Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Morgridge College of Education

First Advisor

Kristina Hesbol, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Susan Korach

Third Advisor

Ellen Miller-Brown


Educational leadership, Elementary education, Language arts education, Literacy education, Literacy leadership, Principal perceptions


This dissertation study explores the perceptions of principals as literacy leaders and the enactment of these perceptions in high-need elementary schools. Literacy leadership, as perceived by principals, was analyzed based on interview data from six participants. Individual cases were studied for the unique characterizations each participant brought to the construct of literacy leadership through their own lived experience. Cross-case analysis was conducted in order to draw out themes among participants. Conclusions suggest that there are commonalities among principals' perceptions and enactments as literacy leaders in high-need elementary schools. Participants focused on: adoption of literacy programs and curricular fidelity; data use for reflective practice; building cultures of high expectations; distributed leadership models for improved literacy instruction; and professional development to support language arts instruction. Particular aspects of literacy leadership, such as literacy engagement and family-literacy school connections, were not as great a focus in participant interviews.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Janet Marie Lear


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

353 p.


Educational Leadership, Elementary Education, Language Arts