Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

School Name

Annsley Frazier Thornton School of Education



Major Advisor

Dr. Winn Wheeler

Second Advisor

Dr. Mary Ann Cahill

Third Advisor

Dr. William Wells

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Rosemarie Young


This qualitative study explored the experiences of eight novice teachers as they transferred knowledge of reading instruction from their teacher education programs (TEPs) into their first classrooms in a rural district. Specific mechanisms for learning transfer (prior knowledge, motivation, context, and culture) and their perceived influences were also explored. Phenomenology was utilized to help explore these experiences and perceptions. Social constructivism, Situated Learning Theory (Lave & Wenger, 1991) and critical pedagogies (hooks, 2014; Love, 2019) were used to interpret findings in this study. This study centered on the following questions: (1) how do elementary novice teachers perceive reading knowledge transfer from aspects of their program (coursework and student teaching) to their own classrooms? and (2) how do elementary novice teachers perceive the role of different mechanisms of knowledge transfer in their lived experience? Themes that emerged include: “learn about it and then go and meet with the class and do some of those things”, “why didn’t I know how to do that before I started student teaching?”, “I feel like I was making it up as I was actually doing it”, “How do you teach where there’s so many behaviors?”, “Best mentors ever” versus “She more wanted it done, like, her way”, “No, it wasn’t enough just to have the knowledge”, “I don’t want to say ‘reading people’, but that’s what we, I guess kind of excel at”, “Different places have different values”, “It was a close-knit, a close-knit group, supportive of one another”, and “Me? Not the same”.