Date of Award

Spring 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Education Policy, Planning, and Administration

Committee Chairperson

Heather Schugar, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Tina Selvaggi, Ed.D.

Committee Member

Tricia Beck, Ed.D.



This study examined the case of 22 mid-Atlantic K-5 public school teachers’ conceptions of the Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Reading Assessment Systems 1-3. The Namaste School District delivers ELA curriculum through reader’s and writer’s workshop. Triangulated data showed that participants held varying conceptions of the F&P. Specifically, they shared similar conceptions regarding the importance of one-on-one time with students, the amount of time it takes to administer the assessment, and the subjectivity of the F&P results. Results of this study provided similar results to other studies of teachers’ conceptions of assessment and adds to the literature debate regarding students’ instructional reading levels. The Complexity of Education Theory provided a dynamic theoretical framework through a sequential, explanatory quan → QUAL mixed methods design (Creswell & Plano Clark, 2018). In Phase I, teachers (N=22) completed Brown’s (2004) Teachers’ Conceptions of Assessment III-abridged version (TCOA-III). The 27-item, positively-packed, Likert-style scale had 6 indicator choices ranging from strongly disagree to strongly agree. The survey’s four constructs revealed teachers’ conceptions of the F&P as it improves teaching and learning, as it holds schools and students accountable, and the irrelevancy of it. Phase I data was analyzed and 6 participants, chosen to create a heterogenic group, were invited to continue to Phase II, semi-structured interviews.

Keywords: teacher conceptions, reading assessment, mixed methods, leveled reading, elementary literacy practices