Date of Award


Degree Name

Leadership Studies


College of Education

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Dr. Louis Watts, Committee Chairperson

Second Advisor

Dr. Nega Debela

Third Advisor

Dr. Bobbi Nicholson


Sweeping changes, such as those ushered in as a component of contemporary school improvement initiatives, have created an educational culture in which all teachers are now considered to be literacy instructors with principals being placed in the role of instructional leader. Yet, review of research literature reveals a severe lack of funding and adequate professional development necessary to ensure that secondary school teachers and administrators have the training they need to provide such literacy services to students. The purpose of this research study was to examine the literacy perceptions and practices of West Virginia’s secondary school principals to ascertain the correlations that exist between the individual’s perceived beliefs and the practices that are implemented within their schools. A researchercreated survey which consisted of Likert-scored and open response items was utilized with participating West Virginia secondary school principals. The survey’s findings indicate that principals agree with the characteristics associated with effective literacy leadership. Yet, close examination of the data revealed discrepancies between the reported Likert-type responses when compared to the replies provided in the open-ended components of the survey. Further analysis of the data indicated that the participants may lack a deep understanding of the actual practices associated with effective literacy instruction and leadership. These findings denote a possible need for extended use of literacy professional development to expand the scope of understanding related to the implementation of successful literacy leadership initiatives.


School principals - West Virginia.

Literacy - Study and teaching - West Virginia.