School of Education


Doctor of Philosophy in Education (PhD)


Christina Saba



Educational Leadership


The purpose of this phenomenological study was to understand the lived experiences of cross curricular academics through teaming for middle school teachers within central-western Virginia. The theory that guided this study was the experiential learning theory, which supports active teaching and learning through experiences, not lectures of independent content, allowing experiences to build on previous knowledge. The study discusses the perspectives of 12 middle school teachers in rural, central-western Virginia who teach one of the main academic core contents of reading, math, science, or social studies. The central research question asked, what are the lived experiences of middle school teachers who teach cross-curricular context-based academics through teaming? The perceptions of teachers were shared through in-depth interviews of the participants, focus group participation, and observations of participants in their classrooms. The data gathered was analyzed with van Manen’s phenomenological hermeneutics through discovering themes shared about the perception and importance of teaming with cross curricular content for personal and academic connections. The themes emerged from the study as relationships, cross-curricular learning, and autonomy; the participants who participated shared 100% satisfaction in teaming and the benefits for them personally and for students.