Campus Location

Dallas Campus (Online)

Date of Award



Document Type



Organizational Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Committee Chair or Primary Advisor

Amy Barrios

Second Committee Member or Secondary Advisor

Mary Christopher

Third Committee Member or Committee Reader

Karen Maxwell



The failure of educators to meet the needs of elementary students who require separated, differentiated, and intensive reading interventions (Tier 3) has been attributed to the scarcity of administrative resources and a lack of effective collaboration between reading specialists and classroom teachers. Experts opine that common barriers to effective collegial collaboration between institutional reading specialists, who are employed by the school, and classroom teachers include: an unsupportive school culture, the classroom teachers’ fear of losing pedagogical autonomy, the absence of mutual trust and interdependence between the reading specialists and their students’ classroom teachers, and the inability of reading specialists and classroom teachers to resolve interprofessional conflicts. These perceived barriers are heighted when engaged independent reading specialists, who are not employed by the school, attempt to collaborate with unengaged classroom teachers of their students for the purpose of coherent lesson planning. The findings of this qualitative case study revealed five recommendations for practical application that enable independent reading specialists to more effectively collaborate with their struggling readers’ elementary school classroom teachers and also support the readers’ classroom curriculum. Successful collaboration between independent reading specialists and classroom teachers is essential to improving the academic achievement of struggling readers who depend on effective Tier 3 reading intervention.

Keywords: reading specialist, elementary education teacher, collaboration, conflict resolution, leadership

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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