Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.612604
Title: Improving the reading skills of typically developing children and children with an intellectual disability
Author: Tyler, Emily J.
Awarding Body: Prifysgol Bangor University
Current Institution: Bangor University
Date of Award: 2013
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Abstract:
The purpose of this thesis was to address three broad questions: to investigate the effects of a computer-based reading programme - Headsprout® Early Reading (HER) - with typically developing children in a UK setting; to investigate current practices in reading instruction with children in special schools, and in particular, children with an intellectual disability (ID); and to explore some important feasibility questions regarding the potential use and effects of HER with children with ID. Chapter 1 begins with an introduction to the literature on literacy and effective approaches for reading instruction for typically developing children and children with ID. A review of the current evidence-base for HER is then presented. Chapter 2 focuses on the use of HER as supplementary reading instruction during beginning reading instruction with typically developing children in Y2 (aged 6-7 years). In this randomised study, the intervention group enrolled in HER for the duration of the school year, whilst the control group continued with their typical classroom instruction. Children in the intervention group made significantly greater improvements than the control group across reading measures. Chapter 3 reports on the results of a survey of teachers in special schools in the UK to further elucidate the current practices and challenges related to reading instruction for children with ID in these settings. The aims of the survey were to collate information on current practices related to reading instruction provided for children with ID in special schools across the United Kingdom (UK); investigate the putative effects of age and severity ofID on teachers' choice of instructional approaches; and examine teachers' perception of barriers to improving reading skills in this population. It was found that age and severity of ID influenced responses on some items relating to choice of approaches and expectations, and that access to training and suitable curricula were seen as greater barriers to improving reading skills than factors relating to time or staffing. The remaining two research chapters investigate the use of HER with children with ID. Chapter 4 presents case studies investigating initial feasibility questions related to using the programme with children with ID. This chapter reports on the progress of six children with mild to moderate ID enrolled in HER. All children accessed and completed the programme with minimal additional input and demonstrated improved reading skills. Chapter 5 investigates further feasibility questions relating to conducting a full-scale RCT evaluation of HER with children with ID. Employing a randomised pre-test post-test group design, this study aimed to explore and trial important aspects of an RCT evaluation to inform a full-scale RCT with children with ID in special schools in the UK. In addition to informing the design of a future study, we also found that HER had a significant effect on reading skills when compared with 'treatment as usual', with large effect sizes on the main outcome measure. This thesis evaluated the use of HER with typically developing children and children with ID, and demonstrated that it can have a significant positive impact for many children. Additionally, it has further elucidated current practices and challenges related to reading instruction in special schools and suggested further research across these areas.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.612604  DOI: Not available
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