School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Steve McDonald


Choice Theory, Constructivism, Inquiry-Based Instruction, Social Constructivism, Teacher beliefs, Traditional classroom




The purpose of this qualitative phenomenology study will be to explore curriculum coordinators, teachers, and principals’ implementation of Inquiry-Based Instruction (IBI) in Christian middle school science classes in the central Virginia area. IBI will be referred to as “a teaching method that combines the curiosity of students and the scientific method to enhance the development of critical thinking skills while learning science” (Warner & Myers, 2008, p.3). A qualitative phenomenology study will be made to consider the requirements and implementation of IBI in the Christian middle schools as compared to the requirements and implementation of IBI in the National Science Education Standard (NSES). Curriculum coordinators, teachers, and principals, and participated in this study from five Christian middle schools in the central Virginia area. The guiding theories include John Dewey’s (1948) Constructivism, Lev Vygotsky’s (1998) Social Constructivism, and William Glasser’s (2005) Choice Theory as they relate to the beliefs curriculum coordinators, teachers, and principals have regarding the implementation of IBI. A primary research question for this study is, “If research supports successful outcomes of IBI, then how and why do Christian CMSST, principals, and curriculum coordinators implement or not implement IBI?” Interviews, classroom observations, and document reviews were used for triangulation and data collection. The data analysis used in this study were completed by using Moustakas’ (1994) seven step thematic coding derived from the observations, interview transcriptions, and school documents in the form of lesson plans and objectives (Merriam, 2009; Moustakas, 1994).

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