Graduate Student Dissertations, Theses, Capstones, and Portfolios

Date of Award


Document Type


Granting Institution

Lynn University

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EDD)

Degree Program

Educational Leadership


College of Education

First Advisor

Kathleen Weigel

Second Advisor

Jennifer J. Lesh

Third Advisor

JeVaughn J. Lancaster


The complexity and expansiveness of the discipline of English Language Arts makes it necessary to equip novice teachers with an understanding of pedagogical content knowledge within the ELA framework. This study aimed at discerning whether novice, elementary ELA teachers in a southeast state of the United States experienced challenges with PCK in ELA and at discovering the root of these problems. An extensive literature review was conducted. This review highlighted Lee Shulman’s theory of PCK which guided the study. The review found that ELA was the only discipline without a PCK model. The various components of ELA, with an emphasis on the correct scholarly approaches to interpreting and teaching, were examined in detail. Shulman’s theory, the problem of practice, and the related literature guided the methodology, which was based on a two-phased mixed methods explanatory design. Surveys were used to gather quantitative data in phase 1 of the study and interviews were used to gather qualitative data in phase 2. Phase 2 aimed at enriching the quantitative data to provide a holistic view of the problem of practice. The study proved that teachers within this sample experienced challenges with PCK in ELA through statistically significant results that highlighted that a background in ELA enhanced teachers’ understanding of PCK as it related to ELA. A number of ameliorative strategies were put forth in this dissertation, however, the researcher emphasized that systemic changes must precede these suggestions.



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