Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Cathryn White


At Base Elementary School (BES) in the Southwest United States school administrators were concerned that writing proficiency levels for 2014-2015 were below district and state standards and there was not a clear understanding of teachers' perceptions on writing proficiency of military-connected (MC) students at the target site. Therefore, the purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore teachers' perceptions on writing proficiency of MC students at BES. Using Lave and Wenger's communities of practice framework, a qualitative instrumental case study was used to discern perceptions of elementary English Language Arts (ELA) teachers regarding the writing proficiency of MC students. Through a purposeful sample of 12 ELA teachers, telephone interviews were used to explore teachers' writing perceptions. Data from interviews were analyzed using inductive and iterative analysis resulting in identification of key themes. Major themes included the status of existing writing practices, diverse culture of MC students, need for collaborative relationship building among teachers, and the need for targeted writing professional development (PD) focused on connecting evidence-based practices (EBP) to state writing standards using culturally responsive practices (CRP). The resulting project of a white paper, will promote stakeholder awareness of teachers' perceptions, includes themes supporting the findings with recommendations that teachers would benefit from targeted writing PD focused on EBP and CRP using a collaborative model. Teacher use of these recommendations may promote social change by improving writing support for MC students possibly leading to improved performance on state proficiency assessments.