Ed.D. Dissertations

Date of Award

Winter 11-28-2016

Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation

College

College of Education

Department

Education

Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.

Faculty Chair

Brandy Kamm, Ph.D.

Content Specialist

David Alba, Ed.D.

Content Reader

Deborah Nattress, Ph.D.

Keywords

RtI, reading, SPED, interventions, special education, response to intervention, elementary

Abstract

This qualitative, multi-case study examined the perceptions of teachers in regard to the implementation of reading interventions. The study took place in an urban south Texas school district. The targeted participants were teachers working in a cluster of low-performing schools. Fourteen elementary reading intervention teachers (K–5) participated in the study. The results of the study clearly aligned with the review of literature, in which Bandura (1997) suggested that self-efficacy is the result of factors that one experiences. These factors can include a person’s own behavior, environmental factors, and personal factors, which may include cognitive, affective, and biological events. The study’s findings revealed commonalities and themes, amongst elementary teachers, regarding their perceptions of implementing elementary reading interventions. Through the process of coding, the study revealed four thematic categories, which organized the perceptions of reading intervention teachers. Theme 1 described the participants’ understandings and overall perceptions of RtI, which included the mandates set forth by the state of Texas and School District X. Theme 2 addressed the participants’ perceptions of professional development opportunities that the school district had provided. Theme 3 discussed the support expectations that participants had for others at their campuses (i.e. special education teachers, reading coaches, administrators, and central office staff). Lastly, Theme 4 provided insight into what the participants believed were their roles as intervention teachers at their campuses. Based on the collective findings from this study, it became apparent that the intervention teachers in Cluster X did not possess a high level of self-efficacy in regard to implementing reading interventions. They had not experienced continued success, and thus were doubtful of their abilities to implement reading interventions. This study confirmed the need for the school environment to create a structural support system that maintains the fidelity of the RtI initiative. Study findings confirm the need for principals to demonstrate a culture of shared leadership, common goal setting, and a support framework that increases the confidence of reading intervention teachers. In summary, semi-structured interviews revealed that teachers felt as if their voices were not heard, needed support personnel to feel competent in implementing interventions, vulnerably expressed misconceptions, discussed a need for professional development, and, most importantly, expressed that they had a compromised level of self-efficacy. Collectively, these findings revealed that although RtI was indeed a viable method of assisting students who experienced challenges in reading, changes needed to be made so that teachers, and ultimately students, were successful. The outcome of the study created recommendations for school systems, campuses, and individual reading intervention teachers. In addition, the study provided recommendations for future research.

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