Document Type


Date of Degree

Spring 2019

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Psychological and Quantitative Foundations

First Advisor

Grooms, Ain

Second Advisor

Ehly, Stewart

First Committee Member

Tammy Wilgenbusch

Second Committee Member

Assouline, Susan

Third Committee Member

Datchuk, Shawn


The purpose of this study was to investigate teachers’ level of autonomy in a Response-to-Intervention (RTI) model school system and with delivering a Tier 2 reading intervention, as well as, to understand teachers’ perception of student response to the adapted reading materials. Qualitative data collection involved individual teacher interview, observations, post-intervention survey, and a focus group. Teachers selected reading materials that focused on sight word learning to adapt to fit student need and then delivered the intervention for six weeks. Quantitative data were the students’ progress monitoring scores of sight words learned and overall oral reading fluency rate. Results showed that each teacher adapted the materials differently, and that intervention practicality and elements of the current educational structure affect teacher autonomy. While specific elements can play into intervention practicality, it is truly difficult to analyze an intervention separate from the system in which it is being delivered. Teachers defined intervention practicality as ease of delivery, while additionally defining elements of district operations and governing forces of the system, as broader themes that placed control over their instructional practice, thus restricting autonomy. Implications for practice and future research encompass ways to empower teachers to build autonomy and ways to create teacher involvement during system-level change.


Interventions, MTSS, Reading, RTI, Teacher Autonomy


ix, 135 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 103-109).


Copyright © 2019 Erin L. Witek