Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Ed.D. Doctor of Education

Academic Discipline

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Elizabeth Minor

Second Advisor

Tina Nolan

Third Advisor

Jim Fitzpatrick



The purpose of this program evaluation was to inform best practice for reading instruction in small groups of 4th-grade students using specific reading strategies. There were six teachers involved, all of whom were 4th-grade teachers. The evaluation also examined the implementation of targeted professional learning to improve elementary student reading performance; this treatment was applied to all groups. The teachers were divided into two groups. Group one consisted of three teachers who were responsible for implementing three reading strategies: predicting, making connections, and inferring. Group two consisted of three teachers who were responsible for implementing three different reading strategies: questioning, visualizing, and summarizing. Using quantitative methods, I found that all the teachers used one or more of the strategies during small group instruction, though not all to the same extent. All the participants implemented at least one component of the assigned reading strategies; however, few implemented the strategy beyond the surface level. As result, I would recommend creating a structure of accountability to ensure the implementation of professional learning is effective and sustained.


I would like to acknowledge all of the teachers, students, and communities that have allowed me to be part of their lives. I would personally like to thank Dr. Pittman for pushing me to this done, my husband and kids for being understanding and patient the last three years, Dr. Angel Johnson for being my friend and editor, and my mom for teaching me to after what I want.

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