Graduation Year

2005

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ph.D.

Degree Granting Department

Interdisciplinary Education

Major Professor

George Batsche, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Kathy L. Bradley-Klug

Keywords

Early literacy, Igdi, Dibels, Esi-k, Hur

Abstract

Reading to learn becomes a difficult task for children if they have not become proficient at comprehending written text. It was hypothesized that, for some children, reading difficulties may have been averted had they been reared in homes or participated in early childhood settings where literacy-based activities, interactions, or materials were prevalent. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact that training early childhood educators in research based early literacy instructional strategies (within the HeadsUp! Reading curriculum HUR) had on the development of early reading skills in the preschool children they taught. Further examination also identified the impact that providing teachers with a Literacy Coach (LC) to mentor them in their application of the strategies had on early literacy development.

The HUR class, LC positions, and additional resources provided to teachers partaking in this early childhood educator training were funded by the Early Learning Opportunities (ELO) grant. To examine the impact that teacher participation in the ELO grant had on childrens early literacy development, a hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) was conducted with childrens early literacy development measured at two points in time by the Individual Development and Growth Indicators (IGDI). After examining these indicators within a three-level model, change over time was documented. Specifically, age and race emerged as significant predictors of rates of literacy skill acquisition with older students and White students demonstrating higher rates of literacy development. Household socioeconomic status (SES) of children also accounted for significant amounts of variance in literacy development with higher rates of growth found in children from higher household SES.

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