Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.


College of Education



First Advisor

Donna Graham, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Aaron Cooley, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Patricia P. Shopland, Ed.D.


This study focused on the lived experiences of a team of four rural middle school teachers as they made the transformation from traditional classrooms to personalized learning classrooms. The teachers were beginning their third year of personalized learning implementation as the study took place. The researcher investigated participants’ perceptions of the implementation of personalized learning in their classrooms. Three research questions focused on the changes that occurred during the transformation to personalized learning. Participants provided data through document review consisting of reflections, coursework, presentations, newspaper articles, and the school district video on personalized learning. In addition, individual interviews and a focus group with participants were conducted. Constructivism theory was used to develop an understanding of the transformation from a traditional classroom model to a personalized learning model. The researcher manually coded the data, and nine themes emerged, which were consolidated into two main themes: (a) participants learned through the transformation process, and (b) students were the focus of the transformation. Participants perceived the transformation to personalized learning as a process—teachers learned through implementation. In placing students at the center of the transformation, the veteran teachers used their best teaching practices to implement the new teaching model. This study contributes to the understanding of the transformation to personalized learning in middle school.

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