Teacher Perceptions of the Alabama Reading Initiative in Alabama's Black Belt: A Narrative Study

Teacher Perceptions of the Alabama Reading Initiative in Alabama's Black Belt: A Narrative Study

Author: 
Brandi Clark
Program of study: 
Ed.D./CI
Abstract: 
This qualitative narrative study explored the unique lived experiences of K-12 educators implementing the Alabama Reading Initiative (ARI), a professional development and reading intervention program in the Black Belt region of Alabama. The study involved purposeful sampling of 32 participants from 16 schools in that region, 8 schools excelling with the ARI and 8 schools struggling with its implementation. Participants responded to 9 semi-structured open-ended asynchronous email interview questions. Data were analyzed and coded with the help of NVivo 11 software. From the data collected, 5 major themes emerged using NVivo 11 analysis and were compared across the 8 excelling and 8 struggling schools for apparent themes. Based on the data analysis, recommendations for future study were made to the ARI, to school principals, and to teachers implementing the ARI.
Dedication: 
To Aunt Bren.
Acknowledgements: 
Dr. Ronald Heuss, my kind and patient Chair. I cannot thank you enough for your wisdom and mentorship. My committee members, Dr. Peter Straker and Dr. Robert Hauer for their diligent service. Matt, Alex, Agustin, and my family and friends for their love and support. My Ben and Tom, for being my beauty in the world when I struggled to find any. To Dr. Patricia Dudley, for leading me out of the woods. To God, for seeing me through this journey, and for believing in me when I found it hard to believe in myself. Lastly, I acknowledge future researchers. Maybe you have arrived here because you need a reference for class. Perhaps you are doing your own study; if my humble endeavor can contribute to that, I am honored. Whatever brought you here, do not give up. What you have to give to the world is bigger than a class, a paper, or a degree plan, no matter how monumental those may seem.