Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


Teacher Education


This master's thesis is a case study of the influence of the No Child Left Behind Act on the fourth grade language arts curriculum at one public elementary school. Through examining policy documents and interviews with teachers and administrators the author articulated the dominant policy narrative aurrounding language arts at Field View Elementary. The student body consisted of students from culturally linguistically diverse and socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds. The author also analyzed a curriculum, focusing on implications for English language learners, that was mandated as a consequence of the federal legislation. The study found that the policy narrative, guided primarily by a situation of high-stakes testing at the school, negated and narrowed the curriculum to exclude alternative definitions of valid learning and instruction. The curriculum itself seemed to prompt lower level thinking in students, especially English language learners whose cultural and linguistic background was excluded and devalued. The author calls for further research into narratives that are rooted in the real life experiences of students and teachers.


Thesis (M.A.) Teacher Education Department

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