Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Childhood Education and Literacy Studies

Major Professor

Susan Homan, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Mary Lou Morton, Ph.D.

Committee Member

James King, Ed.D.

Committee Member

Robert Dedrick, Ph.D.


Emergent literacy, Early literacy, Professional development, Staff development, Teacher education


The purpose of this qualitative research study was to describe and explain the characteristics of an effective professional development model in an early intervention training program. The focus of the study was on particular aspects of literacy instruction that were emphasized during training sessions and trainer and teacher perceptions of the Accelerated Literacy Learning (ALL) program. This study examined the elements of training that two teachers chose to transfer to their classrooms, as well as modifications they chose to make, in the year following training in an effort to gain further insight into successful teacher training practices. The following research questions guided this study: 1. How do teachers who have received early intervention training for two semesters apply this knowledge in their classrooms during the following school year? 2. What do teachers choose to use and not use from the training program and why? 3. What modifications of the program do teachers make, if any, and why? 4. What are the perceptions of trainers about an early intervention training program? To obtain answers to these research questions, I conducted individual and focus group interviews with teachers and trainers, made observations of training sessions, analyzed course documents, and observed two teachers in their classrooms in the year following training. These data were analyzed using qualitative analysis procedures. I followed a phenomenological theoretical approach and reported my findings through descriptive case studies.

The study findings indicated that teachers chose to use many elements of training in their classrooms in the year following training. It was discovered that the elements that the teachers chose to use in training were the elements that the trainers emphasized in training sessions. The findings also indicated that teachers made modifications to the lesson format that they were taught in training. The segment of the lesson that the teachers chose to modify was one that was not as prescriptive in training as other lesson segments. The trainers did not spend as much time discussing the writing segment of the lesson format as they did the other segments and consequently the teachers made modifications.