Date of Award

Spring 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Education Policy, Planning, and Administration

Committee Chairperson

Heather Schugar, PhD

Committee Member

Katie Solic, PhD

Committee Member

Kevin Flanigan, PhD


Researchers uphold that teachers' beliefs toward reading influence their planning and implementation, and that content area teachers are often reluctant to implement literacy strategies and skills within their instruction (Ness, 2009; Nourie & Lenski, 1998; Richardson et al., 1991). Much of this reluctance stems from teachers’ lack of familiarity with content area and disciplinary literacy or misconceptions surrounding instruction that supports literacy implementation (O’Byrne et al., 2020). However, within the field of literacy, there are tensions between the implementation of content area versus disciplinary literacy (Graham et al., 2017).

The purpose of this study was to examine middle school content area teachers' pedagogical dispositions toward implementing content area literacy and disciplinary literacy strategies and skills into their instruction. This study utilized a two-phase explanatory sequential mixed method design (quan → QUAL) based on a theoretical framework consisting of social constructivist theory, metacognitive theory, and social cognitive theory. Within Phase I of the study, I utilized a survey to collect quantitative data about participants’ self-efficacy beliefs (n=26). During Phase II, I collected qualitative data from a smaller group of participants (n=4) using semi-structured interviews and artifact collection. Utilizing a case study design, I explored participants’ responses regarding their literacy implementation and their professional experiences and training (Yin & Campbell, 2018). Through this study, I found discrepancies surrounding teachers’ abilities to differentiate between content area and disciplinary literacy approaches, indicating that teachers could benefit from additional opportunities to develop their knowledge of literacy instruction.