Date of Award
Doctor of Education (EdD)
Dr. Frank Lutz
Dr. Ralph Carlson
Dr. Elena Bastida
This research investigated factors that influence secondary teacher decisions on policy adoption. Adoption, as used in this study, is defined to include both the decision to adopt a policy and the action of implementing the policy, a process that requires changes in teacher behavior as well as classroom and school culture. One of the major difficulties with policy implementation is the failure to achieve effective behavioral changes in school sites and actual classrooms. It is anticipated that the results of this research will be useful to teachers as well as developers and administrators of future policies. The theoretical foundation for this investigation drew from Kurt Lewin's Field Theory, from his theory on Reeducation and Acceptance of New Values, and from Carl Jung's Theory of Psychological Types. Instruments based on these theories were developed to collect data on factors influencing teachers' decisions on policy adoption. Analysis of collected data revealed that teacher's perceptions of other teacher's level of adoption was the significant factor in their own decisions on adoption. The role of Psychological Type was not revealed quantitatively from the sample size but was discussed qualitatively. The research objectives and questions used to guide this study were: (1) To establish a theoretical framework to describe a theory of change and growth in the secondary classroom; (2) To identify the forces, both supportive and resistive, that affect this change process; and (3) To develop an instrument and model as guidelines for educators and policy developers to improve policy implementation and practices in the secondary classroom.
Two specific questions are addressed in this study: (1) Will teachers, as grouped by psychological type, respond differently to Lewin's hypotheses for change and acceptance of new values as evidenced by their responses to the survey instrument which in turns identifies their tendencies to adopt, accept, and implement policy? And, (2) Can a model of variables, significant at the .01 level, be developed to account for teacher policy adoption?
University of Texas-Pan American