Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
Many children enter formal schooling with a propensity toward literacy success while others lack foundational skills that adequately support literacy achievement. Researchers acknowledge if certain skills are not present upon entrance into formal schooling, literacy success can be affected. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to examine first-grade students' home literacy experiences prior to receiving formal reading instruction in a one suburban public school. Bruner's theory of scaffolding, which suggests that parents and teachers support children in the learning process, and Vygotsky's concept of zone of proximal development provided the conceptual framework for this study. The research questions focused on literacy events parents used at home with their preschool-age children. Twelve parents of first grade students were interviewed for their perspectives on literacy experiences with their children at home. Data were examined for common themes using a typological analysis to determine types of parent-child interactions that promote children's positive attitudes and academic success in reading. The data revealed that parents, who view themselves as their children's primary teachers and provide literacy instruction to their children prior to entering school, have children who are high achieving readers. A recommendation is that the target school district provides parent education programs to equip parents of preschool-age children with skills that promote success in literacy. Positive social change might occur when district teachers partner with parents to create home learning environments to improve children's literacy academic achievement.