Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Louise L. MacKay

Committee Members

Edward J. Dwyer, Glenn Bettis, Nancy Dishner


Reading is not an easily learned skill for most students. I chose to look at the methodology being used by teachers in East Tennessee to instruct emerging readers. Through my review of literature, I researched reading approaches implemented in American classrooms in the last 150 years. I compared and contrasted data to determine current researchers' findings concerning the most effective techniques for teaching reading and how teachers have implemented this knowledge base into their teaching strategies.

Teachers cannot teach what they do not know. Therefore, I also researched literature addressing the growing concern among educators with teachers' preparation and professional development opportunities as well as the amount of specific preparation teachers received regarding the reading methods they are using.

After compiling the data from my interviews with 30 East Tennessee first-grade teachers, I found that most said they did not feel adequately prepared to teach emergent readers. These teachers reported they had not had instruction that provided foundations in a wide range of research-based approaches to reading. The professional development offerings for teachers already in the classroom were often sporadic and did not compensate for their lack of preparation in college.

There is a need for colleges and universities to re-evaluate the current teacher preparation programs. School systems should strive to provide quality inservice opportunities for instructors of emergent readers as well as hiring reading coaches or specialists to assist the reading instructors.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.