Broadening the Scope: Examining the Effects of CSCOPE and Prescribed Curriculum on Experienced English Language Arts Teachers--A Qualitative Study



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



This study examines the effects of the CSCOPE prescribed curriculum on four English language arts teachers. CSCOPE, created for implementation in Texas public schools, is directly aligned with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). Research objectives included the effect of implementation on experienced teachers and how it affected their general or personal teaching efficacy, curricular planning, and attitudes about the profession. A qualitative case study research method guided this study. Purposeful sampling was used in order to ensure that the subjects selected would be able to best encompass a true experience of the curriculum being explored. The subjects for these case studies were four teachers from four different school districts in Texas. The four teachers were in schools that had implemented the CSCOPE curriculum at the time of the interviews. Each teacher was required to have three years minimum of teaching experience prior tothe implementation of CSCOPE. In actuality, they all had significantly more experience, ranging from a teacher in her 8th year to a teacher in her 29th year. Because each teacher worked in a different school and had varying experiences, their stories were different, but similarities certainly existed. The similarities of their experiences became apparent and produced three major themes that emerged from this study: 1) CSCOPE is terrific in theory but ineffective in practice, 2) Good teachers teach in spite of CSCOPE, not with it, 3) CSCOPE makes too many false assumptions about students. The findings indicate that while the CSCOPE curriculum is an idea that would work in an idealized educational system, because the teacher is the variable and students have different needs, CSCOPE is an unrealistic mandate for all Texas schools. Additionally, problems arise with gifted education, and Advanced Placement, and other high-performing programs. CSCOPE does not address any differentiation for gifted students. In some schools, due to enrollment levels or scheduling conflicts, all levels are included in one classroom. To mandate a teacher use one curriculum system and serve all students is unrealistic.