Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Brenda Kennedy


Despite Minnesota's investment in professional development in content area literacy, secondary students are not showing expected literacy gains. A lack of literacy proficiency limits future options for students. The purpose of this study was to examine content-area literacy strategy inclusion and its relationship to professional development in the context of complexity theory, efficacy theory, transformational learning theory, structured teaching, and constructivism. A cross-section correlation survey research study was conducted to investigate the relationship of time spent in systematic professional development, type of professional development, rate of strategy inclusion, and confidence in literacy strategy inclusion in lesson design. Convenience sampling was employed to secure secondary teachers (N = 65) in public schools in Minnesota. The Spearman Rho Coefficient calculation was used to analyze these 4 variables; relationships were determined at ( p < .05) and (p < .01) confidence levels. According to the results of the study, self-selected professional development is related to the frequency of literacy strategy use and confidence in literacy strategy use. Time in professional development is a critical issue in confidence of literacy strategy use. Recommendations for local districts include providing a menu of self-selected literacy professional development options. This study may impact social change through providing educators improved literacy instruction, resulting in more competent adult readers and informed decision-makers.