Date of Award

Fall 12-1-2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Chair

Richard S. Mohn

Committee Chair School


Committee Member 2

James T. Fox

Committee Member 3

Maureen K. Martin

Committee Member 4

Kyna Shelley

Committee Member 4 School



Although instructional leadership and transformational leadership styles of elementary school principals have been found to be effective variables in increasing academic progress for students, the integration of instructional and transformational leadership behaviors has proved to be the most effective form of leadership. However, many students in elementary schools have difficulty learning to read despite good leadership by the principal, with 5-20% of students being diagnosed with dyslexia. While these students need phonetic, multisensory intervention to build necessary reading skills, many principals report lack of knowledge of this specialized instruction. Therefore, the purpose of this research was to explore variables that determine the school-based level of appropriate intervention for students with dyslexia.

A questionnaire assessing leadership skills, knowledge and beliefs about dyslexia, preparation in reading disorders and/or dyslexia received from degree programs and professional development, and services provided to students with dyslexia was given to principals serving in K-2 elementary schools across the United States.

Results indicate the variables of leadership style of the school principal, knowledge received from the principal’s degree program, and knowledge received from professional development provided outside of the local school district do not significantly influence the school-based level of intervention for students with dyslexia. However, this study found that principals who have greater knowledge and more correct beliefs about dyslexia, along with those who received more knowledge from internal professional development, are those who provide more appropriate services for students with dyslexia.