Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Amy E. White


The literacy rate in Louisiana remains lower than the national average. This is especially true at Rosewood Elementary School (pseudonym), a D-rated school on a scale of A-F. The problem is that teachers are unsuccessful in trying to improve students' literacy test scores, despite several targeted efforts to give them tools to make these improvements. The purpose of this study is to explore the literacy practices, beliefs, and professional development of teachers at Rosewood Elementary. The conceptual framework of this study included Clark and Peterson's cognitive process teacher model, which focuses on teachers' thought processes and their behaviors in the classroom and guides the questions about these processes. The key research questions involve 3rd-5th grade teachers' and literacy coaches' perceptions of their current professional learning on and support for effective literacy instruction, as well as the literacy coaches' perceptions of teachers' needs and struggles with teaching literacy. This case study includes sequential data collection including a survey, interviews, and classroom observations from 9 purposefully selected literacy teachers in Grades 3-5 and 2 literacy coaches, all from Rosewood Elementary School. Constant comparative data analysis was used for interview and observational data, and descriptive analysis was used for the survey. Findings include both teacher and coach perspectives. Training on classroom management and differentiated instruction was needed. A 4-day professional development was developed to address these needs. Implications for social change with improved literacy instruction include an increase in student literacy rates as well as teachers' self-efficacy in literacy instruction.