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ERIC Number: ED562964
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 220
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: 978-1-3034-8415-5
Animal-Assisted Literacy Instruction for Students with Identified Learning Disabilities: Examining the Effects of Incorporating a Therapy Dog into Guided Oral Reading Sessions
Treat, Wendy Abigail
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of California, Santa Cruz
Literacy acquisition is imperative to successful academic progress and to successful participation in our society. Students with identified learning disabilities are often among those who struggle to acquire literacy skills. The following dissertation shares the results of a reading intervention study in which nine students with identified learning disabilities practiced guided oral reading with the researcher-teacher in the presence of a certified therapy dog. There were 10 reading sessions, each lasting 10-15 minutes. A matched group of eight students with identified learning disabilities practiced guided oral reading with the researcher-teacher but did not have the therapy dog present during the reading sessions. Achievement data were collected through pre- and post-testing on the Gray Oral Reading Test (GORT-4) and the Basic Reading Inventory (BRI), which is a locally used assessment of reading skills. Measures to assess changes in student's feelings of self-efficacy and anxiety about reading included the Reader Self-Perception Scale (RSPS) and an anxiety scale. Pre- and post-intervention interviews, parent questionnaires and reading journals provided additional data. The results indicate that students who participated in the intervention demonstrated statistically significant increases in reading skills. In addition, the results suggest that reading in the presence of a therapy dog increases feelings of self-efficacy, decreases anxiety and increases students' motivation to read. The final section of this dissertation explores a range of explanations for the effectiveness of incorporating a therapy dog into guided oral reading sessions and includes a discussion of the contexts in which animals, including certified therapy dogs, may be utilized in special education instruction to support academic progress for students with identified learning disabilities. [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: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Gray Oral Reading Test; Basic Reading Inventory