Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


School of Teacher Education and Leadership

Department name when degree awarded

Secondary Education

Committee Chair(s)

Kay Camperell


Kay Camperell


Francine Johnson


George Hruby


Alison Hruby


Parker Fawson


Patricia Gantt


In this study, interview data were analyzed to illustrate the perspectives of five secondary school principals in adolescent literacy implementation and support. These principals fell on the continuum from beginning practitioners in adolescent literacy to “seasoned veterans.” They were selected based on the recommendations of their district’s assistant superintendents and/or curriculum directors. I interviewed two high school principals, two middle school principals, and one junior high school principal.

Much emphasis has been placed over the last several decades on improving the reading skills of elementary school children, especially in the primary grades. While this goal continues to be an important one, less attention has been paid to the reading needs of adolescents than at the elementary level.

Adolescent literacy programs need to be implemented in secondary schools. The school principal plays a key role in implementing and supporting all educational initiatives in the school. Unfortunately, there are few directions or guidelines for principals to follow for adolescent literacy implementation and support.

Analysis of the data yielded seven common strands. These strands were then viewed through a sociocultural lens, specifically indicating the influence of the student’s experiences, the family, the classroom, the school, and the community on literacy learning. I found that the principal played a key role in adolescent literacy implementation and support in these five schools. I also found that each principal extensively utilized the expertise of his or her faculties—as well as that of the support staff and communities—to determine direction of adolescent literacy programs and practices.



Included in

Education Commons