Electronic Theses and Dissertations


Alisha Milam



Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Instruction & Curriculum Leadership

Committee Chair

Jeffrey Byford

Committee Member

Luann Davis

Committee Member

DeAnna Owens-Mosby

Committee Member

Laura Casey


This study investigated high school social studies teachers’ perceptions of Robert Stahl’s decision-making materials within their content area and the relevance of curricular implementation. The primary questions addressed in this study focused on high school social studies teachers’ perception of current instructional practices, inquiry-based learning, state standards, and national frameworks regarding content and classroom instruction. The participants included seven rural high school social studies teachers selected through two-stage random sampling. Participant selection was reduced to rural areas due to the overwhelmingly disproportionate number of rural districts in the state of study. However, to gain a diverse perspective from across the state, 84% of districts that identified as rural were sampled using two-stage random sampling. A qualitative case study method, utilizing semi-structured interviews, investigated four research questions: (a) What are high school teachers' perceptions regarding classroom instruction? (b) What are the perceptions of high school teachers regarding Stahl's approach toward the four decision-making phases? (c) What are the perceptions of high school teachers regarding the integration of decision-making materials in the classroom? (d) What are the perceptions of high school teachers regarding decision-making materials in relation to NCSS C3 Framework and Tennessee State Standards? Four themes were identified from the data provided by high school social studies teachers that participated in this study: a) decision-making materials, developed by Robert Stahl, are valued as a pedagogical approach towards learning; b) standards-based curriculum and accountability hinder student inquiry; c) rural participants perceived social studies education to be placed on a back burner; and d) The National Council for the Social Studies’ College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework’s influence is largely unknown and unrealistic among rural social studies teachers. These themes correspond with current research that postulate concurrent themes in social studies education (Hamilton et al., 2013; Groen, 2012; McArdle, 2014; New et al., 2021; Senent et al., 2018).


Data is provided by the student

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest.


Open Access