Publication Date


Date of Final Oral Examination (Defense)


Type of Culminating Activity


Degree Title

Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Instruction


Curriculum, Instruction, and Foundational Studies

Major Advisor

Evelyn S. Johnson, Ed.D.


Keith Thiede, Ph.D.


Sara Hagenah, Ph.D.


Considerable resources have been invested in identifying effective reading instruction methods for students with disabilities. Unfortunately, students are not routinely receiving instruction aligned with these practices, impacting their ability to reach their potential. To improve reading instruction, teachers need to receive observation feedback and evaluations reflecting instructional practices shown to be effective. One way to ensure teachers are provided with feedback consistent with evidence based reading instruction is to develop observation protocols aligned to these practices. This dissertation addresses this problem with three distinct, yet interconnected, articles detailing the development of reading instruction observation protocols designed to provide accurate teacher evaluations and feedback to improve reading instruction for students with disabilities. Each protocol is part of the larger Recognizing Effective Special Education Teachers (RESET) observation system. The first article explains the framework that was applied to develop both the observation system and an explicit instruction observation protocol. The second and third articles describe the development of a comprehension and a decoding instruction observation protocol. Development included a comprehensive review of literature and rigorous testing. Results indicate the explicit instruction, comprehension, and decoding instruction protocols will provide reliable evaluations of a teacher’s ability to implement instruction consistent with practices most effective for students with disabilities. Implications for practice and further research are discussed.