number. To choose which school would be included in the population andsample size for the non-Realms school category, the researcher further identified both theRealms and non-Realms potential school populations by district population size. This
  • 144. 144number was generated from the AEIS report for each school under consideration. Usingan Excel spreadsheet, the researcher began with the first listed ROM school and thenidentified the first non-Realm school from the Comparable list chart which was similarnot 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 comparableattributes of ethnicity, socio-economic status, limited English proficiency (LEP) learners,and mobility status was matched. Charter, elementary, junior high, and senior highschools without an 11th grade campus were not included in this study.Instrumentation The Teacher Curricula Perceptions Instrument (see Appendix A) was used todetermine the capacity CSCOPETM high schools were functioning as ROM schools. TheTeacher 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 focusedon the six realms of meaning in the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy. Part Bincluded 37 quantitative Likert type questions regarding the ROM curriculumphilosophy. Likert scales were used in this section in that they helped to reveal theattitudes and understanding of the participating teachers in reference to the curriculumphilosophy and implementation of such philosophy in their own subject and classrooms:“Attitude scales determine what an individual believes, perceives, or feels about self orothers, activities, institutions, or situations” (Isaac & Michael, 1997, p. 131). The
  • 145. 145responses from this instrument ranged from zero to four with zero representing don’tknow and four as strongly agree. To compare the level of academic achievement for 11th grade students in the areasof mathematics, English language arts, science, and social studies, extant data from theTAKS 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 andnon-ROM school included in the population and sample size for this study. Five hundredand twenty reports were generated representing the ROM and non-ROM schoolpopulation and sample sizes for this study. TAKSTM scores for each school were enteredin 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 asa measurement for academic achievement was researched and validated throughinformation located from the Texas Education Agency website and presented as evidencefor the reliability and validity of this test for the purposes of analyzing student academicachievement. The TAKSTM test was developed in response to Texas Senate Bill 103 requestingthat a more rigorous and challenging test assessment be designed for students in theTexas public school system. Committees of Texas educators met from January to March 2000 to review the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). Foreach targeted subject area and each grade level, committee membersidentified those student expectations that should be assessed in thenew statewide assessment” (Texas Education Agency (TEA), 2001, p. 92).
  • 146. 146 Specific prototype TAKSTM objectives were developed and reviewed “by testcontractors Harcourt Educational Measurement and NCS Pearson” (TEA, 2001, p. 92).Twenty-nine review committee meetings were held during this time period attended by583 Texas educators. The TAKSTM field test went through extensive data and field testing scrutiny. Inall subject and grade level areas tested, “approximately 2 million TAKSTM field-testbooklets, including 407 district field-test forms, were distributed to districts andcampuses around the state” (TEA, 2001, p. 93). The field testing booklets for the coresubject 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 TexasEducation 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 ittook students to complete the field tests. The survey also asked forstudent and teacher comments about the testing process and testadministration procedures. (TEA, 2001, p. 93) TAKSTM performance on Grade 11 exit level mathematics and English LanguageArts tests was also used by law “to assess not only a student’s level of academic
  • 147. 147preparation for graduation from a Texas public high school but also the student’sreadiness to enroll in an institution of higher education” (TEA, 2001, p. 96).
  • 148. 148Pilot Study Three expert witnesses were asked to test the psychometric properties of theTeacher Curricula Perceptions Instrument. These witnesses were educational leaderswho are experienced and knowledgeable in the attributes of curriculum, curriculumimplementation, and the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning curriculumphilosophy. Through a thorough review of the Teacher Curricula PerceptionsInstrument, the expert witnesses were able to asses the reliability and validity of thisinstrument for the purposes and relationships identified and needed to expedite this study. The state of Texas has already established the reliability and validity of theTAKSTM test given to 11th grade students in the state of Texas in the subject areas ofmathematics, English language arts, science, and social studies. By aligning the TAKSTMtest with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), a determination was made asto the validity and reliability of the test. In this case, “construct validity is evaluated byinvestigating what qualities a test measures” (Isaac & Michael, 1997, p. 128). A pilot testor further investigation into the reliability and validity of the TAKSTM assessment testwas not needed.Research Procedures The researcher began with the premise that the philosophy of the Ways ofKnowing through the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy could enhance studentlearning and academic achievement. To test this theory, the researcher beganinvestigating curriculum models that reflected and modeled similar principals ofinstruction and curriculum philosophy as modeled in the ROM curriculum philosophy.Through the researcher’s investigative efforts, a new and innovative curriculum model
  • 149. 149was discovered that upon further investigation showed similar characteristics andphilosophical structures embedded in the curriculum. The researcher then utilized theextant knowledge bases available through this curriculum’s internet information site andbegan to make comparisons on the significant attributes and similar characteristics ofeach model. The researcher further investigated the philosophies of contributors whocontributed to the development of this curriculum model. The researcher found thatsimilar philosophies and frameworks existed between both the CSCOPETM curriculummodel and the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy. The researcher did a thoroughcomparison of each curriculum philosophy utilizing information published online andprovided by the state CSCOPETM director and Kritsonis’s curriculum as addressed in theWays of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning. In addition, the researcher attended adistrict informational meeting on CSCOPETM, an Educational Service Center (ESC)CSCOPETM training meeting, and spoke with various professionals involved in theoversight and development of the CSCOPETM curriculum model. A two hour meetingwas granted to the researcher in Austin, TX to discuss more about the CSCOPETMprogram and vision with the state director. From these investigative procedures, theresearcher determined that the ROM curriculum philosophy employed many of thefundamental and basic principals utilized by the CSCOPETM curriculum mandates.Utilizing this knowledge, the researcher then developed a research design thatimplemented a comparison of schools that utilized a ROM philosophy as evidencedthrough the curriculum structure of the CSCOPETM framework for learning. The first procedure in this study was for the researcher to identify school districtsand schools that utilize the parallel curriculum structures of the CSCOPETM model of
  • 150. 150curriculum design and the Realms of Meaning (ROM) curriculum philosophy. To testhow schools perform who ascertain to a ROM curriculum philosophy, identified schoolswhich utilized the CSCOPETM curriculum models were utilized as schools which hadmanifested similar characteristics (as explained in detail in chapter 2) with the ROMcurriculum philosophy. For the qualitative portion of this study, the researcher randomly selected twenty-three Texas school districts currently utilizing the CSCOPETM curriculum model on the11th grade level. Contact was then made with each district superintendent (see AppendixB) in order to gain permission to contact teachers on the high school campus in order tosolicit voluntary participation in participating in this study and completing the TeacherCurricula Perception Instrument and the Teacher Demographic Profile and TeacherResponse Instrument. Eleventh grade teachers on each identified campus were invited toparticipate in this study. Once permission was received from the district superintendent’s office to contactthe participating high schools, The Teacher Curricula Perceptions Instrument was maileddirectly to the teachers selected for participation in this study. The contents of themailing envelope included a cover letter (see Appendix C), the Teacher CurriculaPerceptions Instrument, Demographic Teacher Profile instrument (see Appendix D) anda self-addressed stamped envelope which was used to return the instrument to theresearcher upon completion of the instrument by the study participant. Extant data was then retrieved from the TEA website for non-ROM identifiedschools. AEIS reports for the 11th grade mathematics, English language arts, science, and
  • 151. 151social studies TAKS scores for the 2008 TAKS administration spring semester for eachidentified 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: ROMschools and non-ROM schools. Data was collected and recorded to measure thesignificance of the curriculum intervention strategies in place for ROM schools ascompared to non-ROM schools. A number was assigned to each school for anonymitypurposes and categorized by the type of curriculum model implemented. TAKSTM datawas then be extracted from the district student achievement scores on the 11th grade exit-level mathematics, English language arts, science, and social studies TAKSTM test.Extant data bases were used to extract the student achievement scores as measured byTAKSTM. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) houses the TAKSTM student academicachievement 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 schoolswere printed. TAKSTM scores for the academic subject areas of mathematics, Englishlanguage arts, science, and social studies were entered in an Excel spreadsheet. Upon receipt of the Teacher Curricula Perceptions Instrument, data was recordedin an Excel spreadsheet and then transferred to the Statistical Package for the SocialSciences (SPSS) software. Teachers’ names are not included in the study and haveremained anonymous.
  • 152. 152 Once data was entered in an Excel spread sheet, the information was thentransferred to the SPSS software version where a t test for independent means wasgenerated for each independent subject category.Data Analysis To analyze the findings, t tests for independent means were calculated to answerresearch questions 1-4. The mean TAKSTM scores were compared between schoolsimplementing the ROM curriculum model and schools not implementing the ROMcurriculum model. A t test for independent means was computed to determine if thedifference in mean TAKSTM scores is statistically significant. Utilizing the data from theindependent t test for independent means and analysis procedure, each null hypothesiswas either accepted or rejected. A significance level of .05 (p < .05) was used todetermine whether to accept or reject the null hypotheses. Descriptive statistics were used to answer research question five. Frequencies andpercentages were calculated to determine the capacity from Part A of the TeacherCurricula Perceptions Instrument to determine the capacity each high school isfunctioning as a ROM school. Descriptive statistics were also be used to describe thedemographic properties of each participating ROM high school. Qualitative Data In the qualitative portion of this study, an instrument was designed to determine towhat 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 theend of the Teacher Curricula Perceptions Instrument in order to determine theirperceptions on the benefits and/or risks of implementing the Realms of Meaning
  • 153. 153curricular model. The findings of this portion of the study have been reported byanalyzing the perception of the overall CSCOPETM curriculum model, which inherentlyreflects a philosophical comparative view with the ROM curriculum model, through theteacher responses from the Teacher Curricula Perceptions Instrument, Part B. Thefindings for the remaining two questions have been combined and report on the teachersperceptions of the benefits and risks of utilizing the CSCOPETM curriculum model in theclassroom.Qualitative Research Questions To direct this portion of the study, qualitative research questions were developedto address teacher response to the CSCOPETM (ROM) curriculum. The two qualitativeresearch 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 isthe 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 ratherdifferent 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 anddependent variables in this study, a comparison could be made of the overall effect of onecurriculum model over the other in relation to the time period the testing occurred.
  • 154. 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 aparticular set of data” (Isaac & Michael, 1997, p. 134) Statistics were calculated todescribe the demographics of teacher participants. Frequencies and percentages wereanalyzed. Descriptive statistics were also used to determine the effectiveness of theROM schools curriculum model. Three open ended questions were utilized in this studyto determine the perceptions teachers have in regards to the ROM curriculum, thebenefits these teachers feel that are associated with the ROM curriculum, and the risksthese teachers feel that are associated wit the ROM model, and the risks that areaassociated with the ROM model. Teachers’ responses were documented using emergentthemes and analyzed.Subjects of the Study There are 20 Educational Service Center districts in the state of Texas. Of thesedistricts, 10 districts as of April 2008 had been identified as having schools within theirdistricts 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 ServiceCenters (ESC). Teacher participants from ROM curriculum model schools comprised thepopulation of the qualitative study. The superintendent from each school district wascontacted and sent a letter requesting permission to contact the exit-level high schoolteachers on their campuses. Superintendents willing to allow their districts to voluntary
  • 155. 155participate in this portion of the study returned a signed permission letter to the researchervia fax. This letter was then copied and sent with an educator research packet directly tothe principal of each school. Teachers were then selected by the principal throughsnowballing or chain sampling. “The aim of this approach is to locate key informants orinformation-rich cases that zoom in on significant aspects of a study. The process beginsby asking, “Who knows a lot about ________?” One informant leads to another, until themore knowledgeable ones are identified through repeated reference, along with the moresignificant events” (Isaac & Michael, 1997, p. 224). Once teachers were identified forthe 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 thequalitative portion of this study, two researcher-designed instruments were utilized. Thefirst instrument was entitled Teacher Demographic Profile and Teacher ResponseInstrument. The Teacher Demographic Profile section of this instrument solicitedinformation from the teacher participants and reported on specific demographicsattributes of teachers who responded to this instrument by way of their voluntaryparticipation in completing the instruments utilized for this study. Questions presented inthis 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. 156 The second portion of the Teacher Demographic Profile and Teacher ResponseInstrument included in this instrument included three open ended questions. Thequestions 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 wasutilized to formulate conclusions for research question five. Emergent themes were alsodeveloped from the Teacher Demographic Profile and Teacher Response Instrument tocomplete the analysis and data collection and reporting of this question. The title of the second instrument that was used in this study is the TeacherCurricula Perceptions Instrument (see Appendix A) and was comprised of two sections.Part A included 28 Likert type statements. The response statements were developeddirectly from the text of the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning curriculumphilosophy in order to generate exact representations of the ROM curriculum philosophyin the Teacher Curricula Perceptions Instrument. In Likert scales, as utilized in thisportion of the study, participants respond to a series of statements and indicate to whatlevel they agree or disagree with the statement presented. A Likert type instrumentlabeled 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. 157 Part B was utilized to answer question six of the qualitative section of theTeacher Curricula Perceptions Instrument. There were 37 response statementsgenerated for this portion of the test. The response statements were developed directlyfrom the text of the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning curriculumphilosophy in order to generate exact representations of the ROM curriculum philosophyin the Teacher Curricula Perceptions Instrument. This instrument targeted the teacherpopulation and was used to gain information regarding the perceptions of teachers whoutilize the CSCOPETM (ROM) curriculum model in their classrooms to glean theirthoughts and perceptions of using the CSCOPETM model in their classrooms. The responses from this instrument will remain under lock and key for no lessthan seven years from the time the initial instrument was implemented for this study. Theinformed consent for this study from the Institution Review Board (IRB) will also beprotected and stored under the same guidelines as listed above for the Teacher CurriculaPerceptions Instrument. The first instrument utilized in this study was the Teacher Curricula PerceptionsInstrument (see Appendix A). The Teacher Curricula Perceptions Instrument wasdistributed to participating teachers and was organized into two sections. Part A (thequantitative section) included 28 Likert type questions. Part B had 40 Likert typequestions. The responses to these questions were analyzed using descriptive statisticsincluding frequencies and percentages. To further expand this study. a qualitative instrument was used entitledDemographic Teacher Profile and Teacher Response Instrument (see Appendix E)From the Demographic Teacher Profile (see appendix E) demographic information was
  • 158. 158collected on each teacher participating in the study. Demographic information includedthe 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 schoolsystem, what grades and subjects were taught, and what subject in the current CSCOPETMcurriculum was or had been taught in the classroom. Descriptive statistics werecalculated from the responses and displayed in table format. From the Teacher ResponseInstrument (see Appendix E), teacher responses to the open-ended response items wererecorded and triangulated to determine major themes and outcomes of this portion of theresearch examination.Pilot Studies A pilot study was not conducted to determine the reliability and validity on theTeacher Curricula Perceptions Instrument and Demographic Teacher Profile andTeacher Response Instrument (see Appendix E). Three expert witnesses were utilized todetermine the validity and reliability of the instruments utilized in this study. Changeswere 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 byexpert witnesses. Expert witnesses who were familiar with the Ways of Knowing throughthe Realms of Meaning reviewed the Teacher Curricula Perceptions Instrument (seeAppendix 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. 159of the appropriateness of the interpretation, inferences, and actions made on the basis of atest score or scores” (Kritsonis et al., 2008, p. 144). Through these instruments thedegree to which a student was performing as a ROM curriculum model school wasdetermined as well as the teachers perception of utilizing the CSCOPETM curriculummodel in the classroom.Procedures Once the participating school districts were chosen, the superintendents of eachdistrict were contacted to enlist support and participation for the study (see Appendix B).The superintendent of each qualified, participating district was contacted by letter inorder to gain permission to send the Teacher Curricula Perceptions Instrument toteachers in his or her district. Three superintendents denied the researcher permission tocontinue with this study, 20 districts gave permission for the researcher to continue herstudy. Once permission was received from the superintendent, the researcher prepared 11x 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 (seeAppendix C) and a copy of the signed permission letter from the district superintendentgiving permission for this study to be conducted. Four smaller envelopes were thenadded to this packet which included an invitation to the core subject area 11th gradeteachers on each campus who had experience in the use and implementation of theCSCOPETM curriculum model in their classroom. Each teacher research packet includeda letter of invitation (see Appendix D), a copy of the Teacher Curricula PerceptionInstrument (see Appendix A), and a copy of the Demographic Teacher Profile andTeacher Response Instrument (see Appendix E). A follow-up letter was sent to all school
  • 160. 160participants which included the opportunity for those teachers who had not responded tothe instruments previously provided to complete the instruments (see Appendix F). ACertificate of Appreciation (see Appendix G) was also included in each packet as athank-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 theteacher’s ability to return the instruments to the researcher in a timely manner. Asresponses were returned, they were coded for date of receipt and data was entered into anExcel spreadsheet. Once the instruments were received, the process of analyzing andcoding the information will begin. After recording the information provided by theTeacher Curricula Perception Instrument and the Demographic Teacher Profile andTeacher Response Instrument the researcher then began the data analysis portion of thisstudy.Data Collection and Recording Identified teachers were assigned a number to ensure confidentiality. The studyinstruments including the Teacher Curricula Perceptions Instrument (see Appendix A),the Demographic Teacher Profile and the Teacher Response Instrument (see AppendixE) were mailed to the participating teachers at each school. After the teachers completedthe instruments they were instructed in writing to return the instrument in a self-addressed envelope which was included in the instrument packet. Upon receiving the returned instruments, demographic data was entered into anExcel spreadsheet. Data gathered from the open-ended questions were first generated ina Microsoft word document that included a listing of all open-ended responses received
  • 161. 161from teacher participants. These responses were coded for emerging themes. Emergingthemes were developed utilizing the themes and philosophies embedded within the ROMcurriculum framework. Data from Part A and B, reported in an Excel spreadsheet, were transferred to asecond spreadsheet created in the Statistical Package for the Social Science (SPSS)statistical software package. Results were recorded and analyzed in reference to theemergent themes as developed and reported through the teacher response portion of theTeacher Curricula Perceptions Instrument (see Appendix A). Data from theDemographic Teacher Profile and Teacher Response Instrument (see Appendix E) wasrecorded in a Microsoft word document. Mean averages were recorded for number ofyears the participant has in teaching and in utilizing the CSCOPETM curriculum in theclassroom. Individual responses to the three open-ended questions on the DemographicTeacher Profile and Teacher Response Instrument were entered in a Microsoft officedocument. From these responses emergent themes were developed on teachersperceptions of utilizing the CSCOPETM curriculum in the classroom and their perceptionsof 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 tobe used at the appropriate time in the study.Data Analysis Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics and emergent themes. Data fromthe quantitative section and qualitative section was triangulated to validate results. Thedata collection method in this study was based on Part A and B of the Teacher CurriculaPerceptions Instrument (see Appendix A). Frequencies and percentages were analyzed
  • 162. 162based on the teacher’s response to each of the 65 questions posed on the researcherdeveloped Teacher Curricula Perceptions Instrument. (see Appendix A). A spreadsheetwas initiated in order to record the responses and information generated from this portionof the study. Utilizing this format, open-ended responses were categorized and analyzedusing emergent themes. Emergent themes were determined from the open-endedquestions taken directly from the instrument. Emergent themes are those main ideas andrepeated scenarios that link the teacher’s perceptions to general conclusions andapplicable theory. Once the instruments were reviewed, frequencies and percentages ofthe emergent themes were calculated and then reported in narrative style. Demographic statistic information was then collected on each teacher participantutilizing the Demographic Teacher Profile and Teacher Response Instrument (seeAppendix E) created by the researcher. Demographic information included subjecttaught, total years teaching experience, years teaching this subject, and degree or degreesheld. Descriptive statistics were analyzed based on the responses from the teacherparticipants from the ROM curriculum model. A spreadsheet was initiated in order torecord the responses and information generated from this portion of the study. The results from the qualitative portion were triangulated with results from thequalitative portion of this study for validation. Triangulation methods were important tothis study and were defined as the procedure in which “the use of multiple methods, datacollection strategies, and/or data sources to get a more complete picture and to cross-check information” (Gay & Airasian, 2003, p.593). Once triangulated, the results wererecorded and reported as data for the final dissertation findings and conclusion section ofthis study.
  • 163. 163 Summary Chapter III has included a detailed summary and explanation of the methodologyand procedures proposed to carry out this study. Detailed explanations of the researchdesign and methods have been outlined. Descriptions of the study including populationand sample have also been included. Instruments, both quantitative and qualitative, havebeen explained in detail including information regarding the reliability and validity ofeach 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 thenature, scope, and testing procedures for this study.
  • 164. 164 CHAPTER IV ANALYSIS OF DATA The curriculum plays a major role in student success. Understanding the effect ofa particular curriculum model and the philosophy underlying its inception is of criticalimportance to the educational community and is therefore is an integral component of theoverall plan and mission of educating our nation’s youth. In this study four objectiveswere outlined for consideration: (1) to identify schools that are Realms of Meaningschools, (2) to discover if student achievement is impacted because of the school’s statusas a Realms of Meaning school, (3) to understand the perceptions of classroom teachersand educational leaders on their view of the effectiveness of the Realms of Meaningcurriculum model in the classroom, and (4) to understand the benefits and/or risks ofimplementing the Realms of Meaning curriculum model in the classroom. Within this chapter, the findings of the qualitative and quantitative portion of thisstudy have been reported. In the quantitative portion of this study, the data analyses ofthe differences in academic achievement between schools that utilize a ROM curriculummodel in relationship to schools that do not use a ROM curriculum model based on the2008 high school TAKSTM scores of 11th grade math, English language arts, science, andsocial studies in these population groups have been reported. Extant data was accessedfrom the Texas Education Agency (TEA) website (tea.state.tx.us) for each identifiedROM and non-ROM schools from school scores of academic achievement. Eleventhgrade Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKSTM) results were generated forboth 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. 165generated to determine if there were significant differences between schools that utilize aROM curriculum philosophy in the classroom and schools that do not utilize a ROMcurriculum philosophy (non-ROM) in the classroom. To support the qualitative portion of this study, two instruments were developedby the researcher to investigate the perceptions of teachers who actually utilize the ROMcurriculum model in the classroom. The qualitative data were collected from teacherswho utilize the CSCOPETM curriculum in the classroom based on their completion of theTeacher Demographic Profile (see Appendix A) and Teacher Response Instrument andthe Teacher Curricula Perception Instrument (see Appendix E). In the qualitativeportion of this study the perceptions of teachers who utilize the CSCOPETM curriculummodel in 11th grade classrooms were analyzed based on emergent themes and reported inthis 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) What are the benefits of using CSCOPETM curriculum in the classroom? (3) What are the risks of using the CSCOPETM curriculum in the classroom?The emergent themes were determined from the responses to these three questions byvoluntary teacher respondents who utilize the CSCOPETM curriculum model in theclassroom. The percentages were based on the total number of respondents; the totalsmay have varied in that some responses may have included more than one theme orrespondents may have refrained from answering a particular question. The qualitative portion of this study also analyzed demographic informationcollected from the Teacher Demographic Profile and Teacher Response Instrument (see
  • 166. 166Appendix E) from each randomly selected teacher participants who utilize the ROMcurriculum in their high school classrooms. There were 84 teacher research packets sentto potential participants in the qualitative portion of this study who were invited torespond to the Teacher Curricula Perception Instrument and the Teacher DemographicProfile and Teacher Response Instrument. Thirty teachers responded for a 37.5 % rateof return. Two teachers were disqualified from participating in this study to the fact thatthey indicated that they had never taught utilizing the CSCOPETM curriculum model inthe classroom. Teachers who agreed to participate in this study, mailed back theircompleted responses to the Teacher Curricula Perception Instrument and the TeacherDemographic Profile and Teacher Response Instrument. Demographic information was collected from each respondent on the TeacherDemographic Profile and Teacher Response Instrument. Teachers responded to thissection of the instrument by answering the following questions: (1) How many yearshave you been in the teaching profession; (2) What CSCOPETM curriculum subject areaare you involved in?; (3) How many years have you worked with the CSCOPETMcurriculum model? ; and (4) What educational degree(s) and teaching certifications doyou hold in the state of Texas? Findings for each of these responses were tabulated andreported in the significant findings section of this study. Research Questions This research has been guided by the following quantitative and qualitativeresearch questions and null hypotheses:
  • 167. 167Quantitative Research Questions1. 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. 168Qualitative 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 onethrough 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. 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, 231TAKSTM reports were generated from the TEA website representing the public highschools that utilized the CSCOPETM curriculum model/ROM philosophy in the classroomduring the 2008 TAKS administration. A second group of 231 TAKSTM reports weregenerated representing 11th grade high school campuses that did not utilize the ROMcurriculum in the classroom. The ROM schools were identified through a printed list ofCSCOPETM schools provided by one of the CSCOPETM offices based in a TexasEducational Service Center Region which kept records on schools which had purchasedthe CSCOPETM curriculum. In that the curriculum in its present form is only three yearsold, the researcher was not able to access any earlier records of schools which utilized theCSCOPETM curriculum model in the classroom. For the qualitative portion of this study, 25 ROM schools were randomly selectedfor participation. Superintendents of each school district were contacted by theresearcher in order to gain permission to contact their high school campuses for thisstudy. ROM school contacts were identified from an initial list of schools provided by aCSCOPETM participating Texas Educational Service Center. The list was not in anydeterminant order and therefore was already in a random order. The researcher began atthe top of the list and began making phone calls to each perspective district until 25contacts 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. 170return the letter via fax to the researcher and indicate by checking one of the twoprovided boxes if the researcher could contact their high schools in order to invitedteachers to participate in this study. Statistical information for the quantitative portion of this study was compiled byutilizing computer accessed extant data from the Texas Education Agency (TEA) in theAcademic Excellence Indicator Systems (AEIS) report, the 2008 AEIS reports for each ofthe 231 identified ROM schools were accessed by the researcher and printed giving theresearcher access to reports on student academic achievement in the areas of math,English language arts, science, and social studies. In addition, demographic informationwas retrieved from this data base that provided additional information about the studentsscored in the 2008 exit level TAKSTM administration. For the qualitative portion of thisstudy, a total of 80 research packets were sent to identified CSCOPETM potential teacherrespondents. Thirty completed research instruments packets were returned producing anoverall 37.5% rate of return. Two surveys were eliminated due to the respondent’s lackof 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 fromthe t test for independent means analyzing the differences or lack of differences in 200811th grade TAKS scores in the subject areas of math, English language arts, science, andsocial studies between ROM and non-ROM schools; (2) findings for research question 5which were generated from teacher responses on the Teacher Demographic Profile andTeacher Response Instrument, Part A; (3) findings for research question 6 were generatedfrom the Teacher Demographic Profile and Teacher Response Instrument, Part B; (4)
  • 171. 171findings for research question 7 were based on teacher open –ended responses from theTeacher Demographic Profile and Teacher Response Instrument, Your Opinion Mattersinstrument. In addition, teacher demographic information is also reported in this section ofthe study based on teacher responses on the Teacher Demographic Profile and TeacherResponse Instrument answering questions regarding the years respondents have been inthe teaching profession, the CSCOPETM curriculum model the respondents are involvedin, and the educational degree(s) and teaching certifications held by respondents in thestate of Texas. ResultsResearch Question One1. 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. Theindependent variables for this qualitative section included the Texas schools beinginvestigated and compared for this study. These schools included: (1) schools thatimplemented a Realms of Meaning (ROM) curriculum model, and (2) schools that did notimplement a Realms of Meaning curriculum model. This group was identified in the
  • 172. 172study as non-Realms of Meaning schools or non-ROM. The dependent variable wasstudent achievement as measured by the 11th grade mathematics 2008 TAKSTM scores inthe 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 4.1Group Statistics for Math 2008 TAKSTM ScoresSubject School Type N Mean Std. Deviation Std. Error MeanMath 08 1 233 79.03 10.522 .689 2 229 78.96 11.000 .727Table 4.2Math t-Test for Independent Means Sig.* MeanSubject t df (2-tailed) DifferencesMath 08 .078 460 .938 .078Equal variances assumedEqual variances .078 458.25 .938 .078 assumed*p < .05
  • 173. 173Research 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. Theindependent variables for this qualitative section included the Texas schools beinginvestigated and compared for this study. These schools included: (1) schools thatimplemented a Realms of Meaning (ROM) curriculum model, and (2) schools that did notimplement a Realms of Meaning (non-ROM) curriculum model. The dependent variablewas student achievement as measured by the 11th grade English language arts 2008TAKSTM 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. 174Table 4.3Group Statistics for ELA 2008 TAKSTM ScoresSubject School Type N Mean Std. Deviation Std. Error MeanELA 08 1 233 91.32 5.68 .372 2 229 90.83 6.36 .420Table 4.4ELA t-Test for Independent Means Sig.* MeanSubject t df (2-tailed) DifferencesELA 08 .886 460 .376 .497Equal variances assumedEqual variances .885 452.55 .377 .497 not assumed*p < .05Research 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. 175 A t test for independent means was performed to produce test results for H03. Theindependent variables for this qualitative section included the Texas schools beinginvestigated and compared for this study. These schools included: (1) schools thatimplemented a Realms of Meaning (ROM) curriculum model, and (2) schools that did notimplement a Realms of Meaning (non-ROM) curriculum model. The dependent variablewas student achievement as measured by the 11th grade science 2008 TAKSTM scores inthe 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 4.5Group Statistics for Science 2008 TAKSTM ScoresSubject School Type N Mean Std. Deviation Std. Error MeanSCI 08 1 233 79.96 10.04 .658 2 229 80.12 10.87 .718
  • 176. 176Table 4.6Science t-Test for Independent Means Sig.*. MeanSubject . t df (2-tailed) DifferencesSCI 08 .165 460 .869 -.161Equal variances assumedEqual variances .165 455.79 .869 -.161 not assumed*p < .05Research 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. Theindependent variables for this qualitative section included the Texas schools beinginvestigated and compared for this study. These schools included: (1) schools thatimplemented a Realms of Meaning (ROM) curriculum model, and (2) schools that did notimplement a Realms of Meaning curriculum model. This group was identified in the
  • 177. 177study as non-Realms of Meaning schools or non-ROM. The dependent variable wasstudent achievement as measured by the 11th grade science 2008 TAKS scores in theidentified 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 TAKSTMscores. Results of the t test on Table 4.8 shows a t of .384 that was not statisticallysignificant (p = .701). Therefore the null hypothesis of H04 was not rejected.Table 4.7Group Statistics for Social Studies 2008 TAKSTM ScoresSubject School Type N Mean Std. Deviation Std. Error MeanSS 08 1 233 94.90 3.88 .254 2 229 94.74 4.74 .313Table 4.8Social Studies t-Test for Independent Means Sig.* MeanSubject t df (2-tailed) DifferencesSS 08 .384 460 .701 .155Equal variances assumedEqual variances .383 439.75 .702 .155 not assumed*p < .05______________________________________________________________________________________
  • 178. 178Research 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 Instrumentwere utilized. The Teacher Curricula Participations Instrument was a 16 pageinstrument that included two sections: Part A, reflected a teachers understanding of theRealms of Meaning (ROM) curriculum model. Prior to the Likert-response section of thisthe instrument, Within Part A of this instrument, teachers responded regarding theirunderstanding of the six realms of meaning: symbolics, empirics, esthetics, synnoetics,ethics, and synoptics. There were five Likert style questions in the symbolics realmssection, three Likert style questions in the empirics realms section, six questions in theesthetics realm section, two questions in the synnoetics realms section, two questions inthe ethics realms section, and ten questions in the synoptics realms section. Each teacher participant was asked to circle the number which most closedreflected their knowledge of the six Realms of Meaning and their knowledge of theRealms of Meaning curriculum philosophy. Totals from each teacher respondent werethen analyzed to form the following conclusions.Realm One: Symbolics Symbolics had a total of five question statements with a total point range oftwenty points. The perceptions of teachers regarding the capacity the high school isfunctioning as a Realms of Meaning school with respect to symbolics was 425. Thepossible range of scores based on the number of teacher instruments received could have
  • 179. 179been 0 to 600. The average score for symbolics was 14.17. This indicates that theteachers agree that symbolics is implemented in the CSCOPETM high schools functioningas ROM schools.Figure 4.1Symbolics Average Representations_____________________________________________________________________ Average Representation Agree0 5 10 15 20Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree Realm Possible Score Score AverageSymbolics 0 600 425 14.17Realm Two: Empirics Empirics had a total of three question statements with a total point range of twelvepoints. The perceptions of teachers regarding the capacity the high school is functioningas a Realms of Meaning school with respect to empirics was 175. The possible range ofscores 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 thatempirics is implemented in the CSCOPETM high schools functioning as ROM schools.
  • 180. 180Figure 4.2Empirics Average Representations________________________________________________________________________ Average Representation Disagree0 3 6 9 12____Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly AgreeRealm Possible Score Score AverageEmpirics 0 360 175 5.83Realm Three: Esthetics Esthetics had a total of three question statements with a total point range of twelvepoints. The perceptions of teachers regarding the capacity the high school is functioningas a Realms of Meaning school with respect to empirics was 175. The possible range ofscores 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 thatempirics is implemented in the CSCOPETM high schools functioning as ROM schools.Figure 4.3Esthetics Average Representations_______________________________________________________________________ Average Representation Agree0 6 12 18 24Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly AgreeRealm Possible Score Score AverageEsthetics 0 720 401 13.37
  • 181. 181Realm Four: Synnoetics Synnoetics had a total of two question statements with a total point range of eightpoints. The perceptions of teachers regarding the capacity the high school is functioningas a Realms of Meaning school with respect to synnoetics was 153. The possible range ofscores 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 thatempirics are implemented in the CSCOPETM high schools functioning as ROM schools.Figure 4.4Synnoetics Average Representations________________________________________________________________________ Average Representation Agree0 2 4 6 8Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly AgreeRealm Possible Score Score AverageSynnoetics 0 240 153 5.1_______________________________________________________________________ _Realm Five: Ethics Ethics had a total of two question statements with a total point range of eightpoints. The perceptions of teachers regarding the capacity the high school is functioningas a Realms of Meaning school with respect to esthetics was 182. The possible range ofscores based on the number of teacher instruments received could have been 0 to 240.
  • 182. 182The average score for ethics was 6.07. This indicates that the teachers strongly agree thatethics is a strong and important part of the curriculum.Figure 4.5Ethics Average Representations______________________________________________________________________ Average Representation Strongly Agree0 2 4 6 8Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly AgreeRealm Possible Score Score AverageEthics 0 240 182 6.07______________________________________________________________________Realm Six: Synoptics Synoptics had a total of ten question statements with a total point range of fortypoints. The perceptions of teachers regarding the capacity the high school is functioningas a Realms of Meaning school with respect to synnoetics was 831. The possible range ofscores 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 thatsynoptics is implemented in the CSCOPETM high schools functioning as ROM schools.Figure 4.6Synoptics Average Representations______________________________________________________________________ Average Representation Agree0 10 20 30 40Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly AgreeRealm Possible Score Score Average
  • 183. 183Synoptics 0 1200 831 27.7________________________________________________________________________
  • 184. 184Research 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 philosophyembodies more than just a framework knowledge of the six realms of meaning, i.e.,symbolics, empirics, esthetics, synnoetics, ethics, and synoptics. A well roundedapproach to the curriculum also entails an understanding and implementation of the scopeand depth of fundamental curriculum issues which include an implantation andknowledge of the following components for the curriculum implemented in the generaleducation classroom. These framework components representative of the curriculum forgeneral education in the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning curriculumphilosophy include: (1) the logic of sequence in the studies, (2) the scope of thecurriculum, (3) the use of the disciplines, (4) representative ideas, and (5) methods ofinquiry. Teacher responses for research question six were generated from teacherperceptions on the Teacher Demographic Profile and Teacher Response Instrument. The perceptions of teachers regarding the overall CSCOPETM (ROM) curriculumin the five combined areas of the logic of sequence in the studies, the scope of thecurriculum, the use of the disciplines, representative ideas, and methods of inquiry in theclassroom had a total of twenty-eight question statements with a total point range of3360. The perceptions of teachers regarding the overall CSCOPETM (ROM) curriculumin the five combined areas listed above based on the Realms of Meaning curriculumphilosophy was 2167. The possible range of scores based on the number of teacherinstruments received could have been 0 to 3360. The average score for the combined
  • 185. 185areas of the logic of sequence in the studies, the scope of the curriculum, the use of thedisciplines, representative ideas, and methods of inquiry in the classroom was 72.23.This indicates that the teachers agree that the combined curricula areas implemented inthe CSCOPETM high schools functioning as ROM schools are integral parts of thecurriculum philosophy in the classroom. The findings show that teacher participantsagree with the overall perceptions of the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy.Figure 4.7Overall Perceptions of the Realms of Meaning Curriculum Philosophy in the Classroom_______________________________________________________________________ Agree0 28 56 84 112Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly AgreeROM Curriculum Philosophy Possible Score Score AverageOverall Curriculum Ideas 0 3360 2167 72.23________________________________________________________________________Logic of Sequence Average Representations The perceptions of teachers regarding the overall CSCOPETM (ROM) curriculumin regards to the logic of sequence in the classroom had a total of five question statementswith a total point range of twenty points. The perceptions of teachers regarding the logicof sequence in the studies based on the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy was429. The possible range of scores based on the number of teacher instruments receivedcould have been 0 to 600. The average score for synnoetics was 14.3. This indicates thatthe teachers agree that the logic of sequence implemented in the CSCOPETM high schoolsfunctioning as ROM schools is an integral part of the curriculum philosophy in the
  • 186. 186classroom. As Figure 4.8 shows, participating teachers agree with the Realms philosophyof understanding and implementing the logic of sequence into the curriculum.Figure 4.8Logic of Sequence Average Representation Agree0 5 10 1520Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly AgreeROM Curriculum Philosophy Possible Score Score AverageLogic of Sequence 0 600 425 14.17Scope of Curriculum Average Perceptions The perceptions of teachers regarding the overall CSCOPETM (ROM) curriculumin regards to the scope of curriculum in the classroom had a total of seven questionstatements with a total point range of twenty-eight points. The perceptions of teachersregarding the scope of curriculum based on the Realms of Meaning curriculumphilosophy was 637. The possible range of scores based on the number of teacherinstruments received could have been 0 to 840. The average score for the scope ofcurriculum was 21.3. This indicates that the teachers strongly agree that the scope ofcurriculum implemented in the CSCOPETM high schools functioning as ROM schools isan integral part of the curriculum philosophy in the classroom. Figure 4.9 indicates thatteacher participants strongly agree with the Realms philosophy in relationship to thescope of the curriculum.
  • 187. 187Figure 4.9Scope of Curriculum Average Representation Strongly Agree0 7 14 21 28Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly AgreeROM Curriculum Philosophy Possible Score Score AverageScope of Curriculum 0 840 637 21.23The Use of Disciplines The perceptions of teachers regarding the overall CSCOPETM (ROM) curriculumin the use of disciplines in the classroom had a total of 15 question statements with a totalpoint range of 60 points. The perceptions of teachers regarding disciplines in thecurriculum based on the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy was 1352. Thepossible range of scores based on the number of teacher instruments received could havebeen 0 to 1800. The average score for use of disciplines was 45.07. This indicates thatthe teachers strongly agree that the logic of sequence implemented in the CSCOPETMhigh schools functioning as ROM schools is an integral part of the curriculum philosophyin the classroom.
  • 188. 188Figure. 4.10The Use of Disciplines Average Representation______________________________________________________________________ Agree0 15 30 45 60Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly AgreeROM Curriculum Philosophy Possible Score Score AverageThe Use of Disciplines 0 1800 1352 45.07Representative Ideas The perceptions of teachers regarding the overall CSCOPETM (ROM) curriculumin representative ideas in the classroom had a total of five question statements with a totalpoint range of twenty points. The perceptions of teachers regarding the logic of sequencein the studies based on the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy was 339. Thepossible range of scores based on the number of teacher instruments received could havebeen 0 to 600. The average score for representative ideas was 12.97. This indicates thatthe teachers agree that the logic of sequence implemented in the CSCOPETM high schoolsfunctioning as ROM schools is an integral part of the curriculum philosophy in theclassroom.
  • 189. 189Figure 4.11Representative Ideas Average Representation_____________________________________________________________________ Agree0 5 10 15 20Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly AgreeROM Curriculum Philosophy Possible Score Score AverageRepresentative Ideas 0 600 339 12.97Methods of Inquiry The perceptions of teachers regarding the overall CSCOPETM (ROM) curriculumin methods of inquiry in the classroom had a total of five question statements with a totalpoint range of twenty points. The perceptions of teachers regarding methods of inquiryin the studies based on the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy was 406. Thepossible range of scores based on the number of teacher instruments received could havebeen 0 to 600. The average score for methods of inquiry was 13.53. This indicates thatthe teachers agree that methods of inquiry implemented in the CSCOPETM high schoolsfunctioning as ROM schools is an integral part of the curriculum philosophy in theclassroom.
  • 190. 190Figure 4.12Methods of Inquiry Average Representation_______________________________________________________________________ _ Agree0 5 10 15 20Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly AgreeROM Curriculum Philosophy Possible Score Score AverageRepresentative Ideas 0 600 406 13.53 Summary Research questions one through four of the quantitative portion of the studyanalyzed the differences or lack of differences in the academic achievement of 11th gradehigh school students in the subject areas of math, English language arts, science, andsocial studies. ROM and non-ROM schools were identified. TAKSTM scores from eachrepresentative school were then listed in an excel spreadsheet. The data were thentransferred to the SPSS statistical software. A t test for independent means was generatedfor each subject matter to determine if there was a significant difference in the academicachievement of students utilizing the ROM curriculum philosophy and curriculum modelin comparison to non-ROM curriculum philosophy and curriculum model in theclassroom. 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 academicachievement of students utilizing the ROM philosophy and curriculum model ascompared to the non-ROM philosophy and curriculum model.
  • 191. 191 Research question five reported on the teachers’ responses in regards to theevidence as to what capacity as reported by classroom teachers on the Teacher CurriculaPerceptions Instrument their high schools were functioning as Realms of Meaningschools? The findings for research question five indicate that in the areas of symbolics,esthetics, synnoetics, and synoptics teachers agreed in the importance and implementationof these realms of meaning in the classroom, thereby indicating their classrooms andtherefore their schools were operating as ROM schools in these areas. Teachers stronglyagreed in the importance and implementation of the ethics realm in the classroom,thereby indicating their classrooms and therefore their schools were operating as ROMschools in the ethics realm. Teachers however disagreed that the empirics realm of meaning was beingimplemented in the classroom. Therefore, in the empirics realm, teachers disagreed thattheir classrooms and therefore their schools were not operating as a ROM school in thearea of empirics. Qualitative Research Questions Research question six showed that teacher’s perceptions toward the ROMcurriculum philosophy were positive. Teachers agreed that the logic of sequence in thecurriculum, the scope of the curriculum, the use of disciplines, representative ideas, andmethods of inquiry were important components of the curriculum process. In research question seven, teachers were expressive in their views about theperceived benefits and risks of the utilizing the CSCOPETM curriculum model in theclassroom. Emergent themes regarding the benefits included the following:
  • 192. 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 theclassroom are as follows: a. Teachers’ perceptions were that the curriculum was too narrow in focus and scope.
  • 193. 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 academicachievement in schools that utilized the ROM curriculum model in the 11th gradeclassrooms in the subject areas of math, English language arts, science, and social studiesas compared to the academic achievement of 11th grade classrooms in the subject areas ofmath, English language arts, science, and social studies of schools that did not implement
  • 194. 194the ROM (non-ROM) curriculum philosophy in their classrooms. Results of the t-test forindependent means produced no statistically significant differences between any of thefour subject areas of math, English language arts, science, and social studies. In that thecurriculum is so new, the results of this portion of the test can be said to be inconclusiveas more research needs to be conducted to see if there are significant differences inacademic improvement in the classroom as students and teachers adjust and adapt to thenew curriculum model. However, teachers utilizing the ROM curriculum model agreed that five realms ofmeaning were important factors in the teaching philosophies of their classroomsindicating that these teachers were operating in ROM schools (those schoolsimplementing the ROM in the classroom) in the realm areas of synoptics, esthetics,synnoetics, ethics, and synoptics. Teachers disagreed that the empirics realm wasimportant to their teaching philosophies thereby indicating that in the empirics realmstheir schools were not functioning as ROM schools. In the implementation and philosophy of the curriculum in the areas of the logicof sequence in the studies, the scope of the curriculum, the use of disciplines, andrepresentative ideas, teachers agreed that these philosophical curriculum componentswere important to the curriculum philosophy and curricula implementation in theclassroom. Michael Fullan, an important figure in the movement to address positive changein schools, cautions all who would seek to implement change in the curriculum and toimplement a program for academic achievement and success for all students, mustrealistically ascertain the real-world learning environment and the realistic model of
  • 195. 195implementing a new curriculum. One component educators must look at in regards tomaking significant change in the classroom and in the overall educational program of adistrict is to factor in the implementation dip that research has shown can be expectedwhen implementing a new curriculum model. Districts must allow for time to implementthe model properly, adjust the curriculum modules as necessary for optimal studentlearning, and provide sufficient training time and professional development opportunitiesfor teachers in the classroom to implement the new curriculum model.
  • 196. 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 thestudy. Implications and recommendations for further studies are also included. Theintroduction 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 researchquestions, (5) null hypotheses, and (6) methodology. A summary of this research study isthen presented. Significant findings and trends are reported in this section. The thirdsection presents the conclusions for the study based on significant findings of thisresearch, educational trends, and academic research and previously published studies.Recommendations for further study and research are also included in this chapter. Summary of the StudyStatement of the Problem Our country is now facing a time in our history when we do meet or exceed manyof the world’s standards for academic achievement and success: “For the first time in thehistory of our country, the educational skills of one generation will not surpass, will notequal, will not even approach, those of their parents” (Gardner, 1983, p. 4).Acknowledging the fact that curriculum plays a major role in student academicachievement and that there is a need to address the foundational core and fortress of allstudent learning, the issue of concern and statement of the problem that was addressed in
  • 197. 197this study can be articulated as follows: Is there a difference in student academicachievement based on the type of curriculum philosophy used in the school setting toprepare 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 ofMeaning schools, (2) to discover if student achievement is impacted because of theschool’s status as a Realms of Meaning school, (3) to understand the perceptions ofclassroom teachers and educational leaders on their view of the effectiveness of theRealms of Meaning curriculum model in the classroom, and (4) to understand the benefitsand/or risks of implementing the Realms of Meaning curriculum model in the classroom. Research Questions The following quantitative and qualitative research questions and null hypothesesguided this study.Quantitative Research Questions1. 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. 1984. 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 QuestionsThis 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 onethrough 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. 199H03: 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 quantitativeresearch was used in this study. Quantitative research was utilized in questions 1 -5 inorder to statistically analyze the differences or lack of differences in the academicachievement between schools that utilize the ROM curriculum philosophy and schoolsthat do not utilize the ROM curriculum philosophy. The qualitative portion of this studywas based on two researcher developed instruments that analyzed the perceptions ofteachers in regards to their usage of the CSCOPETM curriculum model and theirknowledge of the ROM curriculum philosophy and its importance to the application ofclassroom principles and educational philosophies.
  • 200. 200Quantitative Methods Utilizing the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning Curriculumphilosophy, a parallel curriculum model was identified that utilized the Realmsphilosophy and parallel curriculum principles in the classroom. Once identified, a listwas obtained of schools that had purchased this curriculum model and were listed hashaving the curriculum in spring 2008. This information was obtained directly from anEducational Service Center representative who had compiled this state-wide list ofschools which had purchased the curriculum model which had been identified as havingparallel philosophies and learning attributes of the ROM curriculum philosophy. Fromthis list, high schools were identified that utilized the CSCOPETM curriculum model in theclassroom. Because this study is based on the philosophy of the Realms of Meaningcurriculum model, the similarities of curriculum philosophy and design were utilized toascertain that the attributes of the CSCOPETM and the Realms of Meaning curriculumphilosophy shared significant academic attributes. Once determined that there wereunique similarities and parallel philosophies in both the CSCOPETM and the ROMcurriculum model, schools utilizing the CSCOPETM schools were designated as schoolswhich utilized a similar curriculum philosophy as ROM schools indicating the parallelphilosophies and curriculum ideas embodied in both designs. A comparative list of schools that did not utilize the CSCOPETM model wasgenerated from a Comparative Improvement school list from the Texas EducationAgency (tea.state.tx.us) which provided the names of schools with similar demographiccharacteristics as the CSCOPETM schools list. A total of 231 high schools in the state ofTexas that utilized the Realms of Meaning curriculum model were identified. Another
  • 201. 201231 schools were randomly selected to include the non-ROM school population. Theacademic achievement levels of 462 schools were reviewed for this study in both ROMand non-ROM high schools. For each of the 462 high schools, Academic Indicator Excellence Reports weregenerated individually for each school. The 2008 Texas Assessment of Knowledge andSkills (TAKSTM) reports were then printed out for 11th grade exit level TAKSTM scores forexit-level math, English language arts, science, and social studies. The scores for boththe ROM and non-ROM in these subject areas were then recorded in an Excel spreadsheetand then transferred to an SPSS software file. Once entered, descriptive statistics wereperformed to generate data that fully described the participants of this study in regards torace, ethnicity, and special population status. A t-test for independent means was thengenerated utilizing the statistical data provided generated from the student TAKSTMscores 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 tosee if there was a difference in academic achievement for schools that utilized the ROMcurriculum model and schools that did not use this model.Qualitative Methods Classroom teachers utilizing the CSCOPETM (ROM) curriculum model in theclassroom were randomly selected to participate in this portion of the study through theprocess of systematic random sampling. Utilizing the list of schools previously identifiedas ROM schools, the researcher began with the first listing of the school names and beganthe procedure of gaining permission for sending out the teacher instruments to qualifiedROM schools: “Systematic sampling is not used very often, but it is appropriate in
  • 202. 202certain situations” (Gay and Airasian, 200, p. 110). In this study, systematic samplingwas appropriate in that the population list provided through the Texas Education Agencyonline (TEA.state.tx.us), in the form of the AEIS Comparable School Progress report wasalready presented in a random listing order. Twenty seven school districts wererandomly selected for participation in this portion of the study. Direct contact was madeby phone with the administrative offices of 28 potential participating districts in order tospeak with the superintendent or another administrator in regards to gaining permission tocontact participating teachers for this study. The researcher personally visited sixadministrative offices in the potential participating districts in order to further explain thestudy and to gain approval to send a research packet to potential teacher participants intheir districts. From this number, six school districts denied participation. One districtwas excluded in that the school district name, although included on the list, was not aCSCOPETM school. Two districts declined approval from the study and indicated so bychecking “No, I do not give permission for the 11th grade core discipline teachers to beinvited to be a part of this study” on the initial request letter sent to superintendents ofpotential research study districts (see Appendix B). No explanation was given as for thereason for their denial. Four other schools responded verbally and gave reasons for theirdecision not to allow the researcher to invited 11th grade core discipline teacher toparticipate in the qualitative portion of this study. A far west school district curriculumdirector indicated that at this time not all teachers were on board with the CSCOPETMmodel, therefore she believed that giving permission for participation at this time wouldnot be appropriate at this time. Two rural school superintendents declined withcomments. The first superintendent stated that although they had purchased the
  • 203. 203CSCOPETM program, they had not fully implemented the program at this time. Hefurther stated that they were pleased with the program, but wanted to give their teachersan opportunity to be thoroughly trained before the curriculum was implemented. Thesecond rural school district superintendent simply declined stating that they had decidednot to continue to use the curriculum due to the rigorous requirements of implementingthe program. One school district declined from the program in that they were no longerutilizing the CSCOPETM model and had chosen another curriculum model for use in theirdistrict. Based on the researcher’s ability to gain permission to seek teacher participantsfrom eligible campuses, a total of 20 campuses became the focus for seeking teacherparticipants in the qualitative portion of this study. Once permission was gained from the eligible, participating school districts, aletter was generated and sent to the high school principal of each district (see AppendixC) asking for permission to contact their high school campuses in order to invite their 11thgrade CSCOPETM teachers in the subject areas of math, English language arts, science,and social studies to participate in this study. Four research participant envelopes wereprepared and sent to potential participating school districts. The initial packet wasaddressed to the principal of the high school and included a copy of the permission letterfrom the superintendent to conduct the study, a letter to the principal explaining thestudy, and a letter of invitation to the potential teacher participant (see Appendix D). Thetwo instruments for this study were included in each individual packet which included theTeacher Curricula Perceptions Instrument (see Appendix A) and the TeacherDemographic Profile and Teacher Response Instrument (see Appendix E). A selfaddressed stamped envelope was also included in the envelope to allow the teacher
  • 204. 204respondents to return their completed instruments to the researcher. After an appropriateperiod of time, the researcher gave a second opportunity to potential teacher participantsby sending a second letter of opportunity (see Appendix F). Professional certificates ofappreciation were mailed to each campus principal in order that participating respondentscould have this certificate as a record of their participation in this study anddocumentation of participation for their own professional portfolios (see Appendix G). Teacher research packets were sent to each participating district which allowedfor participation by at least one math, English language arts, science, and social studies toparticipate in this study. Two schools asked for additional packets. A total of 80 teacherresearch packets which included a Letter to Campus Administrator (see Appendix C), aCover Letter to Teachers, (see Appendix D), one copy of the Teacher CurriculaPerception Instrument (see Appendix A), and one copy of the Teacher DemographicProfile and Teacher Response Instrument (see Appendix E) and a self-addressed,stamped return envelope. Six of the district research mailing envelopes teacher researchpackets were hand-delivered to the participating districts and contained a minimumnumber of 24 packets. Fourteen district envelopes were mailed to the remainingparticipating school districts and contained 56 teacher research packets. Teachersresponded by returning the completed instruments to the researcher in the self-addressedenvelopes provided in the earlier research packet. Thirty Teacher Curricula PerceptionInstruments (see Appendix A) were returned in the self-addressed stamped envelopesprovided by the researcher. Thirty Teacher Demographic Profile and Teacher ResponseInstruments 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. 205form of “Notice of Second Opportunity for Teacher Participation” (see Appendix F) wassent out to all participating high schools following the initial letters of invitation andinstruction giving a second opportunity for teacher participation in this study. The rate ofreturn for this portion of the study was 37.5%. Two of the 30 returned packets weredisqualified in that the teachers indicated that they had not utilized the CSCOPETMcurriculum model in the classroom. A Certificate of Participation (see Appendix G) wassent to each teacher participant as a thank-you for their professional participation in thisstudy. Responses of all teacher respondents were analyzed for recurring themes and thencoded accordingly. These coded data were used to further explain and understand thefindings presented in the qualitative portions of the study and to aid in the formulation ofconclusions and recommendations made in this study. Summary of FindingsQuantitative Research Findings Each research question addressed in this study is listed below with an explanationof the major findings discovered during this study. An alpha level of .05 was used for allstatistical tests.Research Question One The findings for research question one were found by generating a t test forindependent means with the following conclusions. With an alpha level of .05,p = .938. Based on these statistical findings, there was no significant difference in the11th grade overall group mathematics TAKSTM scores between schools that implement the
  • 206. 206Realms of Meaning curriculum model and schools that do not implement the Realms ofMeaning curriculum model. The null hypothesis was not rejected.Research Question Two The findings for research question two were found by generating a t test forindependent 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 gradeoverall group English language arts TAKSTM scores between schools that implement theRealms of Meaning curriculum model and schools that do not implement the Realms ofMeaning curriculum model. The null hypothesis was not rejected.Research Question Three The findings for research question three were found by generating a t test forindependent 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 gradeoverall group science TAKSTM scores between schools that implement the Realms ofMeaning curriculum model and schools that do not implement the Realms of Meaningcurriculum model. The null hypothesis was not rejected.Research Question Four The findings for research question four were found by generating a t test forindependent 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 gradeoverall group social studies TAKSTM scores between schools that implement the Realmsof Meaning curriculum model and schools that do not implement the Realms of Meaningcurriculum model. The null hypothesis was not rejected.
  • 207. 207Research Question Five Research question five addressed the following educational concern and asked:To what capacity as reported by classroom teachers on the Teacher CurriculaPerceptions Instrument are CSCOPETM high schools functioning as Realms of Meaningschools? Teachers responded to this question by answering Likert-type questions in aresearcher generated Teacher Curricula Perceptions Instrument. Each of the six realmswas described prior to the instrument. Participants were then able to choose one of thefollowing options in regards to what capacity high schools were functioning as Realms ofMeaning 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 ofpossible 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. 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 implementingthe CSCOPE TM (ROM) curriculum model? Emergent themes were developed for both the benefits and risks of the utilizingthe CSCOPETM (ROM) curriculum philosophy in the classroom based on teacher’sresponses on teacher’s open-ended responses on the Teacher Demographic Profile andTeacher Response Instrument. The emergent themes of the risks involved in this studyare as follows: (1) curriculum too narrow in focus and scope, (2) lack of creativity and
  • 209. 209teacher autonomy, (3) pacing, (4) not enough activities to meet the needs of specialpopulations 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 andteachers utilizing this model, (6) teachers also noted gaps in the curriculum in that theyfelt that not all material was covered appropriately and aligned properly within thedistrict, and (7) teachers felt that management was “forcing” the curriculum on them andthat if they did not measure up with the new curriculum model they would bereprimanded or blamed for lack of student improvement and achievement in theclassroom. An integrated curriculum allows the student to compare and contrast information,events, and phenomena through integrative eyes and intellectual structures: “Deepunderstanding occurs when the presence of new information prompts the emergence orenhancement of cognitive structures that enable us to rethink our prior ideas” (Brooksand Brooks, 1999, p. 15). Constructivist teaching is a challenging but rewarding process:“A constructivist framework challenges teachers to create environments in which theyand 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 andlearning” (Brooks and Brooks, 1999, p. 30). The Realms of Meaning (ROM) curriculummodel builds upon a constructivist framework: “It remains a provocative model thatcontinues to nourish and stimulate thinking about what is important in creating coherencyand purpose in general education settings” (English as rpt. in Kritsonis, 2007, p. v). TheRealms of Meaning (ROM) curriculum philosophy involves the interaction of categories
  • 210. 210and design in the learning process: “The selection of categories is essentially a search forpatterns” (Fenwick English in Kritsonis, 2007, p. vi). A thorough analysis of patterns andphilosophies 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 ofmeaning, the entire range of possible meaning and curriculum knowledge can beacknowledged and perpetuated in a general framework of curriculum efficacy andknowledge. The six realms of meaning provides a framework for education and learningwhich provides a structured approach to the learning process through the philosophicalguidelines of the ROM curricula philosophy. Teacher concerns reveal that there is uncertainty regarding the curriculum, theirresponsibilities, and management’s support in regards to this new curriculum model inthe classroom. Management and teachers alike must realize that effective change doesnot 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 solidcommitment 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. 211reform and change in the classroom, district, state, and federal educational institutionsand agencies. While teachers in this study responded to both the positive and negativeaspects of this curriculum model based on their own perceptions of the curricula, agreater insight and depth of knowledge can be gained from this portion of the study bycomparing the various responses of new teachers in the classroom vs. older, moreseasoned teachers with more experience in education and the teaching profession. Conclusions The researcher carefully assessed how the data from both the quantitative andqualitative portions of this study worked together to produce findings applicable tostudent learning, curricula research, and curriculum implementation. The researcherreturned to the review of the literature to triangulate the combination of data and toproduce and draw reasonable conclusions to this study. The triangulation of the dataproduced the following conclusions.Conclusion One The null hypotheses for H01, H02, H03, and H04 were developed to test the meanacademic achievement scores of 11th grade exit level high school students in ROM andnon-ROM schools in order to see if there was a difference in academic achievementbetween these two schools in the core subject areas of math, English language arts,science, and social studies. Student academic achievement was determined by thecampus rating the 2008 accountability school year. A t-test for independent means wasperformed 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 thesubject areas listed above were not statistically significant when the alpha was set at
  • 212. 212p < 05. The four null hypotheses for this study were not rejected. The findings of the first four research questions illustrate how significantacademic change is not an overnight occurrence. This is supported by educationalresearch conducted by Michael Fullan and others who contend that educators must notexpect an overnight remedy for long-term improvement in academic achievement. The limitations of this study included the fact that the degree of use andimplementation of this curriculum model was not fully known and could not be fullydiscovered by the researcher. Therefore, the commitment of utilizing the ROMphilosophies in the classroom could have varied significantly from campus to campustherefore leaving the definitive findings of the ROM influence in the classroominconclusive. It could be reasonably argued that not enough data was available to make aconclusive 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 possibleconnection and explanation for the lack of significant differences between schools thatutilize the ROM curriculum in the classroom in relationship to the schools that do notutilize the ROM curriculum, i.e., the non-ROM schools. The research which has supported this study has found that student academicsuccess in relation to the curriculum in the classroom is not an automatic result ofimplementing new curriculum designs in the classroom. The findings in this studyrelated to research questions 1-4 support Michael Fullan’s assessment regardingcurricular 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 orinvalidate the worth of the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy or the CSCOPETM
  • 213. 213model for curricular instruction. In fact, this study supports Fullan’s research on changetheory and sustainability in education. True curricular change requires years ofsustainable growth possible only when a strong and substantial foundation for learning isestablished. This research has shown that the foundation for the CSCOPETM model isbased on strong, principled, research and reflects the constructivist approach to learningand academic achievement as mirrored in the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy.Fullan states that sustained and measurable academic growth can be obtained whenutilizing strong, researched based curricula, but that educational leaders must take astrong and principled approach to implementing their chosen curriculum model andphilosophy over a committed and extended period of time. Educational and community leaders must evaluate the process and progress oflearning in the classroom. The implementation dip diagram below is an example of arealistic expectation model that shows how sustained and expected growth can occur in adistrict or educational classroom setting. Change is necessary for our schools to stayrelevant; however, the process can be seen as initially self-defeating. However, educatorswho choose to commit to sound educational practices and researched-based curriculummodels can expect positive and sustained potential growth and academic achievement fortheir student body populations.
  • 214. 214Figure 4.13The Implementation Diphttp://www.dangerouslyirrelevant.org/2007/07/implementation-.html The CSCOPETM model in its present form is only three years old. The newness ofthis curriculum model indicates that significant academic growth will not occurovernight. Educators who choose this model and commit to implementing the model inthe classroom are supported by research studies and academicians such as Michael Fullanwho has stated that positive change can occur when implementing a new curriculummodel or learning tool in the classroom if educators will simply “stay the course” (Fullan2004).Conclusion Two Question five addressed the issue of what capacity teachers were operating intheir classrooms as ROM schools. This question of the study is important in that teacherswho understand and are committed to a curriculum philosophy in the classroom are morelikely to work towards mastering the tenets of the curriculum and applying thecurriculum philosophy more enthusiastically and energetically in the classroom. The
  • 215. 215Teacher Curricula Perceptions Instrument utilized in this study show that teachers agreewith the principles of symbolics; disagree with empirics, and agree that estheticssynnoetics, and synoptics are integral components of a successful curriculum model in theclassroom. They strongly agree that ethics is an important component of a strongcurriculum model. The Realms of Meaning philosophy incorporates these attributes in thecurriculum. It can be noted that these philosophies are also reflected in the CSCOPETMcurriculum model. By affirming the importance of five of the six areas of ROMcurriculum philosophy, these teachers have initiated the process of capacity buildingwhich gives teachers ownership of the curriculum and allows teachers to build anddevelop their own professional skills and teaching talents through the nature and scope ofthe curriculum. According to Fullan’s research, the depth of capacity building indicatorsin a school is indicative of the long-term success and viability of academic progress andtherefore a substantial foundation for academic change and student success.Conclusion Three Question six looked at the degree to which teachers understood the Realms ofMeaning curriculum philosophy structures and framework. The results of this studyindicate that teachers agree that (1) the curriculum for general education should includethe 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 thatrepresentative ideas and (5) methods of inquiry are important aspects of the curriculummodel they utilize in the classroom. Once again, Fullan’s study indicates that for acurriculum to be successfully implemented in a district, teachers must understand theunderlying rationale and principles involved in the curriculum. This study has shown that
  • 216. 216teachers have a firm grasp of the Realms philosophy and therefore have a substantialeducational foundation to build upon for sustained and measurable academic growth inthe classroom.Conclusion Four Question seven examined the perceptions of teachers on the benefits and risks ofimplementing the CSCOPETM curriculum model in the classroom. Through atriangulation of the literature and a review of the findings, the following conclusions weremade regarding teachers perceptions of the benefits and risks of the curriculum. Theemergent themes of the risks involved in this study are as follows: (1) curriculum toonarrow 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 specialeducation students, limited English proficient (LEP) students, and the more acceleratedneeds of the gifted and talent student population, (5) teachers felt the curriculumencouraged 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 wascovered appropriately and aligned properly within the district, and (7) teachers felt thatmanagement was “forcing” the curriculum on them and that if they did not measure upwith the new curriculum model they would be reprimanded or blamed for lack of studentimprovement and achievement in the classroom. To address the risks expressed by the teacher, research has shown that anintegrated curriculum model will allow a greater depth and meaningful dialogue betweenteachers and students in classroom instruction: “Deep understanding occurs when thepresence of new information prompts the emergence or enhancement of cognitive
  • 217. 217structures that enable us to rethink our prior ideas” (Brooks and Brooks, 1999, p. 15). Byadhering to the constructivist framework provided both in the ROM curriculumphilosophy and the CSCOPETM curriculum model, the curriculum base will broaden andprovide the needed depth of understanding and curriculum knowledge necessary toeffectively teach the student body population. The CSCOPE’sTM design flexibilityallows curriculum writers to improve upon the curriculum instantaneously through theuse of computer technology and infusion of new academic components and additions asdeemed appropriate. As the curriculum develops, the state director has stated that thewriters and distributors of this program are committed to improving and strengthening thecurriculum in order to better meet the needs of all constituents. Continuance of theconstructivist principles in the curriculum design will help to ensure that the educatorsconcerns 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 andnuances of curriculum program development and implementation. By exploring the sixrealms of meaning, the entire range of possible meaning and curriculum knowledge canbe acknowledged and perpetuated in a general framework of curriculum efficacy andknowledge. Implications It is recognized today “that knowledge does not belong to specialists alone, butthat, through general education, understanding of a high order can and should beavailable to everyone” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. v). It is important that in these challengingtimes, the curriculum is not watered-down and geared to the lowest common denominator
  • 218. 218for student achievement and success. Instead, educators should seek to challengestudents to master challenging and rigorous course material as adhered to in the ROMcurriculum philosophy. Students should be provided a rigorous curriculum withconsistent alignment throughout the grades levels and a definitive plan of instruction anddelivery. As this study indicates, implementing a curriculum utilizing the philosophicalframework based on the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning curriculummodel has the potential to bring about measurable and sustained student academic growthand achievement in the education process. At the core of this study, the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaningcurriculum philosophy has examined, reviewed, and triangulated researched materialthrough an extensive review of literature, statistical tests, and studies to see if utilizing theWays of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy can impactstudent academic learning and achievement. The sample size of this population waslimited to 11th grade students in the public school setting who participated in the 2008administration of the exit level TAKSTM test. It should be noted that while this researchreviewed this sample population, the CSCOPETM curriculum model and therefore theROM curriculum philosophy has been utilized across the state of Texas in growing andincreasing numbers over the past three years throughout all grade levels. The researchermet with CSCOPE’sTM state director in Austin, Texas to discuss a wide range of topics inregards to the development, implementation, and vision for the CSCOPETM curriculum inTexas. According to the director, CSCOPETM in its present form has only been availablefor a total of three years. At the time of our interview, April 2008, the CSCOPETMdistribution sites had increased from the original ten ESC sites which had been
  • 219. 219operational at the beginning of this study, to a total of 13 ESC distribution support sites inTexas. In addition, he stated that at the time of our interview there was a least one schoolin every ESC district which had purchased the CSCOPETM curriculum model for one ormore schools in their district. The director cautioned me that they did not require fullcompliance to their curriculum model when purchased by other districts. Therefore, itwas acknowledged that not all schools in this study would be utilizing the CSCOPETMmodel to the same degree and therefore this could be one of the reasons why thereappeared to be no significant difference between schools that utilized the CSCOPETM,ROM curriculum philosophy and those non-ROM schools which did not adhere to thisphilosophy. This disparity in usage can also indicate that the quantitative portion of thisstudy is inconclusive in that the availability of data to significantly test the academicachievement 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 curriculummodel. Revisions are ongoing to meet the increasing demand and popularity of this newcurriculum model. Periodic updates through e-mail communications on the progress anddevelopment of the CSCOPETM program are sent regularly to CSCOPETM subscribers. Arecent state conference generated over 1,000 statewide participants and attendees whichsupport the fact that educational leaders, supervisors, and educational leaders aresupporting this program. These educational leaders who have supported theiradministrators, teachers, and other school leaders to participate in this conference showsthat statewide curriculum leaders have committed to this program and are willing follow
  • 220. 220Michael’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 morefully be ascertained by analyzing multiple years of implementation which will allowfuture researchers to monitor the growth and success of this program. While someteachers have applauded the structure of the Realms philosophy implemented through theCSCOPETM curriculum model, others have found that this curriculum model is noteffective in their personal classroom and school districts. However, this diversity ofopinion can be expected. The rigor of this curriculum model requires a high degree ofprofessionalism and intellectual integrity and commitment. However, those educatorswho are willing to stay the course and commit to a sound structure of learning andacademic excellence in the curriculum will find that, as Fullan’s educational researchindicates, this researched based curriculum philosophy can provide the impetus forpositive academic change and growth in any school regardless of size, population, orsocio-economic status. The Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophyprovides a viable framework for choosing a curriculum and utilizing its philosophies tobuild upon the curriculum to enhance student learning and academic achievement. Thisphilosophy provides a springboard for aligning the curriculum that when implemented inthe classroom will provide to both faculty and staff a theoretical framework and structurefrom which to generate sustained student academic achievement and measurableacademic improvement in the classroom.
  • 221. 221 The ROM curriculum philosophy, evidenced in practicality through theCSCOPETM curriculum model, shows great promise in incorporating higher levels ofstudent academic achievement and success in the classroom. According to the Realmsphilosophy, “knowledge can be derived from a variety of sources. However, knowledgehas permanent value leading to greater meaning and greater understanding when drawnfrom the fundamental disciplines as exemplified in the realms of meaning” (Kritsonis,2007, ix). The ROM curriculum philosophy, evidenced in practicality through theCSCOPETM curriculum model, shows great promise in incorporating higher levels ofstudent academic achievement and success in the classroom utilizing a heuristic study forof the curriculum. As this study shows, implementing a curriculum utilizing thephilosophical framework based on the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaningcurriculum model has the potential to bring about measurable and sustained studentacademic growth and achievement in the education process. This study has provided a benchmark for further studies that can focus on studentimprovement and academic achievement based on the sustained use of a ROMcurriculum philosophy in the classroom. A growing body of research alludes to theimportance of generating a sustainable curriculum model and learning paradigm that willguide educators in presenting the vast and growing field of knowledge to students in away that challenges students to integrate their knowledge and apply their learningopportunities to real world situations and life strategies. While educators look foreffective ways to teach and educate their students, the renewed interest in curriculumstructure and presentation has afforded the opportunity for researchers to test what
  • 222. 222curriculum models and philosophies show the greatest potential for increasing studentlearning and academic achievement. In the quest for qualifying and constructing the curriculum in a way that enhancesthe student’s ability to grasp higher and more challenging concepts, this research hasshown that providing a framework for learning that challenges students and allows for agreater growth in academic achievement and success can provide a foundation forlearning that can be built upon to provide sustainable growth and future academicachievement 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 productiveindividuals in our society. Therefore, understanding curriculum philosophy and itsimpact on student learning and academic achievement is an important aspect of allplanning and research for student academic success. As this study has shown, academicchange is not an overnight sensation, but a journey towards a long and committed path ofstructured learning and academic discipline. Those who seek to learn, to teach, and to dowill ultimately find that a structured curriculum model as found in the Ways of Knowing
  • 223. 223through the Realms of Meaning is an integral and viable philosophy upon whichknowledge, learning, and wisdom skills can be obtained. In conclusion, the six realms of meaning explore the full range of meaning andknowledge in the curriculum. The realms then can be regarded as being foundational toall basic competencies in the general education curriculum. In addition, the Realmsphilosophy offers a structure and guide for the competencies needed to live a full andcomplete life. In the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy, the attributes of acomplete person are outlined, and thus the foundational scope and sequence of alllearning 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, aphilosophy for choosing the curriculum to support and enhance deep learning and criticalthinking in the educational programs of students and adults who desire to know and studyon a deeper and more prolific level of learning. To those who ascertain to know truth andto study critically, this study has revealed how a framework for learning and theacquisition of knowledge can be structured and applied in the classroom. As KingSolomon sought to uncover the mysteries of the world, students in today’s academic and
  • 224. 224educational communities can seek to know and explore the thresholds of knowledge “thatpeople may know skillful and godly wisdom and instruction; discern, and comprehendthe words of understanding and insight, receive instruction in wise dealing and thediscipline of wise thoughtfulness, righteousness, justice, and integrity” (Proverbs 1:1-3).Inherent in these basic philosophies is an affirmation of how knowledge depth andunderstanding can benefit the whole person in all learning and educational pursuits. Meaningful approaches to education will utilize a holistic curriculum frameworkwhich will help engender academic achievement and meaning in the classroom. TheWays of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning supports utilizing this framework forlearning and utilizes the ROM philosophy to engender “the aims of general education forthe 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 changeis not an overnight or easy process and endeavor. To effectually work towards makingsignificant strides in helping our students learn more effectively and to be able to utilizethis knowledge in an integrated and in-depth manner, a long term solution and plan isneeded to implement the philosophical and structural philosophies of the Realms ofMeaning curriculum philosophy in the classroom setting. The following practical suggestions for implementation of the Realms of Meaningcurriculum philosophy based on the findings are as follows.Recommendation One The findings of this study are in line with the most current research studies andfindings regarding student academic achievement and the curriculum. While we do not
  • 225. 225reject the null hypothesis for research questions 1 - 4, a foundation has been laid forstrong curricular change in that the participating teachers have exhibited a strong capacityfor understanding the Realms philosophy and therefore through further professionaldevelopment and professional academic support, have shown their aptitude andwillingness to commit to long time proactive intervention and persevere and “stay thecourse” (Ful1an, 2006, 8-11). Districts implementing the CSCOPETM curriculum modelutilizing the ROM philosophy in the classroom should continue utilizing this curriculumbased on Fullan’s research which states it takes at least 3 to 6 years to fully implementcurricula academic change. (Fullan, 2006, 8-11)Recommendation Two Educators and curriculum leaders should increase the utilization of the Ways ofKnowing through the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy in the classroom and inthe curriculum structure. Through utilizing the ROM curriculum philosophy in the classroom, many of theeveryday practical applications of the CSCOPETM model could be improved byimplementing the ROM curriculum philosophy more fully into the program. Forexample, a major risk enumerated consistently within the responses found in theTeacher Curricula Perceptions Instrument was that the CSCOPETM impeded teachercreativity in the classroom. Teachers saw the loss of creativity has stifling and as anendangerment to their professional pedagogical practices in the classroom and ability tomeet the needs of their students in creative and effective teaching strategies. The Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophyaddresses this issue through the implementation of the esthetics Realms of Meaning in
  • 226. 226the overall creative process. Teachers who fully understand the Realms model will beable to integrate a high degree of professional and effective teaching practices in theclassroom while at the same time integrating creativity and artistic components in thecurriculum that will elevate and strengthen their academic presentations to their students.Recommendation Three Teachers should be allowed to have professional input into curricular decisionsmade at the high school level. In this study, responses included teacher participants whobelieved 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 donot feel their values or input is important to school administrative leaders may feelalienated from the educational process and therefore potentially hamper the successfulimplementation of any new curriculum and will not allow the new curriculum to beimplemented to its highest and best potential in the classroom.Recommendation Four Teacher training and professional development activities should include how toincorporate curriculum philosophies and strategies in the curriculum based on curricularphilosophies such as the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning. Whenutilizing the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy inthe classroom, teachers should be fully instructed on the Realms philosophy and itsthorough and practical framework for enhancing student learning and academicachievement in the classroom. Once teachers are thoroughly familiar with the Realmsphilosophy and how it impacts student learning and the curriculum, professionaldevelopment activities can be developed that will allow teachers to share with their peers
  • 227. 227and educational administrators how the Realms philosophy is beneficial to their overallteaching strategies and enhancement of learning opportunities for students in theirclassroom. This recommendation is supported by Fullan’s moral purpose in education(California News Report, 2004). Educational leaders should enact a moral purpose intheir 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 beencouraged to “stay the course” (Fullan, 2006, pp. 8-11) and work towards long termsolutions and results utilizing the curriculum chosen. When a sound curriculumphilosophy has been introduced into a school classroom or district, immediate anddramatic results should not be expected in the first few years of the implementationprocess. While progress can be seen on individual and selected areas of subject matterprogress, as a whole, a district must commit to the faithful and sustained implementationof the curriculum program process selected for the district. As Michael Fullan’s researchhas stated, the Change Theory model suggests that it can take as long as three to six yearsfor sustained, deep, and significant educational growth to be realized within a school ordistrict. (Fullan, 2006)Recommendation Six Educators should incorporate the Ways of Knowing through the Realms ofMeaning in undergraduate and graduate level teacher preparation programs.Teachers will ultimately implement change in the classroom; therefore, teacher collegesand university must implement a curriculum philosophy in their classrooms which teach
  • 228. 228the teachers how to recognize, direct, and implement a sustained and integrated approachof learning to the classroom.Recommendation Seven Educational leaders should continue research on the effectiveness of utilizing theROM curriculum philosophy in the classroom. Through scholarly discourse andcontinued research, a deeper understanding of the effect of curriculum design andimplementation 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 bestsuited to the learning needs and aptitudes of each leader’s educational sphere ofinfluence.Recommendation Eight Educational leaders should write and publish material on the Ways of Knowingthrough the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy that will enhance student learning,teacher productivity, and academic administrative leadership qualities and outcomes inthe classroom. Academic and scholarly journals and articles based on best practicestudies and current research such as found in “Educational Leadership Directives:Analyzing the Effect of an Integrated Curriculum Model on Student AcademicAchievement Based on the Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning” caninform and educate teachers on the multi-faceted layers of student learning, achievement,and academic success.
  • 229. 229 Recommendations for Future Research Based on the results of this study, the researcher recommends the followingsuggestions for further study in the following categories.Pre-School and Elementary Recommendations for Future Research1. 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 Research1. 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 theWays of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning Curriculum Philosophy1. 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 on student learning with English language learners in the areas of science and math.
  • 230. 2303. 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 Study1. 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. 231 REFERENCESBotstein, L. (2006).The trouble with high school. The School Administrator. 16-19.Breaden, M. (2008). English language learners. Education Week. 5Brooks, 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.
  • 232. 232Fullan, 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. GovernmentGardner, 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. 233Marzano, 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.htmlOrnstein, A., & Hunkins, F. (2004). Curriculum foundations, principles, and issues. Boston: Pearson Allyn & Bacon.Peck & Scarpetti, 2005, p. 7Petersen, 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. 234Spatz, 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.usTexas Education Agency Website, tea.state.tx.usTexas 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, 96Texas 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 103Vanderark, T. (2006). High challenge, high support. The School Administrator, Retrieved August 15, 2006, from http://Vaderark@gatesfoundation.orgWiggins, G. & McTighe, J. (2005) Understanding by design. Alexandria: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
  • 235. 235APPENDICES
  • 236. 236 APPENDIX ATEACHER CURRICULA PERCEPTIONS INSTRUMENT
  • 237. 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 InstructionQuestions or comments regarding this instrument may be directed to Marcia Shelton,Prairie View A & M Research and Development at 936-261-1588,
  • 238. 238mcshelton@pvamu.edu or William Allan Kritsonis, PhD, Dissertation Chair at936-261-3652, wakritsonis@pvamu.edu.
  • 239. 239 Teacher Curricula Perceptions Instrument Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning Realms of Meaning (ROM) Understanding Part ATeacher Instructions: The Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning Curriculummodel is built on a philosophical, researched based structure for the curriculum.CSCOPETM utilizes the same philosophies, therefore, CSCOPETM can be said to be aRealms of Meaning (ROM) curriculum model.Part A is based on actual curriculum wording of the ROM curriculum model, yet still ishighly related to the intuitiveness and curriculum philosophy of CSCOPETM. Utilizingyour knowledge of the Realms of Meaning curriculum model, good teaching practices,rate each of the statements according to the closest association of your knowledge andunderstanding of sound researched practices and the ROM curriculum model as reflectedin your expertise and experience with CSCOPETM.To understand the dialogue in Part A, the following definitions might be helpful to youwhile 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. 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 re- creation 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. 241 Teacher Curricula Perceptions Instrument Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning Realms of Meaning (ROM) Understanding Part ASymbolics-Ordinary Language, Mathematics, and Symbolic Forms 1. 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 2. The uses of ordinary language are largely practical. 0 1 2 3 4 Don’t Know Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree 3. “Knowing a language is not the same as “knowing about language.” 0 1 2 3 4 Don’t Know Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree 4. Mathematical symbolisms are essentially theoretical. 0 1 2 3 4 Don’t Know Strongly Disagree Disagree 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 1 2 3 4 Don’t Know Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree
  • 242. 242Empirics: Sciences of the Physical World, Living Things, and Man 1. Empirical meanings require ordinary language and mathematics for their expression. 0 1 2 3 4 Don’t Know Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree 2. Science, or systemic empirical inquiry, is concerned with matters of fact, not with symbolic conventions. 0 1 2 3 4 Don’t Know Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree 3. Science is characterized by descriptions that are essentially abstract. 0 1 2 3 4 Don’t Know Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly AgreeEsthetics: Arts, Music, Visual Arts, Arts of Movement, and Literature 1. The power of the esthetic work is to create delight in the observer. 0 1 2 3 4 Don’t Know Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree 2. The artist’s problem is to use materials to express an esthetic idea to achieve certain perceptual effects. 0 1 2 3 4 Don’t Know Strongly Disagree Disagree 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 1 2 3 4 Don’t Know Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree
  • 243. 2434. The fundamental concept of the arts of movement is the organize unity of the person. 0 1 2 3 4 Don’t Know Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree5. 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 Agree6. 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 1 2 3 4 Don’t Know Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly AgreeSynnoetics: Personal Knowledge1. Synnoetic meanings require engagement. 0 1 2 3 4 Don’t Know Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree2. Synnoetic meanings relate subject to subjects. 0 1 2 3 4 Don’t Know Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly AgreeEthics: Moral Knowledge1. 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 Agree2. 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
  • 244. 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 2. 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 3. The person of faith believes God is the Source of all beauty. 0 1 2 3 4 Don’t Know Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree 4. Religious realms incorporate all the realms of meaning. 0 1 2 3 4 Don’t Know Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly AgreeSynoptics: Philosophy 1. The distinctive feature of philosophy is the interpretation of meanings. 0 1 2 3 4 Don’t Know Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree 2. Philosophers seek to construct a synoptic view of the entire range of experiences. 0 1 2 3 4 Don’t Know Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree 3. Philosophy is devoted to the interpretation of the fundamental patters in the realms of meaning. 0 1 2 3 4 Don’t Know Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree
  • 245. 245 4. One can regard the objects of nature as objects to be used and consumed. 0 1 2 3 4 Don’t Know Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly AgreeSynoptics- History 1. Personal engagement is required to understand history. 0 1 2 3 4 Don’t Know Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree 2. History is the study of what human beings have deliberately done in the past. 0 1 2 3 4 Don’t Know Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree
  • 246. 246 Teacher Curricula Perceptions Instrument Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning Realms of Meaning (ROM) Curriculum Philosophy Part BTeacher Instructions: The Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning Curriculummodel is built on a philosophical, researched base structure for the curriculum.CSCOPETM utilizes the same philosophies, therefore, CSCOPE TM can be said to beRealms 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 highlyrelated to the intuitiveness and curriculum philosophy of CSCOPE TM. Therefore,utilizing your knowledge of classroom curriculum, students learning, and good teachingpractices, rate each of the statements according to your knowledge and understanding ofsound researched practices and the ROM curriculum model as reflected in your expertiseand experience with CSCOPE TM.
  • 247. 247 Teacher Curricula Perceptions Instrument Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning Realms of Meaning(ROM) Curriculum Philosophy Part BThe 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 1 2 3 4 Don’t Know Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree 2. Philosophy requires a comprehensive world of meanings to analyze, evaluate, and synthesize. 0 1 2 3 4 Don’t Know Strongly Disagree Disagree 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 1 2 3 4 Don’t Know Strongly Disagree Disagree 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 1 2 3 4 Don’t Know Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree 5. The ideal curriculum is one in which the maximum coherence is achieved and segmentation is minimized. 0 1 2 3 4 Don’t Know Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree
  • 248. 2486. The optimum curriculum for general education consists in all six realms of meaning. 0 1 2 3 4 Don’t Know Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly AgreeThe Scope of the Curriculum1. The course of study should maximize meanings. 0 1 2 3 4 Don’t Know Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree2. The curriculum should provide for learning in all six realms of meaning. 0 1 2 3 4 Don’t Know Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree3. Six realms of meaning are required if a person is to achieve the highest excellence. 0 1 2 3 4 Don’t Know Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree4. Specialized study is requisite for the common good in a complex civilization. 0 1 2 3 4 Don’t Know Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree5. Effective curricula needs to be designed to take into account each person’s aptitudes and enthusiasms. 0 1 2 3 4 Don’t Know Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree6. All six fundamental realms of meaning provide a program for the curriculumof general education in schools. 0 1 2 3 4 Don’t Know Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree7. No one curriculum is the best for all people and for every culture and situation. 0 1 2 3 4
  • 249. 249 Don’t Know Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree 8. Understanding learning theories and the psychology for learning are important attributes to student understanding and knowledge. 0 1 2 3 4 Don’t Know Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly AgreeThe Use of the Disciplines 1. The educator must select qualitatively the most significant materials from the totality of what is known. 0 1 2 3 4 Don’t Know Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree 2. Interdependence of specialists is the basis for the advancement of all knowledge and skill. 0 1 2 3 4 Don’t Know Strongly Disagree Disagree 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 1 2 3 4 Don’t Know Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree 4. The men of knowledge within the disciplines comprise public communities of scholars. 0 1 2 3 4 Don’t Know Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree 5. All material should come from the disciplines. 0 1 2 3 4 Don’t Know Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree
  • 250. 2506. The principle of disciplined understanding is the foundation for general education-the proper content of general education is authentic disciplined knowledge. 0 1 2 3 4 Don’t Know Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree7. The teacher is a humanizer of knowledge. 0 1 2 3 4 Don’t Know Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree8. A discipline is a field of inquiry wherein learning has been achieved in a productive way. 0 1 2 3 4 Don’t Know Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree9. Every discipline is a pattern of investigation for the growth of understanding. 0 1 2 3 4 Don’t Know Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree10. Understanding the disciplines is essential to good teaching. 0 1 2 3 4 Don’t Know Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree11. Many clues to effective teaching and learning are found within the disciplines themselves. 0 1 2 3 4 Don’t Know Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree12. It is positive to use the knowledge from the disciplines in connection with studies that cut across several disciplines. 0 1 2 3 4 Don’t Know Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree13. Every discipline is to some degree integrative in nature. 0 1 2 3 4 Don’t Know Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree
  • 251. 251 14. No one plan is best for every teacher and for all students in all situations. 0 1 2 3 4 Don’t Know Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree 15. What is taught should just be drawn from the scholarly disciplines. 0 1 2 3 4 Don’t Know Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly AgreeRepresentative Ideals 1. Content should be chosen to exemplify the representative ideas of the disciplines. 0 1 2 3 4 Don’t Know Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree 2. The task of the specialist or expert is to work out patterns of representative ideas within the disciplines. 0 1 2 3 4 Don’t Know Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree 3. Teaching first the representative ideas would be a mistake. 0 1 2 3 4 Don’t Know Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree 4. The aim of teaching is comprehensive understanding. 0 1 2 3 4 Don’t Know Strongly Disagree Disagree 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. 252Methods of Inquiry 1. Materials should be selected so as to exemplify the methods of inquiry in the disciplines. 0 1 2 3 4 Don’t Know Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree 2. Understanding of methods overcomes cynicism because it provides clear means for the acquisition of understanding. 0 1 2 3 4 Don’t Know Strongly Disagree Disagree 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 4. Understanding methods helps solve the problem of surge I knowledge. 0 1 2 3 4 Don’t Know Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly Agree 5. Methods are ways of learning. 0 1 2 3 4 Don’t Know Strongly Disagree Disagree 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 1 2 3 4 Don’t Know Strongly Disagree Disagree Agree Strongly AgreeAll statements are taken directly from the Ways of Knowing through the Realms ofMeaning curriculum guide. ReferencesKritsonis, W.A. (2007). Ways of Knowing through the Realms of Meaning. Houston, TX: National Forum Journals
  • 253. 253Dear Teachers: Your opinion and experience is a valued component of this study. Pleaseanswer the following questions regarding your opinion and experiences with theCSCOPE 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. 254 APPENDIX BLETTER TO DISTRICT SUPERINTENDENTS
  • 255. 255 Debbie Watkins 540 Hickory Creek Rd. - Bellville, TX 77418 Fax: (979) 865-4563(979) 865-4562 (home) – (979)220-8869 (cell) dwat@academicplanet.comDear Superintendent: I am a doctoral student at Prairie View A & M University and will be conductingresearch on the effect of the curriculum on student academic achievement using the CSCOPE TMmodel and the Realms of Meaning curriculum philosophy as the basis for my study. The name ofmy study is: Educational Leadership Directives: Analyzing the Effect of an IntegratedCurriculum Model on Student Academic Achievement Based on the Ways of Knowing through theRealms of Meaning. Knowing that student academic achievement is the number one goal of alldistricts and school campuses in our state and throughout our nation, I have chosen to researchthe effect of an integrated curriculum model on student learning. I will be utilizing extant datafrom the Texas Education Agency (TEA) website on school exit level Texas Assessment ofKnowledge and Skills (TAKS) scores of schools that utilize the CSCOPE TM model within theirdistrict in that the CSCOPE TM model is parallel and in line with the philosophy of the Realms ofMeaning curriculum philosophy. In addition, I will seek input from junior level core subject areateachers who utilize the CSCOPE TM curriculum model in their classroom to complete aconfidential survey and a confidential demographic information sheet. To begin this study, theInstitutional Review Board (IRB) has requested that I have permission from the schoolsuperintendent to contact the junior level teachers on his or her high school campus inregards 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 DistrictDate Signed:_______________________________ Contact Number:_______________Thank you for your consideration and participation.Debbie Watkins, M.Ed.Doctoral Student, Educational Leadership, Prairie View A & M University
  • 256. 256Questions 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.
  • 257. 257 APPENDIX CCOVER LETTER TO CAMPUS ADMINISTRATOR
  • 258. 258 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 11thgrade teachers to participate in a study regarding student academic achievement and acombined structure of curriculum philosophy based on the Ways of Knowing through theRealms of Meaning and the application of this philosophy to the CSCOPE TM curriculummodel. The qualitative portion of this research study involves the voluntary participationof junior level 11th grade teachers who specifically teach a CSCOPE TM course area whichincludes mathematics, English Language Arts, science, and social studies. Thank you foryour help in distributing the teacher research packets to teachers in your district who arecurrently using the CSCOPE TM curriculum (to any degree) and teach 11th grade coreclasses. The four research envelopes can be distributed at your discretion based on thenumber of teachers you have in each 11th grade subject area, not exceeding four teacherparticipants. Teachers can return the completed instruments in the self-addressed-stamped envelope provided. It would be extremely helpful if the participating teacherscould 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 begreatly appreciated. I will send a small token of appreciation to each participant once I receive theircompleted Teacher Demographic Profile and Teacher Curricula Perceptions Instrumentin the mail. If you have further questions or concerns, please contact me regarding thisstudy.Respectfully submitted,Debbie Watkins, M.Ed.Educational LeadershipPrairie View A & M UniversityQuestions 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 at936-261-3652, wakritsonis@pvamu.edu.
  • 259. 259 APPENDIX DCOVER LETTER TO TEACHERS
  • 260. 260 Debbie Watkins 540 Hickory Creek Rd. - Bellville, TX 77418 Fax: (979) 865-4563 (979) 865-4562 (home) – (979) 220-8869 (cell) dwat@academicplanet.comDear High School Exit-Level Professional Educator: You are being asked to participate in an important research study based on theeffect of a curriculum philosophy and curriculum model based on CSCOPE TM and yourparticipation (in any degree) with this model in the classroom. If you agree to participate,simply complete the Teacher Demographic Profile and the Teacher CurriculaPerceptions Instrument and return in the self-addressed envelope. By participating in this study, your opinion will help to provide researched baseddata that will help to facilitate and strengthen student learning and academic achievementin the classroom. Each participant of this study will receive a certificate of participationfor your own academic portfolio and professional career growth and learning. Uponreceipt of the completed instrument, you will receive the certificate and a small token ofappreciation for your participation in this study. Findings of this study will be availableupon request after the study has been completed. Your participation is completely voluntary and confidential. If you havequestions regarding this study, please feel free to contact me at any of the above numbersor e-mail address. Your participation is greatly appreciated!Respectfully submitted,Debbie Watkins, M.Ed.Doctoral Student, Educational LeadershipPrairie View A& M UniversityQuestions 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
  • 261. 261936-261-3652, wakritsonis@pvamu.edu.
  • 262. 262 APPENDIX EDEMOGRAPHIC TEACHER PROFILE AND TEACHER RESPONSE INSTRUMENT
  • 263. 263 Demographic Teacher Profile ConfidentialDirections: 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 936-261-3652, wakritsonis@pvamu.edu.
  • 264. 264Dear Teachers: Your opinion and experience is a valued component of this study. Pleaseanswer the following questions regarding your opinion and experiences with theCSCOPETM (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?
  • 265. 265 APPENDIX FNOTICE OF SECOND OPPORTUNITY FOR TEACHER PARTICIPATION
  • 266. 266 Debbie Watkins 540 Hickory Creek Rd. Bellville, TX 77418 (979) 865-4562 (home) – (979)220-8869 (cell) Notice of Second OpportunityDear Principal and Administrator:Thank you for your help in distributing the research instruments, “Teacher CurriculumPerceptions Instrument” and the “Teacher Demographic Profile.” The instruments I havereceived have helped to facilitate a deeper and more meaningful study in regards toacademic curriculum models and student success.If any of your teachers would still like to participate in this study but were not able tocomplete the instruments when they were first received may complete and send to me tobe included in this study.Best wishes in all of your academic endeavors,Debbie Watkins, M.Ed.Educational LeadershipPrairie View A & M UniversityQuestions 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 at936-261-3652, wakritsonis@pvamu.edu.
  • 267. 267 APPENDIX GCERTIFICATE OF PARTICIPATION
  • 268. 268Academic Research ContributorYour 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 onStudent 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
  • 269. 269 VITA DEBRA DENISE WATKINS 540 Hickory Creek Rd Bellville, TX 77418 dwat@academicplanet.comEDUCATIONAL 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, 1997CERTIFICATIONS Administrative Certification: Principal: Grades EC through Grade 12 English as a Second Language: Teaching Certification – Grades PK - 12 English Language Arts and Reading: Grades 8 – 12 Generic Special Education: Grades PK – 12EMPLOYMENT HISTORY 2009 – 2010 - Wharton County Junior College Adjunct Professor Houston Community College Adjunct Professor Lone Star College Cyfair Adjunct Professor University of Phoenix Adjunct Mentorship 2005 – 2010 – Brazos ISD Special Education Department Chair Dual Credit English, ESL Instructional Leader, Resource English Teacher 2005 – 2005 – Waller ISD Special Education/Dyslexia Teacher Resource English – Grades 9-12 1999 – 2002 Brazos ISD Special Education Teacher Resource English - Grades 9-12
  • 270. 270 Content Mastery - Grades 9-12 1998 – 1999 - Columbus ISD VAC Coordinator/Behavior Management 1997 – 1998 - Weimar ISD/Columbus ISD Supervising Life Skills Teacher PublicationsWatkins, 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 JournalWatkins, 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 2007Watkins, 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, 2008Watkins, 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)