Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Pamela Scott

Committee Members

Virginia Foley, Catherine Glascock, Cecil Blankenship


The purpose of this qualitative study was to investigate and examine specific kindergarten through third grade practices perceived as contributing to literacy achievement at 3 high-achieving elementary schools within the Washington County Virginia Public School System. The study was completed through a process of open-ended interviews with participants comprising classroom teachers, reading specialists, and administrators. The findings from this study may assist practitioners by providing information relative to programs, resources and instructional strategies that are perceived as contributing to literacy achievement.

The findings of this study suggested that the perceptions among classroom teachers, reading specialists, and administrators regarding literacy practices were parallel. In summation, the participants’ perceptions included a balanced approach to literacy instruction with an emphasis on the following: phonics acquisition in kindergarten through second grade; a focus on explicit comprehension instruction beginning in third grade; development of vocabulary to increase background knowledge and comprehension; frequent opportunities for independent reading practice; targeted instruction in small-group and one-on-one settings; and the use of supplemental literacy and assessment resources.

Recommendations from this study included the consideration of providing balanced literacy instruction in kindergarten through third grade; an emphasis on phonics skills in kindergarten through second grade, and an emphasis on comprehension skills beginning in third grade; frequent and consistent guided and independent reading time within the classroom setting; an increased emphasis on vocabulary development; the provision of targeted small-group and one-on-one instruction; and the use of supplemental literacy and assessment resources.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.