Language, Literacy, and Sociocultural Studies ETDs

Publication Date



Trust is essential in effective change, and this study examined the role trust plays in implementing policy change. This study begins to define the critical role of educator trust historically, through No Child Left Behind, and moves it forward in an exponential way as it applies to educator trust in this current wave of policy reform. This qualitative study examined how six teachers experienced the implementation of the English Language Arts Common Core State Standards during the first two years of required implementation in a southwestern state. The focus of this study examined these experiences by answering three primary questions: (a) How are teachers experiencing the implementation of English Language Arts (ELA) Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and the accompanying assessments? (b) How have teachers been informed about the CCSS and the accompanying assessments? (c) How are teachers incorporating CCSS into their practice? Previous research in the area of significant policy change shows that change is a complex process that requires stakeholders play diverse roles. Importantly, this study examines the conflation of policy reforms in the experiences of these educators. Using qualitative methods of research and analysis, six teachers from six schools in four regions of this southwestern state were interviewed. Three in-depth phenomenological interviews were conducted with each participant. The teacher sample included a novice teacher, two mid-career teachers, and three late-career teachers. The findings of this study indicate that teachers are struggling with trust throughout the educational system. The facets of trust emerged in this study as teachers shared their experiences as well as their concern for their students experiences. Assessments, curricula, and teacher evaluations were a significant factor in each teacher's experience implementing the ELA CCSS. This supports the strong relationship between trust and change and moves forward the idea that to make those two factors work in schools, teachers must play a significant role in policy change. The reinstatement of an education system that values teachers' work and knowledge of their students' needs and learning outcomes is necessary to make policy successful.'


Teachers, Common Core State Standards, English Language Arts Common Core State Standards, Educator Trust, Education Policy Reform, Teacher Change, Trust and Change in Education

Document Type




Degree Name

Language, Literacy and Sociocultural Studies

Level of Degree


Department Name

Language, Literacy, and Sociocultural Studies

First Committee Member (Chair)

Pence, Lucretia

Second Committee Member

Hughes, Scott

Third Committee Member

Hurley, Sandra