All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Jerry Aldridge

Advisory Committee Members

Maryann Manning

Lois Christensen

Lynn Kirkland

Richard Allington

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) School of Education


The purpose of these multiple descriptive case studies was to describe and analyze the perspectives of three third grade classroom teachers and two third grade reading coaches regarding the use of informational texts and their influence on reading instruction. The research design involved interviews, and observations using a sample composed of three third grade classroom teachers and two third grade reading coaches in five urban, public elementary schools in the Southeastern United States. The aim of this research was to portray a vivid description of the reading episodes in third grade classrooms. The key findings from the study were that (a) teachers utilized informational texts during read-alouds, shared reading, and guided reading; (b) students had a higher engagement level when using informational texts; (c) teachers often used informational texts with struggling readers to build background knowledge and vocabulary; and (d) teachers used informational texts to prepare students for standardized tests. It was anticipated that these authentic descriptions would breathe life into existing research of how students learn to read. This process exposed inconsistency in reading research, and brought new insight for both classroom practitioners and researchers to consider. More importantly, the study was designed to benefit the educational community, reading scholars, policy makers, and my guiding beacon, children.

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