School of Education


Doctor of Education in Curriculum & Instruction (EdD)


Jessica Talada


struggling readers, morphological awareness, morphology, transcendental phenomenology, lexical quality


Curriculum and Instruction | Education


This transcendental phenomenological study aimed to examine teachers’ lived experiences with supporting struggling readers using morphological awareness in a public school district in the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area. The central research question guiding this study was, “How do upper elementary educators describe their experiences with morphological awareness instruction to support struggling readers?” The theories guiding the study were the lexical quality hypothesis (LQH) and self-efficacy. This transcendental phenomenological study sampled upper elementary grade educators (4-6 grades) in a public school setting, and data were gathered via interviews, journal prompts, and focus groups. Data were analyzed using steps outlined by Moustakas (1994) and include: epoché, transcendental-phenomenological reduction, imaginative variation, and development of the essence of the phenomenon. Four major themes emerged through the data analysis: instructional practices/interventions, student engagement, instructional strategies, and teacher effectiveness. Future research recommendations include a deeper study on interventions for struggling readers in middle school 6th grade versus 6th grade in elementary schools. Additionally, more research is needed regarding professional development that targets specifically morphology and how educators can bridge the gap with phonology.