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ERIC Number: ED569773
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 321
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3039-5442-9
Narrowing the Literacy Achievement Gap in Elementary Grades
Dailey, Mary Callan
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Walden University
This study addressed the gap in practice of instructional literacy, as evidenced by below-proficient literacy status by subgroups of regular education students in Grades 3-5 in an affluent suburban New Jersey public school district. The purpose of this qualitative grounded theory investigation, approached from an interpretive constructivist theoretical framework, was to determine teacher perceptions of factors contributing to below-proficient literacy status and how to address that problem, demonstrated by 58.8% of Black students, 33.3% of Hispanic students, and 14.6% of White students in the elementary grade span. Twenty-six regular education teachers across Grades K-5 responded to 5 interview questions. Study findings revealed 51% of teachers perceived a lack of early intervention in literacy as an impediment to literacy proficiency, 88% perceived school-level factors as necessary for improved literacy proficiency, with 47% citing their own professional development as the critical school-level factor to reverse students' below-proficient literacy status. Teacher participants cited a need for professional development that facilitates understanding of why some students struggle to meet grade-level literacy standards and best practices for interventive instruction to target students' literacy deficiencies. As a result of these findings, a professional learning community (PLC) with a focus on interventive literacy instruction was designed. The literacy needs of struggling students drives content, discussion, evaluation, and planning of literacy instruction in the PLC, providing cohesion between planning for instruction and understanding the effect of instructional practice on student achievement. Social change in instructional literacy would benefit students by providing them with targeted support to build foundational literacy skills before moving on to middle school. [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:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 3; Primary Education; Early Childhood Education; Grade 4; Intermediate Grades; Grade 5; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Jersey