Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

First Advisor

Jamy Stillman

Second Advisor

Elizabeth Dutro

Third Advisor

Leslie Irvine

Fourth Advisor

Sylvia Noguerón-Liu

Fifth Advisor

William Penuel


Situated at the intersection of education policy, teacher professional learning, and K-5 literacy teaching and learning, this dissertation study examined how a group of educators working in one of the largest school districts in the U.S. Mountain West sought to improve the quality and coherence of their schoolwide approach to literacy instruction. Drawing on Stornaiuolo et al.’s (2017) transliteracies framework, this place-based study attended to how local and global influences shaped the (im)mobility of literacy-related ideas, materials, and practices (i.e., literacy moves) during the 2017-2018 school year. Findings reveal that educators’ largely unquestioned acceptance of market-driven logics, underdeveloped notions of equity, divergent goals and visions for literacy teaching and learning, and collegial culture of niceness and un-criticality tended to reinforce rather than challenge inequitable literacy policies, perspectives, and practices. This study carries practical and scholarly implications for broader efforts to foster more equitable literacy learning opportunities for all children.