Date of Award



© 2018 Terrilyn D. L. Cheney

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Grania Holman

Second Advisor

Corinna Crafton

Third Advisor

Peter Harrison


Professional development is a major initiative in many school districts in an effort to help teachers improve teaching and learning. Literacy coaches are becoming increasingly prevalent in many elementary school buildings. This study examined the effects literacy coaches have on teaching practices. More specifically, it examined to what degree literacy coaches affect teaching.

Utilizing an electronic survey, 18 elementary classroom teachers participated in providing feedback relative to their enjoyment, new learning, changes in practice, and subsequent changes in student learning that occurred as a result of literacy coaching. Teachers indicated new learning was occurring despite how many years they had been teaching. Teachers who were newer to the profession, fewer than 10 years’ experience, indicated high levels of enjoyment and changes to their practice and noted positive changes in student learning. Teachers with more experience indicated lower levels of enjoyment, but some still reported they noticed a change in their teaching practices for the short term at least.

This study has substantial implications for the value of literacy instructional coaches and identifies particular coaching moves that teachers identified as useful. This study supports the work being done in schools and the investment being made in literacy coaching. The argument for providing job-embedded professional development is strong in this study.


Ed.D. Dissertation