Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Dr. Frances Wills

Second Supervisor

Dr. Debra Lamb


Many students are entering high school unable to read proficiently. Other students are graduating from high school with reading skills below proficiency and are unprepared to meet the literacy demands of college or the workplace. The negative outcomes for these students graduating from high school and entering society as young adults with reduced literacy skills include an increased dropout rate, affiliation with the criminal justice system, unemployment, and reduced income earning power. Federal and state education reforms and standards continue to be implemented in an effort to improve the literacy crisis and academic performance of students. Secondary content area teachers are well positioned to assist these students with strategies to improve their reading skills, comprehension, and academic performance. This qualitative phenomenological research study examined the lived experiences of secondary content area history teachers as reflected in their perceptions, beliefs, and knowledge of evidence-based reading strategies, and teachers’ interpretation of the impact of their instructional strategies on students’ reading comprehension and academic performance. This study was conducted in two diverse school districts in New York State, in a suburb north of New York City. Data collection consisted of demographic surveys, a focus group, and in-depth interviews. Findings of this study revealed secondary content area history teachers lack the support, training and knowledge of reading acquisition and need to be trained in the explicit teaching of evidence-based reading strategies. These findings are significant for higher education because it may help focus the process of teacher education and the need for teacher preparation programs to consider literacy, reading acquisition and implementation of evidence-based reading strategies as components of college coursework.

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