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

Katherine Landau Wright, Ph.D.

Major Advisor

Sherry Dismuke, Ed.D.


Hannah Carter, Ph.D.


Peter Boedeker, Ph.D.


Due to the lack of focus on writing in teacher preparation programs and in-service professional development, teachers often feel unprepared to teach writing. One way to mitigate these feelings is through the use of literacy instructional coaches. Literacy instructional coaches are specialists who collaborate with teachers to help them develop specific skills, knowledge, and dispositions related to literacy instructional practices and students’ literacy performance. Existing research indicates that teachers who receive instructional coaching are more likely to use research-based practices, however, research on writing coaching is minimal. This three-study dissertation explores how literacy coaches are supporting and influencing teachers in writing and writing instruction. Additionally, I examined if and how coach self-efficacy influences their writing coaching practices. In this study, 66 K-6 teachers who are receiving literacy instructional coaching and 115 K-6 coaches completed a researcher-created survey.

In Study I, I used mixed methods procedures to examine how coaches and teachers perceive their instructional coaching related to teaching (1) writing across the curriculum, (2) stages of the writing process, and (3) writing skills. Findings suggest that coaches support teachers in English Language Arts writing but are less frequently supporting teachers in disciplinary writing methods for diverse learners. Additionally, multiple chi-square analyses suggest that coaches and teachers sometimes do not hold the same perception of the frequency of coaching writing practices employed within the K-6 setting. Implications for both researchers and practitioners are discussed.

In Study II, I used survey responses to explore how teachers perceive writing coaching to impact their knowledge, skills, and dispositions toward writing and writing instruction. Results indicate that teaching in writing is sparse, but those who do receive coaching feel more competent and confident in writing instruction. Teachers’ preferred writing coaching practices are explored.

Lastly, in Study III, I explored if and how self-efficacy for writing, writing instruction, and teaching writing elements relates to instructional coaches’ use of research-based writing practices during their coaching sessions. Through analysis of multiple logistic regressions, I identified that self-efficacy for writing and teaching writing elements predicts the likelihood of a coach using research-based writing practices, while self-efficacy for writing instruction was not a significant predictor of any practices. Implications for administrators and professional development agencies are discussed.


Available for download on Wednesday, May 01, 2024

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