Date of Award

Spring 5-25-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Curriculum, Instruction, and Leadership

First Advisor

Lynne Nielsen


Some secondary teachers of non-reading and non-English language arts content areas resist the idea of integrating literacy instruction with content instruction, due to having low teacher self-efficacy for literacy instruction (TSELI). To explore this phenomenon, I conducted a qualitative case study, through which, I interviewed a group of 10 teachers of math, science, history, art, and business education, all from the same rural, public high school in Alabama. The purpose of this study was to explore within this group of teachers the breadth and depth of teacher self-efficacy for integrating literacy instruction into content instruction on a consistent basis. This investigation required an exploration of the similarities and differences that existed among the casestudy set, in terms of (a) participants’ understanding of literacy-instruction integration as it relates to their content area; (b) the ways in which participants incorporate literacy instruction into content instruction and the extent to which they do so; and (c) the beliefs and experiences of participants that have contributed to, or have hindered, their understanding and implementation of literacy-instruction integration.

Several findings of this study aligned with and affirmed aspects of existing selfefficacy research (e.g., some secondary teachers do express low TSELI; deeply held personal beliefs about literacy instruction are contributing factors to feelings of inefficacy and can hinder teachers’ progress in literacy-instruction integration; teachers with higher TSELI are open to trying new instructional strategies and are persistent in following through in their change efforts; etc.). In addition, findings from this study offered new contributions to research related to factors that potentially influence TSELI: awarenessbuilding experiences and follow-up professional development (PD) support. Both can lead teachers to (further) buy-in to the idea of literacy-instruction integration in the content area, a contributing factor to the level of TSELI found within the participants of this study. By combining previous TSELI research with the findings of this study, I created a PD framework that contains five guidelines for school and district leaders to use when creating a PD program to help their secondary, non-English language arts and nonreading teachers integrate literacy into content instruction on a consistent basis.