Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




MaryAnn Wangemann


Following a 2011 audit a school district in the south central United States clarified the role of the literacy coach. However, there were still differences among the literacy coaches as to how they were performing their duties. As a result, the purpose of this study was to gain an understanding of the role of the literacy coach in the participating school district. The theoretical foundation of this study addressed adult learning and was based upon Kegan's constructive development theory and Knowles's theory of androgogy. A case study design was used to explore how 5 literacy coaches implemented literacy staff development with over 100 elementary school teachers and what aspects of literacy instruction were focused upon. Data were collected through interviews and daily coaching logs kept by the coaches. Each interview was recorded, transcribed, and analyzed through a system of coding based on repeated readings, from which themes, concepts, similarities, and differences became apparent. Similarities and differences were highlighted, and tables were created to track them. Coaching logs were collected and analyzed in the same manner. Two themes emerged from analysis of the data: identifying themselves as staff developers and needing more teacher collaboration. Based upon these themes, professional development training sessions were developed to strengthen the professional development already in place, and the creation of professional learning communities was recommended. Participation in these activities will strengthen individual literacy teacher's professional knowledge regarding the teaching of literacy. As a result literacy teachers' practices will improve, and in turn, positive social change will occur when the children they teach become more literate, increase their learning, and stay in school.