Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

Ed.D. Doctor of Education


Educational Services & Leadership


College of Education

First Advisor

Wassell, Beth A.

Second Advisor

Michener, Catherine

Third Advisor

Morettini, Brie


Educator Belief Systems, Effective Literacy Interventions, Espoused Beliefs versus Theories in Use, Response to Intervention


Response to intervention (Learning disabled children); Language arts--Remedial teaching


Elementary Education | Language and Literacy Education


The purpose of this qualitative study was to determine if Argryis and Schon's (1974) Theory-of-Action framework could be used as a viable professional development tool to improve teachers' professional practices when providing Tier II literacy interventions within the context of a Response to Intervention (RTI) program in an elementary school. This multicase study sought to understand more deeply the espoused beliefs and theories-in-use of four elementary literacy interventionists' when delivering intensive literacy interventions to students not reading on grade level within the context of the RTI program by using semi-structured interviews, collection of student work, and classroom observations. Discrepancies were found between the interventionists' espoused theories and theories-in-use, therefore, confirming the need for educators to explore alignment between their two theories as a powerful tool for reflection and dialogue. This study contributes to the literature by presenting a description of belief systems and practices, along with identifying barriers potentially affecting implementation of RTI that can be used to implement positive system-wide change.