Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Educational Measurement and Research

Major Professor

Danielle V. Dennis, Ph.D.

Committee Member

James King, Ed.D.

Committee Member

Jenifer J. Schneider, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jennifer Wolgemuth, Ph.D.


Clinical practice, literacy, Literacy coaching cycles, Literacy teacher identity, Pre-service teacher identity, Teacher residency program


This dissertation presents findings from a qualitative discourse analysis study of three pre-service teachers enrolled in the Urban Teacher Residency Partnership Program (UTRPP); a clinical teacher preparation setting at a major southeastern university. UTRPP is a full-time teacher preparation program that focuses on university student achievement through embedded coursework and provides preservice teachers (PSTs) with the opportunity to work with a content coach. Through coaching cycles, these PSTs work one-on-one with a literacy content coaches to enrich their teaching experiences and connect theory to practice through content coaching cycles. A content coaching cycle consists of a pre-conference, video-recorded observation of a teaching event, individualized video coding sessions of that teaching video, and post-conference reflections (Gelfuso & Dennis, 2014). In this study, I focus specifically on the PSTs’ literacy content coaching experiences. The purposeful support and unique structure of UTRPP provide a rich opportunity to study literacy teacher identity construction since PSTs are contracted as full-time teacher residents in urban schools and work one on one with a literacy professional to develop their literacy practices through coaching cycles. This research was guided by the following research question: In what ways do three PSTs develop literacy teacher identity? Data was only collected during literacy coaching cycles where literacy was explicitly taught, and not during any other content area coaching cycle or subsequent lesson reflection that was not literacy based. The findings showed evidence of: (a) the plurality of identity, in that each participant drew on multiple identity characteristics when reflecting on their literacy practice, (b) connections between participants core sense-of-self and literacy teacher characteristics, (c) participants deployment of front and backstage dramaturgy to conceal their beliefs and feelings from the literacy coach and children, and (d) connections to student-centered teaching practices. These findings offer insights into how PSTs construct their literacy teacher identities in both a clinical preparation program and through literacy content coaching.