Graduation Year

2023

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree

Master of Science

Program

Education

Program Director

Jennifer Lucko, PhD

First Reader

Katherine Lewis, PhD

Second Reader

Rebecca Birch, EdD

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to understand a group of teachers’ perspectives and experiences about inequitable access to instructional materials for students in K-5 classrooms and the effect this lack of access has had on the teaching and learning process (Albornoz, Berlinski, & Cabrales, 2018). The problem identified for this project was that instructional materials (including textbooks, curriculum documents, and technology) are not equally available at all K-5 schools. Hahnel (2020) discussed how even though California is one of the wealthiest states in the nation, funding awarded to schools in California was not enough to meet educational goals or individual needs of students, partially due to the high cost of living. This connects to the topic because to understand inequitable access to sufficient materials for students, educators need to understand how materials are funded and purchased. When schools lack access to instructional materials, there are consequences, especially for standards-based education systems like those in the U.S. Those consequences include failing to meet state standards set by the state of California (Oakes & Saunders, 2004). A weakness of the literature reviewed for this project was that comprehensive data related to the investigated problem was limited. Clearer and comprehensive quantitative data is needed to provide a sense of how much funding each school receives for the purposes of acquiring sufficient instructional materials. To understand teachers’ perspectives and experiences, interviews were conducted with several elementary school teachers. After open, focused, and peer coding, several findings were identified, which highlighted teachers’ experiences navigating inequitable access to instructional materials. These findings, which point to limited funding for learning materials and show that teachers do not have enough resources to provide materials through 180 days of school, have important implications for school districts and classroom teachers.

IRB Number

11071

COinS