Opportunities gained and lost: Perceptions and experiences of sixth grade students enrolled in a Title I reading class



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Texas Tech University


The purpose of this dissertation was to explore the perceptions and experiences of one class of sixth grade students enrolled in a Title I supplemental reading class. Qualitative research methods included observations, interviews, archived data, and Miscue Analysis. I examined the data through a Vygotsky constructivist perspective to provide insight to the manner in which readers could be supported in their literacy development. Based on the analysis of individual data collected, the curriculum was dissected to determine whether the students’ unique strengths and needs were addressed within the Title I reading class. I explored the emotional and educational consequences of students enrolled in a supplemental reading program implemented for readers identified as below proficiency by the state’s standardized reading assessment. I examined the contrast between the Title I instructional curriculum provided first semester and the beginning of second semester during a school year. The findings of the study revealed the negative consequences of high stakes standardized testing, educational decisions based on a single measure, a mandated scripted commercial reading program, and loss of certain educational classes. The findings disclosed the positive outcomes of a supportive curriculum through an engaging reading curriculum and the opportunity to keep certain educational classes. The implications of the study provided educators constructs for supporting readers through appropriate developmental text and supportive social contexts to help these students succeed.