Diane Fine

Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Curriculum & Instruction/Literacy Studies

Committee Chair

Aimee L Morewood

Committee Co-Chair

Charline Barnes-Rowland

Committee Member

Joy Faini Saab

Committee Member

Jodi Nichols

Committee Member

Allison Swan Dagen


This study presents data from a two-phase phenomenological case study investigation designed to ascertain two middle level English teachers' beliefs about literacy. In addition to revealing the teachers' beliefs about literacy, this study sought to discover the ways in which these literacy beliefs were manifested in the instructional tasks employed by each teacher in her middle level English classroom. A pilot study conducted during the fall semester of 2012 described one middle level English teacher's beliefs about literacy. The final phase of the investigation expanded upon data collected during the pilot study and involved two middle level English teachers. This study utilized open-ended interviews of the two English teachers. Next, classroom observations were conducted in an effort to capture and confirm the teachers' beliefs about literacy during classroom instruction. Observations occurred during the course of a literacy unit in each classroom. Follow-up interviews were conducted as needed during the observation cycle of the final phase of the investigation. Findings from this study revealed that the teachers' beliefs about literacy were not always consistent with their instructional practices. The two teachers involved in this study appeared to have a difficult time discerning and describing their beliefs and instead frequently referenced instructional practices employed in the classroom. The findings of this study suggest implications for middle level teacher education and middle level professional development.