Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Shelly Arneson


Writing achievement is a concern in the United States at the national and local level. The problem addressed in this study, in an urban Illinois school district, is that there has been a lack of adequate teacher instructional preparedness in Common Core State Standards (CCSS) writing instruction coupled with low student writing performance. The purpose of this study was to explore how elementary school teachers who teach Language Arts perceive their instructional preparedness to teach writing that aligns with the CCSS writing standards; and, to explore what elements of instructional preparedness they perceive would be beneficial to meet the demands of the CCSS writing standards. The basis for the conceptual framework was Bandura’s theory of self-efficacy, which holds that a person’s beliefs about their ability to complete a given task are necessary to attain certain levels of performance. The basic qualitative research design was used to conduct semistructured interviews with 10 teachers who were responsible for teaching writing in Grades 3–8. Data were analyzed with open, axial, and a priori codes followed by thematic analysis. Findings indicated that teachers were only marginally prepared to teach writing according to CCSS standards and voiced a need for more instructional resources such as pacing guides, teaching strategies, mentor texts, time, technology, and instructional training to enhance their instructional practice. The study findings may inform district administrators’ decisions about instructional resources for teachers. The findings resulted in the creation of a professional development project which can improve teachers’ abilities to provide more effective writing instruction to students and enhance student writing achievement.