All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Loucrecia Collins

Advisory Committee Members

Nataliya Ivankova

Martha Barber

Margaret Rice

Foster Watkins

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) School of Education


This qualitative grounded theory study described the experiences of Alabama Reading Initiative reading coaches as they transitioned from being teachers of children to being leaders of adults. This study addressed the gap in literature regarding the actual lived experiences of these professionals who were catalysts for change in the highly institutionalized culture of the public school setting. The study highlighted the triumphs and challenges inherent in the complex nature of institutional, professional, and personal change. The research participants were 23 practicing reading coaches in North Alabama and North Central Alabama. Forms of data collected included open-ended interviews, observations, and field notes. Analysis was conducted using the systematic design of grounded theory, which included open coding, axial coding, theoretical sampling, and selective coding. The following six broad categories emerged: change, which was the central or core category around which all other categories were interrelated; roles of reading coaches, which was held in the contextual condition of the axial coding model; leadership, which was held in the causal condition of the axial coding model; efficacy, which was held in the strategies condition; core values, which was held in the intervening condition, and resiliency, which was held in the consequences condition. The final theory, grounded in the data, was the result of selective coding which refined the categories of the axial coding paradigm and was represented in three ways. Those were: a ii diagram of the theory, a storyline that told the story of the journey of the reading coaches as they made their transitions, and a set of propositions. This study gave voice to the experiences of the reading coaches who were the primary catalysts for the changes precipitated by state-mandated implementation of the Alabama Reading Initiative. This study expands the knowledge base for subsequent research in the affect that the Reading Initiative has had on educators in Alabama.

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