Erekson, James A.

Committee Member

McConnell, Christine

Committee Member

Loyd, Stacy M.

Committee Member

Pugh, Kevin


Educational Studies


University of Northern Colorado

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Greeley (Colo.)


University of Northern Colorado

Date Created





253 pages

Digital Origin

Born digital


The purpose of this descriptive case study was to identify teacher strengths and needs to create a site-specific professional development program for literacy. I was interested in studying how to identify teacher needs and strengths and explore the compatibility between teacher beliefs, current practice, and best practices in literacy. This study was guided by the following research questions: Q1 In a developing country, what process is the best fit for creating and implementing a professional development program based on an asset-driven model and self-selected literacy content? Q2 How is a balance attained among current practice, self-selected content, and known best practices in literacy instruction? This study was conducted over a two-month period in two schools, but the entire data collection period spanned nine months. Data from teacher surveys were collected from teachers at two different public-schools. Participants were six 1st-3rd grade teachers from two different elementary schools in the same district. Data sources included observational field notes, research journal notes, teacher surveys, digital correspondence, photographs, and interviews. Results for question one indicated that four themes emerged from the data: (a) addressing the three ecologies of knowing is crucial, (b) the revised process flowchart is an effective tool, (c) flexibility is necessary for this context, and (d) effective communication is vital and challenging. Results for the second question indicated that the process for achieving a balance among current practices and beliefs, identifying self-selected content, and incorporating both with known best practices was effective. Moreover, attempts to implement new strategies may be affected more by a lack of material resources than by teacher beliefs or current practices. The results of this study point to implications for professional development. I created an adapted version of a professional development model that incorporates components that address critical theory and social constructivist perspectives. Also, the process flowchart may be useful as a template for educators in creating and implementing a professional development program that is based on an asset-driven model.

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Copyright is held by the author.