Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
Learner-centered reading instruction was underrepresented in novice K to 5 teachers' classrooms despite a district mandated requirement to use them. When learner-centered reading instruction is not used, students are less motivated to learn and less likely to become proficient readers. The purpose of this bounded qualitative case study was to explore novice K to 5 reading teachers' perspectives of learner-centered reading instruction and how they taught a comprehensive reading curriculum in their classrooms. The conceptual framework was based on the Arkansas Department of Education's science of reading and Weimer's learner-centered teaching. The research questions focused on exploring novice K to 5 teachers' perspectives of learner-centered reading instruction and how they taught a comprehensive reading curriculum in their classrooms. Purposeful sampling was used to select 10 novice K to 5 reading teachers. Data were collected through semistructured interviews and classroom observations. Data were analyzed using thematic analysis and open and axial coding strategies, which led to themes. Participants identified that they were unprepared to implement learner-centered reading instruction and did not feel they had time to collaborate and plan learner-centered instructional lessons. Based on these findings, a professional development series was designed to support novice teachers' implementation of learner-centered reading instruction. The findings from this study and the resulting project may lead to positive social change when novice teachers implement learner-centered reading instruction leading to increased student motivation and reading achievement.