Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Theory, Policy, and Practice

Document Type



Few topics in education have sparked as much interest and debate as the teaching of reading. Throughout the past century, instructional approaches have come and gone but one thing has remained constant: the teacher. Behind every effective classroom lies a teacher. It is ultimately the teacher’s decisions that drive daily instruction in the classroom. But what is the best way for teachers to teach children how to read? For decades, researchers have plagued studies seeking to find the best method for accomplishing this. Just as students’ physical characteristics are very diverse, so too are their academic abilities. Reading teachers must be able to understand these differences and consequently choose and employ teaching materials that meet the needs of all the students among the class. With the ever-increasing importance of high-stakes testing and accountability, schools expect their teachers to deliver effective reading instruction that will produce results. The purpose of this study was to compare two approaches to reading instruction: a basal program and balanced literacy. Classroom observations and teacher interviews were conducted and collected in order to investigate the following questions: How do basal programs and balanced literacy impact reading instruction in elementary school classrooms? How are the perceptions of teachers and students impacted in these respected settings?



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Cheek, Earl H. Jr.



Included in

Education Commons