Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Teacher Education

Major Professor

Colleen P. Gilrane

Committee Members

Trena Paulus, Amy Broemmel, Mary Ziegler, Richard Allington


The purpose of this study was to investigate the discourse of literacy coaching conversations within the Reading Recovery Teacher Leader training year. Both Reading Recovery and literacy coaching have been well researched, however there were gaps in the literature concerning the role of the Reading Recovery Teacher Leader within Reading Recovery and the details of literacy coaching interactions, specifically the language of coaching sessions. This study sought to address these gaps in the literature by examining the discourse of Reading Recovery Teacher leaders and their coaches as they participated in literacy coaching sessions during their 2014.2015 training year. Eleven coaching sessions were analyzed through the lens of Discursive Psychology and the Discursive Action Model in order to address the research question What is the nature of literacy coaching conversations within Reading Recovery Teacher Leader training? Data from the study included audiorecordings and transcripts from 11 coaching conversations, Reading Recovery lesson artifacts, and coaching notes.

The central finding of the study was that the discourse of coaching conversations within Reading Recovery teacher leader training focuses on improving teacher decision making. Within the coaching conversations, coaches asked questions about decision making, and coachees offered accounts of decision making in response to the questions posed and often without being prompted by questions. Coachees engaged in responsibility taking through coach extended invitations or clear questioning by the coach to highlight teaching actions. There was some responsibility taking on the part of coachees when coaches were posed why questions. There were also instances where why questions did not facilitate teacher accountability and instead elicited hedging, blame, and/or defensive justifications. The findings suggest that questioning approaches are important to consider when attempting to facilitate accountability as teacher responsibility taking.

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