Date of Award



© 2021 Caryn M. Lewis

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Gizelle Luevano

Second Advisor

Patrick Manuel

Third Advisor

Molly McCabe


The convergence of advanced technologies, sociocultural trends and transformative shifts in global industries is accelerating the need for change in the American education system. Research and practice reveal promising developments in pedagogical approaches and a growing movement toward the implementation of deeper learning models. This phenomenological study examined the lived experiences and perceptions of superintendents leading dynamic shifts in public education to provide equitable access to deeper learning methodologies. The application of a dual framework supported the development of the study design and allowed for synthesis of the key components impacting system redesign. Data was elicited through semi-structured interviews to better understand the priorities and leadership practices of superintendents leading the vision for change in their schools and communities. Findings indicate the emergence of six themes with corresponding sub-themes defining specific factors for mobilizing these efforts. The results highlight promising aspects of community practice shaping collective efficacy and call for transparency related to equitable deeper learning outcomes for all students. The study provides recommendations for education leaders and policymakers on addressing the complexities of systemic change to empower learner-centered environments and transform school culture.


Ed.D. Dissertation