Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Empowerment of Teachers and Students through Innovative Literacy Practices
by Yearian, Stephanie Jo, Ed.D., Lindenwood University, 2011, 263; 3474300
Abstract (Summary)

In 1997, The National Institute for Child Health and Human Development, appointed a National Reading Panel (NRP). The NRP findings, released in 2000, summarized the effectiveness of a variety of instructional approaches in reading. In turn, the NRP report, despite disputed inconsistencies, became the basis of the 2001 legislation, No Child Left Behind (NCLB). The influence of NCLB placed research-based, scripted curriculum in the hands of many instructors across the nation, which left teachers without an influence in the goals of the classroom family and prioritized the voice of publishers at the heart of student learning.

During the 2008-2009 school year, I experienced firsthand the stifling reality of scripted curriculum in my own classroom. Prescribed lessons are repetitious and not spontaneous, which led to passive learning. Those who challenged these instructional practices often faced reassignment to a new grade level or school. Having complied with administrative authority for 20 years, handling the alienation of the “teacher-proof” dialogue, the “one-size-fits-all” coaching, and the frustration felt by all in the class, was difficult. Supplementing, adapting, and modifying became the only way to protect the children of my class.

This narrowed the focus of my study and sent me on a journey across the United States. I interviewed and observed educators within different grade-levels and socioeconomic ranks, in search of evidence to what exemplary educators perceived as effective or ineffective literary practices. With the support and confirmation of a valid sample of 20 educationalists, including teachers, administrators, edifying authors, and a former member of the NRP, my desire was that the universal voice would be more apt to capture the attention of policymakers. This qualitative study revealed the ineffectiveness of scripted curriculum, interconnectedness between literary gurus, and interrelatedness of bureaucratic profiteers in publishing curriculum or managing schools and large corporations. The consensus supported innovative literary practices within student-centered education without political affiliation; and, through the active research of these practitioners, evidenced effectiveness to empower this pragmatic literary group, which in turn, empowered both my students and me.

An impersonal, prescribed education is not the answer. Students need a caring, dedicated teacher.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Moats, Greg
Commitee: Kania-Gosche, Beth, Kubicek, Ken, Stanfill, Diana
School: Lindenwood University
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- Missouri
Source: DAI-A 73/01, Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Literacy, Reading instruction
Keywords: Empowerment, Literacy practices, National Reading Panel, No Child Left Behind, Scripted curriculum
Publication Number: 3474300
ISBN: 9781124904979
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