Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Special Education and Literacy Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Elizabeth Whitten

Second Advisor

Dr. Luchara Wallace

Third Advisor

Dr. Alice Hoekstra


Special education teachers, reading strategies learning disabilities in reading


This research captures how special education teachers select, use, and monitor reading strategies for 4th and/or 5th grade students who have learning disabilities in reading. A multiple case study, the research focused on five different southwest Michigan classrooms where special education teachers teach students with learning disabilities in reading. Data was collected through teacher interviews, classroom observations, and document review. The study results include that small group instruction is the approach teachers value most for Tier II instruction, while direct instruction is valued most for Tier III instruction. At both Tier II and III, teachers select interventions and group students based on the students’ needs. Teachers perform many types of assessments to confirm students are making progress and value opportunities to collaborate about their students with other professionals. The teachers’ perspective of student learning is confirmed by outcomes, although the teachers’ understanding of their students’ lives help the teachers contextualize and better understand the formal assessments.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access