Ed.D. Dissertations

Date of Award

6-2018

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

College

College of Education

Department

Education

Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.

Faculty Chair

Barbara Weschke, Ph.D.

Content Specialist

Dennette Foy, Ed.D.

Content Reader

Donna Brackin, Ed.D.

Keywords

struggling readers, teacher confidence, teacher perceptions

Abstract

The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore the third-grade through fifth-grade teachers’ perception of their confidence to teach struggling readers. A total of 10 third-grade through fifth-grade teachers were selected to represent the population for this study. The conceptual framework for this study was based on Bandura (1977) theory. Bandura’s (1977, 1997) theory of self-efficacy was used to provide a framework to synthesize teachers’ perceptions of their experiences to develop the efficacy to instruct struggling readers. To investigate the perceptions of third-grade through fifth-grade teachers’ confidence to teach struggling readers, an interview protocol was used as the sole data-collection instrument. This study sought to gain a deeper understanding of their perceptions of their confidence to teach struggling readers and identify how their experiences have influenced their confidence and self-efficacy in teaching these struggling readers. The use of the phenomenological method ensured the lived experiences of the phenomenon were discussed in depth to uncover rich descriptions of the teachers’ perceptions of their confidence to teach struggling readers. The teachers’ descriptions were coded and organized into themes, using the four derivations of self-efficacy: mastery experiences, vicarious experiences, verbal persuasion, and arousal mastery experiences, as outlined by Bandura (1977). Three themes and six sub-themes emerged from this study (a) teaching the five components of reading, with subthemes: confidence-level and professional responsibility, (b) meeting the needs of struggling readers with subthemes: small groups and resources, and (c) professional developments with subthemes: common grade-level collaboration and learning from other educators. The emerging themes provided foundational ramifications on how to support third-grade through fifth-grade teachers’ confidence to teach struggling readers. The key findings from the study could be shared with K-5 teachers to help them reflect on their practice. In addition, the key findings from this study may contribute to educational research by raising awareness of third-grade through fifth-grade teachers’ perceptions of their confidence to teach struggling readers.

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