Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




James LaSpina


Within a Southwestern school system, deficits in early literacy skills exist as is illustrated by kindergarten students not meeting the requirements on the Phonological Awareness and Phonics Inventory (PAPI). To address this deficit in early literacy skills, the school system instituted the use of the Guided Reading Approach (GR); however, it was unknown how the kindergarten teachers were implementing GR. The purpose of this study was to investigate the experiences and challenges of kindergarten teachers who implement GR. Vygotsky's sociocultural theory of learning and constructivist theory provided the conceptual framework. Research questions explored the thoughts, attitudes, and beliefs teachers hold about GR as well as the challenges teachers face when incorporating GR. A case study methodology was used to investigate 6 kindergarten teachers' experiences with implementing GR through the use of interviews and document analysis. Analysis of data revealed that teachers believed that GR was a necessary component of teaching and increased student success. However, teachers did not have enough training, collaboration, or time to invest in GR. A professional training was developed for teachers as a result. The 3-day training will provide teachers with an overview of GR, opportunities for the participants to collaborate with colleagues, and time for the development of GR lesson plans that can immediately be transferred to the classroom. Positive social change may result by helping teachers better understand GR (components and implementation), which may result in an improved reading program, higher student performance, and information to influence others to improve reading programs.