Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Curriculum & Instruction


Curriculum and Instruction

Major Professor

Bedford, April

Second Advisor

Barnitz, John

Third Advisor

Casbergue, Renee

Fourth Advisor

Kieff, Judith


The purpose of this phenomenological study was to understand teachers' experiences related to the implementation of Reading First in the classroom and more specifically, how Reading First has impacted curriculum, instruction, assessment, student achievement, and professional development. The participants for this study were five certified, kindergarten and first grade public school teachers. In depth interviews were conducted with each participant regarding her experiences with the implementation of Reading First. Once collected, the data was then analyzed according to a method advanced by Moustakas (1994) and reported. Findings and recommendations included, but were not limited to the following: 1. There are advantages and disadvantages for both students and teachers. The biggest disadvantage for teachers was the lack of flexibility and instructional decision-making imposed by Reading First. 2. Most of the teachers felt there needed to be more of a focus on comprehension, not just phoneme segmentation and oral reading fluency. 3. Some teachers felt that Reading First hurts some of the kids, especially the lowest kids and the above level kids. 4. All participants in this study reported collaboration with other teachers, interventionists, and reading coaches regarding curriculum, instruction, assessment and student achievement. 5. All of the teachers stated that they have received professional training as a result of Reading First which in turn has helped them to become more effective teachers. The researcher believes that the administrators of Reading First need to be more flexible and receptive to the input of those, namely teachers, who implement the directives. There needs to be a course of action allowing for a review to be done and modifications to be made to ensure that the premise of Reading First is upheld.


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