Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Ed.D. Doctor of Education

Academic Discipline

Reading and Language

First Advisor

Ruth Quiroa

Second Advisor

Jan Perney

Third Advisor

Sophie Degner


This mixed-methods study examined the personal and professional experiences of early elementary teachers related to writing, seeking relationships between their experiences and instructional practices. Data included a survey of 61 kindergarten, first, and second-grade teachers and two focus group interviews in a large urban district in the Midwest. Three major themes emerged from the data concerning the writing instructional practices: (a) the importance of peer collaboration on instructional practices and professional learning, (b) the consistent use of a common writing curriculum, and (c) the application of a Writer’s Workshop approach. The findings suggest that because writing is not a consistent instructional focus in schools across the United States, teachers may need to use their autonomy to make it a priority in their classrooms. To do this, they will need strong curricular materials providing embedded professional learning to facilitate the much needed shift in instructional emphasis toward increased writing instruction.