Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




David Weintraub


A report from a 2015 descriptive study of the Alabama Reading Initiative (ARI) showed that 85% of the participants who were trained in strategies to address students’ reading difficulties in high school were not implementing them. Teachers’ implementation of ARI was the focus of this study. Pragmatism was the epistemological framework of the study, and Roger’s diffusion of innovation theory was the conceptual framework used to support the study. The purpose and corresponding research questions examined the extent of ARI implementation, reasons for not implementing those strategies, and ideas for future professional development in ARI. Six content-area teachers who taught Grade 9 participated in the study. A basic qualitative study was used to address research questions through individual interviews. Inductive and deductive coding was used to analyze data and identify themes. The results indicated that content area teachers who teach science and social studies implemented ARI strategies in their content to teach literacy. Math teachers did not implement ARI, citing time and a mismatch of ARI strategies with math content and ARI strategies. Strategies suggested to implement ARI were time with the literacy coach, embedded professional development, and collaboration among teachers. The results were used to create a 3-day teacher training project, which included these strategies. Results and project implementation can help administrators and teachers understand how to better implement school-wide reading initiatives in secondary schools, creating positive social change.