Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


College of Education and International Services


Educational Leadership EdD

First Advisor

James Tucker

Second Advisor

Shirley Freed

Third Advisor

Gary Gifford



The poor reading and comprehension skills of many secondary-school students present a challenge for secondary teachers, the majority of whom have no training in the teaching of reading. The increasing expectations of the No Child Left Behind legislature add to the pressures on public educators. Is coaching an effective way to support and encourage secondary content-area teachers to include reading strategies in their daily work with students?


The purpose of the study was to examine the literacy coach initiative in two small junior-senior high schools. A further purpose was to closely study the coach and two of the teachers with whom the coach interacted, looking for changes in both the use of reading strategies and in teacher perceptions related to the teaching of reading.


I used purposeful sampling to identify two teachers who were then included in a qualitative case study. The study examined the coaching initiative as perceived by those teachers as they worked with the literacy coach. Data were collected from classroom observations and from interviews with the literacy coach and the two classroom teachers.

Results and Conclusions

I identified five themes in the data collected across both classrooms and the three teachers interviewed. The themes relating to the coaching initiative were Language and Literacy, Coach as Model, Team-Teaching, Coach as Validator, and Coach Knowledge vs. Personality. I compared the data surrounding these themes to current literature on coaching, especially that from Joyce and Showers, the Reading First initiative, the International Reading Association, and the Reading Apprenticeship initiative. This study gives a realistic picture of how coaching can work in secondary content-area classrooms. It adds to a growing body of research on coaching as an effective form of professional development.

Subject Area

Mentoring in education; Reading (Secondary); Teacher effectiveness

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


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