This phenomenological study of the current education reform model concerns this central research question: What are the perceptions of five California university professors working within a school of education in terms of learning theory, curriculum perspectives, and philosophical orientations? Throughout the history and development of American education, concurrent political ideologies influenced reform. Interviewees were university professors preparing students to serve as teachers and administrators within the public school system. Findings revealed that the current reforms are at odds with the development skills like problem solving, global awareness, critical and creative thinking, independent learning, collaborative learning, communication, and reflection. Schools need to integrate core curriculum, interdisciplinary themes and skills, along with modern technologies and pedagogies that enable the student to prepare for modern living. Today's students need hands-on, inquiry-based instruction and a lab-based experiment approach with computer-based lessons and performance-based assessments take a back seat in the current reform model. Findings supported these conclusions: 1. Transform the education system whereby the curriculum is process-oriented, using a constructivist approach to teaching, consistent with neuroscience research. 2. Assessments must become authentic. Students must demonstrate their development of inquiry and use critical thinking in problem-posing and problem-solving. 3. The transformation of the current standards-based and assessment-driven model of the education system should be based on a curriculum that reflects current demographic realities. This necessitates a paradigm shift from the monoculturalism that has continued to dominate education to an inclusive system that reflects multiculturalism. 4. Schools must promote academic excellence with meaningful learning goals that include the content, technology, and skills needed for the 21st century, with the primary emphasis placed on the development of critical thinking skills and systemic thinking. 5. Schools need to be organized for teacher learning with support for collaboration time for teachers to learn and plan together. 6. Schools must immerse students in the development of technological literacy and the use of technology in developing information literacy. School districts must begin enacting policies and programs to close the digital divide. 7. Fiscal resources for schools must become a priority. The fiscal equity gap must be closed.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (EdD) -- Organizational leadership; Educational evaluation; Educational change

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Mirci, Philip