Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



Struggling readers have been the central focus of American politics for decades. Teachers of all ages and experiences across America deliver reading instruction in a variety of ways. The purpose of this study is to determine the characteristics of an effective teacher of reading in an elementary classroom setting. The study was conducted in a public and a private sector school in a capital city in the southern United States. Two principals, two second grade teachers, and two fourth grade teachers were participants in this study. A qualitative research focus provided the methodological basis for this study. The research design for this study emulated the work of James P. Spradley (1980), author of Participant Observation, and his Developmental Research Sequence Method. The researcher assumed the role of participant observer in the classroom. The participant role of the study involved becoming a member of the classroom. Field notes were used to record accurate data throughout the study. All six participants were interviewed, and a tape recorder was used to record each teacher's verbal language communicative patterns. Observation data and interviews developed into cultural themes. The cultural themes applied in recurrent activities and were located in two or more domains. The themes were established as educational background experience, communication and self-efficacy, observation and modeling, assessment, environment, behavior management, free-choice, instructional time, writing, and technology. Results indicated that although different strategies and approaches were used among the principals and teachers, the same elements and philosophies were required to effectively teach reading in an elementary school classroom, whether it be a public or private sector school.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Earl Cheek



Included in

Education Commons