Quality teaching in high-stakes learning environments in third grade
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This dissertation investigates the quality teaching practices of three third grade teachers within the context of high-stakes testing. Chapter 1 introduces my research question and important terms, such as quality teaching, standardized testing and success. Chapter 2 synthesizes relevant literature in the area of quality teaching and standards based accountability. The literature review seeks to highlight the significant attention paid to outcomes based education and, the lack of emphasis given to quality teaching in such contexts. Chapter 3 forwards the specific conceptual framework for this study while detailing the methodology that guided this investigation including data gathering and analysis. Chapters 4 and 5 present the findings from this research. Chapter 4 examines the quality teaching practices demonstrated by these teachers and found in the literature and chapter 5 presents notions of success and the unique ways that each teacher enacted quality teaching practices in his/her classroom. I highlight the specific way each teacher facilitated students' success and discuss the various ways that each teacher conceived of success, both within and outside the context of standardized testing. Chapter 6 draws comparison between the three teachers involved in the study highlighting overarching themes present in the ways they defined and created successful learning environments for students. This dissertation concludes with a discussion of implication for teachers, teacher educators and other stakeholders and, suggestions for future research.