Peacock Scholarship

EXPECTATIONS OF MEANINGFUL SUPPORT: A MIXED-METHODS STUDY OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE COMMON CORE ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS STANDARDS AND GRADE 5 SOCIAL STUDIES CURRICULUM IN NORTHERN NEW JERSEY

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The 2009 introduction of the Common Core State Standards represented an opportunity to study teacher and principal perceptions of meaningful support during a time of curricular change. The purpose of this study was to explore how teachers’ and principals’ perceptions of meaningful support affected the implementation of the Common Core ELA Standards integration into grade five social studies curriculum and instruction. The study focused on an examination of the similarities and differences between teachers’ definitions of meaningful support and the principals’ self-ratings of the support they provided to faculty. The study also explored how the amount, nature, and duration of professional development influenced teachers’ perceptions of the support they had been provided by the principal. This mixed-methods study collected data through a teacher survey, a principal survey, a teacher interview, and a review of data from the national 2012 School and Staffing Survey (SASS). In total, six principals and 21 teachers from eight northern New Jersey school districts completed online surveys, and 10 teachers were interviewed. The data, once analyzed, revealed three key findings. There is no shared understanding of what meaningful support is or should be among teachers, nor between teachers and principals. Key concepts did not have a commonly shared meaning. Teachers reported feeling that they had been supported by principals to implement the CCSS ELA, but not to integrate it with social studies curricula.

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