Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Elsie Szecsy


In a Mid-Atlantic school district, the administration of standardized assessments begins in third grade. Over the past 3 years, these assessments revealed that an average of 37% of third graders in the local district did not possess necessary reading skills, although over 86% of this group received intervention support in second and third grade. It is unclear how effective the implementations of various interventions are in instruction with struggling second graders to prepare them for the rigors of third grade. The purpose of this descriptive case study was to explore the perspectives of 9 second grade teachers on research-based interventions implemented to increase the reading skills of struggling second grade readers in 2 elementary schools. The bottom-up theory, which holds that reading is an automatic information process that allows readers to read fluently and comprehend without individual focus on any one reading element, guided this study. Research questions sought to identify research-based reading interventions and strategies participants implemented. Data collection occurred via semi-structured interviews, document review, and observational data obtained during second grade team meetings. Data were analyzed through descriptive and categorical coding to identify themes related to participants' perspectives on instructional practice. Results of the data analysis showed that the 9 teachers did not implement interventions according to the research-based guidelines. This finding led to a system-wide professional development focused on increasing teachers' capacities to implement interventions effectively. This study has the potential to promote positive social change by enhancing teachers' instructional delivery and increasing students' reading abilities.