Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Dr Dannett Babb


This mixed methods study of an in-school Focused Reading Program employed a quasi experimental pre-posttest design to examine program effectiveness and Vygotsky's sociocultural theory as the theoretical framework. The quantitative research question inquired whether the program resulted in a significant difference in reading performance for participants receiving the instruction based on pre and post measures. Data analysis for this component involved descriptive and inferential statistics. Pre- and posttest scores for the combined groups of seventh and eighth graders were analyzed for significant differences through an independent t- test. The results revealed there was a statistically significant difference between the pre-posttest scores for seventh graders and the scores for eighth graders. Two qualitative questions inquired of the extent to which the Focused Reading Program was implemented with fidelity and teachers’ and intervention tutors' perceptions of the program’s strengths and challenges. Data analysis for the qualitative component followed procedures for content analysis which included identifying themes based on the frequency of similar words and expressions from interviews and open-ended survey questions. The emerging themes of Program Flexibility, Peer-Learner Focused, and Learning and Behavior revealed the program was implemented with fidelity. Leading program strengths were attendance, program schedule, methods for improving performance of struggling readers, and student engagement. Leading challenges included support services, resources, time for extended activities, and professional development. The study is intended to have a social impact in demonstrating ways to promote reading performance. The results will contribute to literacy research illustrating the effectiveness of an intervention that may remedy reading deficiencies among middle school students