Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
Low achievement in reading is a concern in a suburban school in the southeastern part of Florida. In an attempt to combat this issue, the school's administration has focused on teaching disciplinary literacy in content area classes, specifically social studies. In addition, the state standards also require that social studies teachers meet the Reading for History/Social Studies standards. Despite the effort put forth by the administration, there has yet to be an assessment of the social studies teachers' knowledge of the Reading for History/Social Studies standards or the instructional practices used to meet these standards. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore social studies teachers' knowledge of the Reading for History/Social Studies standards and the instructional practices utilized to meet the demands of these standards. Shulman's theory of pedagogical content knowledge framed this study, as it explores the need for teachers to be knowledgeable in both content and pedagogy. A purposeful sample of 10 social studies teachers participated in an interview and an instructional observation and submitted documents for review. Data were analyzed using hand coding for themes. The study results showed that teachers had concerns for the pacing of their course, their knowledge/preparation, and professional development opportunities. Based on the data, a 3 half-day professional development program was created to target social studies teachers' understanding of the Reading for History/Social Studies Florida Standards and their knowledge of disciplinary literacy instruction. This program may contribute to positive social change in helping social studies teachers effectively implement disciplinary literacy instruction, thus increasing student achievement in reading.