Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

James Sweeney


Teachers are the key to educational reform; the literature on effective schools is meaningless, debates over educational policy are moot if the primary agents of education are incapable of acquiring new knowledge, learning new skills or abandoning outdated practices;This study was part of a larger case study at Anytown High School and was designed to: (1) determine the extent teachers in a comprehensive high school engage in individual, team and organizational learning; and (2) determine the impact on teacher learning attributed to learning disabilities, optimism, and the organizational systems elements of structure, process, purpose, culture, environment and ecology;Research strategies incorporated qualitative research, quantitative research and triangulation. Qualitative research consisted of conducting thirty-three (33) individual teacher interviews during the course of two research phases. Teacher interviews were inductive in nature and consisted of open-ended questions which explored teacher learning and organizational factors which influence learning. All interviews were tape recorded and written transcripts were obtained;A written quantitative survey was distributed to all teachers. The survey consisted of thirty-two (32) questions and was designed to assess the extent of personal optimism;Triangulation took place both internally and externally. Internal triangulation consisted of synthesizing data derived from qualitative and quantitative methods within the study. External triangulation consisted of: (1) conducting a cross-analysis of data obtained from this study and data derived from the other four case researchers; and (2) interacting with the faculty at Anytown High as they were presented the case study findings;Findings included: (l) The extent of learning among teachers varied dramatically; teachers were identified as "learning enriched" and "learning impoverished". (2) The extent of teacher participation in team and organizational learning activities, and their reported value, varied considerably. (3) The average teacher was identified as "moderately optimistic". (4) Eight learning disabilities impeded teacher learning. (5) All organizational system elements were found to impact teacher learning; facilitating and impeding factors within the context of each element were identified. (6) The phenomenon of teacher learning is dynamically complex.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

John Paul Robbins, Jr.



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

204 pages