Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Uldis Smidchens

Second Advisor

Dr. Catherine Sielke

Third Advisor

Dr. Joe Chapel


Existing research results directly relate teachers’ efficacy to student outcomes and to continuing staff development and school context; however, little work has been done to investigate these relationships for Reading Recovery teachers. Reading Recovery (RR) is an early intervention program designed to assist first grade children who are having difficulty learning to read and write. This program requires ongoing staff development and an implementation plan designed to provide appropriate school context; therefore, survey data were collected from Reading Recovery teachers to study relationships between teacher efficacy and (a) their length of service in Reading Recovery and (b) support for RR by the school system.

The study population consisted of 375 Reading Recovery teachers from 12 training sites in two Midwestern states. Of this population, 317 teachers completed surveys and of that group 56 were first-year Reading Recovery teachers; the other teachers had from 2 to 13 years of experience.

In this study a modest direct relationship between years of service in Reading Recovery and teacher efficacy was found. Also, a direct, but modest, relationship was found between teacher efficacy of Reading Recovery teachers and ten variables of school support: (1) a gestalt of support for Reading Recovery, (2) faithful use of RR procedures, (3) good decision-making processes, (4) classroom teacher support o f the RR program, (5) suitable services for children before and after RR, (6) willing facilitation for professional development, (7) resources, (8) administrative commitment to the RR program, (9) an evaluation process that provides feedback and helps set goals for further growth, and (10) similarity/compatibility of the classroom and RR programs. For two variables, Pearson product moment correlations did not support relationships with teacher efficacy at alpha .05. Those variables were implementation rate and scheduling. The third finding was higher personal teaching efficacy than general teaching efficacy in Reading Recovery teachers.

A challenge is noted that highlights the need for a process that provides for a sustained direction while nurturing continuous improvement. Recommendations are also made for research and for operation of the RR program, and for processes to improve teacher efficacy through school system support and training.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access