Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Curriculum and Instruction

First Committee Member

Maria J. Meyerson

Number of Pages



The purpose of this study was to explore and document the role of reading specialists. Four elements of educational theory and practice formed the framework: children's reading difficulties, instructional models used to correct reading difficulties, site-based management, and symbolic interactionism. The overall design for this research was a mixed method study. Survey research was used to collect quantitative data; interviews and observations were used to collect qualitative data; Following the processing of survey data, it was displayed in graphs and tables. Qualitative data was analyzed through recursive rounds of considering and interpreting transcripts and field notes; global themes were identified and categories were established (Huberman & Miles, 1984). Use of domain and taxonomic analyses provided further data reduction (Spradley, 1980); The data revealed the role of reading specialists was influenced by context that includes administration, school staff, and students. More than 90% of instructional time was spent with small groups of primary students in a pull-out model. The specialists developed rigid schedules meeting with one small reading group after another. The most commonly used lesson framework was from Project LIFE, a modified version of Reading Recovery. Depending on individual contexts, administrators directed the grade levels served, the format of the reading program, and the reading specialists' additional responsibilities. Regardless, of how their role was defined, the reading specialists perceived themselves to be very influential in the progress of struggling readers; As a result of this study, it is recommended that other studies that specifically examine the impact of reading specialists on achievement be conducted. While findings of this study cannot be generalized, other school districts may benefit from learning the role of reading specialists in the sixth largest school district in the nation.


Descriptive; Intervention; Project Life; Reading; Reading Specialists; Remedial Reading; Role; Specialists; Study

Controlled Subject

Curriculum planning; Individualized reading instruction

File Format


File Size

3901.44 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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