Date of Graduation

2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

College/School

School of Education

Department/Program

Learning and Instruction

First Advisor

Patricia Busk

Second Advisor

Nicola McClung

Third Advisor

Judith Pace

Abstract

With the adoption of the Common Core State Standards, students must now become skilled at using different types of writing to help them critique text and process information. They also are required to write informational text. Informational-text writing is challenging for students with mild to moderate disabilities, including students with language-learning disabilities, who often struggle with aspects of language necessary for learning to read and write. These students show striking challenges with productivity, grammatical and spelling accuracy, and sentence complexity, with differences in performance by genre (Koutsoftas & Gray, 2012; Scott & Windsor, 2000; Troia, Lin, Cohen, & Monroe, 2011). In order to help students meet the new writing standards, general-education teachers need to reconsider how they adapt writing instruction for students with language-learning disabilities in their classrooms.

This qualitative study examined the process of change among three third-grade teachers who participated in an 8-week writing-adaptation innovation. The Concerns-Based Adoption Model (CBAM) (Hall & Hord, 1987; Hall, Wallace, & Dossett, 1973) served as the conceptual framework of the study and was used to examine the process of teacher change. The school's speech and language pathologist (SLP) served as the change facilitator to provide ongoing support and coaching to the three teachers throughout the innovation program. Data were collected through classroom observations, a questionnaire to measure the teachers' level of concerns, and interviews with the teachers and the SLP to understand the process of change and implementation of the innovation program through the CBAM coaching model. Results of this study suggest that with professional development, teachers are able to adapt informational-text writing instruction for students with mild to moderate disabilities. In addition, an instructional coach's effectiveness can be improved with extended training and background knowledge in the innovation.

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