Date of Award

Spring 2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Committee Chair

Jessica Van Cleave


In order to effectively teach reading, it is not enough for a teacher to possess knowledge and skills alone. It is equally important to use evidence-based instructional approaches and interventions, especially when working with at-risk or struggling students. Without appropriate instructional materials and contexts, even the most competent teacher may fail to teach essential literacy skills, such as phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, spelling, and writing processes. As the importance of teacher quality gains attention at the state and federal levels, lesson structure and allocation of lesson time for literacy-related activities have become a focus. The emergence of structured literacy underscores the significance of a systematic and cumulative curriculum that explicitly and diagnostically teaches students phonology, sound-symbol association, syllables, morphology, syntax, and semantics; therefore, both skilled teachers and research-based instructional approaches are necessary for successful student literacy. Effective literacy instruction requires both skilled teachers and evidence-based instructional approaches. Structured literacy is especially useful for students in primary grades who are at risk or struggling with literacy. Remediation programs based on structured literacy have been shown to improve reading skills and comprehension in struggling readers, leading to better academic outcomes. By using a well-developed curriculum that teaches essential literacy skills, such as phonics, phonemic awareness, vocabulary, and syntax, structured literacy can help struggling students improve their reading abilities and reach their full potential.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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