All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Lynn Kirkland

Advisory Committee Members

Lois Christensen

Maryann Manning

Kathleen Martin

Deborah Strevy

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) School of Education


A CASE STUDY OF SECOND-GRADE TEACHERS' COMPREHENSION INSTRUCTION REBECCA BURDETTE MCKAY EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION ABSTRACT The dilemma of reconciling developmentally appropriate, constructivist reading instruction with mandated high-stakes tests was confronted by four second-grade teachers through their selection of two active professional development methods. To continue and deepen their use of an interactive model of reading focused on comprehension, the teachers worked as a professional community to renegotiate and reconstruct their professional knowledge and adapt their pedagogy to the school context. The goal of this research was to investigate how the teachers described their comprehension instruction as well as how they developed and reflected upon it. The qualitative research design, selected to investigate the research goals, was well suited to capture the teachers' descriptions of their comprehension instruction and their self-initiated active professional development using lesson link, a process similar to Japanese lesson study, and adult book clubs. Four themes and numerous subthemes emerged. The data affirmed that the teachers as a group had a passion for teaching, worked as a professional community, were committed to comprehension strategy instruction, and built adaptive scholarship through the interaction of adult book clubs with lesson link. The findings indicated that the teachers developed the following: adaptive scholarship that enabled the groups' advocacy of comprehension strategy instruction; a deeper understanding of pedagogy and comprehension, particularly declarative, procedural, and conditional knowledge about comprehension strategies; and culturally relevant pedagogy. After considering the findings, implications and recommendations were identified. Further targeted research to investigate active professional development models, like those of the second-grade teachers, would add to a scant body of research on professional development to support comprehension instruction. More case study research is needed to determine how professional development models support teachers' instruction of comprehension, particularly in diverse school settings.

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