Publication Date

Spring 2017

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Dr. Pamela Petty (Director), Dr. Daniel Super, and Dr. Carl Myers

Degree Program

Department of Psychology

Degree Type

Specialist in Education


Data from recent college and career readiness measures indicate an alarming number of students are beginning college courses unequipped with the necessary writing skills to meet the demands of these courses. This, in addition to the Common Core State Standards, leave many teachers feeling underprepared to effectively teach writing. The current study sought to evaluate the effectiveness of LEAD PD: Writing in the Content Areas, a writing professional development initiative for teachers grounded in the writing standards and best practices of writing instruction. In partnership with a university of higher education, teachers from a local middle school were trained to Learn new information, Embed it into their instruction, Assess the effectiveness of instruction, and Disseminate their findings. The LEAD PD model was evaluated through ratings of teacher self-efficacy related to writing using the Teacher Personal Efficacy Survey and the Teacher Professional Efficacy Survey. Student writing performance was measured through the use of the Kentucky Online Testing (KYOTE) Writing Assessment Rubric. Results of this study indicated that teacher attitudes towards personal writing abilities did not change as a result of the LEAD PD training. However, increases in overall feelings of self-efficacy towards professional writing instruction were observed. Additionally, increases and/or changes were not always observed in teacher actions such as frequency of student engagement in writing tasks and effective feedback. Finally, significant increases were noted from pre/post scores on student writing samples.


Child Psychology | Educational Psychology | Elementary Education | School Psychology