Date of Award

Summer 2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Committee Chair

Phillip Rapp


Literacy disparity is a widespread problem for schools across the country. Children with reading difficulties are present in every school in the United States. Although literacy is the foundation of all academics, many students lag behind regardless of their socioeconomic, racial, or gender status. There is mounting pressure on schools to produce students who read proficiently. The elementary school principal plays a pivotal role in creating a thriving literacy culture. For inexperienced and seasoned school administrators, the inability to produce proficient readers by the end of third grade is a significant concern. This dissertation examined the principal's role as a literacy leader relative to the areas of preparation, efficacy, and methods for fostering collective literacy efficacy in schools. The study took place in an urban district located in the eastern part of the United States. All participants were elementary school principals with different levels of experience. Data sources included a modified version of the Principals’ Sense of Efficacy Scale survey including demographical data and transcripts from structured interviews with participants which were analyzed using the grounded theory analysis to identify participants’ perspectives and themes within and across these narratives. Findings demonstrated that principals believed their roles and responsibilities are to facilitate student learning, create a positive learning environment, and raise literacy standardized test scores. Findings demonstrated that current principal preparation programs are not equal, universities and districts need to work together to create stronger literacy leaders, and principal efficacy and collective efficacy go hand in hand.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License