School of Education


Doctor of Philosophy


Kristy Motte


secondary, high school, teaching, instruction, instructional methods, learning, factors, teacher preparation


Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Leadership


The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore the application of educational research-based instructional methods by teachers in public secondary high school classrooms in Colorado. The use of educational research-based instructional methods will be defined as praxis. Bruner’s constructivist theory of learning and instruction guided this study. This qualitative case study employed an epistemological perspective that provided the framework for predicting, describing, empowering, and deconstructing worldviews by increasing the knowledge that leads to further understanding of the application of praxis in public secondary high school classrooms. The setting was Colorado public high schools. Data were collected from interviews, observations, and document analysis. Data were organized by employing a single-case analysis utilizing Yin’s five-phase cycle of data analysis. Data were triangulated to compose the narrative case study findings. Three themes emerged from the data: pedagogical expertise, factors, and a transforming focus. The implications of this study reveal the possible need for reform in education policy and teacher practices. Findings revealed that the theoretical and empirical implications include proposing a transformation in the purpose of a teacher, effectiveness, and student learning.