Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Donna Graham


A high percentage of migrant students are not meeting state content standards in readability and legibility within a small independent school district located in California's Central Valley. Prior research indicates that if a student is not proficient in reading skills by the 5th grade, academic success will not be attained effecting the student, parents, educators, and economics of the community. The purpose of this exploratory qualitative case study was to explore the teaching strategies that were used to help migrant students increase their reading comprehension skills. This study has its theoretical basis in the learning theories of Dewey, Slavin, and Yousevand which hold that students need to be active participants in the learning process. This case study was guided by the following areas of inquiry: (a) identifying training and strategies used by teachers, (b) identifying the specific obstacles, (c) identifying methodologies, and (d) how these methodologies address the specific challenges of migrant children. A semi-structured interview schedule, observations of 5 Language Arts classes, and field notes were used as data collection tools. Interviews were conducted and included 5 English teachers, 1 principal, 1 guidance counselor, and 1 community liaison. The data were analyzed and coded with common themes. The key results confirmed (a) varied teacher perceptions of differentiated instruction, (b) language and cultural barriers, (c) lack of knowledge and vocabulary, (d) minimal parent involvement, and (e) financial issues and mobile lifestyle. This project study informed specific recommendations for a Saturday computer lab incorporating computer-assisted instruction. The outcomes of this study have implications for social change for migrant and ELL students by empowering them to more effectively participate and make positive contributions to the global community.