Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
At the national, state, district, and building levels, girls outperform boys in writing. The purpose of this study was to examine the achievement gap between 5th grade girls and boys in the content area of writing. The research questions explored the perceptions of 5th grade teachers and building administrators and examined the instructional strategies that were used to teach writing to 5th grade students. Attribution theory was used as the theoretical framework to address the achievement gap. Using a qualitative instrumental case study design, data were collected from a building administrator and a 5th grade writing teacher in the form of semi structured interviews, an observation of the 5th grade writing teacher, and the examination of writing instructional resources used to teach writing. Data from these sources were transcribed, coded, and analyzed to find emerging themes. The findings revealed that gender-specific instructional strategies and a progress monitoring assessment tool were needed to help close the achievement gap. Based on the findings, a white paper report was created and shared with the building administrator and 5th grade writing teacher. The white paper report included gender-specific instructional strategies and a progress monitoring assessment tool as recommendations to help close the achievement gap. Examining the achievement gap between 5th grade girls and boys in the content area of writing could promote positive social change by encouraging administrators as instructional leaders to become leading learners and by providing 5th grade teachers gender-specific instructional strategies to help students become proficient writers who are college and career ready.