Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences

Committee Chair(s)

J. Nicholls Eastmond


J. Nicholls Eastmond


Sheri Haderlie


Byron Burnham


Andrew Walker


Martha Dever


Many practitioners commonly deal with implementing a change that is imposed by an organization. Some imposed changes require practitioners to alter more than what they do in practice but also to change their identity. Many researchers have studied identity change through the lens of sociocultural theory, specifically utilizing communities of practice theory (CoP). However, the majority of these studies used CoP theory as a vehicle to implement the imposed change. Yet some studies have found that after the trial period ends many practitioners revert back to the way they performed in practice prior to the study. One reason for this problem could be that the nature of the change experience that practitioners must undergo is not understood.

The purpose of this phenomenological study was to reveal the nature of the change experience of six released-time seminary teachers in response to the adoption of the teaching and learning emphasis (TLE) within the Seminaries and Institutes of Religion (S&I) for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Specifically, the research question was "What is the nature and meaning of the change experience of a sample of released-time seminary teachers who are considered to be effective at learning to understand and implement TLE"? Researching S&I teachers' change experience is important because it may relate not only to the needs of the S&I organization, but also in a broader sense to the nature of the experience of practitioners who undergo an imposed change by the organization for which they work that alters their professional identity. Three central themes were found that represented the nature of the change experience for the sample group. The themes were represented as transformational, sociocultural, and self-reflective change. Each participant's experience varied in the particular details of his individual change experience. Nevertheless, all participants experienced some degree or kind of transformational change within their particular configuration of knowledge, character, and professional practice. Furthermore, all study participants engaged in sociocultural learning practices to facilitate their change. Finally, study participants experienced self-reflective changes.




This work made publicly available electronically on July 30, 2012.