Date of Award

Spring 4-2011

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. Sherry DeVore

Second Advisor

Dr. Terry Reid

Third Advisor

Dr. Jason Anderson


The critical role of accountability on schools has intensified the need to understand the impact of intervention strategies and best practices on literacy. Of particular concern is the underachievement of boys and identifying the learning differences between boys and girls. Examined in this quantitative study were the strategies and practices implemented by Blue Ribbon and Gold Star school educators to increase the literacy skills of primary-aged boys. Strategies and practices were determined through a Likert scale survey distributed to six Missouri Blue Ribbon and Gold Star schools and an equal number of schools that were not meeting Adequate Yearly Progress. The survey was designed to collect information regarding the strategies and practices perceived as effective in improving the achievement of fourth grade boys in literacy and discover the underlying reasons boys underachieve in this area. Recipients were prompted to choose the top 10 strategies and practices, in the area of communication arts, from a list of several criteria. Then, the respondents chose five criteria, from the top 10, as the most effective in developing the literacy skills of boys. A bar graph was formulated to report this information. To overcome the limitations of a small sample, outcomes of the Hawley and Reichert (2009) and the Cleveland (2011) study were compared to the survey responses. Similar results within the three studies were the variety of assessment techniques to inform instruction; ongoing collaboration between teachers and administration; and working with students in small groups which provide boys leadership roles, teamwork, and competition. Nonacademic factors also influenced the academic success of boys. While there are many variables affecting the learning differences between boys and girls, most critical is for educators and parents to become aware of these differences.


Copyright 2011