Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Dr. Andrea Thompson


State legislators in the Midwestern United States implemented a Third Grade Reading Guarantee law to prevent the promotion of Grade 3 students with poor reading skills to Grade 4. As a result, schools implemented innovative reading interventions, thereby driving a need to determine teachers' concerns and levels of use (LoU) of these innovative interventions. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to understand Grade 3 reading teachers' stages of concerns (SoC) and LoU in implementing reading interventions, and teachers' comprehension of the innovation configurations, in view of the new Third Grade Reading Guarantee law. The conceptual framework used to undergird this study was the concerns-based adoption model. The SoC described 7 categories of possible concerns for an innovation, and the LoU described 8 behavioral profiles that educators used in practice. Data collection occurred through in-depth interview sessions using a purposeful sample of 10 Ohio Grade 3 reading teachers. Emergent themes were identified through a coding and thematic data-analysis process. Findings revealed that Ohio Grade 3 teachers' dominant SoC was a need for collaboration with other teachers. The second dominant SoC was a need to refocus on how the reading interventions would be used for the following school year. Findings showed that teachers' level of usage in Year 1 were at the mechanical level, focusing on the daily usage of the manual. In Year 2, teachers refined their practice and were better able to vary implementation format. Teachers' use of innovations improve at-risk students' reading skills, making them better scholars, who are then able to compete on many levels, and as future adults they will be able to make a positive social change by giving back to their communities.