Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
The local district in this study has not made adequate yearly progress in the past several years in language arts literacy on state assessments. Particularly problematic were poor reading skills among district students. Poor literacy skills negatively affect student learning across the curriculum. The purpose of this case study was to identify teachers' and administrators' perceptions of best literacy practices, professional development, and administrative decisions regarding literacy learning for primary students in reading at a strong performing elementary school in the district. The target school was selected to help address reading failure for the low-performing schools in this district. Bloom's taxonomy of learning, which indicates that higher-level learning is based on foundational knowledge that is often provided at the primary level, was the framework for this study. A bounded case study was conducted that included a purposeful sample of 7 elementary teachers of language arts from Pre-K to 2nd grades and 2 administrators at the target elementary school. Classroom observations and interviews were used to collect data. NVivo was used to assist in coding, analysis of data, and identification of recurring themes. The findings indicated that an outcome-based curriculum incorporating Bloom's levels of learning coupled with supportive district decisions regarding literacy were key components driving literacy success at the target school. The findings were incorporated into a policy paper as a project to propose and support elementary level reading curriculum changes and administrative decisions regarding literacy success for elementary students in the local district. Implications for positive social change might be far reaching as elementary school students in this district benefit from literacy skills that improve their academic success and ultimately their overall quality of life.