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The Role of Literacy Specialist and the Ecological Conditions that Support Their Efficacy

Taylor, Mary Jo (2005) The Role of Literacy Specialist and the Ecological Conditions that Support Their Efficacy. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Literacy specialists have evolved into commanding a unique status as leaders of the school's overall literacy program. Situated within Ohio's Core Project, literacy specialists were responsible for assuming leadership by helping to develop the knowledge, skills, and dispositions essential for excellent literacy teaching in K-3 classrooms across the state. They were expected to present a core curriculum to their colleagues, particpate in peer coaching and assist with research and evaluation activities. This inquiry was conducted to discover to what extent literacy specialists were able to carry out the intended goals of the Project. What were literacy specialists doing their roles and what were some of the most critical ecological conditions that supported or constrained them as they functioned? This multifaceted study of between 20-34 literacy specialists located in five separate geographic locations in the state verified that literacy specialists were able to carry out the Core Project's goals to a large degree. Results showed that they have an integrative role, encompassing significant amounts of leadership activities including making professional development presentations and modeling lessons and lesser amounts of instruction and assessment. The ecological conditions they reported as supporting and constraining them as they performed their roles were most closely associated with those that thad to do with the impact they were having on their participants and their collaboration with others to be more effective in their roles. Results of this study showed that when the goals of the project were more clearly understood by everyone involved; when professional development and coaching were reported as meaningful to the participants and when district suport was stronger, literacy specialists reported increased time spent at higher levels of efficacy. The school's culture and teacher willingness were also conditions that further promoted the level of sophistication at which literacy specialists functioned in their role. The implications of this study were described in terms of how policies and initiatives can build the individual capacity of literacy specialists and the local school's capacity for increasing literacy performance excellence in their schools.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Taylor, Mary
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairGorman, Charles Jgorman@pitt.eduGORMAN
Committee MemberTrovato, Charlenetrovato@pitt.eduTROVATO
Committee MemberMcMackin,
Committee MemberBean, Ritaritabean@pitt.eduRITABEAN
Date: 15 August 2005
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 27 June 2005
Approval Date: 15 August 2005
Submission Date: 1 August 2005
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Administrative and Policy Studies
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: conditions; conditions affecting literacy specialists; literacy specialists; reading specialists; role of literacy specialist
Other ID:, etd-08012005-130200
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:55
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:47


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