Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Leadership


College of Education and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Anthony Setari

Second Advisor

Lee Hunter

Third Advisor

Suzanne Horn


There is an abundant amount of interest among educators surrounding what actions can be taken by the government, local representatives, school boards, administrators, and teachers to assist rural, high-poverty students flourish academically. An uninspiring truth related to this subject is many times, a student receives the education the state and local communities are able to provide based on the quality of teachers they are able to retain and the resources available. Instructional strategies teachers implement could influence the quality of education students receive and could leave a community in a constant cycle of dependency and hardship. The purpose of this qualitative study is to determine how teachers of differing instructional effectiveness levels conceptualize their practice as it relates to Marzano’s Nine High-Yield Instructional Strategies and how their perceptions of their instructional practice relates to student achievement in rural, high-poverty schools. The population included in this study include 16 elementary school teachers. MAP Growth scores, teacher proficiency of the nine instructional strategies data, and interview responses were collected and analyzed. In these specific settings, certain teachers yield incredible student academic results while others maintain the status quo and do not experience the same student academic outcomes as their professional peers. The instructional practices teachers in rural, high-poverty schools implement to close the achievement gap between their students and other students nationwide, has the potential to assist them in reaching their full scholastic aptitude and their futures, limitless.