Electronic Theses and Dissertations



Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Instruction & Curriculum Leadership

Committee Chair

Beverly Cross

Committee Member

Alison Happel-Parkins

Committee Member

Celia Anderson

Committee Member

Shelly Counsell


With reports of teacher shortages across many states, the discussion in education turns to how to retain high-quality teachers. The duration that teachers remain in classroom positions is decreasing, and the high turnover rate has a direct impact on student performance. Socially and politically teachers are scrutinized for declining test scores which mostly recently led to a major reform shift known as Common Core. The continued scrutiny and micromanagement through reform changes have a substantial impact on the professionalization of teaching and the professional identity of teachers themselves. Through a pragmatic lens, narrative inquiry was used to better understand how experienced teachers perceive their professional identity especially through the Common Core reform. This study took place with three ELA middle school teachers in a Mid-South urban city. The theoretical framework utilized both theories of experience as well as teacher identity to explore how the reform potentially impacts teacher identity especially in relation to lesson planning. The research found that these experienced teachers viewed their identity through curriculum writing, social justice work, and extensions of self. The power dynamics and restrictions instigated by Common Core conflicted with teacher identity causing feelings of ineffectiveness, shifts in roles, and a mistrust of leadership.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest