Department of Educational Administration


Date of this Version

Winter 12-18-2015


Schroder, B. (2015). The impact of a common approach to instruction within a Nebraska rural school district. Doctoral dissertation, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


A Dissertation Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Education, Major: Educational Administration, Under the Supervision of Professor Jody Isernhagen. Lincoln, Nebraska: August, 2014

Copyright (c) 2015 Bret Allan Schroder


The purpose of this mixed methods study was to examine the instructional understanding and effectiveness of a district wide implementation of a Common Approach to Instruction. This research study provided a greater understanding of the affects that such an implementation had on certified staff regardless of grade level, experience, subject, or gender.

This explanatory, sequential, mixed methods study was conducted during the summer, spring, and fall of 2014-2015. The study initially gathered data using an online survey, based on Marzano’s 41 instructional elements, in a single class-B school district in Nebraska. All certified staff members within this school district were invited to participate in the survey. Interviews with a randomly selected sample of eight certified staff were conducted following the survey to gain a greater understanding of the quantitative results gained in this study.

Patterns in the answers of both quantitative data and qualitative responses indicated a growth in overall instructional understanding. A Paired Samples t-Test was used with Alpha set to .05. The results demonstrated a statistically significant mean difference between the pre- and post survey scores (t-4.89, df – 28, p=.001). The interview responses added to this understanding by highlighting three main instructional areas that were most impacted within the study: Impact, Consistency, and Engagement.

The interview responses and survey data suggested that an overall change had taken affect, although it is one that is more subtly based on improvement and increasing the use of instructional strategies.

Advisor: Jody Isernhagen