Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Morgridge College of Education

First Advisor

P. Bruce Uhrmacher, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Edith W. King, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Peter Bonaker


Complex adaptive social systems, Curriculum and instruction, Epiphanies, Forensic craniofacial reconstruction, Multistability theory, Tacit knowledge/knowing


In our teaching careers, K-12 classroom teachers come to know that the way a given student connects the dots to comprehend a concept, lesson, or subject is not always (and most likely never is) in a straight linear fashion. The connections between the dots are defined as the student’s personalized understanding (tacit knowledge/knowing) of concepts, lessons, and/or subjects. The student most likely did not perceive, process, and/or retain the concept, lesson, or subject in the manner it was taught to her or him. Teachers asking a student to explain how he or she arrived at an answer or knew the answer to a problem was right, are often told, “It just came to me,” “I know it’s right, but I just cannot explain it,” or “I just know!” These students do not fit the norms of schooling; this affects how they are seen and how they see themselves. They know there is a disconnection between what they know tacitly, and how they are expected to explain what they know to prove that they know it. Theoretically this phenomenon is not accounted for in the literatures of Epistemology or Curriculum and Instruction. The purpose of the study is to identify the essence of the tacit knowledge information processing problem-negotiating process used by forensic artists, to interpretively shed light on its implications as a curricular and instructional model to help students who otherwise would be put unnecessarily at risk because of their tacit knowledge information processing problem-negotiating process.

In this qualitative interpretive exploratory study I use forensic craniofacial reconstruction as the lens through which I investigated the exhibits of tacit knowledge for its implication for curriculum and instruction. The study recruited volunteer members of ProjectEDAN as the study’s participants. The research methodology combined Interview as Research and Interpretative Biographies that served as case studies of my participants. The collected data served as part of the inductive evidence along with the three foundational premises from the theories of Polanyi, Denzin, and Miller & Page as the bases for a Grounded Theory of Multistability to account for implications of tacit knowledge information processing problem-negotiating processes in curriculum and instruction.

The major findings from the data highlight the participants’ philosophical foundation beliefs, the autotelic experiences in conjunction with their preferred method of working, their major epiphany (if any), and their reflections. The participants behaved as they perceive relative to the above categories as agents moving toward their equilibrium in the Complex Adaptive System of the facial reconstruction information processing problem-negotiation process. This is the milieu from where tacit knowledge emerges. The significance of the findings indicates the paths for further investigation into tacit knowledge information processing problem negotiation by entertaining a Multistability Theory of Curriculum and Instruction based of the ideology of “Do No Harm.”

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Daniel Marion, Jr.


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

322 p.


Curriculum development