Reading endorsement, professional development, teachers' voices, scientifically based reading research


This comparative case study investigated the teaching practices of secondary English language arts teachers who are reading endorsed versus secondary English language arts teachers who are not reading endorsed. Florida Department of Education mandated that all reading teachers, and strongly encouraged all English language arts teachers be reading endorsed to meet the requirements of No Child Left Behind ("Just Read, Florida!" 2008). We now need research to see if this surge of reading endorsed teachers is using their training in the classroom. The purpose of this study was to explore and to compare the teaching practices of two secondary standard English I in a reading block teachers, one reading endorsed and the other not reading endorsed, and two honors English II language arts teachers, one reading endorsed and the other not reading endorsed. Did the classes in reading instruction and scientifically based reading research (SBRR) strategies carry over into teaching practices in the classroom? If yes, how, or in what capacity, and in what areas of student learning? The participants in this study included secondary standard English I in a reading block teachers and honors English II language arts teachers from a local central Florida high school. Their identities are confidential, but their years of teaching experience, their qualifications, and their classes' level are provided. This comparative case study used an observation protocol, interviews with teachers, classroom observations, a questionnaire for teachers, and observational and reflective field notes made while observing and documenting teachers' practices in secondary English classrooms. This study investigated the value of the Florida reading endorsement, its influence on secondary teachers' knowledge of instruction and practices, the role of comprehensive professional development, and the endorsement's influence on student engagement. The significance of these results may provide evidence for policymakers to further mandate reading endorsements for content area teachers or become more lenient on their demands for English language arts teachers to become reading endorsed. The input and opinions of the veteran teachers may help shape and change the current endorsement while examining theory to practice. The study was qualitative in nature; most of the evidence and research came from observations and interviews. The voice of the veteran English teachers, their beliefs, instructional practices, classroom environments, and students' motivation is a reflection of current practices in today's public schools. There is evidence that professional development in scientifically based reading research has an impact on the instructional practices of teachers. The study included the voice of the teachers; what they would like to experience in professional development; what they found useful; what they need; and what they did not value. The participants explained how they transformed theory into practice. The findings of this study concluded that further research and communication is needed between the researchers who design professional development statewide initiatives for secondary content area teachers, the teachers/practitioners who implement the knowledge and strategies, the administration for support, and policy makers who mandate the professional development efforts. The reading endorsed teachers did create enthusiastic classroom environments where student motivation increased, but the teachers voiced obstacles that inhibited their professional development that should be addressed.


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Graduation Date



Zygouris-Coe, Vicky


Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


College of Education


Educational Studies

Degree Program









Release Date

February 2010

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)

Included in

Education Commons