Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Effectiveness of Tiered Instruction in Elementary Schools
by Galloway, Melissa, Ph.D., Trident University International, 2018, 151; 10975130
Abstract (Summary)

The Effectiveness of Tiered Instruction in Elementary Schools Trident University International 2018 The purpose of this mixed research study was to explore the effectiveness of the tiered instruction and interventions for grades kindergarten through five at 2 elementary schools within a single charter school district in the Southern United States. The study is built on Swanson and Sachse-Lee’s (2000) meta-analysis which identified the effects of Tier 3 interventions. The researcher requested secondary data consisting of pre-assessment and post-assessment results from the 2016 school year in the tiered instruction. A series of data points was used to determine if a student was successfully move from Tier III to Tier II due to the successful implementation of instruction. These data points were used to assess the effect of tiered interventions, including: NWEA MAP of Growth and the ACT Aspire for students in grades K-5. To gain a deeper understanding of teachers’ perspectives, a survey was distributed to 59 elementary certified teachers. A repeated measures ANOVA test was conducted for four dependent variables. When conducting this study, the researcher compared four groups in the multi-tiered instruction of the dependent variables and an expected medium effect (f = .25) based on the research. The Paired samples t-test and repeated measures ANOVA was conducted to test progress the participants in Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3 made in their reading abilities. The power of .80% power (alpha = .05) was used to conduct the study. Of the 59 teachers, 55 teachers participated in the survey. The minimal sample size of the survey was 55 teachers. The questionnaire consisted of open-ended questions related to how teachers used the assessments to implement tiered instruction with fidelity, to have more targeted conversations during professional learning communities, become more strategic in the implementation of the targeted instruction, and effectively articulate to parents the skills the students need to improve on while providing simplistic ways to assist the students at home. The researcher used “thematic analysis” as a systematic process to formalize the identification and development of themes. The process consisted of coding text, developing descriptive themes, and generating analytical themes. The use of line-by-line coding enables the researcher to undertake what has been described as one of the key tasks in the synthesis of qualitative research: the translation of concepts from one study to another (Coffey & Atkinson, 1996). This study provided district leaders, building administrators, and teaching staff empirical evidence to support the effectiveness of multi-tiered reading interventions at the elementary level. The multivariate analysis of the study showed: (1) Participation in Tier I instruction predicted student scores in Reading through the NWEA MAP of Growth and the ACT Aspire, (2) participation in Tier II instruction could not predict student scores in Reading through NWEA MAP of Growth, however; student scores could not be predicted in Reading through the ACT Aspire, and (3) participation in Tier III instruction could not predict student scores in Reading through NWEA MAP of Growth or ACT Aspire pre-assessment and post assessment. The findings support the effectiveness of multi-tiered instruction in elementary schools. When Tier I instruction is strong, Tier 2 and Tier 3 will be effective resulting in few students needing the extra support afforded in Tier 2 and Tier 3. Of the 172 students that moved from one tier to another, 28 students increased their learning and moved from Tier III to Tier II instruction. The researcher also discovered from the qualitative research conducted, regarding elementary needs, teachers desired to have smaller classrooms which would improve the effectiveness of implementing instruction. The smaller classroom size would not only increase learning for the struggling students, but also the students who have already mastered the essential skills being taught. The findings may give support for the educators who need empirical evidence to increase learning through multi-tiered instruction.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Wilson, Pamela
Commitee: Li, Wenling, Lopez-Boysen, Maria, Smith, Heidi
School: Trident University International
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 80/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, Early childhood education, Elementary education
Keywords: Closing the achievement gap, Elementary education, Freud, Sigmund, Iceberg theory, Instructional effectiveness, Multi-tiered instruction, Tiered instruction
Publication Number: 10975130
ISBN: 978-0-438-57852-4
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