Date of Award

Spring 5-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. Vanessa Cochran

Second Advisor

Dr. Sherrie Wisdom

Third Advisor

Dr. Beth Kania-Gosche


The purpose of this mixed-methods study was to discover the effectiveness of then-current teaching practices in fifth grade classrooms and to determine whether any of the strategies or practices observed yielded higher student achievement results than others. The researcher observed and recorded evidence of the use of the most effective practices, as identified by the Writing and Reading Observation Tool (WROT). Teachers’ scores obtained on the WROT were compared to the percentage of students reading at a proficient level, as measured by the Scholastic Reading Assessment. If high scores on the WROT indicated the use of effective teaching practices, then the level of reading should be proficient, as measured by the SRI. A second measure to provide evidence to support the purpose of this study was to determine the effects of the beliefs and practices of teachers pertaining to reading instruction, as measured by the National Exemplary Literacy Teacher Assessment, the NELTA. The total score on the NELTA was a measure of the degree of grade level literacy expertise a teacher mastered and included sub-scores related to exemplary teacher practices. The researcher compared results to determine if there was a relationship between teacher scores on the WROT and the NELTA and student growth in reading, using a Pearson Product Moment Correlation Coefficient (PPMCC) analysis. While the data showed no statistically significant differences in academic achievement in the area of literacy regardless of scores on either tool used in the study, observations and qualitative data provided important information for future studies and professional development planning. Administrators and teachers can study, apply, and iii observe the strategies relevant to the reading achievement of fifth grade students in order to strengthen the teachers’ instructional practices.


Copyright 2016