Date of Award

5-14-2010

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Degree Program

Curriculum & Instruction

Department

Curriculum and Instruction

Major Professor

Speaker, Richard B.

Second Advisor

Whatley-Bedford, April

Third Advisor

Thoreson, Amy Claire

Fourth Advisor

Barnitz, John G.

Abstract

School districts are hiring literacy coaches to provide professional development and followup support for teachers as a means to improve teacher effectiveness and student achievement in reading. A paucity of research exists reflecting a clear analysis of the factors which can be used to determine the effectiveness of a coach. According to a survey conducted by Roller (2006), few districts follow standards developed by the International Reading Association (2003) related to qualifications and experience. This lack of consistency in the training required could influence the effectiveness of the coach. The purpose of the study was to determine the effectiveness of coaches as perceived by administrators, teachers, and the coaches themselves, and to understand the factors that contributed to this effectiveness. In this study, coaches, teachers, and school administrators completed a survey entitled Survey of Perceived Effectiveness of the Literacy Coach (SPELC) to determine how the effectiveness of the coach was perceived by all three groups. Factors predicting the self-rated effectiveness of the coaches were determined. The coaches were also surveyed to collect information on their background and the extent of training they received in the area of literacy coaching to examine the influence these factors had on their perceptions of effectiveness. The sample of participants (n=487) consisted of 54 administrators, 242 teachers, and 191 coaches. The Literacy Coach Perceived Effectiveness Scale (LCES) was developed to measure perceptions of effectiveness using scores derived from 22 items. The SPELC was used to collect data from the participants to compare the effectiveness ratings of literacy coaches. Teachers ix rated the effectiveness of coaches significantly lower (score of 42) than administrators (score of 50.6). Literacy coaches’ perception of their effectiveness was similar to that of the administrators (score of 52.2) The self-reported effectiveness of coaches was used to determine the factors that predicted high perceptions of effectiveness. The two factors of overriding importance were years of coaching experience and university-level training in topics related to literacy coaching. Overall, the findings show the importance of advanced education in reading education in determining the perception of effectiveness of a literacy coach.

Rights

The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.

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