Date of Award

Spring 2-2017

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Education

First Advisor

Dr. Shelly Fransen

Second Advisor

Dr. Sherry DeVore

Third Advisor

Dr. Joanna King

Abstract

This mixed-methods study included an in-depth look at the perceptions of first-grade teachers in southwest Missouri to gain insight into the knowledge, understanding, and perceptions of teachers when considering reading achievement and how it relates to Reading Recovery, student engagement, professional development, and socioeconomic status. A second piece to the study included a quantitative examination of the correlation between reading achievement and attendance. Focus groups were formed and an 11-question interview was conducted to gather insight into the perceptions of first-grade teachers across five different counties. Additionally, reading data and attendance from 249 students in those schools were used to determine if a correlation exists between reading achievement and student attendance. After completion of all focus groups, it was evident many commonalities exist among first-grade teachers across multiple districts. Most teachers find value in Reading Recovery, understand the importance of student engagement, see the disadvantages of those students who arrive from lower socioeconomic status families, and value professional development. Reading and attendance data revealed students with attendance greater than 94% have improved reading achievement over those with attendance below 94%. The results of this study can provide insight for administrators and district leaders when considering appropriate professional development in the area of reading achievement.

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