Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Educational Studies



First Advisor

Susi Long

Second Advisor

Kara Brown


Through a sociocultural lens this study explored how four teachers, a reading teacher, and their principal lived literacy policy in practice in and around Maplewood Elementary School. This work grew out of three questions: (a) How do six policy stakeholders at one elementary school--four teachers, one administrator, and one reading teacher--make meaning of literacy policies? (b) How do these stakeholders' understandings shape the appropriation of these policies in their day-to-day literacy practices? and (c) How does the meaning-making of other stakeholders--district, state, and federal policy-makers--intersect with and inform the appropriation of policy by the six focal stakeholders? In asking these questions I hoped to meet the goals of: (a) contextualizing my study within the larger, historical policy environment; (b) understanding local policy stakeholders' lived experience with policy at Maplewood; and (c) understanding the dialogic, co-constructed nature of policy among stakeholders at multiple levels in the policy process. An analysis of data suggests that participants made meaning of policies dialogically as their personal and professional beliefs, experiences in the classroom, and support from colleagues mediate their interpretations of those policies. Data suggest that policymakers' concerns about teacher quality and student achievement led to policies that significantly impacted teacher practice. Data also illustrated how one principal, Ms. Johnson, played a key role in mediating policies teachers encountered as she negotiated autonomy on their behalf.