Date of Award

Spring 1-15-2024

Document Type


Degree Name

PHD - Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Susan Rauchwerk

Second Advisor

Panagiota Athinelis

Third Advisor

Susan Patterson


This study documented an interdisciplinary team of grade 8 teachers’ utilization and implementation of research-based reading strategies introduced through collaboration during a Professional Learning Community (PLC). This study also investigated the teachers’ perspectives on the implementation of research-based strategies, including the factors and conditions promoting or inhibiting implementation. This was accomplished through the use of PLCs as both a platform for professional learning, in accordance with Adult Learning Theory, as well as a research tool.

Study results show an increase in the value content area educators placed on reading, the number of research-based strategies utilized in their content area classes as well as an increase in their focus on goal-oriented, student-centered planning.

Findings indicate the need for content area teachers to receive ongoing, appropriate professional learning in reading instruction consistent with adult learning theory that provides opportunities for educators to collaborate and discuss. This study shows how school leaders can support this growth by providing the team release time from additional duties and supporting a PLC led by a reading specialist/coach who provides access to research-based reading practices, facilitate collaborative meetings, and support individual educators with implementation within their classes.

More studies are needed to ensure that professional learning produces long term impacts on the implementation of research-based reading strategies in content areas as well as provide additional data to show quantitative evidence of professional development opportunities’ impact on student learning.



Number of Pages


Embargo Period


Included in

Education Commons




The author owns the copyright to this work.