Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education


First Advisor

Guy Trainin

Date of this Version



A DISSERTATION Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Education, Major: Educational Studies (Teaching, Curriculum and Learning), Under the Supervision of Professor Guy Trainin. Lincoln, Nebraska: December, 2018.

Copyright (c) 2018 Stephanie Malone


Practitioner knowledge, as the center for change in teacher education, is the heart of The Carnegie Project of the Educational Doctorate (CPED) program. Margaret Lata and Susan Wunder explain a key principle of CPED is to grow practitioners as change agents, through the development of a Problem of Practice. In their article, Investing in the Formative Nature of Professional Learning: Redirecting, Mediating, and Generating Education Practice-as-Policy (2012), they discuss how the capstone product that evolves from this Problem of Practice should impact the professional field by producing knowledge that informs and changes professional practice.

This Dissertation in Practice, “I Don’t Read No Books.” How Teachers Can Use Students’ Literacy Stories to Change Literacy Lives, explores my Problem of Practice: “How can I, a middle-level reading teacher, discover my students’ stories and use those stories to improve learning?” This Dissertation in Practice focuses on literacy by encouraging educators to listen to and discover the stories of struggling readers and to use those stories to inform instructional practice. While there are several marketable literacy-based books on the market, the competing works focus on the teacher's perspective teaching reading strategies to struggling readers. These resources, however, give little voice to our students.

A narrative inquiry study was conducted for twelve weeks in a remedial reading intervention class for seventh graders with a class size of ten students in an urban, Nebraska school district. Reading intervention consists of students who read independently at only the first to second-grade reading level. Students often struggle with emergent literacy skills, such as decoding and letter identification, reading fluency and using active reading strategies - visualizing a picture while reading, predicting what will happen next, making connections, clarifying the unfamiliar, inferring, summarizing and asking questions about the story.

“I Don’t Read No Books.” How Teachers Can Use Students’ Literacy Stories to Change Literacy Lives particularly addresses the student through detailed and specific student narratives and provides educators with strategies to uncover student stories and adapt instruction to fit those students’ needs.

Advisor: Guy Trainin