Date of Award

Fall 10-2017

Access Restriction


Degree Name

Doctorate in Education



School or College

School of Education

First Advisor

Shane P. Martin

Second Advisor

Manuel Aceves

Third Advisor

Drew Furedi


Since the introduction of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in 2010, the education world has experienced a paradigm shift in the pedagogical expectations of educators, and there have been a decidedly mixed results on the implementation of the new standards. This qualitative study explored the experiences of several school administrators across urban and suburban school settings in their implementation of the CCSS. Set within a practitioner-based framework of Dr. Michael Fullan’s drivers of change, this study examined the common large-scale change implementation strategies that were successful and those that provided the most obstacles to administrators, and identifies specific actions on the part of administrators that led to a successful change. This study used semistructured interviews to gather the experiences of five school administrators, and the data were analyzed using a general inductive analysis to determine common themes that emerged from the interview data.

The findings revealed that administrators worked through the resistance of staff, the bureaucratic difficulties, and their own steep learning curves to lead the charge. They reported success in leading the work through taking on ownership of the change, diving into the learning right alongside their teachers, chunking the roll-out into more manageable parts, and admitting their own status as learners. Administrators took risks in plain view of their teachers, encouraged teacher leadership, and appreciated incremental progress in their adult learners. This study found specific actions that school leaders can employ to aid their endeavors to lead as inevitable change comes their way.