Reading research has a long history that can be traced back to the 1800s. In attempts to improve the teaching and learning of reading, many teaching methods have been tried. Public concern about the teaching of reading led to social and political pressure, and increased government involvement. The No Child Left Behind legislation defined scientifically based reading research. For the first time, public policy determined the type of reading instruction that was funded in research and provided to children. However, NAEP scores continue to indicate that too many students are not proficient in reading. Therefore, it has been heavily debated whether or not reading research has had an impact on reading practice and learning. There is a documented gap between research and practice.
This study investigated K-6 educator knowledge, use, and perceptions of reading research, programs, and practices. It looked for differences based on the educators’ position in the school district. The participating school district was a large district in eastern Nebraska. A researcher-created survey was used to answer the research questions.
Results indicated that knowledge of the definition of scientifically based reading research and its part in federal legislation was low. Knowledge of the extent to which programs and practices are research-proven was inconsistent. While educators use some of the research-proven programs and practices, many are unaware of the research base. While the educators indicated confidence in reading research, they did not indicate using research very frequently, some even not at all. Participants generally reported that reading the professional literature on literacy had influenced their beliefs and changed their practice; however, many did not identify a reputable piece of research. The majority of participants reported the literacy research addresses their concerns, is practical, applicable, credible, and accessible.
The gap between research and practice is evident in this study. The school district where the educators in this study work has the opportunity to increase the knowledge and use of research-proven practices and programs as the educators rely heavily on the district as a source of knowledge. The educators have a positive perception of reading research and are open to its use.
|Commitee:||Baron, Mark, Gapp, Susan, Wiebers, Robin|
|School:||University of South Dakota|
|Department:||Curriculum & Instruction|
|School Location:||United States -- South Dakota|
|Source:||DAI-A 82/6(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Reading instruction, Elementary education, Educational leadership, Teacher education, Educational administration|
|Keywords:||RPP, SBRR, K-6 educator knowledge, Educator perceptions, Reading programs|
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