Date of Award

Spring 4-15-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.


College of Education



First Advisor

Christopher Maddox, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Barbra Calabro, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Corey McKenna, Ph.D.


Teachers in the (Grades 9–12) science classroom are adjusting to using literacy practices in their pedagogy. This is in response to school systems adopting the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The purpose of this hermeneutic, phenomenological study was to explore the perceptions of teachers experiencing this change. The research questions of this study were focused on how teachers in the (Grades 9–12) science classroom perceive the implementation of literacy practices and professional development needs. The study site was a large Northeastern public school system that adopted the educational reform measures, at a single high school where 17 of 19 teachers participated. Data were collected through three research instruments: a Qualtrics questionnaire, semistructured interviews, and lesson plan reviews. Data were coded using open, axial and selective coded then triangulated. Four themes emerged from coding of the semistructured interviews. The emergent themes were: (a) proficiency, (b) acceptance, (c) effectiveness and (d) professional development. The results of this study showed an increased use of literacy practices, an acceptance of literacy practices, a perceived effectiveness on student learning in the (Grades 9–12) science classroom and a need for additional teacher professional development. There was also an expressed need for teachers to understand the reasoning behind changes and recognition that additional professional development is needed. The study suggested that future professional development should include information on the reasoning behind the reform measures in addition to training.