Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Instructional and Curricular Studies

Number of Pages



This ethnographic study explored the interactions among and between students and teachers, instructional strategies and academic shifts, and the influence of those instructional strategies and academic shifts on teachers' constructs defined through a multi-age context. This eight month study was conducted in an elementary school organized under the governance structure of Accelerated Schools with all classes grouped in multi-age configurations; Participants selected were primary and intermediate teachers and students within the elementary school who had been at that site for one to three years. Participating teachers were both experienced and novice ranging from two to twenty years of experience. This southwestern elementary school was classified as at-risk with 38 percent of its population receiving free or reduced lunch and 25 percent classified as homeless. As both researcher and principal of the school, this study expanded the boundaries commonly classified as action research. Data was collected through interviews, observations, and surveys, and analyzed to form categories related to the research questions; Data revealed that positive academic shifts occurred within this multi-age context. Interactions among and between students and teachers influenced the teaching/learning process and were facilitated by the multi-age organization. The instructional strategies utilized within this context were influenced by the multi-age grouping of students. These strategies were a significant addition to the body of research exploring the effectiveness of multi-age grouping. Additionally, teachers' constructs both shifted and were validated, depending on the entry level of the teacher, veteran or novice, and their initial educational beliefs and teacher education programs. A model emerged that was depicted as a story of action within a theory of context: the phases of interactions that occurred within this multi-age setting. Finally, the organizational structure of Accelerated Schools impacted this multi-age context through its unifying principles and accountability processes.


Accelerated; Age; Construct; Context; Defined; Grouping; Influence; Instructional; Interactions Multiage; Schools; Strategies; Students; Teachers

Controlled Subject

Curriculum planning; Education, Elementary

File Format


File Size

6860.8 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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