Date of Graduation

2013

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

Department/Program

International and Multicultural Education

First Advisor

Shabnam Koirala-Azad

Second Advisor

Helen Maniates

Third Advisor

Betty Taylor

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of TSI in teaching reading comprehension to a diverse group of second graders. The diversity included various levels of readiness in reading, language status such as English learners and native speakers of English, and various levels of participation by children in a whole-class setting. Part One of this study used teacher action research as its methodology to address reading comprehension and student autonomy. Part Two of this study used participatory action research, involving children as co-researchers, to investigate how second graders perceived Literature Circles as their reading comprehension instruction and to suggest ways to improve Literature Circles. The significance of the study was based on the need to find an effective methodology for teaching reading comprehension to both native speakers of English and English learners in the same classroom.

The findings suggest that TSI was effective with students in the primary grades, such as second grade, in teaching reading comprehension and in increasing autonomy in children as learners and as members of Literature Circles. In addition, there were unexpected findings of increased motivation and enjoyment in children, increased teacher-like facilitating and helping behaviors, and evidence of children informing instruction for the teacher. Participatory action research by children suggested that second graders enjoyed learning through Literature Circles as well as ways to improve Literature Circles.