Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Curriculum & Instruction/Literacy Studies

Committee Chair

Sharon B Hayes

Committee Co-Chair

Mary E Haas

Committee Member

G H Budd Sapp

Committee Member

Sam Stack

Committee Member

Robert Waterson


This dissertation reports a qualitative study that explored the reconstructed narratives of 4 West Virginia 7th grade social studies teachers. A methodology informed by narrative inquiry guided the research design, including the methods for data collection and data analysis. Two questions served as guideposts throughout the research process: What do the stories of the participants tell us about the ways in which teachers engage as developers of curriculum when curriculum change is mandated? In what ways did their stories of implementing a mandated change impact their professional identities? To explore these questions, I conducted 3 semi-structured interviews with each participant. Each interview was recorded and then transcribed. Data analysis of interview transcripts consisted of both structural and thematic approaches.;The layered approach to data analysis provided insight into how the participants navigated complicating events in their professional lives and in turn revealed thematic elements imbedded within their narratives. The temporal findings of this study indicate that, for the participants, mandatory curriculum change provided challenges which produced feelings of uncertainty; however, the participants resolved the challenges via their own initiative and the cultivation of professional relationships among colleagues. The overarching questions and the revealed themes generated two theoretical points: 1) Local, state, and national policy makers cannot take curriculum change lightly, nor can they assume that teaching experience is all that is necessary for successful implementation 2) "Teaching without a net" has the potential to empower educators to assume greater agency over their respective classrooms.