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ERIC Number: ED563352
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 139
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3035-1015-1
Literacy Coaches' Perceptions of a Formative Fluency Assessment in Urban Elementary Schools
Ellison, Marclette
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Walden University
In "Reading First" schools throughout the United States, literacy coaches administer the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) as the sole measure of fluency and then offer instructional recommendations for students with reading difficulties based on those results. However, critics of DIBELS question its accuracy for determinations about students' reading abilities and its applicability to groups, such as diverse urban students, who are not well represented in the research. Drawing on reasoned action theory, the purpose of this phenomenological study was to gauge the perceived effectiveness of DIBELS through an examination of individual and shared experiences of DIBELS literacy coaches serving diverse students in urban elementary schools. The research questions focused on understanding the experiences and perceptions most influential to the behaviors and attitudes of literacy coaches using DIBELS. Six active literacy coaches were identified via purposeful sampling. Data were collected using interviews and analyzed using highlighting and coding to identify emergent themes. Themes were interpreted using metaphors to capture the essence of participants' lived experiences in their work. Findings indicated that participants viewed DIBELS as a source of rational and systematic data and an effective tool for identifying and addressing reading problems in diverse urban students. The overarching metaphor likened literacy coaches to kindlers of a flame. Results support the view that DIBELS can benefit a diverse urban school population and yield recommendations for leaders to promote understanding and support for the efforts of literacy coaches. Implications for social change include improved assessment of fluency and reading interventions, especially for students served by literacy coaches in "Reading First" urban schools. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS)