Title page for ETD etd-10102012-182014


Type of Document Dissertation
Author Acosta, Richelle LeBlanc
URN etd-10102012-182014
Title An Exploration of Reading Methods in First-Grade: Comparing the Basal Approach and Balanced Literacy
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Educational Theory, Policy, & Practice
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Cheek, Earl H. Jr. Committee Chair
Blanchard, Pamela B. Committee Member
Kennedy, Eugene Committee Member
Mitchell, Roland W. Committee Member
Dicarlo, Cynthia F. Dean's Representative
Keywords
  • reading instruction
  • balanced literacy
  • basal instruction
Date of Defense 2012-10-19
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
Few topics in education have sparked as much interest and debate as the teaching of reading. Throughout the past century, instructional approaches have come and gone but one thing has remained constant: the teacher. Behind every effective classroom lies a teacher. It is ultimately the teacherís decisions that drive daily instruction in the classroom.

But what is the best way for teachers to teach children how to read? For decades, researchers have plagued studies seeking to find the best method for accomplishing this. Just as studentsí physical characteristics are very diverse, so too are their academic abilities. Reading teachers must be able to understand these differences and consequently choose and employ teaching materials that meet the needs of all the students among the class. With the ever-increasing importance of high-stakes testing and accountability, schools expect their teachers to deliver effective reading instruction that will produce results.

The purpose of this study was to compare two approaches to reading instruction: a basal program and balanced literacy. Classroom observations and teacher interviews were conducted and collected in order to investigate the following questions: How do basal programs and balanced literacy impact reading instruction in elementary school classrooms? How are the perceptions of teachers and students impacted in these respected settings?

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