Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Learning Disabilities


Interdisciplinary and Inclusive Education


College of Education

First Advisor

Urban, Stanley


First grade (Education); Learning disabled children; Reading (Primary); Reading--Phonetic method


Disability and Equity in Education


The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of a structured, systematic phonics program such as the Saxon Phonics 1 program in improving the phonemic awareness of first grade students. The effectiveness of this program was measured by a pre and post assessment using The Test of Phonological Awareness (TOPA).

The subjects for this study consisted of two groups of first grade students (ages six and seven). Group one consisted of twelve students: seven girls and five boys. Group two consisted of nine students: six girls and three boys. Teachers that are experienced in the use of the program provided both groups phonics instruction using the Saxon Program. All of the students attend the same elementary school that has a total enrollment of 263 students. The students that participated in the Saxon Phonics program were heterogeneously grouped. There are only two first grade classes in this school.

The results of this study indicate positive gains with both groups as measured by the pre and post assessment. The average gain by Group one and Group two were equal and meaningful.