Term of Award

Fall 2016

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Curriculum Studies (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading

Committee Chair

Julie Garlen

Committee Member 1

Dan Chapman

Committee Member 2

Robert Lake

Committee Member 3

Laura Rychly

Committee Member 3 Email



Due to the plethora of educational reform measures, teachers often find themselves in a quandary of educational ills. Reform movements in the 21st century originated with federal legislation in the late 1950s and culminated in the Race to the Top grant program sponsored by the United States Department of Education under Secretary Arnie Duncan. Reform measures include controversial practices such as value-added teacher evaluations, high-stakes testing, school closures, and the establishment of charter schools. Many of the strategies promoted by school reformers have negatively impacted the public school system as evidenced by higher teacher attrition rates, added expenses, gentrification, and wide-spread cheating within school systems. The reasons for the negative impact of school reform are made visible through the lens of critical and phenomenological philosophies.These perspectives, coupled with factual research, allow the reader a clearer understanding of how school reform transmutes into more poison that cure. Public education in Finland, a reduction of political/economic influences in education, and practical pedagogical considerations offer restoration to an ailing system.

Research Data and Supplementary Material