Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Pat Jenlink

Second Advisor

Dr. Suzanne Davis

Third Advisor

Dr. Uldis Smidchens


The purpose of this research study was to describe how a thematic integrated curriculum (TIC) enhances the quality of education by examining three outcomes of a TIC. These outcomes are: (1) the instruction of critical thinking skills, (2) the motivation of students to be self-directed and assume responsibility for their own learning, and (3) the empowerment of teachers to become educational leaders. The underlying assumption of the study was that the more the three outcomes are used in the learning process, the better will be the quality of education.

For this study, the process of "enhancing the quality of education" was defined by the extent to which the three outcomes facilitate the learning process. TIC was defined as a curriculum that connects subject areas through the use of broad themes (Weckler, 1991).

Educational literature and research were used to verify the fact that the three outcomes do facilitate the learning process. A survey research was conducted with three groups of teachers to ascertain the extent that the three outcomes were present in a TIC and to compare that extent with a non-TIC. Teachers in Group 1 used TIC most of the time. Teachers in Group 2 used TIC sometimes. Teachers in Group 3 used a non-TIC. Descriptive data were used to described the extent to which the three outcomes were present in each group. Inferential data were used to compare the extent of the three outcomes between the groups. One-way Analysis of Variance test and the Scheffe test with an alpha level of .05 were used to test the null hypotheses of no differences in the means of the three independent groups.

In this study, the null hypothesis of no difference was rejected for each of the three hypotheses. Therefore, the conclusion of this study was that the three outcomes are present more in a TIC than a non-TIC. This research was limited to the perspectives of teachers. The recommendation was made that future studies include students, administrators and parents.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access