Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Donald J. Yarosz


Developing a strong foundation in literacy is an essential component of students’ overall academic success. However, first through third grade students in urban Title I schools located in the southeastern region of the United States continued to show limited progress on state literacy assessments. The purpose of this basic qualitative study with interviews was to explore teachers’ perspectives on their experiences with literacy intervention programs. The conceptual framework was based on Senge’s learning organizations and systems thinking theory. Research questions explored literacy intervention program effectiveness and supports teachers needed for ongoing implementation with fidelity. Data from semistructured interviews with 13 primary grade teachers were collected and analyzed using thematic analysis to identify codes, patterns, and categories. Findings revealed two meta-themes, identified as effectiveness and supports, and five subthemes: (a) personal feelings of responsibility to address needs of struggling readers by using different strategies, (b) continuously establishing a clear understanding of the purpose and expectations of literacy intervention programs, (c) recognizing the need for in-depth professional learning to support teachers’ implementation of best practices for literacy interventions with fidelity, (d) implementing strategies for hands-on learning, and (e) identifying needed supports for individual students. This study contributes to the field of early childhood literacy education intervention practices and furthers understanding of professional learning in literacy. Findings contribute to positive social change in that school leaders can make informed decisions and provide on-going, in-depth professional learning and support for teacher development to effectively implement literacy intervention programs for students during their primary grade foundational years.