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Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Eric S. Glover

Committee Members

Virginia P. Foley, Pamela H. Scott, Elizabeth Ralston


The intent of this qualitative study was to investigate changes in teacher understandings and student achievement as a result of job-embedded coaching, a professional development model. The study focused on the literacy initiative within 1 school district during a 7-year period from 2001 through 2008. Interviews and classroom observations with principals, literacy coaches, and teacher leaders coupled with rich artifacts and documentation provided data for analysis.

To change from a traditional model of professional development was a cultural shift for schools, administrators, and teachers. "Remember that a culture of change consists of great rapidity and nonlinearity on the one hand and equally great potential for creative breakthrough on the other" (Fullan, 2001, p. 31). The interviews, observations, and documents illustrated evidence of new teacher understandings and a rise in student achievement coupled with enhanced relationships, communications, and teaching strategies.

The paradigm shift from one adult learning mode to another brought about the cultural change within the school district, the schools, and the individual classrooms. The challenge will be sustaining the momentum and continuing to grow as new scientifically-researched best practices and strategies are released for teaching reading and writing.

Recommendations from this study include examining Reading First schools and their job-embedded coaching programs. Reading First is a federal program with money appropriated to states and school systems that qualify with low socioeconomic status and student achievement scores. Further research opportunities are available at middle and high school sites where coaching has been adopted. There are some sites within the United States following the guidelines written for elementary teachers.

Document Type

Dissertation - restricted


Copyright by the authors.