Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Center for the Advancement of Education


This applied research practicum describes a program for improving reading achievement for a target group of students in grades two through five in a small public elementary school in a southeastern rural community. Problems originally noted includes students reading below grade level, and low test scores on the California Achievement Test as compared to system, state and national scores. Weaknesses in reading have been documented from 1986 to 1989. The test data were analyzed on the basis of the major reading components of word analysis, reading vocabulary, and reading comprehension. The reading objectives under each of the three major components were then analyzed to determine weakness for individual students in the target groups. Probable causes of the problem are identified as inadequate use of test data, difficulties of student adjustment to teacher styles, lack of sharing among teachers concerning reading instruction, lack of information about research-based teaching methods, and inadequate use of computer technology. Intervention strategies were identified as the use of group planning, a stronger use of phenic, an increased emphasis on building vocabulary, consistent use of background information before reading consistent use of summary after each reading lesson, use of parent volunteers, use of peer tutoring, and in-service training for teachers. The CAT scores indicated that the intervention strategies were able to meet only three of the terminal objectives. However, the results on the intermediate objectives were very strong. When the scores for each of the grade levels which included the target group students were reviewed, their scores did indicated improvement which sometimes exceeded the 0.5 NCSs goal for each objective. There were changes on the instructional approaches to reading, but the process has not been completed. The intervention strategies will continue.

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