How Can I Improve My Practice To Enhance The Teaching of Literacy?

Marian Lothian

2010 submission to McGill University. Graduated 2010


The objective of this study was to improve the practice of an elementary principal to enhance the teaching of literacy in an inner city school. Based in the literature on educational leadership and action research, this action research study examines how the role of the principal over a seven year period affected the teaching of literacy. In keeping with action research methodology, the study undergoes three 'think-act-reflect' cycles. These action research cycles inform practice, guide the development of literacy initiatives, and result in change. This evolution is documented in the form of vignettes throughout the thesis. Data collection consisted of personal reflections, field notes, results of a researcher-developed questionnaire given to teachers, administrators, and parents; and students' Developmental Reading Assessment scores.

The data analysis incorporates both qualitative and quantitative methods to triangulate the research findings and to ensure that all of the key research questions are addressed in a trustworthy manner. Results showed that the nine literacy interventions employed by the principal were effective and that the principal's practice grew and improved over the study. Stemming from the analysis, an assessment tool was developed to measure the principalŐs effectiveness in promoting literacy, a measurement tool that can be used by other principals to gauge their own effectiveness in developing literacy initiatives.

The thesis concludes with a reflection addressing the objective of the study, the contribution to living educational theory that conceptually frames the study and offers suggestions for future research in this area.


You can download the PhD as a whole in PDF format by clicking here

You can download the PhD in Parts below in PDF format

For the Title Page, Acknowledgements, Abstract, Dedication to Fran Halliday, Contents, Lists of Tables Figures and Illustrations and Plates click here Pages i-xii

Chapter One - Contextualisation Pages 1- 30

Chapter Two - The Principal And Change In An Action Research Study Pages 31-57

Chapter Three - Theoretical Framework And Formulation Of A Research Plan Pages 58-87

Chapter Four - Making Changes To Literacy Practices Pages 88-125

Chapter Five - Data Collection And Analysis Pages 126-173

Chapter Six - Making Sense Of The Research Findings Pages 174-216

References Pages 217-235

Appendices Pages 236-273