Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Leadership, Research and Technology

First Advisor

Dr. Nancy Mansberger

Second Advisor

Dr. Lynn Nations Johnson

Third Advisor

Dr. Patricia Reeves


Literary strategies, literacy development, poverty, teaching, elementary teaching


It is important to support teachers to adapt and apply effective literacy instruction strategies. Teachers may receive support from many sources, such as pre-service developers, principals, supervisors, literacy coaches, parents, colleagues and peer teachers. Perhaps most importantly, the teaching of literacy requires the support of the principal, literacy coach, and others who can collaborate with the classroom teacher to implement effective literacy instruction and strategies (Vallejo & Wren, 2009; Cole, 2008). All of these supports play a role in effectively achieving high literacy levels among students (Cole, 2008). Thus, teachers should work to maximize the benefit they receive from these supports.

This is a qualitative study, which used a phenomenological approach to data collection. The researcher focused on capturing the professional lived experiences of ten 2nd grade teachers as they describe their approaches to literacy teaching, their thinking as they make their literacy practice choices, and professional colleagues who influenced the choices they made. The population and sample in this study were 10 teachers teaching full time in elementary schools located in 3 different mid-sized city school district in the Midwest. Direct interviews were used to discover: 1) the strategies and instructional practices for the teaching of literacy that the teachers found to be effective and 2) the support and influence that the other adults in their teaching environment, such as peers, coaches, supervisors, and principals, had on the teachers with the adoption and implementation of literacy teaching strategies.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access