Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Pamela H. Scott

Committee Members

Catherine H. Glascock, Cecil N. Blankenship, Virginia P. Foley


The passage of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (2004) increased educators' awareness of Response to Intervention (RTI) as a means of providing high-quality instruction and interventions matched to student needs. The challenges that came with RTI were meeting every student's need, implementing scientific research-based interventions, and expecting mastery of grade-level standards.

The purpose of this study was to create a foundation of knowledge through exploratory case study interviews in 4 rural school districts in East Tennessee. All participants were certified teachers of kindergarten, 1st grade, or 2nd grade students. The guided interview approach was used to identify teachers' perceptions of implementing RTI in the classroom. The research questions addressed quality of RTI professional development activities, meeting RTI criteria of at-risk students, supporting role of administration, RTI impacting or benefiting students' academic growth, and effectiveness of RTI in the classroom.

The findings of this study revealed all participants perceived RTI was necessary in meeting all students' needs. Teachers did not perceive RTI useful only for at-risk students but for every academic level of student in the classroom. However, to implement RTI effectively, teachers' perceived it beneficial to have a literacy coach or reading specialist in the building and to have administration's support. Recommendations for implementing RTI successfully were based on the data analysis.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.