School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Mark A. Lamport

Primary Subject Area

Education, General; Education, Reading; Education, Elementary


Below Grade level readers, Content Area Reading, Reading Instruction, Science instruction, Social Studies instruction


The purposes of this study were to identify the attitudes and beliefs content teachers have concerning teaching reading in the content area to below level readers and to identify specific instructional strategies that are used to teach students who are below grade level the content area material. Twelve participants were selected, using maximum variation sampling, based on the grade level and content area they taught. Data was collected from middle school content area teachers using interviews, surveys, observations, and document examination in an attempt to identify attitudes, beliefs, and specific challenges content teachers face instructing below grade level readers. The data was collected, coded and analyzed for specific commonalities. The constructivist's theory served as the framework for the study with emphasis on experiential learning. The experiences that the participants had as early learners, older students, and adult teachers mold their level of efficacy, the way they teach, and the way the view teaching and learning. Based on the data collected and analyzed, common attitudes and beliefs were present among the participants. Common instructional strategies used with below level learners were also identified. The challenges content area teachers face were also recognized. Recommendations were made to school districts, teacher prep programs administrators and to others for further research.