Date of Award

Fall 1-5-2024

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Early Childhood Education

First Advisor

Ryan Ziols, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Teri Peitso-Holbrook, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Janice Fournillier, Ph.D

Fourth Advisor

Natalie Davis, Ph.D.


Learning targets and other forms of stated learning goals are commonly used instructional components of outcome-based education models and indicators of classroom or teacher quality. When utilized as scripted by classroom teachers, learning targets are the intended vehicle through which standards and measurable expectations are delivered to students so that they can succeed on achievement assessments. This review and research dissertation makes use of new materialist theories and contributes to educational scholarship that acknowledges the complexity of elementary classroom environments and the sociomaterial forces that continuously shape the events and realities that emerge. The review chapter introduces diffraction as a novel methodology before examining current empirical scholarship to illustrate its diverse applications. The research chapter examines learning targets, a form of stated learning goals, and their related practices beyond the commonly help convictions that such usage results in higher student achievement. The research manuscript presents a study that incorporated observational and video-recorded data from a 2nd grade classroom to explore what else learning targets co-produced other than student achievement and high marks on teacher rating scales. Considerations for the potentializing effects of learning target practices and related pedagogy are discussed.


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