Date of Award

2010

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

First Advisor

Doug Eury

Abstract

This study was conducted to evaluate the Making Great Readers program which was piloted in two small Title I elementary schools in western North Carolina during the 2009-2010 school year. The study was designed to evaluate the effectiveness of the program based on teacher perception and impact on student achievement.

A logic model was used to evaluate this pilot program with a focus on short-, intermediate-, and long-term outcomes. The research questions examined student reading achievement and teacher perspectives through a concurrent mixed methods approach. Quantitative analysis of phonemic awareness scores were taken from data gathered using the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) assessment tool. Growth from baseline assessment data to posttest data suggested a positive effect upon student achievement. Additionally, data from teacher surveys and focus groups were coded using numerical scores. Frequencies, percentages, and summation of numerical scores revealed teachers perceived the phonics program to have a positive impact on student achievement.

An analysis of the data suggests that the Making Great Readers program provides students with a strong foundation in phonemic awareness which translates to future success in reading. Although findings suggest positive effects on student phonemic skills, qualitative data from teacher surveys and focus groups identified the training for teachers as an area possibly needing improvement. These findings can be used by educational planners to guide program selection, implementation, and training to help guarantee that students and teachers are better prepared for reading instruction.