Date of Award


Degree Name

EdD Doctor of Education

Dissertation Committee

Mary M. Williams, EdD, Director; Edward F. DeRoche, PhD, Member; Kathleen M. Collins, PhD, Member;


cross-case study, Leadership studies, literacy, perception, program design, Seaview Elementary School (Salton City, CA), Seaview Reading Support Program, teachers, teaching efficacy


Teachers at Seaview Elementary School developed an innovative reading support program delivered by classroom teachers to increase the achievement of children who struggled to read literature in the district's core curriculum. Although studies of the program's impact on student achievement indicated that many of the children who received services in the classroom were able to fluently read grade level materials and improve their scores on standardized tests, issues created by the additional burden of this instruction on some teachers prevented the integration of the program into other grade levels and schools in the Seaview School District and Seaview Elementary School. A cross-case analysis of the teachers involved in the Seaview Reading Support Program was conducted in order to (1) describe the level of achievement of students participating in the program, (2) examine how Seaview teachers perceived the effects of the program on student achievement, (3) identify program elements that teachers felt facilitated or detracted from positive changes in student reading, and (4) examine relationships between teachers' perceptions of the program, level of teacher involvement, and teachers' sense of personal efficacy in teaching reading. A combination of semi-structured interviews, a scale measuring general and personal efficacy in teaching reading, and student assessment data was collected to address the research questions on student achievement and teacher perceptions. Most teachers felt the reading support program increased student reading fluency and confidence in reading. Teachers perceived the Reading Mastery program and its continuity through the grade levels to support student achievement. Teachers perceived several factors to hinder positive student achievement in reading, including lack of collaboration between staff members, lack of training and support, and lack of leadership within the program. The results of this study add to the literature on critical elements of reading intervention. Many studies of early reading focus only on instructional materials and methodologies, with little consideration of program factors that make effective instruction possible. This study supports previous research identifying the critical elements of reading intervention programs and provides additional evidence of the importance of staff development and leadership in sustaining these programs.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access