Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Education-Literacy Studies: TESOL (M.Ed.)

Degree Program

College of Education

First Advisor

Elizabeth Stolle

Academic Year



Teachers have the opportunity to improve students’ early literacy success by becoming more proficient in phonemic awareness (PA) and phonics instruction through Professional Development. While some studies show that teachers struggle with PA and phonics concepts, application of implementation best practices could provide teachers with the instructional guidance and support needed to help students achieve the best early literacy outcomes.

This project explores the unique challenges of phonics instruction and the best practices in professional development implementation that can bridge the gap between what the curriculum learning goals and teachers’ practical instruction actions. The project identifies a framework for the use of Professional Learning Communities over the course of six months to transform phonemic awareness from a theoretical construct into a practical classroom application methodology.