Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Degree Name

Curriculum and Instruction

Department or School/College

School of Education

Committee Chair

Darrell Stolle

Commitee Members

David Erickson, Marian McKenna, William McCaw, Alex Apostle, Karen Allen


curriculum implementation, Indian Education for All, leadership, Multiple regression, Native American, teacher variables


University of Montana


This study examines the teacher, leader, and curriculum variables predictive of student achievement in Indian Education for All (IEFA). IEFA, a Montana educational mandate based on Montana constitutional law, was first funded in 2005, and little research had previously been conducted on the effectiveness of implementation efforts. While compulsory, implementation had been piecemeal and wrought with misunderstanding, differences in opinion, prejudice, and questions about its legitimacy. The challenges inherent in the implementation of an ambiguous educational reform with no state-adopted curriculum or benchmarks for student achievement have become evident. With the dearth of research, it was not known how well students were learning what was mandated, nor was it known which precise variables impact or measure this learning. To determine this, second through fifth grade elementary school teachers and school leaders located in Missoula County completed a survey questionnaire, and Missoula County fifth grade students completed a student assessment based on the Essential Understandings of Montana Indians and the Montana Standards for Social Studies. Descriptive data provided information on mean fifth grade student IEFA scores, teacher and leader demographics, professional development participation, and implementation needs, and frequency of use of materials provided to all schools by the Montana Office of Public Instruction. Multiple regression analysis was used to determine if relationships exist between the predictor variables (teacher, leader, and curriculum variables) and the outcome variable (student achievement). However, none of the independent variables was found to have significant predictive value. Educators, including the Montana Office of Public Instruction, may use these findings to determine strategies that might most successfully impact IEFA implementation and to direct the course of further research.



© Copyright 2009 Erin Robin Lipkind