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Author ORCID Identifier



Open Access Dissertation

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Degree Program


Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Sharon Rallis

Subject Categories

Curriculum and Instruction | Educational Leadership | Elementary Education | Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education | Teacher Education and Professional Development



The Knowledge They Possess: Elementary Teachers’ Expertise and Where It Becomes Usable Knowledge in the Massachusetts Education System

February 15, 2018


Helen-Ann Ireland

BA University of New Hampshire

MEd Antioch University

EdD University of Massachusetts Amherst (pending)

Dr. Sharon Rallis, Dissertation Chair

Elementary teachers are facing a dilemma. They are expected to uphold the Massachusetts (MA) state mandate and deliver Common Core State Standards (CCSS), use the programs their school has adopted aligned with CCSS and meet the various cognitive and behavioral needs of their students. Sometimes the teachers experience competing commitments between meeting standards, using programs, pacing, scripted curricula, and meeting the immediate needs of their students. How they navigate this dilemma when it occurs and where the classroom teacher’s knowledge become usable knowledge in the MA education system are the two foci of this study. Using Senge’s model of learning organizations and applying it to the MA education system will shed some light on how five elementary teachers use their professional knowledge and autonomy in their classrooms.