curriculum control, teacher autonomy, professional discretion, teacher job satisfaction, high-stakes testing, textbook adoption, leadership, curriculum guides, self-determination theory


The goal of this research was to investigate teachers' perceptions of professional discretion and satisfaction related to internal and external factors of curriculum control. Results of the study were intended to provide data to policy makers and school district administrators that could be used in the development and implementation of the curriculum reform process. Middle and high school teachers in a large central Florida school district completed the survey. The survey's six constructs were 1. Influence of Teacher Beliefs 2. Perceptions of Success and Satisfaction 3. Influence of Tests and Curriculum Guides 4. Teacher Control of Pedagogy 5. Leadership 6. Maintaining High Standards The research questions focused on determining the difference in perspectives due to years of teaching experience, level of teaching (middle or high school), and curriculum control category (high, medium, or low). The results revealed there was not significant disagreement among teacher perceptions based on years of teaching experience. However, results indicated significant differences in perceptions based on level of teaching and curriculum control category in regard to the six survey constructs. The construct of leadership revealed significant differences between both levels of teaching and curriculum control categories. Overall, the results indicated a significant relationship among curriculum control policies and effects on teachers' perceptions of professional discretion and satisfaction. The literature on curriculum reform efforts since the 1980s, specifically in the areas of curriculum standards, textbook adoption policies, testing policies and leadership practices, framed the study. The literature review focused on existing research issues within the six constructs and the research questions. The information gained from this study may be used to inform policies, improve teachers' working conditions, and promote teacher and leadership effectiveness. Recommendations for practice were addressed in terms of what policy makers, school district administrators, and individual classroom teachers can and should do to implement and support meaningful curriculum reform. The researcher emphasized that recognizing the professional expertise and knowing the perspective of teachers are key to the development and implementation of an effective curriculum reform process.


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Graduation Date



Pawlas, George


Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


College of Education


Educational Research, Technology, and Leadership

Degree Program









Release Date

July 2011

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)

Included in

Education Commons