Title page for ETD etd-04112007-182226

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Longmire, Gwendolyn Jackson
Author's Email Address gwendolyn318@yahoo.com
URN etd-04112007-182226
Title An Exploration of the Impact of Teachers' Instructional Practices in Teaching Phonemic Awareness to Kindergarten and First Grade Students
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Curriculum & Instruction
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Earl H. Cheek, Jr. Committee Chair
James H. Wandersee Committee Member
Pamela B. Blanchard Committee Member
Paul Mooney Committee Member
Hugh W. Buckingham Dean's Representative
  • reading research
  • qualitative study
  • systematic and explicit instruction
Date of Defense 2007-04-10
Availability unrestricted
This ten week study examined the impact of the teachersí instructional strategies in teaching phonemic awareness to kindergarten and first grade students. Three questions were explored. These questions were: (a) How do teachers determine the appropriate instructional strategies to use in teaching phonemic awareness?, (b) What are the similarities and differences that each teacher demonstrates in implementing appropriate instructional strategies in teaching phonemic awareness?, and (c) How have the teachersí efforts in implementing a Reading First program been rewarded? The participants in this study are two first grade teachers, two kindergarten teachers, and one kindergarten and first grade reading interventionist.

Qualitative methods of single, cross case analysis were utilized for this study with data sources that included: field notes, responses from questionnaires, and the researcherís observations. During the 90 minutes of uninterrupted reading instruction, the teachers were required to teach explicitly and systematic phonemic awareness from the prescribed method in the reading manual.

The prescribed method consisted of verbatim scripts of: what the teachers should say, how the teachers should say it, and the answer for the studentsí response. Data gathered showed that teachers used explicit and systematic instructional strategies when teaching phonemic awareness from the prescribed reading series; however, some teachers used additional instructional strategies to teach phonemic awareness. There were differences and similarities that were prevalent across grade levels. The differences of the instructional strategies consisted of utilization of hand motion and other techniques and using phonemic awareness in context. The similarities of the strategies utilized included sounding out individual phonemes, segmenting phonemes, phoneme counting, and adding, deleting, and substituting phonemes.

The teachers were intrinsically motivated by their studentsí progression. The teachersí ability to impact phonemic awareness instruction is indirectly a result of their desire to be adequately prepared to deliver phonemic awareness instruction. The studentsí satisfactory progress in attaining the appropriate reading level suggests that the teachers positively impacted instruction.

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