Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)


Early Childhood Education

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Kathryn Sharp

Committee Members

Pamela Evanshen Rosemary Geiken


This multiple case, qualitative study explored the experiences of six early childhood teachers as they implemented a structured, differentiated literacy framework (The Daily Five™) in a rural northeast Tennessee school system. This study investigated teachers’ perceptions of professional development, specifically the professional development components of coaching including ongoing online discussion, collaboration, and reflective journaling, on changing their literacy planning and instruction. Data were collected through interviews, journal entries, and transcribed meeting conversations. Findings revealed that teachers perceived coaching and collaboration as instrumental professional development components that directly contributed to changing their literacy planning and instruction. Both coaching and collaboration offered necessary support for teachers to feel successful as they made changes in thinking and practice. However, teachers did not find the reflective practice of journaling helpful as they sought to make changes in planning and instructional strategies. The results of this study are significant for teachers and administrators as they seek to increase meaningful professional development aimed at improving literacy instruction.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.