Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A study of the qualifications, roles, responsibilities, and characteristics of reading specialists in independent, private schools
by Hall, Robert J., Ph.D., Capella University, 2009, 166; 3378828
Abstract (Summary)

This descriptive study examined reading specialists in independent, private schools. The context of reading specialists in independent, private schools and their alignment with reading professional's standards was not previously identified. The purposes of this study were to determine how many independent, private schools employed reading specialists; the expectations of administrators relating to the reading specialists; the reading specialists' roles, responsibilities, qualifications, and characteristics; how the reading specialist positions were aligned to established standards; and the alignment of the reading specialist positions to expectations of administrators. The data was collected in a two-phase, self-reported survey from administrators and reading specialists. The results indicated nearly 60% of independent, private schools employed reading specialists. The administrators' expectations were similar to the reported data of the reading specialists. The qualifications of the independent, private school reading specialists indicated that over 90% obtained an advanced degree, state certification, and elementary education. Conversely, only half of the reading specialists were certified as reading specialists, two-thirds obtained a reading endorsement, two-fifths completed the recommended number of graduate reading courses, and one-fourth completed a six-hour practicum. The reading specialists engaged in instructional, assessment, and leadership roles, but the majority of time, two-thirds, was directed to instruction. During instruction, a combination of in-class and pullout instruction was the most commonly used model. This model was utilized as support and for reviewing or reinforcing classroom material. The assessment and leadership roles were also considered important and used in a variety of ways. However, only 15% of the total time was reported as spent in each of these roles. These findings were in stark contrast to previous studies. The main responsibility of independent, private school reading specialists was improving literacy for students. This goal was normally accomplished through instructing students, administering assessments, planning with teachers, being a resource to teachers, and communicating with parents. Overall, this study supports the findings on reading specialists in previous studies but addresses the reading specialists in the specific context of the independent, private school.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Wilcox, Bonita
Commitee: Grunwald, Cristie, Snyder, Leone
School: Capella University
Department: School of Education
School Location: United States -- Minnesota
Source: DAI-A 70/11, Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Elementary education, Literacy, Reading instruction, Curriculum development
Keywords: Coaching, Independent schools, Literacy, Private schools, Reading, Reading specialists
Publication Number: 3378828
ISBN: 9781109435078
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