Ready for Literacy Instruction: A Case Study of Initial Educators’ Perceptions of their Teacher Preparation Program

Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.


College of Education



First Advisor

Heather Miller, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Christopher Maddox, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Lori Sanchez, Ed.D.


High-quality teacher preparation programs are pivotal to the success of initial educators, which in turn leads to the success of students. Initial educators have recently perceived to feel inadequately prepared to deliver high quality literacy instruction upon completion of their teacher preparation program. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to gain an understanding of how eight initial educators perceive the literacy curriculum within their teacher preparation programs. One research question that guided this study: How do initial teachers perceive the literacy curriculum within a teacher preparation program? The sample was a purposeful sample consisting of eight initial educators that were responsible for teaching literacy at some point in their day. Participants taught a variety of grade levels from kindergarten to seventh in a Wisconsin elementary or middle school. The data collection instruments were face-to-face interviews and unobtrusive data in the form of course documents and degree plans. The inductive analysis model was used to analyze data collected from the interviews and the typological analysis model was used to analyze the data collected from the course description documents and degree plans. The key findings of this study were that participants had some positive experiences with their teacher preparation programs, but there were also some areas that were lacking, most notably writing, middle grade level, and accelerated learner instruction. The overall consensus was that not enough was done through the literacy curriculums in the teacher preparation programs where the participants earned their teaching license. The participants shared teacher preparation program recommendations that they perceive would benefit future teacher candidates and initial educators.

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