Date of Award

2012

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

School of Education

Abstract

The purpose of the study was to gain insights on key factors that make a difference in the reading achievement of students attending full-day and half-day kindergarten programs. More specifically, the focus was on investigating the impact that literacy instruction in full-day and half-day kindergarten had on the literacy achievement of struggling readers receiving literacy intervention. This important focus led to the question which guided this research: To what extent is students' early literacy success impacted by instruction or extended schooling? In this study, quantitative methods were used to establish the individual achievement gains of kindergarten students receiving literacy intervention support. These methods included both the observations of kindergarten teachers' literacy practices and retrieval of the district's archived assessment data on both groups of kindergarten students. The research also examined the nature of observed teachers' literacy practices and teachers' awareness of the instructional literacy practices they implement in the classroom.

The setting for the study was in a suburban district neighboring a large urban city in the Midwest. The study took place in April and May of 2011 and included full participation from each of the seven kindergarten teachers employed at the three elementary schools in the selected district. The researcher considered each of the three elementary schools as its own mini-study and analyzed schools separately for research questions. The findings revealed that it was the quality of instruction, rather than the extended time offered in the full-day kindergarten program, that impacted the gains made in reading by these two groups of kindergarten students.

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