Date Approved

5-6-1996

Embargo Period

9-4-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. in Learning Disabilities

Department

Interdisciplinary and Inclusive Education

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Urban, Stanley

Subject(s)

Fourth grade (Education); Language experience approach in education; Reading (Elementary)

Disciplines

Disability and Equity in Education

Abstract

This study examined the rates of progress between low achieving and high achieving fourth grade children using a whole language reading program. Subjects were fourth grade students at a Bridgeton Elementary School, grouped into low and high ability groups each containing 7 students. Reading instruction was provided during 90 minute class periods 5 times each week for 24 weeks. Instruction centered on reading short stories and trade books considered appropriate for fourth graders. Subjects completed a pre- and post-test using the Kaufman Test of Educational Achievement in reading and spelling. A holistically scored writing example was completed in the fall and spring. Findings suggest that the high ability group improved or maintained their rate of progress. The low ability group progressed, but did not achieve an average standing in reading or writing, suggesting the need of a more integrated approach to reading incorporating a systematic phonics program.

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