Date of Award

12-2016

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

First Advisor

Barry Redmond

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine whether canine therapy provided by the B.A.R.K.S. program was effective in increasing reading achievement, impacting the motivation of students while participating in therapy, and decreasing off-task behaviors in the classroom. This study focused on academic or behavioral difficulties that have been exhibited in the general education classroom.

This study utilized a mixed-methods approach, with pre and postassessments for academics, behavior, and motivation. Parents were also given a questionnaire to fill out that addressed the qualitative component of the study. A combination of t tests and ANCOVA were used to analyze the data that were collected. The quantitative results from this study did not show a statistically significant impact when students’ academic growth and off-task behaviors were compared in the pre and postassessment; however, the qualitative data showed positive results with motivation.

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