Electronic Theses and Dissertations



Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Instruction & Curriculum Leadership

Committee Chair

Laurie MacGillivray

Committee Member

Christian Mueller

Committee Member

J Perkins

Committee Member

Mary Ransdell


This interpretive case study took place in an urban middle school where content area math and science teachers engaged in content area reading instruction designed to promote students reading development in their content area classes. Participants included eight teachers across grade levels six, seven and eight. Teachers participated in a Background Information Questionnaire designed to obtain their perceptions, literacy beliefs and literacy practices; focus group interviews created to explore their perceptions related to the key themes in the literature regarding content area reading instruction; structured one-on-one interviews to corroborate researcher interpretations of the initial data analysis and to collect individual teacher data on key themes created in focus group interviews; and finally, member checking sessions designed to verify key findings. ArrayKey findings revealed that these teachers held content area reading instruction within their content area class and felt responsible for students literacy learning while also being responsible for teaching content area standards. Students abilities emerged as a major theme regarding perceived impacts on students efforts to comprehend content area texts and vocabulary. Factors that teachers perceived as most supportive in teaching content area reading included instructional factors (teacher motivation and student motivation) and infrastructural factors (support from the administrative team, collaboration with English Language Arts colleagues, district literacy support and buy-in from all staff). Teacher-perceived obstacles to providing effective reading instruction included instructional factors (lack of instructional differentiated resources, excessive testing and student ability) and infrastructural factors (lack of adequate time, lack of proper undergraduate training, inadequate district professional development and student ability). Implications for schools and districts, as well as possibilities for future research were discussed.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest


Open Access