Announcement of Ed.D. Dissertation Defense:The Effects of a Teacher Designed Kindergarten Curriculum on the Reading Performance of English Language Learners

Wednesday, August 28, 2019 10:00am - 12:00pm

GSE Room 11

      Research in early childhood education has continually demonstrated the importance of developing children’s literacy during their early years. Becoming literate is a multifaceted skill that children in the United States must achieve to be successful. There is considerable controversy, among policymakers, researchers, and educators, about how best to ensure the reading success of English language learners (ELL; Slavin & Cheung, 2005). Although research suggests the benefits of using ELLs’ native language to support literacy instruction in English, many schools, either for political or economic reasons, do not have that option. Many ELLs are taught alongside their English-proficient peers by teachers who often have had little or no preparation for working with ELLs (Llagas, 2003). These teachers are faced with the challenge of adapting their literacy instruction to meet a widening range of needs within their classrooms. To enhance student learning and thereby improve outcomes, a colleague and I were selected to develop a kindergarten curriculum to meet the unique needs of our district’s school population. The purpose of this quantitative study is to investigate the effectiveness of that curriculum with particular attention to the reading achievement of ELLs in comparison with the effectiveness of the Tools of the Mind Curriculum that our district previously used. Investigating how the reading performance of kindergarten ELLs in this district has (or has not) changed subsequent to the curriculum change also provides district leaders with some insights into whether the new curriculum has contributed to a reduction of the achievement gap between ELL and native English groups. This study is a formative evaluation in that these findings may help my district make other necessary changes in curriculum or to consider rethinking our use of PLCs to support curriculum and instruction to increase student achievement. The findings of this study may encourage further research about curriculum development for linguistically diverse populations. Exploring how curriculum can impact reading achievement for ELLs will contribute to the kindergarten research field, the understanding of ELLs’ reading achievement, and will, hopefully, generate interest in this neglected and critical area of research. 

     

Who to contact:

Alyssa May

aam325@scarletmail.rutgers.edu