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ERIC Number: ED548433
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 241
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2674-2172-2
Middle School Language Arts Teacher Decision-Making Compared to the Reading Next Report's Instructional Elements
Wood, Geralee
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Widener University
This mixed-methods, collective case study approach explored how one district's forty-four language arts teachers in grades 6, 7, and 8 used their core literacy programs to incorporate the nine instructional elements recommended by the Reading Next report (Biancarosa & Snow, 2006) into the district's literacy program. Acknowledging that teachers are the final arbiters in designing the literacy instruction students receive, this study also posited that understanding the instructional judgments teachers make with respect to their literacy programs is a critical area of research. This study also explored instances of adaptive and flexible decision-making that indicated the lessons in the core literacy programs had been honed and tailored to meet the needs of individual students. Results from the analysis of the data revealed the district's areas of strength and weakness as compared to the instructional recommendations made by the Reading Next report (Biancarosa & Snow, 2006). The data collected and explored through a survey/questionnaire instrument and six representative case studies, which were conducted through observations and follow-up interviews, allowed for specific recommendations to be made to the district regarding practices that should be continued and practices that need to be strengthened. The strengths that emerged in this district's literacy program were the inclusion of direct, explicit comprehension instruction and the inclusion of an intensive writing program. Program weaknesses were the limited inclusion of effective instructional principles embedded in content materials and the limited use of a technology component by students. District teachers were found to exhibit a flexible and adaptive stance towards their use of the core literacy programs. They made modifications to their core programs in order to meet the needs of their students. The degree to which those modifications addressed the needs of individual students is questionable. Themes of concern that were revealed included the demands and pressure of high-stakes testing; the pressures of limited time; and the perception of weaknesses in the core writing program along with the associated perception of a lack of empowerment by the English staff members to address those perceived program weaknesses. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Middle Schools; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools; Grade 6; Intermediate Grades; Elementary Education; Grade 7; Grade 8
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A