Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Jennifer L. Brown


According to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, an estimated 75% of students who are poor readers in 3rd grade continue to be poor readers in 9th grade. Although much research has been conducted on this topic, engaging and successful reading programs that put theory into practice are scarce. Reader's theater is a strategy students use to collaborate, rehearse, and critique one another while the teacher offers support and modeling. The research questions addressed the effectiveness of using Reader's Theater to improve scores in reading fluency and comprehension. LaBerge and Samuels' automaticity theory was used as the theoretical foundation for the study. A quasi-experimental control group design was used with a convenience sample of 50 students from 2 fifth-grade classrooms. Preexisting pre- and posttest scores of fluency and comprehension were analyzed using a t test. The results showed no significant differences among groups in their gain scores; however, in regards to comprehension, there was 0.40 point gain among students with disabilities. Findings were presented to stakeholders through a program evaluation report, which recommended the continuation of Reader's Theater during the 2015-2016 school year. While findings were not significant, they do support social change by giving teachers a valid reason to engage readers in meaningful, repeated readings that can increase reading comprehension and enable both struggling and thriving students to better comprehend text and become higher achieving readers.