Student growth in learner-centered and non-learner-centered reading and math teachers' classrooms

Date of Award


Degree Name

Ph.D. in Educational Leadership


Department of Educational Leadership


Advisor: Thomas J. Lasley


Education has undergone numerous reforms efforts throughout the past century. In the 1990s, a Presidential Task Force was commissioned with the American Psychological Association (APA) to recommend education reform based upon years of research and study. The APA study reviewed one hundred years of educational research to determine what practices consistently demonstrated positive results. At the end of the APA research study, a list of 14 learner-centered psychological principles was provided as recommendations for districts and classroom teachers to operate by and to guide future reform efforts. Due to the increased focus on student growth relative to school and teacher effectiveness ratings in current educational reform efforts, the focus of this research was to determine whether learner-centered or non-learner-centered practices have an influence on students' academic growth in reading and math. This research differs from previous studies related to learner-centered practice effectiveness because of the access to and use of student growth measures instead of student academic achievement measures. The researcher used a mixed methodological approach in the study. Student and teacher perception surveys and student growth data in reading and math were used for data collection in the quantitative phase of the study. Two prototypical teachers (one learner-centered; one non-learner-centered) were interviewed using unstructured interview questions to analyze beliefs and behaviors about their instructional practices during the qualitative phase of the study. This study has the potential to provide information that could guide policy-makers, district administrators, and teachers relative to educational policy, educational reform efforts, and classroom instructional practices. The results from this study could also assist with the professional growth of teachers along with improving how teachers engage in reflection about teaching practices.


Student-centered learning, Teaching Methodology, Student growth (Academic achievement), Education, Education Policy, Educational Evaluation, Educational Leadership, Educational Tests and Measurements, Educational Theory, Learner-Centered Instructional Practices, Student Growth, Teacher Reflection Practices, Student Surveys and Teacher Effectiveness

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