Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Leadership distinctions: The impact of leadership on teachers of Second Chance Reading
by Williams, Rebecca Sue, Ed.D., University of Northern Iowa, 2012, 244; 3535651
Abstract (Summary)

For as long as time, struggling adolescent readers have filled classrooms and communities. In many cases, these functional aliterates typically could read, yet could not understand or evaluate text, provide relevant details, or support inferences about the written documents they had read. Second Chance Reading (SCR), an instructional framework that targets and supports struggling adolescent readers and determined to be a sound and viably researched framework, could very well be the antidote to assist teachers in building and supporting proficient and lifelong learners when implemented as intended. However, the purpose of this study was neither on the instructional framework of SCR, nor on the students who have benefitted from targeted instructional density. Rather, the purpose of this qualitative study honed in on leadership traits of building administrators to determine the impact of those traits on teachers of Second Chance Reading.

The study examined educators from five unique communities who recently implemented Second Chance Reading. Four key questions guided the research and became the focus during semi-structured purposive interviews. (1) What was the relationship between Second Chance Reading teachers and principal leadership? (2) What leadership qualities were necessary to support Second Chance Reading teachers? (3) What barriers were preventing teachers from accomplishing their mission? (4) How did administrators encourage and celebrate learning?

Data were collected through individually implemented, semi-structured interviews with teachers and principals from five school districts ranging in both size and demographics. Insightful narratives were created through storytelling and woven through three unique vignettes where nuances and subtleties, frustrations and celebrations were captured and shared.

Themes emerged through a process of reflective analysis. Teachers interviewed reported a vast discrepancy regarding administrative support as either highly supportive or the opposite; administrators echoed similar findings through suggestive overtones or subtle references to past practice. The more positive administrators depicted traits which paralleled either transformational or facilitative leaders, whereas administrators deemed to have more significant negative leadership traits more closely paralleled bureaucratic or hierarchical administrators. Through a methodological structure of contemporary narrative inquiry, an emerging concept became evident. Successfully implementing educational reform of second order change status greatly depended on significant positive relationships based on reciprocal trust and respect, conceptual guidance, and strong ideals. Recommendations and implications for administrative leaders were explored and expanded upon.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Robinson, Victoria
Commitee: Decker, Robert, Jones, Dewitt, Niebert, Peter, Reed, Gregory, Webb, Matthew
School: University of Northern Iowa
Department: Educational Leadership
School Location: United States -- Iowa
Source: DAI-A 74/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, Middle School education, Literacy, Reading instruction
Keywords: Barriers to learning, Professional relationships, Second Chance Reading
Publication Number: 3535651
ISBN: 9781267880406
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