Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Elish-Piper, Laurie

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Literacy and Elementary Education


High school teachers; Teacher education; Secondary education


This mixed-methods study examines the disciplinary-literacy knowledge that high school English, mathematics, science, and social studies teachers possess and the knowledge and skills on which they rely when planning for instruction. Three hundred and eleven high school teachers completed a survey that measured high school teachers' disciplinary-literacy knowledge; four teachers who completed the survey also participated in a think-aloud of unit design and a semistructured interview. Quantitative data were analyzed via descriptive statistics, factor analysis, a one-way multivariate analysis of variance [MANOVA], and post-hoc tests. Qualitative data were analyzed using three cycles of coding: descriptive codes, axial codes and frequency counts, and assertion development. All analyses were merged to determine the knowledge high school teachers possess and the knowledge they utilize when planning for instruction. Through this analysis, a theory of teachers' application of knowledge to planning process emerged, and a framework for a multisystems approach to professional development was identified as an avenue to bridge reform and teacher practice. Suggestions for inservice professional-development providers and preservice teacher educators are also offered.


Advisors: Laurie Elish-Piper.||Committee members: Michael Manderino; David Walker.


227 pages




Northern Illinois University

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