Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


School of Teacher Education and Leadership


J. Spencer Clark


This project emerged from previous research on beliefs, influences on behaviors, and beliefs interaction with reform. Previous research stated connections existed between teacher beliefs and teacher behaviors but criticized the use of broad, general constructs and traditional methodologies. This study challenged the portrayal of beliefs as isolated and static and attempted to understand connections between beliefs and behaviors. Utilizing qualitative methodologies, this study investigated the following research questions.

1. What insight can be gained on the nature of beliefs through analysis of consistent and inconsistent behaviors?

2. How do teacher’s beliefs interact with behaviors?

This research adopted a methodology that connected interviews and instructional episodes as the informative data. The power of the examination of beliefs focused on (a) the teacher’s beliefs, (b) actual practices, and (c) the connections between beliefs and observed behaviors. A more accurate collection of beliefs provided an understanding on how these beliefs actualized in practice. This allowed for an in-depth analysis of the interaction of beliefs and behaviors that provided more explanatory power of the relationship, often lacking in other studies. Specifically, findings demonstrated that the beliefs emerge from previous experience, interact with each other, and influence the behaviors of the teacher



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