Degree Date

Spring 4-2012

Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Academic Discipline

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Richard Streedain


This is a phenomenological study of a high school literacy coaching team’s experience during the 2010-2011 school year, the first year of its existence. As a distributed leadership organizational routine, the practice of literacy coaching was adopted by a large suburban high school to promote its initiative to infuse literacy strategies into every teacher’s classroom instruction. The purpose of the study was to uncover the essence of the literacy coaching team’s distributed leadership experience in order to elucidate the effect of distributed leadership on developing the literacy coaching initiative in general, and the literacy coaching team members as leaders in particular. The study’s participants included the school’s Reading Department Chair; six reading specialists who also served as literacy coaches; four content area teachers who served as content coaches; and the author of the study who is the administrator in charge of supervising the school’s literacy coaching initiative.

The findings revealed six major facets within the kaleidoscopic pattern of events, attitudes, and learnings that merged into the essence of the distributed leadership experience of the high school literacy coaching team: (a) an understanding of the federal government’s role in the development of the school-wide literacy program; (b) a wide acknowledgement of the need for literacy coaching; (c) the match of some elements of the literacy coaching model’s ostensive structure to its performative aspects; (d) the mismatch of several of the literacy coaching initiative’s performative aspects to its ostensive plan; (e) the act of literacy coaching being both challenging and rewarding; and (f) leadership practices and understandings that evidence the team members’ leadership development.