Understanding the Experiences of Middle School Social Studies Teachers Creating Personalized Learning Classrooms: A Phenomenological Study
School of Education
Doctor of Education in Curriculum & Instruction (EdD)
Discovery Learning Theory, Instructional Strategies, Personalized Learning, Transcendental Phenomenology
Education | Educational Methods
Carlyle, Robert Lee III, "Understanding the Experiences of Middle School Social Studies Teachers Creating Personalized Learning Classrooms: A Phenomenological Study" (2018). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 1938.
The purpose of this transcendental phenomenological study was to examine teachers’ experiences of implementing personalized learning in the social studies classroom at middle schools in Georgia. Personalized learning is the ability to tailor learning to each learner’s interest, strengths, and needs. The theory guiding this study is the discovery learning theory, which was introduced by Jerome Bruner. The central research question guiding the research was “How do middle school social studies teachers in Georgia describe their experiences creating personalized learning classrooms?” Sub-questions used to further refine the central question were: (1) How do teachers motivate students in the personalized learning classroom? (2) How do teachers relate to the students in a personalized learning classroom? (3) How do teachers identify ways to adjust learning in the personalized learning classroom? (4) How do teachers describe the student’s ability to achieve autonomy in the personalized learning classroom? The setting was three middle schools in Georgia. The sample was 15 middle school social studies teachers who currently teach in the personalized learning classroom. The data received came from interviews, focus groups, and document analysis. The Van Kaam Method of Analysis was used for this study. This method and the transcendental phenomenological approach allowed the researcher to obtain a full description of the participants’ experience of the phenomenon (Moustakas, 1994).