Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

EdD Educational Leadership


Educational Services and Leadership


College of Education


Thompson, Carol C.

Committee Member 1

Lacke, Christopher J.

Committee Member 2

Kuo, Yu-Chun


Interdisciplinary, Mathematics, Secondary, Standards, Student, Teacher


Common Core State Standards (Education); Interdisciplinary approach in education


Science and Mathematics Education | Secondary Education


The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore how teachers understood and practiced using IUs to teach the core disciplines of the CCSS. The strategy of inquiry was a single case study in an urban high school where teachers of English, science, social studies, and math courses discussed IUs, and some teachers were observed using IUs. Data from public documents, teacher and student participant interviews, teacher classroom observations, a teacher survey, and field notes were analyzed and produced themes around the implementation of IUs.

The findings of this study indicate that teachers perceive how to conceptualize an IU, and some demonstrated incremental adjustments in their instructional practice. Students preferred learning frameworks based upon cognitive apprenticeship dimensions, and most teachers did not use the dimensions. Most teacher participants perceive that time to teach the standards and objectives in their discipline will be diminished by incorporating other disciplines. The teachers' instructional strategies revealed incremental steps toward using students' prior experiences, knowledge, and skills and revealed an unanticipated approach using cognitive apprenticeship and Vygotskian constructivism (Colllins & Kapur, 2006).