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Relationships among Teachers' Phonemic Awareness Knowledge and Skills and Their Students' Emergent Literacy Growth

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Title:
Relationships among Teachers' Phonemic Awareness Knowledge and Skills and Their Students' Emergent Literacy Growth
Creator:
Strout, Meridith Taylor
Place of Publication:
[Gainesville, Fla.]
Publisher:
University of Florida
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Language:
english
Physical Description:
1 online resource (133 p.)

Thesis/Dissertation Information

Degree:
Doctorate ( Ph.D.)
Degree Grantor:
University of Florida
Degree Disciplines:
Special Education
Committee Chair:
Lane, Holly B.
Committee Members:
Griffin, Cynthia C.
Miller, M David
Corbett, Nancy L.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Language teachers ( jstor )
Learning ( jstor )
Phonemes ( jstor )
Phonemics ( jstor )
Professional development ( jstor )
Reading instruction ( jstor )
Schools ( jstor )
Students ( jstor )
Teacher surveys ( jstor )
Teachers ( jstor )
Special Education -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
phonemic, reading, teacher
Genre:
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
Special Education thesis, Ph.D.

Notes

Abstract:
Reading research shows that early systematic instruction in phonemic awareness improves students' early reading and spelling skills. Therefore, teachers' knowledge of phonemic awareness is an important aspect of students' ability to learn how to read. Many researchers have connected teachers' knowledge of phonemic awareness to students? reading development. This relationship demonstrates the importance for teachers to have an understanding of the components of language development. Although research confirms that this knowledge increases students' understanding of reading, research continues to demonstrate that teachers are not familiar with phonemic awareness activities. Our purpose was to investigate the relationships among kindergarten teachers' knowledge and skills of phonemic awareness and their students' emergent literacy development. Specifically, it examined teachers' knowledge about phonemic awareness and their ability to manipulate and identity specific phonemes within words. Participants were involved in two surveys about phonemic awareness. The Phonemic Awareness Knowledge Survey (PAKS) assessed teachers' knowledge about phonemic awareness pedagogy and the Phonemic Awareness Skills Survey (PASS) assessed teachers' ability to manipulate and identify phonemes within words. Data were analyzed by using a multiple regression analysis. The results of the analysis revealed that teachers lacked basic knowledge related to phonemic awareness knowledge and skills. It was found that teachers who had advanced degrees scored higher on both the PAKS and the PASS than teachers who had a bachelor. Findings also revealed that teachers who had an early childhood certificate had a higher mean on both the PAKS and PASS than teachers who just had an elementary certificate. There was limited evidence to show a connection between teachers' knowledge of phonemic awareness and students' literacy development. ( en )
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In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
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Includes vita.
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This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Thesis:
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2008.
Local:
Adviser: Lane, Holly B.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Meridith Taylor Strout

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the term, but I am unsure of the meaning", or "unfamiliar with the term". Since the term

phonemic awareness was the item of specific interest in the study, the four other terms were

included in the survey to make the survey less threatening to teachers unfamiliar with the target

term. The third part of the questionnaire asked the teachers to indicate how important specific

emergent literacy skills were in order for kindergarten students to become independent readers.

Teachers indicated their responses by circling numbers on a Likert scale.

Once the surveys were collected, teachers were categorized into groups based on their

years of experience and their educational level. Teachers with 1-5 years of experience were

considered "less experienced", teachers with 6-15 years of experience were considered "more

experienced" and teachers with 16-30 years of experience were considered "veterans". An

analysis of the results confirmed that the less experienced teachers were most familiar with the

educational concepts on the questionnaire. The results demonstrated that 5 1% of the less

experienced teachers were knowledgeable about the term phonemic awareness while only 24%

of the experienced teachers understood the term. Overall, only 3 5% of all the respondents were

familiar with the concept of phonemic awareness and most of the teachers thought the concept of

phoneme segmentation was not important for later reading success. Another interesting finding

revealed that teachers' with Master's degrees showed more concept familiarity with the terms

than those with Bachelor' s degrees, indicating that teachers who had higher degrees also had

more knowledge related to the concepts presented. This study had several limitations. First, the

participants were self-selected and the data collected from the survey was self-reported, which

indicates that the participants had a vested interest in gaining more knowledge about phonemic

awareness. Next, the authors did not report the reliability or the validity of the survey that was











4. REMIND teachers that scores will not be reported by individuals or by schools...scores
will be aggregated by county.

REMINDERS :

BLUE FORM: Please remind teachers to sign and DATE
YELLOW FORM: Please remind teachers to fill out both sides
PINK FORM: Please remind teachers that PD must be within the past year
CREAM: Please remind teachers there is only 1 correct answer for each item in section 4

Reading endorsement goes under other for PD

PLEASE CALL ME AT ANYTIME DURING ADMINISTRATION TO ASK ME ANY
QUESTIONS YOU MAY HAVE ABOUT ANY PARTS OF THE SURVEY.









Student data were obtained from the PMRN database. DIBELS is administered by school

administrators and is given to all kindergarten students enrolled in Reading First schools three

times a year (fall, winter and spring). School administrators then enter DIBELS data into the

PMNR statewide database. The researcher did not have access to the students' identities, and the

only data collected were from the DIBELS assessment. Students did not engage in any activity

that is outside the scope of their regular education plan or solely for the sake of this study.

Therefore, no experimental procedures, instruction or special incentive were given to the

students. Table 3-8 identifies the research questions, along with the data source and plan for

analysis for each question.

Table 3-8. Research Questions and Plan for Analysis
Question Data Sources Analysis
1. What is the relationship Teacher responses to PAKS Multiple
between teachers' knowledge of (knowledge about PA regression
phonemic awareness pedagogy pedagogy) analysis
and their students' phonemic Student DIBELS scores
awareness growth?
2. What is the relationship Teacher responses to PASS Multiple
between teachers' own (skills related to PA) regression
phonemic awareness skills and Student DIBELS scores analysis
their students' phonemic
awareness growth?


Data Analysis

The analysis of results began with a preliminary analysis for each comparison. Descriptive

statistics were analyzed which included an analysis for missing data, missing subj ects and an

analysis to check for any outliers that had unnecessary influence on the data. A multiple

regression analysis was then used for statistical analysis. To account for differing knowledge

among teachers, other factors were entered into the regression analysis. These factors included:

teachers' years of teaching experience, professional development and educational background.









Reading Excellence Act. In 1996, the Reading Excellence Act was formed to encourage

volunteers across America to read to students. The act also provided $260 million annually to

states to establish effective professional development programs, instructional materials and

diagnostic assessment instruments for teachers. Teachers were expected to implement what was

termed scientifically-based reading instruction. This term was first defined in the Reading

Excellence Act and was carefully written to reflect common goals of researchers and

policymakers across the nation. The Reading Excellence Act became a law in 1998. Although

the act was only funded for 3 years, it became a solid foundation for Reading First, which was

part of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) of 2001. Reading First requires that schools

employ explicit, systematic instruction in phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary

development, fluency and comprehension (Sweet, 2004).

National Research Council Consensus Report. A National Research Council (NRC)

consensus report, Preventing Reading Difficulties in Young Children (Snow et al., 1998)

conducted a study of the effectiveness of interventions for young children who were at risk of

having problems learning how to read. The goals of the proj ect were to define a research base,

translate recent research findings into advice and guidance for parents, educators and publishers

and to convey the advice through a variety of publications, conferences and other outreach

activities (Snow et al., 1998). The members of the council were well respected researchers

representing diverse viewpoints on reading instruction. The members of the council concluded

that beginning readers need explicit instruction and practice, which should lead to an awareness

that spoken words are made up of smaller units of sounds. Their report laid the groundwork for

the next report which was published by the National Reading Panel (Sweet, 2004).









Cunningham, A., Perry, K., Stanovich, K. & Stanovich, P. (2004). Disciplinary Knowledge
of K-3 Teachers and their knowledge Calibration in the Domain of Early Literacy.
Annals ofDyslexia, 54, 139-167.

Darling-Hammond, L. (1997). Doing what matters most: Investigating in quality teaching.
New York: National Committee on Teaching and America's Future.

Darling-Hammond, L. & Bransford, J. (2005). Preparing Teachers for a Changing World.
What teachers should learn and be able to do. The National Academy of Education.
San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Education Series.

Deford, D. E. (1985). Validating the construct of theoretical orientation in reading
instruction. Reading Research Quarterly, 20, 361-267.

Ehri, L. (1989). The development of spelling knowledge and its role in reading acquisition
and reading disability. Journal ofLearning Disabilities, 22, 356-364.

Ehri, L.C. (1998). Grapheme-phoneme knowledge is essential for learning to read words in
English. In J.L. Metsala & L.C. Ehri (Eds.), Word Recognition in Beginning Reading
(pp.3-40). Mahwah, NJ: Eribaum.

Ehri, L.C. (2002). Phases of acquisition in learning to read words and implications for
teaching. Learning and Teaching Reading, 1, 7-28.

Ehri, L.C. & Williams, J.P. (1995). Learning to read and learning to teach reading. In F.
Murray (Ed.), The Teacher Educator's Handbook: Building a Knowledge Base for the
Preparation of Teachers (pp.23 1-244). San Francisco: Jossey-Base.

Ehri, L., Nunes, S., Willows, D., Schuster, Zadeh, Z & Shanahan, T. (2001). Phonemic
Awareness instruction helps children learn to read: Evidence from the National
Reading Panel's meta-analysis. Reading Research Quarterly, 36, 250-287.

Florida School Indicators Report. (2006), Florida Department of Education. Retrieved on
September 5, 2007 from http://data.fidoe. org/fsir.

Foorman. B. & Moats, L. (2004). Conditions for sustaining research-based practices in early
reading instruction. Remedial and Special Education, 25, 51-69.

Foorman, B. R. & Torgesen, J.K. (2001). Critical Elements of classroom and small-group
instruction promote reading success in all children. Leaning Disabilities Research and
Practice, 16, 203-212.

Gambrell, L., Morrow, L.M. & Pressley, M. (2007). Best Practiced in Literacy Instruction.
3rd Ed. New York. The Guildford Press.

Good, R.H. & Kaminski, R.A. (Eds.) (2002). Dynamic Indicators of Early Basic Literacy
Skills (6th ed.). Euguee, OR: Institute for Development of Educational Achievement.









McCutchen, D., Harry, D., Cunningham, A., Cox, S., Sidman, S., & Covill, A. (2002).
Reading teachers content knowledge of children's literature and phonology.
Annals ofDyslexia, 52, 207-228.

Moats, L. C. (1994). Knowledge of language. The missing foundation for teacher education.
Annals ofDyslexia, 52, 207-228.

Moats, L, C. (1999). Teaching Reading is Rocket Science. Washington, DC: American
Federation of Teachers.

Moats, L. Speech to Print. (2003). Baltimore, MD. Paul H. Brookes Publishing Company.

Moats, L. & Foorman, B. (2003). Measuring teachers' content knowledge of language and
reading. Annals ofDyslexia, 53, 23-45.

Moats, L, C. & Lyon, G. R. (1996) Wanted. Teachers with Knowledge of language. Topics
in Learning Disabilities, 16, 73-86.

National Center for Educational Statistics. (NCES). (2006, January). Digest of educational
statistics 2006. Washington, DC: Author. Also available on-line: http://nceseed~gov/.

National Reading Panel. (2000). Teaching Children to read: An evidence based assessment
on the scientific research literature on reading and its implications for reading
instruction. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) of 2001 (P.L. 107-1 10 [20 U. S.C. 7801]).

No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) of 2002. (P.L. 107-1 10 [20 U. S.C. 7801]).

O'Connor, R. (1999) Teachers learning ladders to literacy. Learning Disabilities Research &
Practice, 14, 203-214.

Reading First in Florida. (2002). Retrieved on September 11, 2007 from
http://www. ed. gov/programs/readingfirst/index. html.

Reading Excellence Act, PL 1055-277, 112 Stat. 2681-337, 2681-393, 20 U.S.C.

Spear-Swerling L. & Brucker, P.(2004). Teachers' acquisition of Knowledge about English
Word Structure. Annals ofDyslexia, 53, 72-103.

Shanahan, T. (2003). Research based reading instruction; Myths about the National Reading
Panel Report. Reading Teacher, 56, 646-656.

Snider, V.E. (1995). A Primer on Phonemic Awareness: What it is, why it's important, and
how to teach it. School Psychology Review, 24, 3.











APPENDIX E
PARTICIPANT DATA


Table E-1. Participant data codes.


Variable
Name:
Sex:

Race:






Levels of Education




School:
Disrtict





No. of years teaclung:
Experience at K level
Other Teaching Experience:


















Areas of FTC


Code
WRITE-IN
Female:1
Male:2
White:1
Black:2
Hispanic:3
Native American:4
Asian/Pacific Islander:5
Other:6
Bachelors:1
Masters:2
Specialist:3
Docto rate:4
WRITE-IN
Alachua:1
Marion:2
Putnam: 3
Flagler:4
Duval:5
WRITE-IN
WRITE-IN
Substitute:1
Teacher Assistant:2
Tuto ring:3
ESE:4
Pre K-5:5
6-8:6
9-12:7
College:8
Volunteer:9
Intern:10
Montessori:11
Reading Coach:12
2/3 Year olds:13
Principal/Leadership: 14
Media Specialist: 15
Elementary:1
Early Childhood:2
Special Education: 3
Reading Certification:4
Reading Endorsement:5
ESOL:6
Math/Science:7
Technology:8
Other: 9


116









Phonemic Awareness Skills Survey (PASS)

The Phonemic Awareness Skills Survey (PASS) was developed to assess teachers' own

phonemic skills. The inclusion of a test to assess teachers' phonemic awareness skills was based

on the findings from the NRP, as well as on a number of other reports and policy papers. These

reports have identified phonemic awareness as one of the best predictors of how well children

will learn to read (Adams, 1990; Adgar et. al., 2002; Moats, 1999; NCLB, 2002; NRP, 2000;

Reading Excellence Act, 1996; Snow et. al., 1998; The National Right to Read, 1993).

Recent studies have identified phonemic awareness and letter knowledge (alphabetic

principle) as the two best indicators of how well children will learn to read specifically during

the first two years of instruction (Adams, 1990; Ball & Blachman; 1991; Blachman, 2002; NRP,

2000; Snow et al., 1998). Because phonemic awareness is a prerequisite to decoding, it is

imperative that teachers have the skills to detect, segment and blend phonemes; and to

manipulate phoneme positions in words, so they can teach these skills effectively to their

students. As discussed in chapter two, previous measures were reviewed.

Test adaptation and construction. The Phonemic Awareness Skills Survey (PASS) was

constructed based on the lack of validity and reliability of scores reported from previously used

phonemic awareness surveys and the broad coverage of topics related to the structure of

language. The questions on the PASS were adapted from the Moats (1994) survey, the Moats

and Foorman (2004) survey and the survey used in the Bos, Mather, Narr et al. (1999) study.

The 25 items on the PASS comprise multiple-choice items and fill-in-the-blank items. The

survey is divided into five different sections related to phonemic awareness skills; (1) phoneme

counting, (2) phoneme identification, (3) phoneme matching, (4) phoneme segmenting, and

blending, and (5) phoneme deletion. The survey was designed to examine teachers' phonemic









Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

RELATIONSHIPS AMONG TEACHERS'
PHONEMIC AWARENESS KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS AND
THEIR STUDENTS' EMERGENT LITERACY GROWTH

By

Meridith Taylor Strout

May, 2008

Chair: Holly Lane
Major: Special Education

Reading research shows that early systematic instruction in phonemic awareness

improves students' early reading and spelling skills. Therefore, teachers' knowledge of

phonemic awareness is an important aspect of students' ability to learn how to read. Many

researchers have connected teachers' knowledge of phonemic awareness to students' reading

development. This relationship demonstrates the importance for teachers to have an

understanding of the components of language development. Although research confirms that this

knowledge increases students' understanding of reading, research continues to demonstrate that

teachers are not familiar with phonemic awareness activities.

Our purpose was to investigate the relationships among kindergarten teachers' knowledge

and skills of phonemic awareness and their students' emergent literacy development.

Specifically, it examined teachers' knowledge about phonemic awareness and their ability to

manipulate and identity specific phonemes within words. Participants were involved in two

surveys about phonemic awareness. The Phonemic Awareness Knowledge Survey (PAKS)

assessed teachers' knowledge about phonemic awareness pedagogy and the Phonemic










Table 4-7. Item Analysis of PASS

PASS (Correct Item difficulty Item discrimination
Sound) Items (p)
Item 1 0.986 .081
Item 2 0.829 .272
Item 3 0.848 .349
Item 4 0.697 .366
Item 5 0.938 .349
Item 6 0.754 .531
Item 7 0.635 .017
Item 8 0.071 .178
Item 9 0.521 .361
Item 10 0.313 .276
Item 11 0.725 .502
Item 12 0.322 .432
Item 13 0.417 .517
Item 14 0.479 .258
Item 15 0.806 .518
Item 16 0.711 .570
Item 17 0.825 .354
Item 18 0.725 .337
Item 19 0.986 .214
Item 20 0.905 .223
Item 21 0.853 .283
Item 22 0.791 .425
Item 23 0.199 .299
Item 24 0.815 .361
Item 25 0.682 .404

As shown in Table 4-8, PASS scores were also analyzed by district, education level and by

certification. It was found that participants in the medium sized district had the highest mean and

participants in the large district had the lowest mean. These Eindings are consistent with the

PAKS. Participants with an advanced degree had a mean of 17.18 and participants with a

bachelor' s degree had a mean score of 16.68. It was also found that participants who had an early

childhood certification scored higher than participants who did not have the specialized

certificate. Participants who were involved in Reading First professional development activities

had a higher mean score than those who did not participate in any of the Reading First

professional development activities.









the type of reading programs used in their schools. Perhaps with particularly well designed

curricula teachers' knowledge becomes less important. Future research should examine the

different types of reading programs used in Reading First and non-Reading First schools and

teachers' knowledge base of phonemic awareness.

Finally, since DIBELS scores were the only record of classroom performance (DIBELS is

a one minute timing of student' s automaticity of their phonemic awareness skills), information

about students' phonemic awareness development was limited. It is possible that a more in depth

assessment that measures more specific concepts of phonemic awareness (e.g., Comprehensive

Test of Phonological Processing, CTOPP) could yield student results more connected to what

teachers' know about phonemic awareness.

Since DIBELS has been demonstrated to correlate with the CTOPP (Hintze, Ryan &

Stoner, 2003), DIBELS was an appropriate measure to use given the number of participants in

the study and the limited amount of time and resources to assess each child. Table 5-1 displays

the correlations for scores of the CTOPP and DIBELS. Examination of the coefficients indicates

that both the ISF and the PSF tasks of the DIBELS correlate most strongly with the subtests of

the CTOPP that are designed to measure both phonological awareness and memory (i.e., Elision,

Blending Words, Sound Matching and Nonsense Word Repetition). It was also found that both

the ISF and PSF tasks of the DIBELS correlates less strongly with those tasks that involve rapid

naming activities (i.e., Rapid Color Naming, Rapid Object Naming and Memory for Digits). The

LNF task also correlated strongly with subtest of the CTOPP that represent both phonological

awareness and memory as well as rapid naming abilities. These findings support the idea that

student data from the CTOPP might connect more to what teachers know about phonemic






















































MathlScience

Technology


APPENDIX A
PARTICIPANT INFORMATION

Personal Data

Name Sex : Female Male

Please indicate your racelethnicity (circle all that apply):

White Native American

Black Asian/Pacific Islander

Hispanic (of any race) Other:

Please list all levels of education, year degree was obtained, institution and major:


Level of
Education

Bachelors

M asters

Specialist

Doctorate


Year


Institution


Major


Professional Data

School

Number of years teaching experience

Other teaching experience


District

Experience at K level


Area(s) of Florida Teacher Certification or Endorsement (circle all that apply):


Elementary

Early Childhood

Special Education

Other:


Reading Certification

Reading Endorsement

ESOL









et al., 1998; The National Right to Read, 1993; Yopp, 1992). Recent studies have identified

phonemic awareness and letter knowledge as the two best indicators of how well children will

learn to read, specifically during the first two years of instruction (Adams, 1990; Ball &

Blachman, 1991; Blachman, 2002; NRP, 2000; Snow et al., 1998).

Language development occurs when a child learns to attend to and analyze the internal

phonological structure of spoken words (Burns, Griffin & Snow, 1999). This awareness is

referred to as phonological awareness. Phonological awareness includes the abilities to detect,

isolate, manipulate, blend or segment units of sounds within the speech flow (Ehri, 1989, ).

Phonological awareness includes the awareness of words, syllables, onsets and rimes, and

phonemes. Phonemic awareness is different from phonological awareness because it only applies

to phoneme-level awareness and includes the ability to detect, segment and blend phonemes and

to manipulate their position in words (Lane & Pullen, 2004; Snow et al., 1998).

Phonemic awareness is necessary to read and spell because English is alphabetic and in an

alphabetic language, letters represent sounds. Phonemic awareness instruction should involve the

understanding that speech is made up of a sequence of sounds and those sounds or phonemes are

represented by letters or graphemes (Blachman, Ball, Black & Tangel, 1994; Ehri, 1998, Juel,

1991). Phonemes are the smallest units of spoken language, and in the English language there are

approximately 44 phonemes (Ehri et. al., 2001, Ehri, 2002). Phonemes are difficult to segment

during speech because most words consist of a blend of phonemes, such as check with 3

phonemes. Since phonemic awareness requires students to manipulate individual phonemes

within words, it is considered a much more difficult task than syllabic or intrasyllabic

manipulation (Lane & Pullen, 2004). Phonemes (smallest units of spoken language) are different

from graphemes, which are units of written language.









Summary

The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between teachers' knowledge

and skills of phonemic awareness and students' literacy outcomes. Data were collected from

teachers' using the PAKS and the PASS, and DIBELS data were collected from PMRN.

A multiple regression analysis was used to test the relationship between teachers'

knowledge and students' scores. Although there were limited relationships between teachers

knowledge and skills and student outcomes, findings did reveal that there were statistical

differences between teachers' knowledge and the LNF subtest of the DIBELS assessment.

Findings also revealed positive correlations between the PAKS and the PASS. Teachers' who did

well on the PASS also did well on the PASS.

This chapter presented a description of the sample, a summary of results for the PAKS and

PASS and results related to the relationship between teacher knowledge, teacher demographics

and students' scores. The final chapter will discuss the results for the PAKS and PASS, results

related to the relationship between teacher knowledge and students' scores. Then, the

implications of the study will be presented, which will be followed by generalizations,

assumptions, limitations of the study and conclusions and recommendations for further research.











Item 5: Item five asked the participants, "What instructional methods could be used to

develop phonemic awareness?" Inappropriate responses included observation, conferencing,

guided and independent reading and flashcards. Correct responses included isolating sounds,

identifying sounds, segmenting and blending sounds and using Elkonin boxes.

Item 6: Item six asked the participants,"Describe briefly the instructional methods you use

to develop students' phonemic awareness skills (time, grouping, methods, assessment and

skills)?" Participants who responded inappropriately indicated that 60-90 minutes a day, large

group, observation and guided reading. Correct responses included 15-30 minutes, 3- 5 times a

week, small group instruction and blending and segmenting sounds and using the DIBELS

assessment for progress monitoring.

Phonemic Awareness Skills Survey (PASS)

Table 4-5 represents the descriptive statistics for the PASS survey which was administered

to 211 kindergarten teachers. The survey asked the participants 25 questions about phoneme

manipulation. The participants had to delete, count, identify, match, segment and blend

phonemes within words. Participants received one point for each correct answer. The mean score

on the survey was 16.8. The minimum score was five and the maximum score was 24. Using

Cronbach' s alpha, the reliability of the measure was .80.

Table 4-6, represents the frequency distribution for the PASS survey. More than half

(52.6%) of the teachers answered at least 18 of the 25 items correctly. Less than half of the

teachers (47.6%) answered 17 or fewer items correctly. One participant only answered five of the

25 questions correctly and two participants answered 24 of the 25 answers correctly.

As shown in Table 4-7, an item analysis was conducted on the PASS to determine if the

items were valid measures of the obj ective of the test. Specifically, item difficulty and item










Table G-2. Studies related to Teacher Knowledge of Phonemic Awareness and Student Learning
Author (s) & Year Sample Experimental Type of Knowledge Measures
Description Design examined
McCutchen, Harry, N=59 Correlational Knowledge of Title
Cunningham, Cox, Teachers (K, Literature; Knowledge Recognition
Sidman & Covil, 2002 1st, 2nd, SE) of Phonology; General Tests
Knowledge; Teacher (Cunningham
Beliefs; Classroom & Stanovich,
Practice; Student 1991);
Learning Informal
Survey of
Lingui sti c
Knowledge
(Moats,
1994); 45-
item test
(Stanovich &
Cunningham,
1993); TORP
(Deford,
1985); Coded
field notes;
Gates-
MacGinitie
Reading
Tests, WIAT,
writing
sample


Results

Less knowledgeable about
phonology and orthography,
relationship between knowledge of
phonology and student learning









SECTION 4: Phoneme Matchinq


SECTION 5: Phoneme Seqmenting and Blendinq


21. teach

22. pitch

23. sigh

24. spill_

25. face


Items 17-20: Read the first word in each line and note the sound that is presented by
the underlined letter or letter cluster. Then select the word on the line that contain the
same sound. Underline the words you select.

Sample Item


push


duty


raid

votes

lip

flare


although sugar


pump


friend

rice

kite

pillar


17. we(

18. does

19. pjtch

20. far


pie

miss

fly

march


height

nose

hair

scary


Items 21-25: Reverse the sequence of speech sounds in each of these words. Write the
new word next to the line of the word presented. Think of the sounds, not the letters

Sample Item


puck


cup


Thank you for your time and effort!








Directions for PASS


SECTION 1: PHONE1VE DELETION
"The first section must be done as a group. Let's review the sample item
together". "I am going to read the sample item twice and then I will give you the
answer"
Read Item. Wait 10 sec. Read item again. Provide answer. Ask participants if they
have any questions regarding this section.
Sample Item

"If you said the word best without the sound /s/, you would say:

(a) B et

"I am going to read each item twice".
Proceed with first item. Read item 1, wait 10 seconds, read item 1 again. Wait
about 30 seconds between each item.


1. If you said the word meat without the sound /t/, you would say:

2. If you said the word driver without the sound /v/, you would say:


3. If you said the word ghost without the sound /s/, you would say:


4. If you said the word frenzy without the sound /y/ (this is the long "e" sound),
you would say:

"OK, I am going to review the sample items within each section and then you can
complete the survey independently". Once you have completed the survey you
may complete the pink form".


"Now let's review the sample item in each section." Ask participants if they have
any questions after each section.









within words. The items on the PAKS examined teachers' knowledge of phonemic awareness

pedagogy. Overall, the teachers lacked general knowledge about phonemic awareness; these

findings are consistent with other studies related to teachers' knowledge of the structure of

language (Moats, 1994). The teachers' misconceptions about phonemic awareness revealed that

they knew little about the importance of phonemic awareness assessment and instruction. The

maj ority of the answers to the items on the PAKS indicated that teachers thought phonemic

awareness was the letter/sound connection and few of the participants knew that phonemic

awareness was the ability to manipulate, identify and hear sounds in spoken language. Teachers

used the word phonemic awareness and phonics interchangeable as they answered their questions

which indicated that they did not understand the difference between the two terms.

Phonemic Awareness Skills Survey (PASS)

The mean score for the PASS was 16.8 out of a possible 25. The scores ranged from 5 to

24. Therefore, none of the participants received a perfect score on the survey. The item difficulty

ranged from .071 to .986. The item with the lowest percent of correct responses was an item in

the "phoneme counting" section. Participants were asked to count the number of phonemes in the

word "mix". Ninety-three percent of the participants answered this item incorrectly. A majority

of the participants indicated that there were three phonemes in the word when the correct answer

was four. Participants did not account for the two phonemes in the "x" which were "k" and "s".

Many teachers indicated that the "k" and the "s" were one phoneme representing the "x" sound.

There were two items that had the highest percentage of correct responses. The first item

was in the phoneme deletion section. Participants were asked to delete the sound "t" in the word

"meat" and come up with a new word. Acceptable answers included me, mea, and mee.

Although there were different spellings of the word, the different representations of the word

were all phonetically correct. Each answer included both phonemes in the word. Ninety-nine









awareness skills only, not their knowledge of other aspects related to reading acquisition (Moats,

2003).

Initial field test. The initial field test of this instrument included 20 respondents who were

enrolled in a graduate level reading course. The participants represented a range of experience

levels. The initial field test was administered during class and the participants were asked to

answer all items on the assessment. The researcher reviewed sample items in each section with

the participants before instructing them to begin the assessment.

Validity and reliability. The validity and reliability of the PASS were assessed using a

variety of methods. The content evidence of validity was based of several studies that have

examined teachers' knowledge and skills of PA (Moats, 1999; Adams, 1990; Snow et al., 1998;

NRP, 2000; Adgar et. al., 2002; NCLB, 2002). Many of the studies demonstrated an association

between teachers' knowledge of PA and student literacy growth. Questions in the measurement

were modified from previous research studies (Bos, Mather, Narr et al., 1999; Foorman &

Moats, 2004; McCutchen, Abbot et al. 2002; McCutchen, Harry et al., 2002; Moats, 1999;

Moats & Foorman, 2003; Moats, 1994; O'Connor, 1999;Troyer & Yopp, 1990).

A test analysis was conducted using the results from a 25-item pilot test to provide

additional construct evidence of validity and establish reliability. SPSS was used to measure the

statistics of the measurement. Although there were 25 items in the survey only 19 items were

analyzed due to the fact that 4 items had zero variance and were removed from the scale and two

items were removed based on the number of incorrect responses. The mean number of correct

responses were 79% for the participants (n=20). Once the two items were removed, the reliability

of the measurement was .76 (Cronbach' s coefficient alpha). The item difficulty ranged from 40%









CHAPTER 3
METHODS AND PROCEDURES

The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationships among kindergarten teachers'

knowledge and skills of phonemic awareness and their students' emergent literacy development.

Specifically, it examined teachers' knowledge about phonemic awareness and their ability to

manipulate and identity specific phonemes within words. This study examined the knowledge

base of teachers who teach reading to beginning readers. The survey assessed the specifieity and

depth of teachers' knowledge to reveal misconceptions, lack of knowledge or absence of

information related to phonemic awareness instruction (Moats, 1994). Teachers' knowledge

scores were correlated with their students' learning. In addition, teachers' demographics were

examined in relation to teacher knowledge and student learning. Using teacher and student

assessments, this study sought to answer the following overarching question: What are the

relationships among kindergarten teachers' knowledge about phonemic awareness, their

phonemic skills, and their students' emergent literacy development? More specifically, the study

will examine the following two research questions:

1. What is the relationship between teachers' knowledge of phonemic awareness pedagogy
and their students' phonemic awareness growth?

2. What is the relationship between teachers' own phonemic awareness skills and their
students' phonemic awareness growth?

This chapter details the methodology used to conduct this study. It includes the school

setting, participants, development of the teacher instrumentation, student assessments,

assessment procedures and analysis.

Setting

This research study took place in five different school districts located in north Florida.

The Hyve counties were chosen based on their participation in Reading First and their









24. If you said the word ghost without the sound /s/, you would say:

(a) ghots

(b) goat

(c) got

(d) I'm not sure


25. If you said the word frenzy without the sound /y/, you would say:

(a) fritz

(b) friendly

(c) friends

(d) I'm not sure









APPENDIX C
PASS SURVEY

Phonological Awareness Skills Survey
SECTION 1: Phoneme Deletion


Items 1-4: Listen for directions.

Sample Item

1. 3.

2. 4.

SECTION 2: Phoneme Countinq

Items 5-10: How many speech sounds are in each word?

Sample Item

cat 3

5. tie 8. mix

6. laughed 9. thrown

7. chalk 10. kitchen


SECTION 3: Phoneme Identification

Items 11-16: What is the 3rd Speech sound in each of the following words?

Sample Item

shook k

11. joyful 14. folks

12. scratch 15. sheets

13. protect 16. lightning


104











Table G-3. Studies related to Teacher Know
Author (s) & Sample Experimenta
Year Description Design
Bos, Mather, N=11 Intervention
Narr & Elementary Pre-test-
Babur, 1999 level (K, 1st, Post-test
2nd, SE)
(intervention
group)
N=17
(control
group)
O'Connor, 2 models of Intervention
1999 Professional Pre-test-
Development Post-test
Model A
(intensive)
N=10
(intervention
group)
N=4 (control
group
Model B
(traditional)
N= 9
(intervention
group)
N= 8 (control
group)


ledge of Phonemic Awareness/ Professional Development and Student Learning
l Type of Knowledge Measures Results
examined
Teacher Attitude; TAERS Survey Teachers involved in RIME
Knowledge of Language (DeFord, 1985) had higher knowledge score
Structures; Student likert scale; and higher student scores th
Learning Knowledge Survey control group; Control


(modified version of
Moats, 1994) 22-
item multiple
choice; Woodcock-
Johnson III
Intensive model
verses traditional
model; PPVT, short
term memory,
phonological
assessments, letter
knowledge,
Woodcock Johnson;
field notes


groups' knowledge scores did
not change



Students from PD classrooms
made greater gains than
students from control groups;
Students from Model A
classrooms had gains in letter
naming, word identification
and spelling, no significant
difference in blending or
segmenting


:s
an


Models of Professional
Development; Student
learning; Classroom
ob servati ons









obtained from 179 of the participating teachers. Class size ranged from 5 to 39 and the average

class size was 19.

Teacher and student data were analyzed and compared across the five districts. Teacher

data showed that Alachua County had the highest teachers' knowledge scores and the second

highest teachers' skills scores. As shown in Table 4-8, Duval County had the lowest scores in

both the teachers' skills and teachers' knowledge surveys. Student scores revealed that Flagler

County had the highest means in a maj ority of the DIBELS subtests. Putnam County had the

lowest means in the DIBELS subtests. Alachua County made the highest gains in the LNF but

made the lowest gains in the PSF and the NWF. Marion County made the highest gains in ISF.

Putnam County made the lowest gains in the LNF from the fall to the spring assessment. Flagler

County made the highest gains in both the PSF and the NWF but the lowest gains in the ISF. It

should be noted that the teachers in Putnam County scored the highest on the skills survey and

their students made the greatest gains on the PSF and NWF during the school year. Both

subtests are a based on a students' ability to segment and blend phonemes in a word.

Table 4-9. Mean Score for each subtest by County
Alachua Marion (M) Putnam Flagler Duval
(M) (M) (M) (M)
LNF (Fall) 11.03 9.89* 12.92 14.44** 10.28
ISF (Fall) 19.00 20.89 18.42* 24.77** 21.59
LNF (Winter) 30.19** 22.76 21.41* 27.31 22.47
ISF (Winter) 34.55 40.90** 35.42* 40.81 37.87
PSF (Winter) 27.47 28.23 24.75* 35.27** 25.11
NWF (Winter) 23.68 27.07 20.57* 31.12** 24.41
ISF (Spring) 43.23* 52.97 49.38 54.04** 49.71
PSF (Spring) 36.26* 38.90 37.44 45.83** 37.70
NWF (Spring) 35.93* 48.91 40.48 49.49** 40.93
** Indicates the highest mean between the counties for each subtest
* Indicates the lowest mean between the counties for each subtest









Covill, 2002; Moats, 1994; Moats & Foorman, 2003; O'Connor, 1999; Spear-Swerling &

Brucker, 2004; Troyer & Yopp, 1992). Of the studies that have been conducted, these studies

have demonstrated that teachers have limited knowledge about the structure of language and how

it relates to reading acquisition (Moats, 1994; Moats & Foorman, 2003; O'Connor, 1990; Yopp,

1990). Other studies have demonstrated that teacher knowledge can be improved and the

increase in their knowledge base about PA can enhance their students' reading development

(McCutchen, Abbott et al., 2002; Moats & Foorman, 2003).

Rationale for the Study

Recent findings regarding reading acquisition have demonstrated that the acquisition of

phonemic awareness is highly predictive of later reading success (Adams, 1990). Specifically,

longitudinal studies have found that phonemic awareness abilities in kindergarten (or in that age

range) appear to be the best single predictor of successful reading acquisition (IRA, 2005;

Torgesen, 2002b; Troyer & Yopp, 1990). Phonemic awareness instruction should involve the

understanding that speech is made up of a sequence of sounds and those sounds are represented

by symbols or letters. Children who are beginning to learn about phonemic awareness should

have many opportunities to engage in activities that teach them about rhyme, beginning sounds,

and syllables. This type of instruction should be taught at an early age. Phonemic awareness

instruction at the kindergarten level has been proven to minimize or prevent reading problems for

children in later grades (Adams, 1990; Foorman & Moats, 2004, Foorman & Torgesen, 2001;

Torgesen, 2002b).

Based on these findings, one may conclude that most reading failure is preventable and

most high-risk students can improve their reading and writing achievement with expert

instruction (Moats & Lyon, 1996; Moats, 1994). It is imperative for teachers to have an

understanding of effective literacy instruction development before students can acquire the skills









The researchers correlated the teachers' knowledge with their philosophical orientation,

classroom practice and student learning. They found that teachers' content knowledge of

phonology was related to their students' end-of-the year scores only at the kindergarten level. No

correlations were found between teachers' content knowledge of phonology and student learning

at the first and second grade level. This confirms the importance of phonemic awareness training

at the early intervention level. It was also found that teachers overall phonemic awareness scores

were low. The study had some limitations. First, there were some validity problems with the

TORP. Specifically, there was a restricted range in teachers' TORP scores. This could be due to

the fact that the TORP was developed twenty years ago, and changes in theoretical orientations

might have changed since then. Next, there was low internal reliability of the TRT for first and

second grade teachers. This is due to the limited number of items of the test. Finally, the

participants were self selected.

Knowledge of Phonemic Awareness, Professional Development and Student Learning

Other studies point to professional development activities as an intervention to enhance

teachers' knowledge of phonemic awareness (Bos, Mather, Narr et al., 1999; Cunningham et al.,

2004; Foorman & Moats, 2004; McCutchen, Abbot et al., 2002; O'Connor, 1999). The following

studies discuss the relationship between teachers' knowledge gained through professional

development activities and their students' learning.

Bos, Mather, Narr et al. (1999) examined the results from Project RIME (Reading

Instructional Methods of Efficacy) which is an interactive collaborative professional

development proj ect designed to encourage elementary teachers to integrate more explicit

reading instruction in their curriculum for children at risk. Eleven teachers participated in the

project as the experimental group and 17 teachers participated as the control group. The

experimental group participated in an 18 day inservice and a year-long collaboration with









College Coursework and Professional Development

How many credit hours of college coursework have you taken that related to teaching
reading?
None 7-15 hours
1-3 hours More that 16 hours
4-6 hours

Have you participated in any reading-related professional development (PD) other than
university coursework within the past year? If so, what type of PD did you engage in?
Please check all that apply and indicate the approximate number of hours.

Type of Professional Development Approximate number of hours

Reading First Academy

Reading First (district training)

Reading First on-site (reading coach at school)

LiPS training

DIBELS training

Great Leaps

FDLRS training

Orton Gillingham

SRA training

UFLI training

FCRR

Other:

Other:

Follow-up Data (optional)
We will be conducting follow-up interviews with some participants. If you would be
willing to participate in a follow-up interview via telephone or email, please provide
your contact information here:

Telephone best time to call

Email address










group 2. Although tutored children showed significant progress in all areas of tutoring, there was

no clear support for the idea that supervised tutoring enhances teachers' knowledge of word

structure. There were limitations to this study. The sample size was small and the researchers

were not able to randomly assign the participants to the groups. The participants were also self-

selected for this study.

Summary of Teacher Knowledge Studies Reviewed

Four studies that examined pre-service and in-service teachers' perceptions and knowledge

of phonemic awareness were reviewed. Although there was a discrepancy between who

possessed more knowledge between the in-service teachers and pre-service overall, it was found

that teachers lack the knowledge necessary to use phonemic awareness instructional activities in

their classroom.

Other studies connected teachers' knowledge of phonemic awareness to students' reading

development without providing any professional development activities. Researchers were able

to conclude that teachers' content knowledge of phonemic awareness was related to their

students' end-of-the year scores only at the kindergarten level.

Several studies examined professional development activities as an intervention to enhance

teachers' knowledge of phonemic awareness. These studies also connected teachers' knowledge

of phonemic awareness to their students' reading development. Bos, Mather, Narr et al. (1999)

verified that interactive collaborative professional development training increased teachers

attitudes towards using explicit structured language approaches to teaching early literacy

acquisition. McCutchen, Abbot et al. (2002) also discovered that a two week, on going

collaborative professional development program increased teachers' attitudes and abilities to use

phonemic awareness instruction in their classroom. Researchers have documented that










Table 4-15. Summary of Multiple Regression Analysis for Teachers' Knowledge and Skills and Student Outcomes


ISF
B
0.146
0.055
0.709

0.207
14.863



Spring
Test

Fall Test


PSF
B
-0.234
-0.113
0.751

0.528
64.782



Spring
Test
Winter
Test


LNF
B
0.406
0.162
0.225

0.053
3.212


Winter
Test

Fall Test


NWF
B
-0.073
0.209
1.163

0.614
92.171



Spring
Test
Winter
Test


t-stat
2.044
1.057
1.412


t-stat
0.651
0.321
6.618


t-stat
-1.211
-0.767
13.897


t-stat
-0.320
1.197
16.494


Knowledge
Skill
Pre-test

R Square
F-stat

Post-test
(dependent
measure)

Pre-test









overly optimistic as a reflection of teachers' knowledge in general. Next, the author did not state

the reliability or validity data for the survey that was used.

Bos, Mather, Dickson et al. (2001) compared the perceptions and knowledge of pre-service

teachers (teachers in training) and in-service teachers (experienced teachers) and the role of

explicit instruction. The researchers collected data on 252 pre-service teachers and 286 in-service

teachers. Teachers were given the Teacher Perceptions about Early Reading and Spelling which

was adapted from an instrument developed by DeFord (1985). The survey was developed to

focus on two theoretical orientations, explicit code instruction (EC) and implicit code instruction

(IC). Teachers were asked to rate each of the 15 items on a six-point Likert scale. The Structure

of Language assessment (adopted from Moats, 1994) consisted of a 20 item multiple-choice

assessment that examined knowledge of the English language at both the word level and the

sound level.

To address perceptions and knowledge of pre-service and in-service teachers, the means

for each group were computed and the means of the individual item responses were visually

examined. Similar to Moats' (1994) Eindings, less than two-thirds of both the pre-service and in-

service teachers had mastered knowledge related to the structure of language. It was found that

although both groups of teachers were unable to answer at least half of the questions correctly,

in-service teachers possessed significantly more knowledge of phonemic awareness than pre-

service teachers. These Eindings suggest that experienced teachers are more knowledgeable about

phonemic awareness than teachers who lack experience. These Eindings contradict Troyer and

Yopp's (1990) study. They found that less experienced teachers were more knowledgeable about

phonemic awareness than the experienced teachers.










5-1 Ccorrelations for Scores on the DIBELS and CTOPP............... ...............89.

B-1 Scoring Rubric for Teacher Knowledge of Phonemic Awareness Survey ................... ... 101

E-1 Participant data codes. ........... ......_._ ...............116....

G-1 Studies related to Teacher Perceptions/Knowledge of Phonemic Awareness .........._......123

G-2 Studies related to Teacher Knowledge of Phonemic Awareness and Student Learning .124

G-3 Studies related to Teacher Knowledge of Phonemic Awareness/ Professional
Development and Student Learning ................. ...............125...............










2005). The reliability and validity for these tests have been found to be acceptable (Good &

Kaminski, 2001) and are presented in Table 3-7.

Data Collection Procedures

Reading First schools were invited to participate in the study. Letters of invitation were

sent to principals and Reading First coaches throughout the five selected school districts. The

researcher met with the teachers who were interested in participating in the study during

Table 3-7. Reliability and Validity of DBELS assessment
Test Alternative-form Validity
reliability
Letter Naming Fluency .88 .70 (a)
Initial Sound Fluency .72 .48 (b)
Phoneme Segmentation Fluency .88 .54 (d)
Nonsense Word Fluency .83 .36 (e)
* (a) The median criterion-related validity of LNF with the Woodcock-Johnson Psycho-Educational
Battery-Revised readiness cluster standard score is .70 in kindergarten. (b) Concurrent criterion-related
validity of ORF with DIBELS PSF is .48 in January of kindergarten and .36 with the Woodcock-Johnson
Psycho-Educational Battery Readiness Cluster score. (d) Concurrent criterion validity of PSF is .54 with
the Woodcock-Johnson Psycho-Educational Battery Readiness Cluster score in spring of kindergarten. (e)
Concurrent criterion-validity of DIBELS NWF with the Woodcock-Johnson Psycho-Educational Battery-
Revised Readiness Cluster score is .36 in January and .59 in February of first grade (retrieved from Good
et al., in preparation).

grade-level meetings and obtained consent from each teacher. Demographic data (i.e., personal

data, educational data and professional development activities) were collected from each

participating teacher (see Appendix A). The researcher administered the PAKS and the PASS to

teachers from each site participating in the study. Teachers participating in the study were all

teaching students at the kindergarten level. Teachers were provided as much time as needed to

complete the surveys, but they were not allowed to take the surveys out of the room or to

collaborate with their peers while completing the surveys. Once the teachers completed the

surveys, the researcher collected all the surveys. Teachers participating in the study were given a

book as compensation for completion of the survey (Phonological Awareness: Assessment and

Instruction: A Sound Begqninnin, by Holly B. Lane and Paige C. Pullen).











Table B-1. Scoring Rubric for Teacher Knowledge of Phonemic Awareness Surve
General Meaning. of Assigned Rating
0 1 2 3
Shows no knowledge or Shows little knowledge and Shows some or acceptable Shows excellent, expert level
provides insufficient detail to some information may be level of knowledge-- of knowledge--knowledge at
tell how much they know incorrect knowledge at a surface level. a deep, detailed level.
Scoring Rubric for Question 1: What is phonemic awareness?
Specific Indicators: Specific Indicators: Specific Indicators: Specific Indicators:
No answer or incorrect Indicates that PA is the Indicates that PA is the Indicates that PA is the
answer letter/sound connection ability to hear and identify ability to hear, identify and
Vague and general (phonics/alphabetic sounds. manipulate sounds in spoken
Lacks details principle). I indicates that sounds make words (does not include
up words (does not letters).
include manipulation).
Scoring Rubric for Question 2: Why is phonemic awareness important?
Specific Indicators: Specific Indicators: Specific Indicators: Specific Indicators:
Indicates Phonemic Indicates that PA is Indicates that PA is Indicates that PA is
Awareness is important for important because students important for decoding (does important for reading
reading, comprehension, must be able to sound out not mention the letter/sound because it teaches students
writing, and fluency. words before they can connection). how to break apart sounds
Vague and general begin to read (refers to OR (phonemes) in words.
Lacks details letter/sound connection). Indicates that PA is OR
OR important for blending or Indicates that PA is
Prere uisite to other se menti g. im ortant for blending and
reading skills (spelling, segmenting (as a prerequisite
invented spelling, language to phonics).
development).









kindergarten teachers at each Reading First school. As noted in Table 3-1, the schools were

categorized based on the number of Reading First schools in each district. Flagler and Putnam

Counties were categorized as small-sized districts. Alachua and Marion Counties were

categorized as medium-sized districts and Duval County was categorized as a large district. The

overall participation rates in each district were high which indicated that the sample in this study

is an accurate representation of the sample within each district. The population included 21 1

kindergarten teachers and 3,468 kindergarten students enrolled in Florida' s Reading First

schools. Not all the teachers at each participating school elected to participate in the study so

participation rates were calculated for each school. Overall, participation rates were high which

means that teachers were willing to participate in the study.

Table 3-2 represents a summary of the demographics for the teachers participating in the

study. There were 206 females and five males who participated in the study. Seventy-nine

percent of the participants were Caucasian and 21% of the participants were from minority

groups. Sixty nine percent of the participants had a bachelor' s degree and 3 1% of the participants

had an advanced degree. Participants had an average of 1 1.4 years of teaching experience and an

average of 6.9 years of teaching experience at the kindergarten level. The years teaching ranged

from 1 to 37 years with a mean of 1 1.4 and a SD of 10.5. Ninety-two percent of the participants

had been teaching between one and five years. This means that 44% of the participants were

beginning teachers. Twenty-two percent of the participants had been teaching over twenty years.

Over sixty percent of the participants had between one and five years of teaching experience at

the kindergarten level. Although all the teachers were teaching at the kindergarten level, only

181 of the participants indicated that they had an elementary certification. Ninety-eight of the

teachers indicated that they had an early childhood certificate, five teachers indicated that they










professional development activities increases teachers' knowledge of phonemic and that

knowledge increases students' reading abilities.

Several conclusions can be drawn from research associated with teachers' knowledge of

phonemic awareness. First, teachers generally have an insufficient grasp of spoken and written

structures of language. Next, changes in teacher knowledge and classroom practice can improve

student learning. Finally, effective professional development programs can deepen teachers

understanding of phonemic awareness instruction and enhance student learning.

Reading First

Reading First is a federally funded program that focuses on putting proven methods of

early reading instruction in the classroom (NCLB, 2002). Through Reading First, states and

districts receive support to apply scientifically based reading research to ensure that all children

learn to read well by the end of third grade (NCLB, 2002). Reading First schools are also

involved in intensive professional development activities that are implemented throughout the

school year.

Florida' s Reading First professional development model is a collaborative approach to the

development and provision of programs for teachers and administrators. These programs

encourage teachers to observe and practice research-based instructional strategies for reading.

Each Reading First school is required to utilize a portion of the Reading First funds to hire

Reading First coaches. Each Reading First coach works closely with school administrators in

planning and monitoring school improvement. Reading First coaches are also required to work

closely with classroom teachers to model effective reading techniques and strategies. Reading

First coaches are required to attend on-going professional development through the district on

recent reading research as well as techniques related to mentoring. Depending on the size of the









ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

This has been an incredible journey. This journey has not only been about wisdom but also

about persistence. There have been many individuals who have supported me throughout this

experience, and I would like to express my love and gratitude to them.

I would first like to thank Dr. Glen Buck who contributed to cultivating my passion for

working with children who have special needs. He was the one who has transformed me from a

hornet to a gator. I thank my committee members for being such wonderful mentors and role

models: Dr. Holly Lane, my advisor and chair; Dr. Nancy Corbett; Dr. Cyndy Griffin; and Dr.

Miller. I feel extremely privileged to have had the opportunity to work with such a talented

group of individuals.

I would like to thank the staff in the Department of Special Education. Shaira, Vicki and

Michell have been supportive colleagues and friends. They touch many lives by their

commitment to the students and faculty in the department.

I would also like to thank the site-based coaches and regional coordinators from Reading

First for helping me recruit participants for my study. Florida Center for Reading Research was

also an active participant who helped me retrieve student data from the Progress Monitoring and

Reporting Network (PMRN).

I would like to thank Kathy Garland for helping me with my data collection and Jenny

Bergeron for teaching me that statistics can be fun. I would also like to thank Grace-Anne for

helping me with my data analysis.

I would like to thank my parents, John and Jean Taylor, for teaching me that "failure is not

an option." My parents have always been my biggest fans and they have supported me

throughout my journey in life. They have given me many things, but their greatest gift has been a










phonemic awareness was the same as phonics may not have an understanding that phonemic

awareness instruction can be taught without the use of letters.

Item 2: Item two asked the participants, "Why is phonemic awareness important?"

Participants who responded inappropriately either identified that phonemic awareness is

important for students because they need to associate letters with sounds or they identified that

phonemic awareness is important to learn how to read. Participants who answered this question

correctly indicated that it teaches students how to blend or segment sounds in words or they

identified phonemic awareness important because it is a prerequisite to reading. Many teachers

felt that phonemic awareness was important but felt that it was important so that students could

learn the letter/sound association.

Item 3: Item three asked the participants, "What phonemic awareness skills are most

important?" Participants who responded inappropriately indicated that teaching students the

sounds of letters was the most important skill. Correct responses included blending and

segmenting sounds.

Item 4: Item four asked the participants, "How can phonemic awareness be assessed?"

Participants who responded inappropriately indicated that using observations, running records

and teacher made tests were the best ways to assess phonemic awareness. Correct responses

included any component of the DIBELS assessment or any skills or methods that are based on

research (i.e., Elkonin boxes, blending and segmenting spoken language and identifying

beginning and ending sounds in words). Teachers who responded correctly to this question

indicated an association between assessment and instruction. They identified a connection

between the DIBELS assessment and the importance of phonemic awareness instruction.











APPENDIX F
IRB FORMS



1. TITLE OF PROTOCOL: Relationships among Teachers' Phonemic Awareness
Knowledge and Skills and their Students' Emergent Literacy Growth

2. PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS:

Holly Lane, Ph.D. Meridith Taylor Strout, M.Ed.
Assistant Professor Docioral Candidate
Special Education Special Education
G315 Norman Hall G315 Norman liall
PO Box 117050 PO Box 117050
392-0701, exi.246 392-0701, exi.246
hlane~coe.ufi.edu MTayl orStroui~aol .com

3. DATES OF PROPOSED PROTOCOL: January 2007-January 2008

4. SOURCE OF FUNDING FOR THE PROTOCOL: none

5. SCIENTIFIC PURPOSE OF THE INVESTIGATION: This study will examine the
relationship between teacher knowledge and skills of phonemic awareness and
student reading achievement.

6. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY:

Potential participants will include classroom teachers teaching kindergarten from
the Reading First elementary schools in randomly selected Florida counties/districts.
We have a goal of 200 participants, so we will send an invitation 10 participate to 400
teachers. These participating teachers could be male or female and of any adult age.

The only activity that teacher-partici pants will in engage is filling out a three-padt
survey. This survey includes an informed consent screen, a page to collect
background information on the teacher, a six-item questionnaire about phonemic
awareness and a 25-item skills survey about phonemic awareness. It should lake
approxi mately 5 minutes to fill out the demographic information and 20 to 30 minutes
io complete the questions and survey about reading fluency. The dain collected will
go automatically inio a database with a code assigned io each participant. The
dem ographi c i nformati on willI be kepi separate from ihe survey information and onl y
ihe researchers will have the master list linking the two. These procedures are meant
io protect the confidentiality of the partici pati ng teachers' responses.

All participating teachers are in schools that provide student reading daia 10 the
Florida Center for Reading Research. The dela from participating teachers' students
will be analyzed in conjunction wiih ihe survey daia to examine potential relationships
between teacher knowledge and student achieve ent. The researcher will never
know the students' identities, and the only dain ihey are supplying are from
standardized reading lests called the DIBELS. The DIBELS have already been
administered for educationallinstruciional purposes in the schools. These dain will
be accessed after the fact from a computer database via class-wide means for each










The questionnaire was scored using a rubric to quantify the teachers' responses regarding

their current knowledge of phonemic awareness (knowledge about PA pedagogy). In addition to

the quantitative scoring, this information was analyzed for common themes related to teachers'

knowledge of phonemic awareness.

Summary

This chapter presented the methodology for this study. The purpose of this study was to

examine the relationship between kindergarten teachers' phonemic awareness knowledge and

skills and their students' emergent literacy development. A description of the school setting,

participants, development of the teacher instrumentation, student assessments, assessment

procedures and analysis were included. Chapter 4 will discuss the results of the study. Finally,

Chapter 5 contains a discussion of the results as related to previous research, limitations to the

present study and implications for future research.









percent of the participants were able to answer this item correctly. The second item was in the

phoneme matching section. Participants were asked to match the underlined sound in "pitch" to

the word "lip". Ninety-nine percent of the participants were able to answer this item correctly.

The participants were able to match the short "i" sound in both of the words.

PASS scores were also analyzed by district, education level, certification and professional

development activities. Similar to the PAKS, significant differences were only found by district

size (p=.032). The medium sized districts, Alachua and Marion Counties, had the highest mean

on the PASS (M=17.89). Duval County had the lowest mean (M=16.00).

Teachers who had advanced degrees had a higher mean (M=17.18) on the PASS than

teachers who had only earned a Bachelors degree (M=16.68). It was also found that teachers

who have an early childhood certification scored slightly higher than teachers who did not have

the certification. Teachers who participated in at least one of the three Reading First professional

development activities (Reading First academy, district training or on-site training) had a higher

mean (M=17. 14) than teachers who did not participate in any type of professional development

(M=16.46).

Correlations were computed to test the relationship between participants' scores on the

PAKS and PASS. Findings revealed that participants who did well on the PAKS also did well on

the PASS. Since both the PAKS and the PASS examined teachers' knowledge of phonemic

awareness, it was expected that teachers who did well on the PASS also did well on the PAKS.

Teacher Knowledge and Student Scores

This study demonstrates limited relationships between teachers' knowledge and skills of

phonemic awareness and student outcomes. Using a regression analysis, findings revealed that

there was a small relationship between teachers' PAKS scores and the LNF subtest. Although the

LNF is a subtest of DIBELS it is not a specific measure of phonemic awareness. It measures a










Good, R.H., Kaminski, R.A., Smith, S., Simmons, D.S., Kame'enui, E.J., & Wallin, J. (In press).
Reviewing outcomes: Using DIBELS to evaluate a school's core curriculum and system
of additional intervention in kindergarten. In S.R. Vaugn & K. L. Briggs (Eds.). Reading
in the classroom: Systems for observing teaching and learning/ Baltimore: Paul H.
Brooks.


Good, R.H., Simmons, D.S., Kame'enui, E.J., Kaminski, R.A., & Wallin, J. (2002).
Summary of decision rules for intensive, strategic, and benchmark instructional
recommendations in kindergarten through third grade (Technical Report No. 11).
Eugene, OR: University of Oregon.

Gray, A. L. (2002). Beginning literacy: Links among teacher knowledge, teacher practice,
and student learning. Journal ofLearning Disabilities, 35, 69-86.

Hintze, J., Ryan, A. & Stoner, G. (2003). Concurrent Validity and Diagnostic Accuracy of the
Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills and the Comprehensive Test of
Phonological Processing. School Psychology Review, 32, 541-556.

Juel, C. (1991) Beginning reading. In R. Barr, M.L. Kamil, P.B. Mosebthal, & P.D. Pearson
(Eds.), Handbook of reading research (Vol. 2, pp. 750-788). New York: Longman.

Lane, H., Hudson, R., Leite, W., Kosanovich, M., Taylor-Strout, M., Fenty, N. & Wright, T.
(2007). Teacher Knwoledge about Reading Fluecny Growth in Reading First Schools.
Reading Writing Quarterly.

Lane, H. & Pullen, P. (2004). Phonological Awareness: Assessment and Instruction: A
Sound Beginning. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Lane, H.B., Pullen, P.C., Eisele, M.R., & Jordan, L. (2002). Preventing Reading Failure:
Phonological Awareness assessment and instruction. Preventing School Failure, 46
(3) 101-110.

Mather, N., Bos, C., & Babur, N. (2001). Perceptions and knowledge of pre-service and in-
service teachers about early literacy instruction. Journal ofLearning Disabilities, 34,
472-482.

Messick, S. (1995). Validity of Psychological Assessment. American Psychologist, 50 (9),
741-749.

McCutchen, D., Abbot, R.D., Green, L.B, Beretvas, S.N., Cox, S., Potter, N.S., Quiroga, T.,
& Gray, A.(2002). Links among teacher knowledge, teacher practice, and student
learning. Journal ofLearning Disabilities, 35, 69-86.

McCutchen, D., & Berninger, V.W. (1999). Those who know teach well; Helping teachers
master literacy related content knowledge. Learning Disabilities Research and
Practice, 14. 215-226.









that prepare children for continued school success and that serve primarily children from low-

income families (NCLB, 2002). The instructional materials and methods that are supported

through these initiatives are based on the findings of scientifically based reading research and

include instruction in the areas of oral language, phonological awareness and alphabetic principal

(NCLB, 2001; NCLB, 2002). Reading First and Early Reading First schools are evaluated each

year, and their evaluations are based on their students' reading scores.

These reports have all concluded that one of the most significant components of

implementing effective reading instruction is using an approach that is based on scientific

evidence. Current reforms and policy initiatives have documented and concurred through

scientific evidence that intensive, systematic instruction is necessary for at-risk students to learn

how to read (Adams, 1990; Adgar et al., 2002; Ball & Blachman, 1991; Blachman, 2002; Moats,

1999; NRP, 2000; NCLB, 2002; Reading Excellence Act, 1996; Snow et al., 1998; The National

Right to Read, 1993). Intensive, systematic instruction teaches students that spoken language can

be analyzed into strings of words and that words can be divided into a sequence of phonemes.

Mounting evidence indicates that students need to have basic early understandings of print and

how print works. This knowledge supports the converging evidence that one key to effective

beginning reading instruction is phonemic awareness (NRP, 2000; Snow et al., 1998).

Phonemic Awareness and Reading

Phonemic awareness is an understanding that speech is composed of individual sounds and

these sounds are manipulated to make words. There is a growing consensus that phonemic

awareness bears an important relationship to achievement in reading (Snider, 1995). The NRP

along with a number of other policy papers and reports have identified phonemic awareness as

one of the best predictors of how well children will learn to read (Adams, 1990; Adgar et al.,

2002; Ehri, 1989; Moats, 1999; NRP, 2000; NCLB, 2002; Reading Excellence Act, 1996; Snow










used. Finally, the researchers analyzed their surveys by visual inspection and hand tallying

responses in each category, which could cause a misrepresentation of data and skewed results.

In another early study, Moats (1994) investigated the teachers' knowledge of speech

sounds, their identity in words, correspondences between sounds and symbols, concepts of

language, and presence of morphemic units in sounds. Moats used the Informal Survey of

Linguistic Knowledge to collect data on 89 teachers who were enrolled in a graduate level

course. The teachers were a diverse group and included reading teachers, speech-language

pathologists, special education teachers, classroom teaching assistants and graduate students. The

15-item survey asked the teachers to define terms, locate or give examples of phonic, syllabic,

and morphemic units and analyze words into speech sounds, syllables and morphemes.

Moats revealed that teachers were commonly misinformed about differences between

speech and print. Many subj ects were unaware of what was meant by the term speech sound or

phoneme. Specifically, many of the subj ects thought letters were equivalent to speech sounds.

When teachers were asked to isolate and pronounce speech sounds, they were typically unable to

identify the third phoneme in a word. Teachers were also unaware of the difference between

many of the terms associated with phonemic awareness. Moats found that the scores were

surprisingly low, indicating that even experienced teachers displayed a lack of knowledge about

the differences between speech and print and about how print represents speech. Although this

study increased awareness about the lack of teacher knowledge regarding phonemic awareness,

there were two main limitations to this study. First, the participants were self-selected for the

study by participation in the class. Since the course was not required for certification many of the

participants enrolled out of interest in the topic. Therefore, the results of the survey may be









NWF scores. When examining the influence of each variable on the DIBELS NWF (3) scores,

the greatest predictor of the post-test score (NWF 3) was the pre-test score (NWF 2) controlling

for the knowledge and skills variables. This is indicated by the large standardized beta

coefficient (8=.779). Additionally, NWF (2) has the largest absolute t value and the smallest

significance (t-16.49, p<.001). It was found that teachers' knowledge and skills did not have

predictive value on the NWF (3) with significance levels ofp=.750 and p=.233 (at the .05 level

of significance), making NWF (2) appear to be the strongest of the explanatory variables in the

model .

Table 4-11. Full Regression Model (NWF)
Outcome Explanatory b 8 t Significance Zero-Order
Variable Variables Correlations
NWF (3) NWF (1) 1.163 .779 16.49 p<.001 .781
Knowledge -.073 -.016 -.320 .750 .053
Skills .209 .059 1.197 .233 .096

Phoneme Segmentation Fluency (PSF). The second model that was tested was analyzed

with all four variables present. In terns of the overall model, a significant F-ratio of F (3, 1 74) =

64. 78, p<.001 was reported. The adjusted R2 Of .528 indicates that the explanatory variables are

j ointly associated with 52% of the shared variance in the DIBELS PSF scores. When examining

the influence of each variable on the outcome variable, the greatest predictor of the post-test

scores was the pre-test score controlling for knowledge and skills. This is indicated by the large

standardized beta coefficient (8=.736). The pre-test score also has the largest t value and the

smallest significance (t=13.89, p<.001). It was also found that teachers' knowledge and skills did

not have predictive value on the PSF (3) with significance levels ofp=.227 and p=.444 (at the

.05 level of significance), making PSF (2) appear to be the stronger explanatory variable in the

equation.









Beginning Reading Instruction

Beginning reading instruction has been a topic of interest among researchers and

policymakers for the past three decades (Binkley, 1988; Chall, 1967;). Researchers have

examined the effectiveness of different types of instructional interventions for children who have

difficulty in learning how to read (Adams, 1990). Although there has been a plethora of research

regarding reading instruction in recent years, one of the most critical aspects of reading research

is the principle of converging evidence (Adams, 1990; Chhabra & McCradle, 2004; Grambrell,

Morrow & Pressley, 2007; Stanovich & Stanovich, 2004). Research is considered convergent

when a series of experiments consistently support a given theory while collecting and

eliminating the most important competing explanations (Adams, 1990). Since converging

evidence is critical as a basis for policy and in making sound instructional decisions regarding

reading instruction, a number of educational policies have been conducted to analyze the nature

of reading instruction (Adams, 1990; Adgar, Snow & Christian, 2002; Moats, 1999; NCLB,

2002; NRP, 2000; Reading Excellence Act, 1996; The National Right to Read, 2006; Snow et al.,

1998).

The National Right to Read Foundation. The National Right to Read Foundation

(NRRF) was established in 1993 to promote comprehensive, scientifically-based reading

instruction. One of the goals of NRRF was to disseminate reading related research findings from

the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). The NRRF made the

dissemination of this information the immediate and vital focus of its efforts to advance the

cause of evidence-based reading instruction. Policymakers started to require that some states

include a strong explicit systematic phonics component in their schools. Researchers began to

publish articles about the need for systematic instruction in phonemic awareness and phonics

instruction (National Right to Read, 2006).










questions related to more advanced concepts about language that are relevant to both assessment

and instruction. Specifically, researchers have yet to examine what kinds of questions are the

most sensitive and a meaningful indicator of how well a teacher is likely to perform in the

classroom.

Although recent evidence has concluded that teachers need explicit knowledge of

phonemic awareness to teach reading, surveys have yet to examine teachers' knowledge of

phonemic awareness (Adams, 1990; Adgar et. al., 2002; Moats, 1999; NCLB, 2002; NRP,

2000; Snow et. al., 1998). While many of the existing surveys have focused on teachers' abilities

to identify and manipulate sounds within words, a questionnaire related to teachers' knowledge

of the terminology and uses of phonemic awareness has yet to be developed. The PAKS was

designed to examine teachers' understanding of phonemic awareness related to the importance of

phonemic awareness and to examine their understanding of phonemic awareness assessment and

instruction.

Test adaptation and construction. The test was developed to examine teachers'

knowledge of phonemic awareness. Six questions were developed and all questions were open-

ended questions. The questions were spaced across two pages so that each page had a total of

three questions. The orders of the questions were also considered. The questions begin by asking

the participants to define the term and then prompt the participants to provide examples of how

phonemic awareness should be assessed and used for instructional purposes.

Initial field test. The initial field test had 20 respondents who were enrolled in a graduate

level reading course. The participants represented a range of teaching experience. The initial

field test was administered during a class, and the participants were asked to answer the six

questions on the survey to the best of their ability. Many of the participants answered the











Table B-1. Continued.
Scoring Rubric for Question 5: What instructional methods could be used to develop phonemic awareness?
0 1 2 3
Specific Indicators: Specific Indicators: Specific Indicators: Specific Indicators:
Response relates to at least Response relates to at least 2 Response relates to 3 or
Methods mentioned do not 1 method that includes the methods (does not include more methods.
address phonemic awareness use of letters. the use of letters).
Response includes at least 3
Does not include oral Response includes more than different skills (does not
language skills. 1 phonetic skill. include letters).
Connects letters once oral
piece is mastered.
Scoring Rubric for Question 6: Rating of Methods Indicated
Specific Indicators: Specific Indicators: Specific Indicators: Specific Indicators:
Does not mention any Describes 1 or 2 indicators. Describes 3 or more Mentions all 5 indicators.
indicators or mentions indicators. Indicators described must be
inappropriate indicators Indicators described must research based.
be research-based. Indicators described must be OR
Time research based.
Grouping Describes in detail effective
Methods instructional methods and
Assesment includes indicators to support
Skills methods.










questions in full and added any comments about the wording of the questions. The participants'

responses were reviewed, and a scoring rubric was developed for each question based on their

responses.

Validity and reliability. Validity entails an evaluation of the value implications of both

test interpretation and test use (Messick, 1980). Several measures were taken to ensure both

validity and reliability of the PAKS. The content validity for the PAKS derived from the maj or

consensus reports related to teachers' knowledge of phonemic awareness (Adams, 1990; Adgar,

Snow & Christian, 2002; Moats, 1999; NCLB, 2002; NRP, 2000; Snow et al., 1998). The PAKS

was divided into two knowledge areas: (1) knowledge about the construct of PA and (2)

knowledge about PA pedagogy. In order for teachers to have an explicit understanding of PA

they should be grounded in both the construct of PA, as well as the pedagogy related to PA

(Moats, 1994).

In order to investigate construct validity, the respondents of the pilot survey were asked

whether the purpose of the test was apparent and the questions were comprehensible. Since the

respondents were all enrolled in a graduate level reading course, their evaluation of the test

assisted the researcher in determining if there was face evidence of validity of the measurement.

The respondents indicated that the questions were clear, and they felt there was ample amount of

space to answer the questions.

Reliability is the extent to which an experiment, test or any measuring procedure yields the

same result on repeated trials (Babbie, 1990). Inter-rater reliability was used to ensure the

consistency of the implementation of the measurement. The six item questionnaire was coded by

the use of a rubric on a scale from zero to three. All the questionnaires were coded by the

researcher and another expert on the field to enhance inter-rater reliability of the questionnaire.











Table G-3. (continued)
Author (s) & Sample
Year Description
McCutchen, N=44
Abbott, (K, 1st
Green, teachers)
Beretvas, n=24
Cox, Potter, (intervention
Quiroga & group)
Gray, 2002 n=20
(control
group)
N=492 (K
students)
N=287 (1st
students)
Moats & N= 50
Foorman, Phase I (K,
2003 1st, 2nd)
n=41
Phase II (2nd,
3rd)
n=103
PhaselII
(3rd,4th>


Experimental
Design
Intervention
Pre-test-
Post-test
(2-week
summer
institute


Type of Knowledge
examined
Knowledge of the
Structure of Language;
General Knowledge;
Teacher Practice;
Student Learning


Measures

Informal Survey of
Lingui sti c
Knowledge (Moats,
1994); 45-item test
(Stanovich &
Cunningham, 1993);
Field notes; TOPA,
MRT, Gates-
MacGinitie Reading
Tests, times fluency


Results

Teachers in intervention
group had higher post-test
scores; Teachers in
intervention group spent more
time on explicit instruction;
students in classrooms of
intervention group had higher
in reading comprehension






Few accurate responses to
open-ended questions,
teachers on all 3 forms had a
difficult time identifying
speech sounds


Experimental Knowledge of the
Survey Structure of Language


Informal Survey of
Lingui sti c
Knowledge: 3
different forms
(Moats, 1994)








SECTION 2: PHONE1VE COUNTING

Items 5-10: How many speech sounds are in each word?

Sample Item

cat 3

SECTION 3: PHONE1VE IDENTIFICATION

Items 1 1-16: What is the 3rd speech sound in each of the following words?

Sample Item

shook k


SECTION 4: PHONE1VE IVATCHING

Items 17-20: Read the first word in each line and note the sound that is presented
by the underlined letter or letter cluster. Then select the word on the line that
contain the same sound. Underline the words you select.

"There is only one correct answer per item".

Sample Item

push although sug-ar duty pump


SECTION 5: Phoneme Seg~menting~ and Blending-

Items 21-25: Reverse the sequence of speech sounds in each of these words. Write
the new word next to the line of the word presented. Think of the sounds, not the
letters

Sample Item

cup puck









awareness has been criticized by some researchers. As previously noted, a more in depth

assessment (e.g., CTOPP) of student' s phonological skills may have yielded different results.

Implications for Future Research

This study yields several important implications for future research. Although

measurement of teachers' knowledge is challenging for researchers, acquiring an understanding

of what teachers know and how it effects classroom practice is critical for improving teachers'

practice through effective teacher preparation and professional development activities.

Survey Design

The Phonemic Awareness Knowledge Survey (PAKS) was developed to examine teachers'

knowledge of phonemic awareness concepts and pedagogy. Although a large body of

converging evidence related to teacher knowledge has revealed that teachers lack overall

knowledge about phonemic awareness, few studies have examined teachers knowledge related to

more advanced concepts about language (Adams, 1990; Adgar, Snow & Christian, 2002; Moats,

1999; NCLB, 2002; NRP, 2000; Reading Excellence Act, 1996; Snow, Burns & Griffin, 1998;

The National Right to Read, 1993). Specifically, researchers have yet to examine what kinds of

questions are the most sensitive and a meaningful indicator of how well a teacher is likely to

perform in the classroom.

The PAKS was designed to examine teachers' understanding of phonemic awareness

related to the importance of phonemic awareness and to examine their understanding of

phonemic awareness assessment and instruction. Further research is also needed on developing

teacher knowledge surveys and connecting them to be valid predictors of how well a teacher is

likely to do in reading instruction. Many of the surveys used to uncover teachers' knowledge of

phonemic awareness have not been identified as valid predictors of how well a teacher teaches

reading.











Table B-1. Continued
Scoring Rubric for Question 3: What phonemic awareness skills are most important?
0 1 2 3
Specific Indicators: Specific Indicators: Specific Indicators: Specific Indicators:
Answer incorrect Indicates that it is Names or describes blending Names or describes blending
Vague and general important to identify and/or or segmenting. and segmenting.
Doesn't answer the question hear letters/sounds in
Focuses on what teachers do, words (has letter/sound
not what students need to connection).
learn.
Mentions ALL skills are Skills are mentioned
important. (blending and segmenting
are omitted).

Scoring Rubric for Question 4: How can phonemic awareness be assessed?
Specific Indicators: Specific Indicators Specific Indicators: Specific Indicators
Answer incorrect Name 1 appropriate Names 1 skill and 1 method. Name 3 skills or 3 methods.
Vague and general method or skill. OR
Doesn't answer the Names 2 skills or 2 methods.
question--doesn't tell how Mentions only "DIBELS" OR
to assess or tells about (does not mention any Names specific subtests of
instruction subtest). DIBELS.

















Sample Survey Questions


Demographic Informaiion

Are you male or female?
What ethnic or racial group do you identify yourself in?
What is the highest level of your education?
What areas are you certified or endorsed to teach in?
Htow many years have you been teaching?
What grade do you teach this year?
Hoow many years have you iaughl ihis grade?

Phonemic Awareness Knowledge

What is phonemic awareness?
Why is phonemic awareness imporiani?
What phonemic awareness skills are most important?
How can phonemic awareness be assessed?
What instructional methods could be used 10 develop phonemic awareness?
From the instructi onal methods you just described, which do you implement in your
classroom and how often?


Phonemic Awareness Skills

How many speech sounds are in each word?
What is the 3" speech sound in each of the following words?
Reverse the sequence of speech sounds in each of these words.
Circle the letter that best represents the word without ihe i dentill ed sound










demographic differences. As shown in Table 3-3, one district was considered a large-sized

district, two districts were considered medium-sized districts and two districts were considered

small-sized districts. The study was conducted in 42 Reading First schools from five different

school districts. To qualify for Reading First, schools must show that the percentage of students

reading below grade level is greater than the state average and at least 15% of the student

population is eligible for free and reduced lunch (Reading First in Florida, 2006). Reading First

schools were selected because of the type and amount of professional development that is at each

school is somewhat uniform across the Reading First districts and schools. Teacher data were

collected by the principal investigator during a meeting at the teachers' schools. Student data

were collected from Progress Monitoring Reporting Network (PMRN), a statewide database,

after obtaining consent from the Florida Center for Reading Research (FCRR).

Description of the Sample

Participants included 211 kindergarten teachers and 3,468 kindergarten students enrolled in

Florida' s Reading First schools. Participants were volunteers who responded based on letters of

invitation that were sent to Reading First coaches of Reading First schools throughout the five

school districts. Once consent was obtained from FCRR, the data from participating teachers'

students were analyzed in conjunction with the survey data to examine potential relationships

between teacher knowledge and student achievement. Parental consent was not obtained because

the students participating in the study were anonymous.

Teachers

There were 42 participating schools from five participating districts from central Florida.

As shown in Table 3-1, the number of participating Reading First schools varied in each district.

It should be noted that not all the schools were invited to participate in two of the participating

districts. Schools in Alachua and Marion County were chosen based on the number of









schools. These initiatives were designed to ameliorate the current deficits in students' ability to

acquire the necessary skills to become proficient readers.

These initiatives have become powerful documents that dictate what and how teachers

teach reading. A maj or conclusion from the research based on these initiatives is that early

systematic instruction in phonemic awareness improves early reading skills (Adams, 1990;

Blachman, 2002; Bos, Mather, Dickson, Podhaj ski & Chard, 2001; NCLB, 2002; NRP, 2000;

Snow, Burns, & Griffin, 1998).

Despite recent increases in the research base about phonemic awareness, the process of

translating this knowledge into teacher practice has been relatively slow (McCutchen &

Berninger, 1999). Phonemic awareness requires the ability to attend to one sound in the context

of other sounds in the word (Ehri, Nunes, Willows, Schuster, Zadeh & Shananhan, 2001). This

can be a difficult task to teach to students because speech sounds are not discrete but rather co

articulated within other speech sounds. Although teachers and teacher preparation programs are

both critical factors, studies consistently find that teachers have limited knowledge about the

structure of language (Bos, Mather, et al., 2001; Moats, 1994; Troyer and Yopp, 1990).

Specifically, teachers lack the knowledge about the construct of PA, knowledge about PA

pedagogy and lack the skills necessary to teach PA effectively (McCutchen & Berninger, 1999,

Moats, 1994).

Although leading educational agencies concur about the nature of reading instruction, only

a few studies have examined what teachers know about these important components of early

reading instruction (Bos, Mather, Dickson et al., 2001; Bos, Mather, Narr & Babar, 1999; Brady

& Moats, 1997; Cunningham, Perry, Stanovich & Stanovich, 2004; McCutchen, Abbot, Green,

Beretvas, Cox, Potter, Quiroga & Gray, 2002; McCutchen, Harry, Cunningham, Cox, Sidman &









The reliability of the PAKS was low, confirming that the test should be adapted before it is used

in future studies.

In the phoneme deletion section of the PASS, directions were stated as follows. "If you

said the word best without the sound /s/, you would say...." Since the directions did not ask the

participants to specify a real word as their answer some of the participants answered by a correct

phonological representation of the word (i.e., instead of me, nzea and nzee were accepted as

correct answers). The directions should have specified "If you said the word best without the

sound /s/, what word would you say?" Then, there would be only one correct answer per item.

The answers were scored based on the correct phonemic representation of the word.

The experimenter effect is a term used to describe any number of cues or signals from an

experimenter that may affect the performance of the participants in the experiment (Rosenthal,

1998). Since the surveys were administered by three different data collectors, it is possible that

the surveys were administered differently. Although there were scripted administration

procedures for both the PAKS and the PASS it is possible that the data collectors influenced the

performance of the participants.

The Hawthorne effect refers to a phenomenon which is thought to occur when participants

observed during a research study temporarily change their behavior or performance because they

know they are being studied. Prior to participating in this study, participants signed a consent

form which informed them about the study. It is possible that the participants' results could be

skewed because they knew their answers were being reviewed.

Although recent studies have shown that DIBELS has been demonstrated to be a good

predictor of performance on state reading tests (Good, Simmons, & Kame'enui, 2000), it should

be noted that the use of DIBELS and other one-minute assessments as a measure of phonemic









APPENDIX D
DIRECTIONS FOR ADMINISTRATION

Administration Procedures

Once all teachers are in the room, please verbally confirm that all teachers all K teachers.

1. Pass out a file folder to each teacher. Ask teachers not to open folders until they receive
directions. Please have teachers take out blue and green consent forms. Have teachers read and
sign the (blue consent) form. Collect form confirming that all participants have signed the
consent form place forms in envelope labeled "Consent Forms" .Tell teachers that the green form
goes with them (GREEN =GO). Have teachers place form under the table or in their bag.

2. Ask teachers to take out yellow form. Please read instructions in bold aloud to the teachers.
Inform teachers that once they have finished they can take out the pink form (teachers info.
form) and start filling out their personal information. (Once you see that a teacher has completed
the yellow form and they have moved on to the pink form collect yellow form and place in
envelope labeled PAKS"

3. Once you have collected all yellow forms, ask teachers to take out cream form. The first part
of the cream form must be completed as a group. Make sure all teachers are on the sample item
of section 1. Read Sample item (white sheet in folder). Give teachers 30 seconds to answer the
question and then give the answer to the teachers. "If you said best without the sound /s/ you
would say bet". "Let' s begin item 1". Please read the next 4 items to teachers (you may repeat
the question only once). Give the teachers 30 sec. before you move on to the next item. Once you
have completed the first section, review the sample items for sections 2-5. Ask teachers if they
have any questions, then ask teachers to complete the rest of the survey on their own. Once they
have completed the cream sheet, collect and place in envelope labeled "PASS" and ask the
teachers to complete the pick sheet.

4. Ask teachers to completely fill out pink sheet (please scan to make sure they have filled out all
parts of the pink sheet before you collect the forms. Place pink sheet in envelope labeled
"Teacher Info Form".

5. Pass out book for compensation.

OTHER NOTES:
1. PLEASE MAKE SURE ALL CONSENT FORMS HAVE BEEN SIGNED.

2. Before collecting forms and placing in them in the appropriate envelope, please make
sure that they have COMPLETELY filled out the forms (all forms in file folder have an
ID number so it is OK to collect the forms once they have completed each part of the
survey).

3. REMIND teachers that survey should be done independently (you might want to place
folders with spaces in between teachers so they don't look at each other' s answers.
THEY CANNOT COMPARE ANSWERS









During the institute, university researchers focused on deepening the teachers

understanding of phonology, phonemic awareness and its role in a balanced reading program.

This was done by devoting considerable time to deepening understanding of the importance of

phonemic awareness and its role in a balanced reading approach. Teachers were engaged in a

number of authentic activities. These activities encouraged teachers to count the number of

phonemes in words, analyze the typical sequence of development in children's phonemic

awareness and provided the teachers with opportunities to observe and then administer phonemic

awareness assessments to children of various ages. The instructional intervention continued

across the year in the context of three follow up sessions. University researchers also observed

teachers literacy instruction and recorded their activities throughout the year.

After conducting a repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA), researchers found

that although teachers in the experimental group and the control group were comparable in their

general knowledge and phonological knowledge at pre-test, teachers in the experimental group

had higher post-test scores on their knowledge survey. It was also found that the kindergarten

teachers in the experimental group spent more time on explicit phonological activities than

teachers in the control group. Although the overall time spent on phonological awareness was

lower in first grade, first grade teachers in the experimental group spent more time on explicit

comprehension instruction than first grade teachers in the control group. Researchers were able

to document that teachers involved in the two week intervention changed their classroom

practice by engaging their students in explicit instruction of word sounds and the alphabetic

principle. Also, the researchers found that kindergarten students in classrooms of experimental

group teachers made greater gains across the year in orthographic fluency. First grade students in












4 FINDINGS ................. ...............63.................


Introducti on ................ ..... ....... ..... ...............63.......
Descriptive and Inferential Statistics ........._..... ................. ...............63...
Phonemic Awareness Knowledge Survey (PAKS) ....._.__._ ..... ... ._ ........_._.....64
Phonemic Awareness Skills Survey (PAS S) ....._.__._ ........_. ....._._. .........6
Student Scores (DIBELS)................ ...............7
Statistical Analysis of the Data. .........._.... ...............74..__... ....
PAK S and PAS S............... ....... .............7
PASS and Level of Teaching Experience .............. ...............74....
PAKS and Level of Teaching Experience ......__....._.__._ ......._._. ...........7
Teachers' Knowledge and Student Outcomes............... ...............75
Summary ........._.___..... ._ __ ...............80.....


5 DISCUSSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS .............. ...............82....


Introducti on ........._.___..... ._ __ ...............82.....
Summary of Results............... ....... ... ...............8
Phonemic Awareness Knowledge Survey (PAKS) ....._.__._ ..... ... ._ ........_._.....82
Phonemic Awareness Skills Survey (PASS) ....._.__._ ........_. ....._._. ..........8
Teacher Knowledge and Student Scores .............. ...............86....
Limitations to the Present Study ........._.___..... .___ ...............89...
Implications for Future Research............... ...............92
Survey Design .............. .. ...............92...
Professional Development............... ..............9
Teacher Preparation............... ..............9
Conclusion ........._.___..... .__ ...............94....


APPENDIX


A PARTICIPANT INFORMATION .............. ...............97....


B PHONEMIC AWARENESS KNOWLEDGE SURVEY .............. ..... ............... 9


C PAS S SURVEY ............_...... ...............104..


D DIRECTIONS FOR ADMINISTRATION ................. ...............108...............


E PARTICIPANT DATA ................ ...............116................


F IRB FORM S ............ ..... ._ ...............118..


G S TUDIE S RELATED TO PHONEMIC AWARENE S S .....____ ...... .___ ...............1 22


REFERENCES .............. ...............128....


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ........._.._.. ....__. ...............133...









Table 4-12. Full Regression Model (PSF)
Outcome Explanatory b 8 t Significance Zero-Order
Variable Variables Correlations
PSF (3) PSF (1) .751 .736 13.897 p<.001 .721
Knowledge -.234 -.066 -1.211 .227 .013
Skills -.113 -.042 -.767 .444 .058

Initial Sound Fluency (ISF). The third model that was tested indicated a significant F

ratio of F (3,1~74) =14. 83, p<.00 1. In addition, the adjusted R2 Value Of .193 indicates that the

explanatory variables are j ointly associated with 19% of the shared variance in the DIBELS ISF

scores. When examining the influence of each variable on the outcome variable (ISF 3), the

greatest predictor of the post-test scores was the pre-test scores controlling for knowledge and

skills. This is indicated by the large standardized beta coefficient (8=.452). The pre-test score

also had the largest absolute t value and the smallest significant (t-6.618, p<.001) which

suggests that ISF (1) has a large impact on scores predicted for ISF (3). Findings also revealed

that teachers' knowledge and skills did not have predictive value on the ISF (3) with significance

levels ofp=.516 and p=.748 (at the .05 level of significance), making ISF (1) appear to be the

stronger explanatory variable in the equation.

Table 4-13. Full Regression Model (ISF)
Outcome Explanatory b 8 t Significance Zero-Order
Variable Variables Correlations
ISF (3) ISF (1) .709 .452 6.618 p<.001 .451
Knowledge .146 .046 .651 .651 .039
Skills .055 .023 .321 .321 .056

Letter Naming Fluency (LNF). The fourth model that was tested indicated a significant

F ration of F (3,1~74) = 3. 21, p>.05. The adjusted R2 Value Of .053 indicates that the explanatory

variables are jointly associated with only 5% of the shared variance in the DIBELS LNF scores.

When examining the influence of each variable on the outcome variable (LNF 3), the greatest

predictor of the post-test scores was the teachers' knowledge score when controlling for skills









knowledge survey who had students that had higher reading achievement. Finally, it was also

found that teachers who routinely participated in the professional development program scored

higher on the knowledge survey than the teachers who had lower attendance rates. There are

limitations included in this study. The survey that was used was an experimental survey and the

authors did not report any reliability or validity measures.

Spear-Swerling and Brucker (2004) investigated 147 novice teachers' knowledge about

word structure. The participants consisted of pre-service and in-service teachers enrolled in a

special education teacher certification program. Participants formed three different groups.

Teachers in group 1 were taking day sections of an upper-level special education course and

received supervised tutoring of children in a local elementary school. Teachers involved in group

2 were taking the same course without the supervision. Teachers in group 3 were the comparison

group and did not receive any instruction regarding the English word structure.

The authors used the test of Word-Structure Knowledge to investigate teachers knowledge

of the English word structure. They examined three specific tasks to measure word structure

knowledge and grapho-phonemic segmentation of words, classifying pseudo words by syllable

type and classifying real words as either phonetically regular or irregular. The grapho-phonemic

segmentation task attempted to assess whether the participants understood how to segment words

by phonemes. This type of knowledge is important for accurate interpretation of children' s errors

in reading and spelling. Knowledge about syllable types and irregularities can enable teachers to

avoid the use of inappropriate words in instruction.

A way-one analysis of variance indicated that teachers involved in group 1 and group 2

scored significantly higher on the post-test than teachers involved in group 3. There was no

difference in post-test scores between teachers involved in Group 1 and teachers involved in










gift of believing in myself. I would also like to thank my brother John for his support and

encouragement.

I would like to thank my son Brandon for giving me the gift of motherhood. Thank you for

always giving me an excuse to take time to laugh; you keep me grounded.

Finally, I had to save the best for last. I would like to thank my best friend and husband

Stephen. His words of encouragement throughout this journey have made me a better wife, Mom

and teacher. I now know that to accomplish any task I must always remember to "keep my feet

moving." I thank him for allowing me to pursue my dreams.









The researchers also concluded that although both groups had positive perceptions about

phonemic awareness and felt prepared to use phonemic awareness activities in their classrooms,

both groups lacked basic knowledge related to phonemic awareness instruction. The results

indicate a dichotomy between teachers' knowledge of phonemic awareness and their perceptions

about the role and importance of phonemic awareness training. While both groups of teachers

perceive phonemic awareness as an important component of reading instruction, the authors

found that both groups lacked knowledge related to phonemic awareness instruction. This study

had several limitations that are important to consider in interpreting the findings. First, the results

relied exclusively on self-report data. The researchers did not conduct any field-based

observations. Next, the data were collected in a face-to-face context. This means the data might

be prone to social desirability bias. Lastly, although the surveys were field tested, both surveys

had low reliability. The internal consistency on the Teacher Perceptions about Early Reading and

Spelling was .70 for explicit code instruction and .50 for implicit code instruction, and the

Structure of Language had an internal consistency of .60. This can be attributed to the limited

number of items on the survey.

Recently, Cunningham et al. (2004) investigated the knowledge calibration in the domain

of reading. Specifically, they examined teachers' knowledge of children' s literature,

phonological awareness, and phonics. The researchers surveyed 722 kindergarten through third

grade teachers from 48 elementary schools in a large, urban school district in northern California.

To assess teachers' knowledge of children' s literature, the researchers used the Title Recognition

Test (TRT) (Cunningham & Stanovich, 1991). The TRT lists 35 children's book titles and 15

false book titles; the participants were instructed to put a check mark next to the book titles they

recognized. A modified version of the Informal Survey of Linguistic Knowledge (Moats, 1994)









SECTION 4: Phoneme Matchinq


SECTION 5: Phoneme Seqmenting and Blendinq


CHIP


SAFE


Items 17-20: Read the first word in each line and note the sound that is presented by
the underlined letter or letter cluster. Then select the word on the line that contain the
same sound. Underline the words you select.

Sample Item


push


duty


raid

votes



flare


although sugar


pump


friend

rice

kite

pillar


17. we(

18. does

19. pjtch

20. far


pie

miss

fly

march


height

nose

hair

scary


Items 21-25: Reverse the sequence of speech sounds in each of these words. Write the
new word next to the line of the word presented. Think of the sounds, not the letters

Sample Item

cup puck


21. teach


CHEAT


22. pitch

23. sigh ~

24. spill _


ICE

LIPS


25. face


Thank you for your time and effort!









SECTION 5: PHONE1VE DELETION


Items 22-25: Circle the letter that best represents the word without the identified sound (items
will be presented orally).


Sample Item



If you said the word best with the sound /s/, you would say:

(b) b et

(c) beast

(d) bets

(e) I'm not sure


22. If you said the word meat with the sound /t/, you would say:

(a) meet

(b) me

(c) mead

(d) I'm not sure


23. If you said the word driver with the sound /v/, you would say:

(a) drive

(b) dive

(c) dryer

(d) I'm not sure









4. How can phonemic awareness be assessed?


5. What instructional methods could be used to develop phonemic awareness?















6. Describe briefly the instructional methods you use to develop students' phonemic
awareness skills, including the methods, time devoted to phonemic awareness
instruction (minutes per day and days per week) grouping arrangements, types of
assessments used and specific instructional skills that are taught.










Thank you for your time and effort!









APPENDIX G
STUDIES RELATED TO PHONEMIC AWARENESS
































































were eligible for free or reduced lunch. Seven percent of the sample were identified as limited

English proficient (LEP) but were not enrolled in classes specially designed for LEP students.

Table 3-6. Student demographics
Teachers


n
1,662
1,802

1127
1737
389
29
156


Gender


Ethnicity


Female
Males

White
Black
Hispanic
Asian/Pacific Islander
Other

Educable/Trainable
Mentally Handicapped
Orthopedically
Impaired
Speech/Language
Impaired
Deaf or Hard of
Hearing
Specific Learning
Disabled
Gifted
Hospital/Homebound
Autistic
Developmentally
Delayed
Other Health Impaired


ESE exceptionality


227


52

9
6

79

10
366
3099

1162
125

1936
221
254

32

3158


Retention


Lunch status





Limited English
Proficient (LEP)


Student did not apply
Applied but not
eligible
Eligible for free lunch
Eligible reduced lunch
LEP but not in classes

Two year follow-up
program
Not applicable









RELATIONSHIPS AMONG TEACHERS'
PHONEMIC AWARENESS KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS AND
THEIR STUDENTS' EMERGENT LITERACY GROWTH





















By

MERIDITH TAYLOR STROUT


A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

2008









similar studies related to teacher knowledge (Troyer & Yopp, 1990). It was also found that

teachers who have an early childhood certification had a higher mean on the PAKS and PASS

than teachers who did not have the certification. Teachers who had this certification may have

had more reading courses that focus on emergent literacy development. Teachers who

participated in at least one of the three Reading First professional development activities

(Reading First academy, district training or on-site training) had a higher mean (M=8.52) than

teachers who did not participate in any type of professional development (M=6.98). Although all

the teachers participating in the study were from Reading First schools, many of the teachers

indicated that they did not participate in any type of professional development. It should also be

noted that there was a small but significant difference between teachers who had one or more

hours of professional development and teachers who did not have any hours of professional

development. An independent t-test revealed a small but significant difference (t=2.34, p=<. 05),

indicating that teachers who had one or more hours of professional development scored higher

on the PAKS than teachers who had zero hours of professional development. However an

independent t-test for the PASS revealed that there were no significant differences (t= .784,

p>. 05) between teachers who had one or more hours of professional development and teachers

who had zero hours of professional development. These results demonstrate that the scores are

not equally dependent on professional development. Teachers who participated in professional

development scored higher on the PAKS than teachers who did not, and there were no

differences between teachers who participated in professional development and teachers who did

not on the PASS.

The Eindings of this survey are difficult to compare to other studies because studies

comparable to this study examine teachers' ability to identity, count and manipulate sounds









The literature reviewed in this chapter provides a theoretical and empirical basis for this

study. Researchers have demonstrated that phonemic awareness is critical for beginning readers

to learn how to read. Recent studies have demonstrated teachers' lack of knowledge of phonemic

awareness instruction and how this lack of knowledge has dire implications for student

achievement and growth.

This study builds on the existing research base by examining other forms of surveys to

examine teachers' knowledge and skills of phonemic awareness. The purpose of this study was

to examine the relationship between teachers' knowledge about phonemic awareness, teachers'

own phonemic awareness skills and their students' phonemic awareness growth.









the United States. Although the participants were compensated with a professional development

book for participating in the study, not all teachers chose to participate. Non-participating

teachers did not share reasons for not participating, but it is possible that they chose not to

participate because they felt they lacked knowledge about phonemic awareness. Although the

overall scores for the two surveys were low, teachers who did participate could have participated

because they felt they had a strong knowledge base which could have skewed the results of the

surveys.

The demographics surveys asked the teachers to indicate the type of professional

development they participated in within the last twelve months. Participants did not indicate

professional development activities that they participated in prior to the previous school year.

Many of the participants noted that they did participate in Reading First professional

development but it was not within the twelve month period. It would have been useful to have

more detailed information about previous professional development experience. However, the

effort to keep the survey short interfered with the collection of this potentially useful data.

The PAKS was an adapted survey and has not been used in previous studies. The PAKS

was developed to assess teachers' knowledge of phonemic awareness pedagogy. The PAKS

asked the teachers' six open ended questions about phonemic awareness. Although all of the

questions were deemed appropriate as a result of the pilot study, this study demonstrated that the

last question on the survey was too long. The last question asked the teachers to expand their

answer from the previous question. The teachers were asked to describe the methods, time

devoted to teaching phonemic awareness, grouping arrangements, the types of assessments used

and specific instructional skills that were taught. This question should focus on one or two of the

instructional methods so that teachers answering the questions can elaborate on their answers.









CHAPTER 5
DISCUSSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

Introduction

Researchers have found that early systematic instruction in phonemic awareness improves

students' beginning reading and spelling skills (Mather et al., 2001). Although research confirms

that this knowledge increases students' understanding of reading, research continues to

demonstrates that teachers are not familiar with phonemic awareness activities (McCutchen,

Harry et al., 2002; Mather et al., 2001; O,Connor, 1999).

The purpose of this study was to determine the relationships among kindergarten teachers'

knowledge about phonemic awareness and their students' emergent literacy development. More

specifically, this study examined the relationship between teachers' knowledge of phonemic

awareness pedagogy and teachers' own phonemic awareness skills and their students' phonemic

awareness growth.

This chapter provides an overview of the current study and summarizes the results found in

Chapter 4. First, a summary of results will be discussed related to the teacher knowledge surveys.

Next, a discussion of the generalizations, assumptions, and limitations of the study; threats to

external validity; and measurement and statistical issues will be reviewed. Finally, the

dissertation will close with a summary and implications for future research.

Summary of Results

Phonemic Awareness Knowledge Survey (PAKS)

The mean score for the PAKS was 7.82 out of a possible 18. The scores ranged from zero

to eighteen which means that at least one of the participants did not answer any of the questions

correctly and one participant received a perfect score on all six items. An item analysis revealed

that item two had the lowest mean (m=.99) and item three (m=1.64) had the highest mean. Item










the kindergarten level. It was found that teachers who had more experience teaching at the

kindergarten level scored lower on the survey than teachers who had less years of teaching

experience.

PAKS and Level of Teaching Experience

Correlations were computed to test the relationship between the PAKS and years of

teaching experience. An examination of the correlations reveals that there was no significant

relationship between the PAKS and years of teaching experience. At the .05 level of

significance (r=-.018, p>.05) the correlation indicates that there was no relationship between the

two variables. Similar Eindings also revealed that there was no relationship between the PAKS

and years of teaching experience at the kindergarten level. At the .05 level of significance (r=-

.034, p>.05) the correlation indicates that there was no significant relationship between the two

variables.

Teachers' Knowledge and Student Outcomes

As shown in Table 4-10, correlations were also computed between the means of the

variables. If the subtest was given three times, the difference was computed between the fall and

spring assessments. If the assessment was only give two times during the year the mean was

calculated between the fall and winter or the winter and spring assessments. Findings revealed

that there was a positive correlation between teachers' phonemic awareness knowledge and the

LNF (r-.157, p<.05). Teachers who did well on the PAKS also had students who did well on the

LNF. There were also positive correlations between the ISF and PSF (r=.334, p<.01), PSF and

NWF (r-.325, p<.01) and ISF and NWF (r-.521, p<.01). This is due to the skills each subtest

measures. If students did well on the PSF, they also did well on the NWF and the ISF. All three

subtests measure a students' ability to identify, segment and decode phonemes in words. There

was a negative correlation between the LNF and the PSF (r=.-209, p<.01) which means that










Table 4-1. PAKS Descriptive Statistics
Number of Teachers taking PAKS 211
Number of items 6
Mean (M) 7.82
standard deviation (SD) 3.17
Minimum score 0
Maximum score 18
Test Reliability (Cronbach's a) .67

Table 4-2. PAKS Item Analysis
Mean SD
PAKS Item 1 1.58 .72
PAKS Item 2 .99 .70
PAKS Item 3 1.64 .99
PAKS Item 4 1.10 .91
PAKS Item 5 1.23 1.01
PAKS Item 6 1.28 .77


Table 4-3. PAKS Scores by Category
PAKS Scores by District Size
District Size Mean SD
Large District (n=84) 7.20 2.96
Medium District (n=61) 8.80 3.22
Small District (n=66) 7.69 3.22
PAKS Scores by Educational Level
Educational Level Mean SD
Bachelors (n=146) 7.73 3.12
Masters of Above (n=65) 8.00 3.30
PAKS Scores by Early Childhood
Certification
Early Childhood Certification Mean SD
Yes (n=98) 8.16 2.99
No (n=1 13) 7.52 3.31
PAKS Scores by Number of Professional
Development Courses
Number of PD courses Mean SD
None (n=57) 6.98 3.06
One (n=69) 8.52 2.88
Two (n=57) 7.78 3.11
Three (n=28) 7.84 3.90
PAKS Scores by None verses at Least
One Course
Number of PD Courses Mean SD
None 6.98 3.06
At least one 8.12 3.17









Awareness Skills Survey (PASS) assessed teachers' ability to manipulate and identify phonemes

within words.

Data were analyzed by using a multiple regression analysis. The results of the analysis

revealed that teachers lacked basic knowledge related to phonemic awareness knowledge and

skills. It was found that teachers who had advanced degrees scored higher on both the PAKS and

the PASS than teachers who had a bachelor. Findings also revealed that teachers who had an

early childhood certificate had a higher mean on both the PAKS and PASS than teachers who

just had an elementary certificate. There was limited evidence to show a connection between

teachers' knowledge of phonemic awareness and students' literacy development.









BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

Meridith Taylor Strout was born in Lexington, SC, to John and Jean Taylor. She grew up

in Chester, VA, and attended Thomas Dale High School. She attended Lynchburg College in

Lynchburg, VA where she earned her bachelors degree in special education in 1999. She moved

to Gainesville, FL, where she attended the University of Florida and earned a masters degree in

2000 in the Department of Special Education, specializing in learning disabilities. She taught

both in public and private schools in Gainesville, as a special education teacher. She won

"Rookie Teacher of the Year" for Alachua County in 2001 and then she won a statewide

competition in 2003. She obtained a position with the Multidisciplinary Diagnostic Training

Program (MDTP) at the University of Florida as an educational diagnostician.

Meridith entered the Ph.D. program at the University of Florida in 2003. Her studies

focused on the remediation and prevention of reading disabilities. She was supported by a

federally funded proj ect (Proj ect ABC: Access to Books for Children) She also worked for the

Lastinger Center for Learning at the University of Florida which focused on professional

development for teachers who work in high poverty schools.

Upon completion of her Ph.D. program, Meridith intends to teach at the college level and

continue to volunteer at the community level. She currently resides in St. Augustine, FL, with

her husband Stephen and her son Brandon.









necessary to become successful readers. Teachers' knowledge of phonemic awareness and

language development is an important aspect of students' ability to learn how to read

(McCutchen & Berninger, 1999). Many researchers have connected teachers' knowledge of

phonemic awareness to students' reading development (Bos, Mather, Narr et al., 1999;

McCutchen, Abbot et al., 2002; McCutchen, Harry et al., 2002; O'Connor, 1999). This

relationship demonstrates the importance for teachers to have an understanding of effective

beginning reading instruction.

Fortunately, there is now evidence that teachers who have an understanding about the

structure of language and effectively teach those skills to their students can positively effect

students' reading achievement (McCutchen, Abbot et al., 2002; Moats & Foorman, 2003;

O'Connor, 1999). Although recent studies have demonstrated that teachers lack overall

knowledge related to PA instruction, few studies have examined teachers' knowledge and skills

related to PA instruction. The purpose of this study was to determine the relationships among

kindergarten teachers' knowledge about phonemic awareness, their phonemic skills and their

students' emergent literacy development. More specifically, this study examined the relationship

between teachers' knowledge of phonemic awareness pedagogy and teachers' own phonemic

awareness skills and their students' phonemic awareness growth.

Scope of the Study

This study was conducted within a limited scope. The study was delimited by the

geographical location of five school districts in Florida: Alachua County, Duval County, Flagler

County, Marion County and Putnam County. Two districts were considered small-sized (Flagler

and Putnum), two districts were considered medium-sized (Alachua and Marion) and one district

was considered a large-sized district (Duval). The subj ects were 211 kindergarten teachers and









CHAPTER 4
FINDINGS

Introduction

The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationships among kindergarten teachers'

knowledge and skills of phonemic awareness and their students' emergent literacy development.

Specifically, it examined teachers' knowledge about phonemic awareness and their ability to

manipulate and identity specific phonemes within words. The general question of this study was

as follows: What is the relationship between teachers' knowledge and skills about phonemic

awareness and their students' phonemic awareness growth? To investigate this research

question, teachers' knowledge and skills was assessed, analyzed and then correlated with their

students' literacy scores. Using a multiple regression analysis, the relationship between teachers'

knowledge and skills of phonemic awareness and their students' phonemic awareness growth

were measured and compared.

This chapter will focus on the data findings for this study. It will begin with the descriptive

statistics on the PAKS and PASS, which will be followed by the results of the teacher knowledge

surveys (PAKS and PASS) and student assessments. The chapter will conclude with a

presentation of the findings for the relationship between teacher knowledge and student

outcomes, and the relationship between teacher demographics, teacher knowledge and student

outcomes.

Descriptive and Inferential Statistics

This section will include the results of the teacher knowledge tests and student assessment

scores. The section will begin with an examination of the Phonemic Awareness Skills Survey

(PASS) and Phonemic Awareness Knowledge Survey (PAKS). This section will conclude with

an examination of the DIBELS student scores.









student' s ability to name letters therefore one can conclude that there are limited relationships

between teachers' knowledge and skills of phonemic awareness and students' scores. Although

some studies have shown that teacher' knowledge does impact student learning (Bos, Mather,

Narr et al., 1999; McCutchen, Abbot et al., 2002; McCutchen, Harry et al., 2002; O'Connor,

1999), this study found limited evidence to show any correlations between teacher' s knowledge

of phonemic awareness and student learning. There could be multiple reasons for these findings.

First, the PAKS and PASS were both adapted surveys and were not used in previous

studies. Since both surveys were used for the first time in this study it could be assumed that they

are not accurate measures of what teachers know about phonemic awareness. Research has also

yet to determine what kinds of questions are the most sensitive and a meaningful indicator of

how well a teacher is likely to perform in the classroom.

Second, since classroom observations were not conducted on the teachers who participated

in this study, it is hard to connect what teachers know to what they teach in the classroom to their

students or how they teach it. The PASS examined teachers' ability to segment and blend

phonemes within words. It could be assumed that, if teachers do not know how to segment and

blend phonemes within words, they do not know how to model that skill for their students. The

PAKS examined what teachers reported they do in their classrooms. An observation checklist

might be a more reliable way to capture what instructional strategies related to phonemic

awareness the teachers are using in their classrooms. Future studies should examine what

teachers know and what teachers are actually implementing in their classroom.

It would also be beneficial to examine the type of curriculum used in Reading First

schools verses non-Reading First schools. Since the curriculum used in Reading First schools is

rigorously examined prior to adoption teachers may have a different knowledge base because of









university researchers. Proj ect RIME focused on the structure of spoken language with an

emphasis on strategies to improve phonemic awareness and instructional methods for teaching

rhyming, segmenting and blending sounds and letter manipulation. Proj ect RIME included

content on factors that affect early reading and spelling development, teaching strategies and

methods and techniques for explicit reading instruction.

The researchers assessed teacher attitudes by using the Teacher Attitudes of Early Reading

and Spelling (Deford, 1985). To assess teachers' knowledge of language, the researchers used

the Structure of Language (adapted from Moats, 1994), which is a 24-item multiple choice

assessment that examined teachers' knowledge of the structure of the English language at the

word and sound levels. Student data were collected to evaluate the effectiveness of proj ect

RIME.

Using repeated measures of analysis (ANOVA), Bos, Mather, Narr et al. (1999) found

Proj ect RIME to be a success at many levels. First, students who worked with teachers involved

in the proj ect made greater gains in reading acquisition than students who worked with teachers

in the control group. Teacher knowledge of phonological awareness, specifically phonemic

awareness, played a direct role in students' literacy acquisition. Next, teachers involved in

Proj ect RIME became more positive in their attitudes toward using explicit, structured language

approaches. After completing Proj ect RIME, evidence from the teachers' j ournals, classroom

observations and collaborators' field notes revealed that professional dialogues did include use

and application of terminology related to different components of phonemic awareness. Finally,

teachers' knowledge of the structure of language increased during the intervention and

maintained throughout the yearlong collaboration. Student data were collected to evaluate the

effectiveness of the two types of professional development programs.









the classroom of experimental group teachers outperformed their control classroom peers on

phonological awareness, reading comprehension, vocabulary and writing measures.

This study documented changes in teacher knowledge and practice as well as links

between those changes and student learning. The researchers had three maj or findings. First, the

two week institute deepened teachers' knowledge of phonemic awareness. Second, teachers can

use new knowledge to make changes in their instructional practice. Third, the changes that are

made can positively affect student learning. The researchers found that the teachers initial

understanding of phonology and concepts on early literacy instruction were low in comparison to

what the researchers expected.

Moats and Foorman (2004) found similar results with the Early Intervention Proj ect

funded through the National Institute on Child Health and Human Development. Teacher

knowledge was measured by an experimental, nineteen question multiple choice survey (Moats,

1994); teachers' classroom practice was measured with a structured observation instrument

(Texan Teacher Appraisal System, TTAS); and student end of year outcomes were assessed

using the Woodcock Johnson basic reading and broad reading clusters. Teachers participated in a

professional development program that was multidimensional. Teachers attended a two to four

day summer workshop which focused on program implementation; teachers were involved in

courses; teachers received bi-monthly visits to each classroom from university observers;

monthly visits and demonstration lessons from publishers' program consultants; and regular

informal meetings with proj ect staff.

Regression analysis uncovered three maj or findings. First, teacher rated as more effective

in their classroom teaching techniques had students with higher reading outcomes. Teachers

were rated based on their classroom observations. Next, teachers who scored higher on the









school and the school district, a reading coach might serve one school full-time or a coach might

serve several schools in the district.

Teachers involved in Reading First schools are also involved in on-going professional

development. This professional development may be provided by the on-site reading coach or by

the district level reading coach. Teachers participating at Reading First schools receive guidance

in the five reading areas outlined by the NCLB act of 2002 (phonemic awareness, phonics,

fluency, vocabulary and comprehension). Teachers may attend a number of institutes that are

usually provided during the summer or winter breaks. On going professional development is

offered at both the school level and the district level throughout the school year. Teachers are

required to attend school level training provided by the on-site reading coach as well as attend

local district level training.

The federal Reading First grant initiatives have led to overall improved reading instruction

and student achievement (Manzo, 2006). Many feel this is due to the teachers' participation in

the on going professional development activities as well as the on going support provided by the

Reading First coaches at each participating school (Manzo, 2006).

Directions for Future Research

Reading research has demonstrated that early systematic instruction in phonemic

awareness improves students' early reading and spelling skills (Adams, 1990; Adgar et. al.,

2002; NCLB, 2002; NRP, 2000; Moats, 1999; Snow et. al., 1998; The National Right to Read,

1993; Reading Excellence Act, 1996). Although research confirms that this knowledge increases

students' understanding of reading, research continues to demonstrate that teachers are not

familiar with phonemic awareness activities (Mather et al., 2001; McCutchen, Harry et al., 2002;

O,Connor, 1999). Professional development activities have been shown to increase teachers'

knowledge and skills (Mather et al., 2001; McCutchen, Harry et al., 2002; O,Connor, 1999).









Table 4-8. PASS Scores by Category
PASS Scores by District Size
District Size Mean SD
Large District (n=84) 16.0 4.51
Medium District (n=61) 17.8 3.78
Small District (n=66) 16.9 4.17

PASS Scores by Educational Level
Educational Level Mean SD
Bachelors (n=146) 16.68 4.28
Masters or Above (n=65) 17.18 4.22

PASS Scores by Early Childhood
Certification
Early Childhood Certification Mean SD
Yes (n=98) 16.81 4.57
No (n=1 13) 16.86 3.98

PASS Scores by Number of Professional
Development Courses
Number of PD courses Mean SD
None (n=57) 16.46 4.36
One (n=69) 17.14 3.87
Two (n=57) 16.91 4.47
Three (n=28) 16.68 4.65

PASS Scores by None versus at Least
One Course
Number of PD Courses Mean SD
None 16.46 4.36
At least one 16.97 4.22

Student Scores (DIBELS)

As shown in Table 4-9, DIBELS was administered three times during the school year

(Fall (1), Winter (2) and Spring (3). The letter naming fluency (LNF) subtest was administered in

the fall and winter. The initial sound fluency (ISF) subtest was administered in the fall, winter

and spring. The phoneme segmentation fluency (PSF) subtest and the nonsense word fluency

(NWF) subtest were both administered in the winter and spring. There were 179 classrooms

included in the study. Although data was collected on 211 teachers, student data were only









to 95% of respondents answering correctly, which indicates that there is a large range of

difficulty.

Student Measures

Students' skills were assessed using subtests from the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early

Literacy Skills (DIBELS) assessment. Reading First requires an assessment of each child three

times per year using grade-appropriate reading measures that are intended to monitor progress

and predict future reading success. DIBELS is used at all Reading First schools to satisfy this

requirement. Student data were collected from the PMRN database. Four DIBELS subtests were

used: (a) Initial Sound Fluency, which assesses a student' s ability to recognize and produce the

beginning sounds) in an orally presented word; (b) Letter Naming Fluency, which provides a

measure of a student' s proficiency in naming upper and lower case letters; (c) Phoneme

Segmentation Fluency, which measures a student' s ability to segment three- and four-phoneme

words into their individual phonemes; and (d) Nonsense Word Fluency, which taps into the

student' s knowledge of letter-sound correspondence and his/her ability to blend letters into

words (test of the student' s understanding of the alphabetic principle).

The DIBELS assessments are intended to provide data to inform instruction and to review

school level outcomes. The measures are intended to be brief and there are over 20 forms for

each measure. The DIBELS assessments were originally developed at the Early Childhood

Research Institute on Measuring Growth and Development at the University of Oregon. There

has been extensive research done on the DIBELS assessments, specifically on how accurately

they predict performance on important outcomes that depend on the ability to read and

comprehend text (Good, Kaminski, Smith, Simmons, Kame'enui, & Wallin, in press; Good,

Wallin, Simmons, Kame'enui, & Kaminski, 2002; Florida Center for Reading Research (FCRR),









Phonemic Awareness Skills Survey (With Answers)
SECTION 1: Phoneme Deletion


Items 1-4: Listen for directions. Sample Item BET

1. ME or MEA or MEE 3. GOAT or GHOT

2. DRIER or DRYER 4. FRIENDS or FRENZ or FRIEND

FRINZ or FRIENDS or FRENDZ or FRENZ or FRIENDS


SECTION 2: Phoneme Countinq

Items 5-10: How many speech sounds are in each word?

Sample Item

cat 3

5. tie 2 8. mix 4

6. laughed 4 9. thrown 4

7. chalk 3 10. kitchen 5


SECTION 3: Phoneme Identification

Items 11-16: What is the 3rd Speech sound in each of the following words?

Sample Item

shook k

11. joyful F 14. folks K

12. scratch R 15. sheets T

13. protect O 16. lightning T















|UNIVERSITY of

UK IFLORD
Department of Special Education G-315 Norman Hall
PO Box 117050
Gainesville, FL
32611-7050

352-392-0701
352-392-2655 Fax
Dear Teacher,

We ame researchers in the College of Education at the University of Florida We are conducting
a research study to determine what kindergarten teachers in Reading First schools know about
phonemic awareness. Please read this consent statement carefully before you decide to
participate in this study.

We ame request ng your parti cipation in thi s study. Your parti cipation will involve answernng
some questions about phonemic awareness that will take about 20-30 minutes. Your
participation in the study is voluntary Of you choose not to participate or to wnithdraw from the
student at any time, theme will be no penalty. The results of this research study may be
published; however your responses will not be shared by name with anyone and will be kept
confidential to the fullest extent of the law. Any results will be published as group averages. A
professional book ($28 value) will be offered as compensation for the time required to complete
the survey

While there are no direct benefits or risks to you for participating In thi s study, the poss ible
benefits of thi s research are to improve the professional development and teacher prepaati on
efforts In the State of Florida with the Intention to Improve the academic success of children
across the state.

If you have any questions concerning the research study, please contact Meridith Taylor Stmout
at 352-392-0701 or taylorml~qufl.edu Als o, questions or concerns about the research
participants' rights can be directed to the UFIRB office, PO Box 112250, University of Florida,
Gainesville, FL, 3261 1-2250, (352) 392-0433. Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,



Holly B La eidih Tylr Stro Ed


Please sign this copy and return. Keep the second copy for your records.

I have read the procedure described about, and I have received a copy of this letter.

I, voluntarily agree to participate in this study.
(Print name here )


Signature Date

The F~~tounatonfo The Gator Nation
An ~quai pp~ztund~i~tyltiutiio











Table E-1. Continued.
Variable
College Coursework


Code
None:1
1-3 hours:2
4-6 hours:3
7-15 hours:4
More than 16 hours:5
Reading First Academy:1
Reading First (district training):2
Reading First (on-site):3
LiPS training:4
DIBELS training:5
Great Leaps:6
FDLRS training:7
Orton Gillingham:8
SRA training:9
UFLI training:10
FCRR training:11
Other:America Choice Conference: 13
Other:FLKRS: 14
Other: ELIC:15
Other: Literacy Center:16
Other:Inclusin: 17
Other: Book Clubs:18
Other: Brain Gym: 19
Other:Writing Workshop:20
Other:Florida Reading Initiative:21
Other: Kindergarten Workshop:22
Other: Guided Reading:23
Other: Success For All :24
Other:CRISS:25
Other:Fox in the Box:26
Other:Literacy 101: 27
Other: ECHOS: 28
Yes:1
No:2

Correct:1
Incorrect:0


Type of Professional Dev.

































Follow-Up Data:


Cream Form:









Instrumentation

Several instruments were used to assess teachers and students. One test was designed to

measure teachers' knowledge about phonemic pedagogy (Phonemic Awareness Knowledge

Survey, PAKS), and one test was designed to measure teachers' phonemic awareness skills

(Phonemic Awareness Skills Survey, PASS). These tests were developed to be correlated with

students' reading measures. Students' reading measures were collected from the Dynamic

Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) assessment, which measures students'

phonemic awareness, phonics and fluency skills. The DIBELS have already been administered

for educational/instructional purposes in the schools. Student data were accessed from the

Progress Monitoring Reporting Network (PMRN), a statewide database.

The teacher instruments were designed after a comprehensive review of the literature to

establish a rationale for a test that examines teachers' knowledge and skills of phonemic

awareness. After reviewing previous measures that have been used to examine teachers'

knowledge of phonemic awareness, two instruments were development, the Phonemic

Awareness Knowledge Survey (PAKS) and the Phonemic Awareness Skills Survey (PASS). The

process included the following steps: test adaptation and construction, initial field tests and

assessments of validity and reliability. Each of these steps is discussed in the following sections.

Phonemic Awareness Knowledge Survey (PAKS)

The Phonemic Awareness Knowledge Survey (PAKS) was developed to examine teachers'

knowledge of phonemic awareness concepts and pedagogy (see Appendix B). A large body of

converging evidence related to teacher knowledge has revealed a number of conclusions

regarding specific understandings of language and reading processes (Adams, 1990; Adgar,

Snow & Christian, 2002; Moats, 1999; NCLB, 2002; NRP, 2000; Reading Excellence Act, 1996;

Snow et. al., 1998; The National Right to Read, 1993). However, research has yet to resolve










awareness because the subtest on the CTOPP are a more detailed measure of what students know

about phonological awareness and their ability to store that information in their memory.

Although recent studies have shown that DIBELS has been demonstrated to be a good

predictor of performance on state reading tests (Good, Simmons, & Kame'enui, 2000), it should

be noted that the use of DIBELS, and other one-minute assessments, should be used with caution

because DIBELS is an assessment of fluency and automaticty. Since DIBELS measures a

students' automatacity, and students at the kindergarten level may not be at a point of

automaticity, the CTOPP may capture more of what students know about phonemic awareness.

The CTOPP examines students' ability to perform the tasks without the focus on fluency and

automaticity.

Table 5-1. Ccorrelations for Scores on the DIBELS and CTOPP
Measure ELI RCN BLW SM RON MD NWR
LNF .45 .59 .38 .53 .59 .43 .44
ISF .52 .21 .51 .51 .24 .34 .44
PSF .47 .08 .63 .25 .14 .32 .33
Note: LNF=Letter Naming Fluency; ISF=Initial Sound Fluency; PSF=Phoneme Segmentation
Fluency; ELI=Elision; RCN=Rapid Color Naming; BLW=Blending Words; SM=Sound
Matching; RON=Rapid Obj ect Naming; MD=Memory for Digits; NWR=Nonsense Word
Repetition
Limitations to the Present Study

This study had several limitations. The next section will discuss the threats to external

validity, measurement issues and statistical issues.

The participants in the study were volunteers. Instead of selecting the participants

randomly, participants were asked by their Reading First coach to participate in the study. The

participants in the study were teachers who taught in Reading First schools. Therefore, it is

difficult to draw conclusions about what typical kindergarten teachers know about phonemic

awareness. Although the schools were diverse among race and socioeconomic status (SES),

participants in this sample are not reflective of the teachers across the state of Florida or across











CHAPTER 2
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE

This chapter begins with a discussion of policy papers and reports that have examined the

effectiveness of beginning reading instruction and a section on phonemic awareness and how

phonemic awareness and its relationship are related to the reading process. The main portion of

this chapter is a summary and analysis of the professional literature related to previous studies of

teachers' knowledge of phonemic awareness. The chapter concludes with a summary of the

research findings, including the implications for future research.

The literature review is organized into three sections. First, studies that examine teachers'

knowledge and perceptions are reviewed. Next, studies that have investigated the relationship

among teachers' knowledge, beliefs, instructional practice and student outcomes are presented.

Finally, studies that have used professional development activities as an intervention to enhance

teachers' knowledge of phonemic awareness are discussed. Tables G-1 through G-3 contain

descriptive information for each of the studies.

To obtain the most recent literature, a search of publications and documents from 1980 to

the present was conducted using an electronic search of the Educational Research Information

Center (ERIC), PsychlNTFO and EBSCO host. The descriptors for the electronic search were

"teacher knowledge" and "phonemic awareness"; "teacher knowledge" and "phonological

awareness"; "teacher knowledge" and "reading. An ancestral search of the reference lists from

these articles was also conducted, as was a hand search of recent issues or relevant j ournals.

Studies selected for inclusion in this review were included based on the following criteria: (a)

teachers involved in the surveys were teaching at the elementary level (b) knowledge surveys

examined teachers' knowledge and/or skills of phonemic awareness (c) studies were published in

or after 1980.












TABLE OF CONTENTS


page

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS .............. ...............4.....


LIST OF TABLES ................. ...............8......... ....


DEFINITION OF TERMS .............. ...............10....


AB S TRAC T ............._. .......... ..............._ 1 1..


CHAPTER


1 INTRODUCTION TO THE PROBLEM ................. ...............13........... ...


Rationale for the Study .............. ...............15....
Scope of the Study ................. ...............16.......... ....

2 REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE ................. ...............18........... ...


Beginning Reading Instruction ................. ...............19........... ....
Phonemic Awareness and Reading............... ...............22
Phonemic Awareness Assessment............... ...............2
Phonemic Awareness Instruction ................ ...............25...
Teacher Knowledge and Skills in Phonemic Awareness .............. ...............27....
Perceptions/Knowledge of Phonemic Awareness ................. .............................28
Knowledge of Phonemic Awareness and Student Learning ............... .... ................... .....34
Knowledge of Phonemic Awareness, Professional Development and Student
Learning .............. .... ........... ........ ....... .. ...........3
Summary of Teacher Knowledge Studies Reviewed .............. ..... ............... 4
Reading First................ ..... .............4
Directions for Future Research ................. ...............44................


3 METHODS AND PROCEDURES .............. ...............46....


Setting .................. .. ......... ...............46.......
Description of the Sample .............. ...............47....
Teachers ................. ...............47.................
Students ................. ...............52.................
Instrumentation ............... ... ......__ .. ........_....... .........5
Phonemic Awareness Knowledge Survey (PAKS) ....._.__._ ..... ... ._ ........_._.....54
Phonemic Awareness Skills Survey (PASS) ................. ...............57........... ...
Student M measures ................. ...............59.................
Data Collection Procedures .............. ...............60....
Data Analysis............... ...............61
Summary ................. ...............62.................









APPENDIX B
PHONEMIC AWARENESS KNOWLEDGE SURVEY

Please answer each of the following six questions to the best of your ability in the space
provided below the question.


1. What is phonemic awareness?















2. Why is phonemic awareness important?
















3. What phonemic awareness skills are most important?









students who did well on the PSF did not do well on the LNF. This finding may be due to the

fact that letter naming does not correlate with a child's ability to segment sounds in words. There

were no correlations found between teachers' skills of phonemic awareness and students' scores.

Table 4-10. Correlations between variables using difference between mean over time
Knowledge Skills LNF (diff.) ISF (diff.) PSF (diff.) NWF (dif )
Knowledge 1.00 .268** .157* .064 -.146 .013
Skills .268** 1.00 .089 .030 -.135 .095
LNF (diff.) .157* .089 1.00 0.43 -.209** -0.53
ISF (diff.) .064 .030 .043 1.00 .334** .521**
PSF (diff.) -.146 -.135 -.209** .334** 1.00 .325**
NWF (dif.) .013 .095 -.053 .521** .325** 1.00
** Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed)
* Correlation in significant at the 0.05 level (2-tailed)

Multiple Regression Analysis

A multiple regression analysis was conducted to examine the degree of association

between the explanatory variables (teachers' knowledge, teachers' skills and the corresponding

pre-test) and the outcome variables (DIBELS LNF (2), ISF (3), NWF (3) and PSF (3)). The

multiple regression analysis was also conducted to test the following research questions.

Question 1: What is the relationship between teachers' knowledge of phonemic awareness
pedagogy (PAKS) and their students' phonemic awareness growth?

Question 2: What is the relationship between teachers' own phonemic awareness skills (PASS)
and their students' phonemic awareness growth?

Four regression models were tested to investigate the influence of teachers' knowledge

and skills on the increase in DIBELS measures from the fall to spring, fall to winter or winter to

spring assessments.

Nonsense Word Fluency (NWF). Using multiple regression, the first model was

analyzed with all four variables present. In terms of the overall model, a significant F-ratio of F;

(3, 1 74) =92.1~7, p<.001 was reported. In addition, the adjusted R2 Value Of .614 indicates that the

explanatory variables are j ointly associated with 61% of the shared variance in the DIBELS









Statistical Analysis of the Data

This section will discuss the data Eindings for the relationship of variables in this study

including a multiple regression analysis for each dependent variable, correlations between the

PASS and PAKS, number of years teaching experience, number of years teaching at the K level

and the correlations between teachers' knowledge and students' scores. The data were analyzed

to determine if there were any statistically significant differences between teachers' knowledge

and skills of phonemic awareness and students' DIBELS scores. Additional analyses were

conducted to explore further the results and to compare this study to previous studies.

PAKS and PASS

Correlations were computed to test the relationship between participants' scores on the

PAKS and the PASS. This correlation was conducted to examine if participants who did well on

the PAKS survey to examine their ability to answer open-ended questions about PA also did well

on the PASS a survey to examine their ability to manipulate sounds within words. An

examination of the correlations reveals that participants who did well on the PAKS also did well

on the PASS. At the 0.01 level of significance (r=0.268, p<.01) a relationship was found between

teachers score on the PASS and their score on the PAKS.

PASS and Level of Teaching Experience

Correlations were computed to test the relationship between the PASS and years of

teaching experience. An examination of the correlations reveals that there was a small but

significant negative relationship between the PASS and years of teaching experience. At the .05

level of significance (r--. 146, p<.05) it was found that teachers with more years of teaching

experience scored lower on the PASS than teachers who had less years of teaching experience. It

was also found at the .05 level of significance (r--. 149, p<.05) that there was a small but

significant negative relationship between teachers scores on the PASS and years of teaching at










backgrounds who did not receive such training. This study illustrates that early reading is

facilitated by the ability to manipulate sounds. A small percentage of students are able to acquire

phonemic awareness skills through oral language and print exposure (Adams, 1990). However,

there are many more students who have a difficult time acquiring phonemic awareness and need

direct systematic instruction (Adams, 1990). For most children, awareness of the phonological

structure of words develops naturally over the years of preschool. Other students need direct

systematic instruction on how to manipulate sounds within words (Snow et al., 1998).

Effective instruction for teaching phonemic awareness must follow general effective

teaching guidelines. Teachers must first model the activity before providing time for guided

practice, and there should be careful sequencing of activities from easy to hard (Snider, 1995).

Phonemic awareness instruction should be taught by introducing larger units before smaller

units. Phonemic awareness is a part of a hierarchy of metalinguisitic skills that begins with word-

level awareness and then moves to phoneme-level awareness. Although it is not essential,

students typically develop an understanding of manipulation of sounds at the word, syllable and

onset-rime level before acquiring phoneme-level skills (Lane & Pullen, 2004; Snider, 1995).

Many activities have been developed to promote students' phonemic awareness

development. Teachers can use sound matching, sound isolation and sound addition/substitution

activities to develop their students' phonemic awareness skills (Yopp, 1992). These tasks require

students to identify or provide different sounds within words. Blending and segmenting activities

are also effective strategies to increase students phonemic awareness abilities. Multisensory

activities such as Elkonin boxes can be incorporated with blending and segmenting to enhance

students' phonemic awareness. Elkonin boxes are picture cards with boxes under each picture

representing the number of phonemes in the word (Lane & Pullen, 2004). The student can move









Teacher Preparation

Participants in this study indicated that they had some college coursework related to

reading instruction. Specifically, 46% of the participants indicated that they had taken between

zero and two college classes related to teaching reading and 54% of the teachers had taken two

or more reading courses. Teachers' lack of knowledge related to phonemic awareness could be

related to their level of preparedness to teach reading (Ehri & Williams, 1995). Research has

found that teachers who are well prepared to teach reading expressed confidence in the

knowledge and instructional practices, verses teachers who are less prepared expressed their

frustration at the disconnect between their training and their teaching (Foorman & Moats, 2004;

Taylor, Peterson, Pearson & Rodriguez, 2003). Future research should examine the knowledge

base of teachers from different types of preparation programs. Different types of field

experiences and methods courses should be examined to see if there is a different knowledge

base for teachers from varying levels of preparation.

Although this study examined teachers' knowledge of phonemic awareness, it did not

address teachers' ability to put their knowledge into action in the classroom. Future research

should also examine how teachers put their knowledge of phonemic awareness into action at the

classroom level. Research has shown that teachers who have a solid knowledge base about

reading and apply their knowledge to instructional practices have a greater impact on student

learning (Darling-Hammond & Bransford, 2005; Moats, 1996; Whitehurst, 2002).

Conclusion

Policy makers and researchers in reading development have made significant advancement

in early detection and treatment of students with reading difficulties. However, unless teachers

understand and are prepared to implement these research based practices, students will continue

to demonstrate a difficulty in learning how to read (Moat, 2004, Strickland, Snow, Griffin, Burns









Phonemic Awareness Assessment

Substantial evidence indicates that early assessments of phonemic awareness are highly

predictive of children' s later reading success ( Adams, 1990; Adgar et al., 2002; Ehri, 1989;

Snow et al., 1998; McCutchen, Harry, Cunningham, Cox, Sidman, & Covil, 2002; Moats, 1999;

NCLB, 2002; NRP, 2000; Yopp, 1992). Phonemic awareness assessments have been effective in

determining students' current phonemic awareness capabilities (Blachman, 2002; Snow et al.,

1998). The Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) assessment is one

assessment that has been widely used to assess students' phonemic awareness and early literacy

skills. There are four DIBELS subtests that are used at the kindergarten level to assess beginning

literacy skills: (a) Initial Sound Fluency, which assesses a student's ability to recognize and

produce the beginning sounds) in an orally presented word; (b) Letter Naming Fluency, which

provides a measure of a student' s proficiency in naming upper and lower case letters; (c)

Phoneme Segmentation Fluency, which measures a student' s ability to segment three- and four-

phoneme words into their individual phonemes; and (d) Nonsense Word Fluency, which taps into

the student' s knowledge of letter-sound correspondence and his/her ability to blend letters into

words (test of the alphabetic principle).

Several other activities have been documented to be effective tools to assess students'

phonemic awareness abilities (Lane & Pullen, 2004; NRP, 2000; Yopp, 1992). Phoneme

isolation requires students to recognize sounds in words; for example, students need to be able to

state the first sound in "vase". Phoneme isolation teaches students to recognize individual

sounds in words. Phoneme identity requires students to recognize the same sounds in different

words, for example, students need to be able to decipher the same sound that is in "mall, mouse,

and mouth". Phoneme categorization requires students to recognize the odd sound in a sequence

of three words; for example, students need to be able to know which word does not belong in




Full Text

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1 RELATIONSHIPS AMONG TEACHERS PHONEMIC AWARENESS KNOW LEDGE AND SKILLS AND THEIR STUDENTS EMERGENT LITERACY GROWTH By MERIDITH TAYLOR STROUT A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2008

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2 2008 Meridith Taylor Strout

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3 To my parents John and Jean, thank you both for your endless years of love and support.

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4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS This has been an incredible journey. This journey has not only been about wisdom but also about persistence. There have been many indi viduals who have supported me throughout this experience, and I would like to expre ss my love and gratitude to them. I would first like to thank Dr. Glen Buck who contributed to cultivating my passion for working with children who have special needs. He was the one who has transformed me from a hornet to a gator. I thank my committee member s for being such wonderful mentors and role models: Dr. Holly Lane, my advisor and chair; Dr. Nancy Corbett; Dr. Cyndy Griffin; and Dr. Miller. I feel extremely privileg ed to have had the opportunity to work with such a talented group of individuals. I would like to thank the staff in the Department of Special Education. Shaira, Vicki and Michell have been supportive colleagues a nd friends. They touch many lives by their commitment to the students and faculty in the department. I would also like to thank the site-based coach es and regional coordi nators from Reading First for helping me recruit participants for my study. Florida Center for Reading Research was also an active participant who helped me retrie ve student data from th e Progress Monitoring and Reporting Network (PMRN). I would like to thank Kathy Garland for help ing me with my data collection and Jenny Bergeron for teaching me that statistics can be fun. I would also like to thank Grace-Anne for helping me with my data analysis. I would like to thank my parents, John and Jean Taylor, for teaching me that failure is not an option. My parents have always been my biggest fans and they have supported me throughout my journey in life. They have given me many things, but their greatest gift has been a

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5 gift of believing in myself. I would also like to thank my brother John for his support and encouragement. I would like to thank my son Brandon for gi ving me the gift of motherhood. Thank you for always giving me an excuse to take time to laugh; you keep me grounded. Finally, I had to save the best for last. I w ould like to thank my best friend and husband Stephen. His words of encouragement throughout th is journey have made me a better wife, Mom and teacher. I now know that to accomplish any task I must always remember to keep my feet moving. I thank him for allowing me to pursue my dreams.

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6 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ............................................................................................................... 4LIST OF TABLES ...........................................................................................................................8DEFINITION OF TERMS ............................................................................................................10ABSTRACT ...................................................................................................................... .............11 CHAP TER 1 INTRODUCTION TO THE PROBLEM ............................................................................... 13Rationale for the Study ...........................................................................................................15Scope of the Study ..................................................................................................................162 REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE ..............................................................................18Beginning Reading Instruction ...............................................................................................19Phonemic Awareness and Reading ......................................................................................... 22Phonemic Awareness Assessment ................................................................................... 24Phonemic Awareness Instruction ....................................................................................25Teacher Knowledge and Skills in Phonemic Awareness ....................................................... 27Perceptions/Knowledge of Phonemic Awareness ...........................................................28Knowledge of Phonemic Awareness and Student Learning ...........................................34Knowledge of Phonemic Awareness, Pr ofessional Development and Student Learning .......................................................................................................................35Summary of Teacher Knowledge Studies Reviewed ...................................................... 42Reading First ...........................................................................................................................43Directions for Future Research ...............................................................................................443 METHODS AND PROCEDURES ........................................................................................ 46Setting ....................................................................................................................... ..............46Description of the Sample ..................................................................................................... .47Teachers ...................................................................................................................... ............47Students ...................................................................................................................................52Instrumentation ............................................................................................................... ........54Phonemic Awareness Knowledge Survey (PAKS) ......................................................... 54Phonemic Awareness Skills Survey (PASS) ...................................................................57Student Measures ....................................................................................................................59Data Collection Procedures ....................................................................................................60Data Analysis ..........................................................................................................................61Summary ....................................................................................................................... ..........62

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7 4 FINDINGS ...................................................................................................................... ........63Introduction .................................................................................................................. ...........63Descriptive and Inferential Statistics ...................................................................................... 63Phonemic Awareness Knowledge Survey (PAKS) ......................................................... 64Phonemic Awareness Skills Survey (PASS) ...................................................................69Student Scores (DIBELS) ................................................................................................72Statistical Analysis of the Data .............................................................................................. .74PAKS and PASS ..............................................................................................................74PASS and Level of Teaching Experience .......................................................................74PAKS and Level of Teaching Experience .......................................................................75Teachers Knowledge and Student Outcomes .................................................................75Summary ....................................................................................................................... ..........805 DISCUSSION AND RE COMMENDATIONS ..................................................................... 82Introduction .................................................................................................................. ...........82Summary of Results ................................................................................................................82Phonemic Awareness Knowledge Survey (PAKS) ......................................................... 82Phonemic Awareness Skills Survey (PASS) ...................................................................85Teacher Knowledge and Student Scores ......................................................................... 86Limitations to the Present Study ............................................................................................. 89Implications for Future Research ............................................................................................ 92Survey Design .................................................................................................................92Professional Development ...............................................................................................93Teacher Preparation .........................................................................................................94Conclusion .................................................................................................................... ..........94APPENDIX A PARTICIPANT INFORMATION .........................................................................................97B PHONEMIC AWARENESS KNOWLEDGE SURVEY ......................................................99C PASS SURVEY ....................................................................................................................104D DIRECTIONS FOR ADMINISTRATION ..........................................................................108E PARTICIPANT DATA ........................................................................................................116F IRB FORMS ..................................................................................................................... ....118G STUDIES RELATED TO PHONEMIC AW ARENESS ..................................................... 122REFERENCES .................................................................................................................... ........128BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH .......................................................................................................133

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8 LIST OF TABLES Table page 3-1 Number of schools that pa rticipated in the study ............................................................... 49 3-2 Teacher Demographics ......................................................................................................50 3-3 District Size ........................................................................................................................51 3-4 Number of Teachers who pa rticipated in the stud y ........................................................... 51 3-5 Florida School Indicator s Report 2005-2006 by District ................................................... 52 3-6 Student demographics ...................................................................................................... ..53 3-7 Reliability and Validit y of DIBELS assessment ................................................................ 60 3-8 Research Questions and Plan for Analysis ........................................................................ 61 4-1 PAKS Descriptive Statistics .............................................................................................. 66 4-2 PAKS Item Analysis ..........................................................................................................66 4-3 PAKS Scores by Category ................................................................................................. 66 4-4 Sample responses from the PAKS .....................................................................................68 4-5 PASS Descriptive Statistics ............................................................................................... 70 4-6 PASS Frequency Distribution ............................................................................................70 4-8 PASS Scores by Category ..................................................................................................72 4-9 Mean Score for each subtest by County ............................................................................ 73 4-10 Correlations between variables usi ng difference between m ean over time ....................... 76 4-11 Full Regression Model (NWF) .......................................................................................... 77 4-12 Full Regression Model (PSF)............................................................................................. 78 4-13 Full Regression Model (ISF) ............................................................................................. 78 4-14 Full Regression Model (LNF) ............................................................................................ 79 4-15 Summary of Multiple Regression Analysis f or Teachers Knowledge and Skills and Student Outcomes ..............................................................................................................81

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9 5-1 Ccorrelations for Scores on the DIBELS and CTOPP ....................................................... 89 B-1 Scoring Rubric for Teacher Knowle dge of Phonem ic Awareness Survey ...................... 101 E-1 Participant data codes. .....................................................................................................116 G-1 Studies related to Teacher Percep tion s/Knowledge of Phonemic Awareness .................123 G-2 Studies related to Teacher Knowledge of Phone mic Awareness and Student Learning 124 G-3 Studies related to Teacher Knowledge of Phone mic Awareness/ Professional Development and Student Learning ................................................................................. 125

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10 DEFINITION OF TERMS An understanding of applicable term inology is critical to the implementation and interpretation of this study. Th e following section defines relevant terms as they apply to this study. Blending is the act of combining word part s together to form words. This can be done at the syllable level, onset and rime level and the phoneme level. Grapheme is a letter or letter comb ination that represents a spoken sound or phoneme. Phoneme is the smallest unit of sound in spoken language. Phonemic awareness is the insight that every spoken word can be conceived as a sequence of phonemes (Snow et al., 1998). Phone mic awareness is the ability to manipulate the sounds in language at the smallest unit of sound, the phoneme. Phonological awareness is the s ound sensitivity to the sound stru cture of language. It is the awareness that spoken language can be broken into smaller units of sounds. Phonological awareness includes the ability to detect, isolate, manipulate, blend, or segment units of sound within the speech flow (Ehri, 1989). Segmenting is breaking spoke n language into smaller uni ts of sound. This can be done at four different levels: word level, syllable level, onset and rime level and the phoneme level.

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11 Abstract of Dissertation Pres ented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy RELATIONSHIPS AMONG TEACHERS PHONEMIC AWARENESS KNOW LEDGE AND SKILLS AND THEIR STUDENTS EMERGENT LITERACY GROWTH By Meridith Taylor Strout May, 2008 Chair: Holly Lane Major: Special Education Reading research shows that early syst ematic instruction in phonemic awareness improves students early reading and spelli ng skills. Therefore, teachers knowledge of phonemic awareness is an important aspect of st udents ability to lear n how to read. Many researchers have connected teachers knowledge of phonemic awareness to students reading development. This relationship demonstrates the importance for teachers to have an understanding of the components of language development. Although re search confirms that this knowledge increases students understanding of read ing, research continues to demonstrate that teachers are not familiar with phonemic awareness activities. Our purpose was to investigate the relations hips among kindergarten teachers knowledge and skills of phonemic awareness and their students emergent literacy development. Specifically, it examined teachers knowledge about phonemic awareness and their ability to manipulate and identity specific phonemes within words. Participants were involved in two surveys about phonemic awareness. The Phonemic Awareness Knowledge Survey (PAKS) assessed teachers knowledge about phonemi c awareness pedagogy and the Phonemic

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12 Awareness Skills Survey (PASS) assessed teacher s ability to manipulate and identify phonemes within words. Data were analyzed by using a multiple regres sion analysis. The results of the analysis revealed that teachers lacked basic knowle dge related to phonemic awareness knowledge and skills. It was found that teachers who had advanc ed degrees scored higher on both the PAKS and the PASS than teachers who had a bachelor. Findings also revealed that teachers who had an early childhood certificate had a higher mean on both the PAKS and PASS than teachers who just had an elementary certificate. There was limited evidence to s how a connection between teachers knowledge of phonemic awareness and students literacy development.

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13 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION TO THE PROBLEM A num ber of important educational policy in itiatives have shaped childrens literacy instruction in recent years (Chhabra & McCard le, 2004; NRP, 2000; Stevenson, 2003; Strickland & Shanahan, 2004). These initiatives have o ccurred due to the overwhelming number of students who currently demonstrate difficulties with learning how to read (Moats & Foorman, 2003). In 2006, the National Assess ment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reported that 35% of all fourth grade students in the United States ar e currently reading below the basic level, 30% are reading at the proficient level and only 10% are reading at the advanced level (National Center for Educational Statistics, 2006). Lo cally, the number of fourth grad ers in the state of Florida is behind the national averages with 65% reading be low the basic level, only 21% reading at the proficient level and 3% reading at the advanced level (National Ce nter for Educational Statistics, 2006). These staggering statistics have encouraged national reforms in r eading instruction. In 1998, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and the Department of Education collaborated on the National Research Council Consensus Report and concluded that reading is a highly valued skill and essential for social and economic advancement (Snow, Burns & Griffin, 1998). More recently, congress put together a team of researchers, educators and pare nts to form a National Readi ng Panel (NRP) to examine the research related to effective reading instru ction (Shanahan, 2003). This report had a profound effect on the nature of reading instruction and co ntinues to dominate current reforms. Reading First and Early Reading First are also nationa l initiatives linked to NCLB that support professional development, instructional materials and diagnostic instruments for low performing

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14 schools. These initiatives were designed to ameliora te the current deficits in students ability to acquire the necessary skills to become proficient readers. These initiatives have become powerful documents that dictate what and how teachers teach reading. A major conclusion from the research based on these init iatives is that early systematic instruction in phonemic awareness improves early reading skills (Adams, 1990; Blachman, 2002; Bos, Mather, Dickson, Podha jski & Chard, 2001; NCLB, 2002; NRP, 2000; Snow, Burns, & Griffin, 1998). Despite recent increases in the research ba se about phonemic awareness, the process of translating this knowledge into teacher practi ce has been relatively slow (McCutchen & Berninger, 1999). Phonemic awareness requires th e ability to attend to one sound in the context of other sounds in the word (Ehri, Nunes, Willows, Schuster, Zadeh & Shananhan, 2001). This can be a difficult task to teach to students because speech sounds are not discrete but rather co articulated within other speech sounds. Althoug h teachers and teacher preparation programs are both critical factors, studies consistently find that teachers have limited knowledge about the structure of language (Bos, Mather, et al., 2001; Moats, 1994; Troyer and Yopp, 1990). Specifically, teachers lack the knowledge about the construct of PA, knowledge about PA pedagogy and lack the skills necessary to teach PA effectively (McCutchen & Berninger, 1999, Moats, 1994). Although leading educational agen cies concur about the nature of reading instruction, only a few studies have examined what teachers know about these important components of early reading instruction (Bos, Mather Dickson et al., 2001; Bos, Ma ther, Narr & Babar, 1999; Brady & Moats, 1997; Cunningham, Perry, Stanovich & Stanovich, 2004; Mc Cutchen, Abbot, Green, Beretvas, Cox, Potter, Quiroga & Gray, 2002; McCutchen, Harry, Cunningham, Cox, Sidman &

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15 Covill, 2002; Moats, 1994; Moats & Foor man, 2003; OConnor, 1999; Spear-Swerling & Brucker, 2004; Troyer & Yopp, 1992). Of the studi es that have been conducted, these studies have demonstrated that teachers have limited kn owledge about the structure of language and how it relates to reading acquis ition (Moats, 1994; Moats & F oorman, 2003; OConnor, 1990; Yopp, 1990). Other studies have demonstrated that teacher knowledge can be improved and the increase in their knowledge base about PA can enhance their students reading development (McCutchen, Abbott et al., 2002; Moats & Foorman, 2003). Rationale for the Study Recent findings regard ing reading acquisition ha ve demonstrated that the acquisition of phonemic awareness is highly predictive of late r reading success (Adams, 1990). Specifically, longitudinal studies have found that phonemic awaren ess abilities in kinderg arten (or in that age range) appear to be the best single predic tor of successful readi ng acquisition (IRA, 2005; Torgesen, 2002b; Troyer & Yopp, 1990). Phonemic awareness instruction should involve the understanding that speech is ma de up of a sequence of sounds and those sounds are represented by symbols or letters. Children who are beginni ng to learn about phonemic awareness should have many opportunities to engage in activities that teach them about rhyme, beginning sounds, and syllables. This type of in struction should be taught at an early age. Phonemic awareness instruction at the kindergarten le vel has been proven to minimize or prevent reading problems for children in later grades (Adams, 1990; Foorman & Moats, 2004, Foorman & Torgesen, 2001; Torgesen, 2002b). Based on these findings, one may conclude that most reading failure is preventable and most high-risk students can improve their r eading and writing achievement with expert instruction (Moats & Lyon, 1996; Moats, 1994). It is imperative for teachers to have an understanding of effective literacy instruction development before students can ac quire the skills

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16 necessary to become successful readers. Teachers knowledge of phonemic awareness and language development is an important aspect of students ability to learn how to read (McCutchen & Berninger, 1999). Many research ers have connected teachers knowledge of phonemic awareness to students reading deve lopment (Bos, Mather Narr et al., 1999; McCutchen, Abbot et al., 2002; McCutchen, Harry et al., 2002; OConnor, 1999). This relationship demonstrates the importance for te achers to have an understanding of effective beginning reading instruction. Fortunately, there is now evidence that te achers who have an understanding about the structure of language and effectively teach thos e skills to their students can positively effect students reading achievement (McCutchen, Abbot et al., 2002; Moats & Foorman, 2003; OConnor, 1999). Although recent studies have demonstrated that teachers lack overall knowledge related to PA instruction, few studies have examined teacher s knowledge and skills related to PA instruction. The purpose of this study was to determine the relationships among kindergarten teachers knowledge about phonemi c awareness, their phone mic skills and their students emergent literacy development. More specifically, this study examined the relationship between teachers knowledge of phonemic awareness pedagogy and teachers own phonemic awareness skills and their studen ts phonemic awareness growth. Scope of the Study This study was conducted within a lim ited scope. The study was delim ited by the geographical location of five sc hool districts in Florida: Alac hua County, Duval County, Flagler County, Marion County and Putnam County. Two districts were cons idered small-sized (Flagler and Putnum), two districts were considered medi um-sized (Alachua and Marion) and one district was considered a large-sized dist rict (Duval). The subjects were 211 kindergarten teachers and

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17 3,468 kindergarten students in the 42 schools of th e five counties. The sc hools were selected based on their participation in a fede ral program called Reading First. The study was conducted with kindergarten teac hers who were teaching in Reading First schools. The data from participating teachers st udents were analyzed; these students were in kindergarten. The effect of phonemic awareness professional development activities at different points in the year may confound the results when t eacher data are examined in relation to student data collected across the entire school year. Th e teacher data collected from the study were collected during the middle of the school year. The results of this study cannot be generalized to older or younger students.

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18 CHAPTER 2 REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE This chapter begins with a discussion of polic y papers and reports that have exam ined the effectiveness of beginning read ing instruction and a secti on on phonemic awareness and how phonemic awareness and its relations hip are related to the reading process. The main portion of this chapter is a summary and analysis of the prof essional literature related to previous studies of teachers knowledge of phonemic awareness. Th e chapter concludes with a summary of the research findings, including the imp lications for future research. The literature review is organized into three s ections. First, studies that examine teachers knowledge and perceptions are reviewed. Next, studi es that have investig ated the relationship among teachers knowledge, beliefs, instructional practice and student outcomes are presented. Finally, studies that have used professional development activities as an intervention to enhance teachers knowledge of phonemic awareness ar e discussed. Tables G1 through G-3 contain descriptive information for each of the studies. To obtain the most recent literature, a search of publications and documents from 1980 to the present was conducted using an electronic search of the Educational Research Information Center (ERIC), PsychINFO and EBSCO host. The descriptors for the electronic search were teacher knowledge and phonemic awarene ss; teacher knowledge and phonological awareness; teacher knowledge and reading. An an cestral search of the reference lists from these articles was also conducted, as was a hand sear ch of recent issues or relevant journals. Studies selected for inclusion in this review were included based on the following criteria: (a) teachers involved in the surveys were teaching at the elementary level (b) knowledge surveys examined teachers knowledge and/or skills of phonemic awareness (c) studies were published in or after 1980.

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19 Beginning Reading Instruction Beginning reading instruction has been a topic of interest among researchers and policym akers for the past three decades (Bi nkley, 1988; Chall, 1967;). Researchers have examined the effectiveness of different types of instructional intervention s for children who have difficulty in learning how to read (Adams, 1990). Although there has been a plethora of research regarding reading instruction in re cent years, one of the most critic al aspects of reading research is the principle of convergi ng evidence (Adams, 1990; Chhabra & McCradle, 2004; Grambrell, Morrow & Pressley, 2007; Stanovich & Stanovic h, 2004). Research is considered convergent when a series of experiments consistently support a given theory while collecting and eliminating the most important competing explanations (Adams, 1990). Since converging evidence is critical as a basis for policy and in making sound instructional decisions regarding reading instruction, a number of educational polic ies have been conducted to analyze the nature of reading instruction (Ada ms, 1990; Adgar, Snow & Christian, 2002; Moats, 1999; NCLB, 2002; NRP, 2000; Reading Excellen ce Act, 1996; The National Right to Read, 2006; Snow et al., 1998). The National Right to Read Foundation. The National Right to Read Foundation (NRRF) was established in 1993 to promote comp rehensive, scientific ally-based reading instruction. One of the goals of NRRF was to disseminate reading related research findings from the National Institute of Child Health and Hu man Development (NICHD). The NRRF made the dissemination of this information the immediate and vital focus of its efforts to advance the cause of evidence-based reading in struction. Policymakers started to require that some states include a strong explicit systema tic phonics component in their schools. Researchers began to publish articles about the need for systematic instruction in phonemic awareness and phonics instruction (National Right to Read, 2006).

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20 Reading Excellence Act. In 1996, the Reading Excellence Act was formed to encourage volunteers across America to read to students. The act also provided $260 million annually to states to establish effective professional de velopment programs, instructional materials and diagnostic assessment instruments for teachers. Teachers were expected to implement what was termed scientifically-b ased reading instruction. This term was first defined in the Reading Excellence Act and was carefully written to reflect common goals of researchers and policymakers across the nation. The Reading Excellence Act became a law in 1998. Although the act was only funded for 3 years, it became a solid foundation for Reading First, which was part of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) of 2001. Reading First re quires that schools employ explicit, systematic instruction in phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary development, fluency and comprehension (Sweet, 2004). National Research Council Consensus Report. A National Research Council (NRC) consensus report, Preventing Reading Difficulties in Young Children (Snow et al., 1998) conducted a study of the effectiven ess of interventions for young ch ildren who were at risk of having problems learning how to read. The goals of the project were to define a research base, translate recent research findings into advice a nd guidance for parents, ed ucators and publishers and to convey the advice through a variety of publications, conferences and other outreach activities (Snow et al., 1998). The members of the council were well respected researchers representing diverse viewpoint s on reading instruction. The me mbers of the council concluded that beginning readers need explic it instruction and practice, whic h should lead to an awareness that spoken words are made up of smaller units of sounds. Their report laid the groundwork for the next report which was published by the National Reading Panel (Sweet, 2004).

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21 National Reading Panel. The National Reading Panel (NRP) issued a report in 2000 that responded to a Congressional mandate to help pa rents, teachers and policymakers identify key skills and methods central to reading achievement. In order to expand the work of the NRC, the NRP developed an objective re view of methodology. The panel applied the methodology to evidence-based experimental and quasi-experiment al research literature relevant to a set of selected topics judged to be of central impor tance in teaching children to read (NRP, 2000). These topics included alphabetics, fluency, comprehension, te acher education and reading instruction and computer technol ogy and reading instruction. The NRP researched a number of studies related to reading instruction and afte r two years of work, they completed a report summarizing hundreds of research studies (NRP, 2000). Copies of th e full report have been sent to school districts all over America and the NRP summarized the report, Put Reading First, and distributed it to parents and teachers acro ss the country. This summary provides helpful information about early reading instruction and is written using teacher-friendly language. The report is now used as a foundation for the Nati onal Elementary and Secondary Education Act also known as the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) (Shanahan, 2003). No Child Left Behind Act: Reading First and Early Reading First. The significance of the NRP was so powerful that it became the basis of the Reading First and Early Reading First initiatives, which are both essential compone nts of the NCLB act of 2002. These initiatives provide states with Reading First grants which are used to provide professional development to kindergarten through third-grade teachers, inst ructional materials and funds to purchase screening and diagnostic assessments to determine which students are at risk for reading failure. Early Reading First supports the development of early childhood centers of excellence that focus on all areas of development, especially on the early language, cognitive and pre-reading skills

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22 that prepare children for continued school succe ss and that serve primarily children from lowincome families ( NCLB, 2002). The instructiona l materials and methods that are supported through these initiativ es are based on the findings of scien tifically based reading research and include instruction in the areas of oral language, phonological awar eness and alphabetic principal (NCLB, 2001; NCLB, 2002). Readi ng First and Early Reading Firs t schools are evaluated each year, and their evaluations are base d on their students reading scores. These reports have all conc luded that one of the most significant components of implementing effective reading instruction is us ing an approach that is based on scientific evidence. Current reforms and policy initia tives have documented and concurred through scientific evidence that intensive, systematic inst ruction is necessary for at-risk students to learn how to read (Adams, 1990; Adgar et al., 2002; Ball & Blachman, 1991; Blachman, 2002; Moats, 1999; NRP, 2000; NCLB, 2002; Reading Excellence Act, 1996; Snow et al., 1998; The National Right to Read, 1993). Intensive, systematic inst ruction teaches students that spoken language can be analyzed into strings of wo rds and that words can be divided into a sequence of phonemes. Mounting evidence indicates that students need to have basic early understandings of print and how print works. This knowledge supports the converging eviden ce that one key to effective beginning reading instructi on is phonemic awareness (N RP, 2000; Snow et al., 1998). Phonemic Awareness and Reading Phone mic awareness is an understanding that speech is composed of individual sounds and these sounds are manipulated to make words. There is a growing consensus that phonemic awareness bears an important re lationship to achievement in reading (Snider, 1995). The NRP along with a number of other policy papers and reports have identified phonemic awareness as one of the best predictors of how well childre n will learn to read (Adams, 1990; Adgar et al., 2002; Ehri, 1989; Moats, 1999; NRP, 2000; NCLB, 2002; Reading Excellence Act, 1996; Snow

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23 et al., 1998; The National Right to Read, 1993; Yopp, 1992). Recent studies have identified phonemic awareness and letter knowledge as the tw o best indicators of how well children will learn to read, specifi cally during the first two years of instruct ion (Adams, 1990; Ball & Blachman, 1991; Blachman, 2002; NR P, 2000; Snow et al., 1998). Language development occurs when a child learns to attend to and analyze the internal phonological structure of spoken words (Burns, Griffin & Snow, 1999). This awareness is referred to as phonological awarene ss. Phonological awareness includ es the abilities to detect, isolate, manipulate, blend or segment units of sounds within the spee ch flow (Ehri,1989, ). Phonological awareness in cludes the awareness of words, syllables, onsets and rimes, and phonemes. Phonemic awareness is different from phonological awareness b ecause it only applies to phoneme-level awareness and in cludes the ability to detect, segment and blend phonemes and to manipulate their position in words (L ane & Pullen, 2004; Snow et al., 1998). Phonemic awareness is necessary to read and sp ell because English is alphabetic and in an alphabetic language, letters repr esent sounds. Phonemic awareness instruction should involve the understanding that speech is ma de up of a sequence of sounds and those sounds or phonemes are represented by letters or graphemes (Blachman, Ball, Black & Tangel, 1994; Ehri, 1998, Juel, 1991). Phonemes are the smallest units of spoken language, and in the English language there are approximately 44 phonemes (Ehri et. al., 2001, Ehri 2002). Phonemes are difficult to segment during speech because most words consist of a blend of phonemes, such as check with 3 phonemes. Since phonemic awareness requires st udents to manipulate individual phonemes within words, it is considered a much more difficult task than syllabic or intrasyllabic manipulation (Lane & Pullen, 2004). Phonemes (smallest units of spoken language) are different from graphemes, which are uni ts of written language.

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24 Phonemic Awareness Assessment Substantial evidence indicates that early assessm ents of phonemic awareness are highly predictive of childrens later reading success ( Adams, 1990; A dgar et al., 2002; Ehri, 1989; Snow et al., 1998; McCutchen, Harry, Cunningha m, Cox, Sidman, & Covil, 2002; Moats, 1999; NCLB, 2002; NRP, 2000; Yopp, 1992). Phonemic awar eness assessments have been effective in determining students current phonemic awaren ess capabilities (Blachman, 2002; Snow et al., 1998). The Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early L iteracy Skills (DIBELS) assessment is one assessment that has been widely used to assess students phonemic awaren ess and early literacy skills. There are four DIBELS subtests that are used at the kindergarten level to assess beginning literacy skills: (a) Initial Sound Fluency, which assesses a students abil ity to recognize and produce the beginning sound(s) in an orally presented word; (b) Letter Naming Fluency, which provides a measure of a students proficiency in naming upper and lower case letters; (c) Phoneme Segmentation Fluency, which measures a st udents ability to segm ent threeand fourphoneme words into their individual phonemes; and (d) Nonsense Word Fluency, which taps into the students knowledge of letter-s ound correspondence and his/her ab ility to blend letters into words (test of the alphabetic principle). Several other activities have been documented to be effective tools to assess students phonemic awareness abilities (Lane & Pullen, 2004; NRP, 2000; Yopp, 1992). Phoneme isolation requires students to rec ognize sounds in words; for example, students need to be able to state the first sound in vase. Phoneme isol ation teaches students to recognize individual sounds in words. Phoneme identity requires studen ts to recognize the same sounds in different words, for example, students need to be able to decipher the same sound that is in mall, mouse, and mouth. Phoneme categorization requires stud ents to recognize the odd sound in a sequence of three words; for example, students need to be able to know which word does not belong in

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25 bike, bell, and radio. Phoneme blending requires students to listen to a sequence of separately broken sounds and combine them into a word; for example, students need to be able to blend the sounds in /s/ /k/ /u/ /l/ (school). Phoneme segmentation requires stude nts to break a word into its sounds by tapping out or counting the sounds; for ex ample, students should be able to decipher the number of phonemes in ship. Phoneme deletion requires students to recognize what word remains when a specified phoneme is deleted from a word; for example, What is smile without /s/?. Phoneme addition requires students to make a new word by adding a phoneme to an existing word; for example, What word do you ha ve if you add /s/ to th e beginning of park?. Phoneme substitution requires children to substitu te one phoneme to another to make a new word; for example, The word is dog. Change /d/ to /h/. These activities can be used to assess a childs ability to manipulate the spoken sounds of words. Researchers have found that early assessments of childrens phonemic awareness abili ties contribute to rele vant and appropriate literacy instruction (Ehri et al ., 2001; Lane & Pullen, 2004; Lane Pullen, Eisele, & Jordan, 2002; Snider; 1995; Snider, 1997; Yopp, 1992). Phonemic Awareness Instruction The ability to decipher sounds within the st ructure of spoken language can be a difficult and challenging task. A lack of understanding of the sound structure of la nguage can inhibit a childs ability to gain valuable opportun ities to understand and com prehend text. The objective of any phonemic awareness activity should be to f acilitate childrens ab ility to understand that their speech is made up of a series of sounds (pho nemes) (Ehri et al., 2001). It is important for phonemic awareness tasks to be developmentally appropriate, and phonemic awareness tasks should engage children in a playful yet e ducational activity (Cunningham, 1990: Snider, 1995) In a study reviewed by Snow et al. (1998) young children who receiv ed specific training in phonemic awareness were able to learn to r ead more quickly than children of similar

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26 backgrounds who did not receive such training. Th is study illustrates th at early reading is facilitated by the ability to manipulate sounds. A sm all percentage of student s are able to acquire phonemic awareness skills through oral language and print exposure (A dams, 1990). However, there are many more students who have a difficult time acquiring phonemic awareness and need direct systematic instructi on (Adams, 1990). For most childre n, awareness of the phonological structure of words develops naturally over the years of preschool. Other students need direct systematic instruction on how to manipulate sounds within words (Snow et al., 1998). Effective instruction for teaching phonemic awareness must follow general effective teaching guidelines. Teachers must first model the activity before providing time for guided practice, and there should be car eful sequencing of activities from easy to hard (Snider, 1995). Phonemic awareness instruction should be taugh t by introducing larger units before smaller units. Phonemic awareness is a part of a hierarchy of metalinguisitic skills that begins with wordlevel awareness and then move s to phoneme-level awareness. Although it is not essential, students typically develop an understanding of ma nipulation of sounds at the word, syllable and onset-rime level before acquiring phoneme-level skills (Lane & Pullen, 2004; Snider, 1995). Many activities have been developed to promote students phonemic awareness development. Teachers can use sound matchi ng, sound isolation and sound addition/substitution activities to develop th eir students phonemic awareness sk ills (Yopp, 1992). These tasks require students to identify or provide different sounds within words. Blending and segmenting activities are also effective strategies to increase students phonemic awar eness abilities. Multisensory activities such as Elkonin boxes can be incorpor ated with blending and segmenting to enhance students phonemic awareness. Elkonin boxes are picture cards with boxes under each picture representing the number of phonemes in the word (Lane & Pullen, 2004). The student can move

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27 a chip or token each time he/she says a phoneme in the word. Students can eventually substitute the token or chip with letter s that represent the sound (phoni cs instruction). Many phonemic training activities also include segmentation activities. Segmentation activities require the student to say the individual sounds in words (Ball & Blachman, 1991; Blachman, 2002). Segmentation activities can includ e phoneme deletion or grouping wo rds that begin or end with the same sounds. Although the importance of phonemic awareness has been discussed widely in the research literature, the concept is still not well understood by classroom t eachers (Bos, Mather, Dickson et al., 2001; Bos, Mather, Narr et. al., 1999; Cunningham et. al., 2004; McCutchen, Harry et al., 2002; McCutchen, Abbot et. al., 2002; Moats, 1994; Moats & Foorma n, 2003; OConnor, 1999; Spear-Swerling & Brucker, 2004; Troyer & Yopp, 1990). Recent reading initiatives maintain the expectation that beginning reading instruction will include instruction in phonemic awareness, but only a few studies have examined what t eachers know about these important components of phonemic awareness (Adams, 1990; Adgar et al., 2002; Bos, Mather, Dickson et al., 2001; Bos, Mather, Narr et. al., 1999; Cunningham et. al ., 2004; McCutchen, Harry et al., 2002; Gray, 2002; McCutchen, Abbot et. al., 2002; Moats, 1994; Moats & Foorman, 2003; NCLB, 2002; NRP, 2002; OConnor, 1999; Spear-Swerling & Brucker, 2004; Troyer & Yopp, 1990). Teacher Knowledge and Skills in Phonemic Awareness Although research has dem onstrated that early systematic instruction in phonemic awareness improves students beginning readin g and spelling skills (Mather et al., 2001), teachers continue to lack understanding of phonemic awareness (Mather et al., 2001; McCutchen, Harry et al., 2002; O,Connor, 1999) Three categories of teacher knowledge emerged from this literature review: (a) pr eservice and inservice teachers knowledge and perceptions about phonemic awaren ess; (b) the relationship among teachers knowledge, beliefs,

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28 instructional practice and student phonemi c awareness outcomes; and (c) professional development activities as an intervention to enhance teachers knowledge of phonemic awareness. Perceptions/Knowledge of Phonemic Awareness It is im portant for teachers to have an in itial understanding of phonemic awareness and the structure of spoken language. Before teachers can teach reading to children at risk for reading failure, teachers need to possess knowledge a nd positive perceptions regarding the role of phonemic awareness instruction (Bos, Mather, Narr et al., 1999; Mather, Bos & Babur, 2001; McCutchen, Abbot et al., 2002; McCutchen, Harry et al., 2002; Moats, 1994; Snow et al., 1998; OConnor, 1999). Several studies have examined the perceptions and knowledge held by preservice and in-service teachers regardi ng their knowledge of phonemic awareness. Troyer and Yopp (1990) embarked on one of the first studies related to teacher knowledge of phonemic awareness. The researchers conducted a study that examined kindergarten teachers knowledge of phonemic awareness and phonemic se gmentation. The researchers constructed a three-part self report questionna ire and administered the survey to 165 kindergarten teachers. The researchers sent the questionnaire, a pre-pa id return envelope and a letter explaining the study to randomly selected schools in Orange C ounty, California. The researchers had a response rate of 66%. The first part of the questi onnaire asked the respondents to indicate how long they had taught kindergarten, their highest level of education, and if they ever had a student teacher. Using this information, the researchers divided the participants into le ss experienced, more experienced, and veterans teachers. The seco nd part of the survey asked the teachers to indicate their level of knowledge about five educational terms. After reading a particular category, the teachers marked one of three categor ies: familiar with the concept, have heard

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29 the term, but I am unsure of the meaning, or unfamiliar with the term. Since the term phonemic awareness was the item of specific inte rest in the study, the f our other terms were included in the survey to make the survey less threatening to teachers unf amiliar with the target term. The third part of the questionnaire asked the teachers to indicate how important specific emergent literacy skills were in order for kindergarten students to become independent readers. Teachers indicated their responses by ci rcling numbers on a Likert scale. Once the surveys were collected, teachers we re categorized into groups based on their years of experience and their educational level. Teachers with 1-5 years of experience were considered less experienced, teachers with 615 years of experience were considered more experienced and teachers with 16-30 years of experience were considered veterans. An analysis of the results confirmed that the less experienced teachers were most familiar with the educational concepts on the questionnaire. The results demonstrated that 51% of the less experienced teachers were knowledgeable about the term phonemic awareness while only 24% of the experienced teachers unders tood the term. Overall, only 35% of all the respondents were familiar with the concept of phonemic awareness a nd most of the teachers thought the concept of phoneme segmentation was not important for late r reading success. Another interesting finding revealed that teachers with Masters degrees showed more concept familiarity with the terms than those with Bachelors degrees, indicati ng that teachers who had higher degrees also had more knowledge related to the concepts presente d. This study had several limitations. First, the participants were self-selected and the data co llected from the survey was self-reported, which indicates that the partic ipants had a vested interest in gaining more knowledge about phonemic awareness. Next, the authors did no t report the reliability or the validity of the survey that was

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30 used. Finally, the researchers analyzed thei r surveys by visual inspection and hand tallying responses in each category, which could cause a mi srepresentation of data and skewed results. In another early study, Moats (1994) investig ated the teachers knowledge of speech sounds, their identity in words, correspondences between sounds and sy mbols, concepts of language, and presence of morphemic units in sounds. Moats used the Informal Survey of Linguistic Knowledge to collect data on 89 teach ers who were enrolled in a graduate level course. The teachers were a diverse group a nd included reading teachers, speech-language pathologists, special education teachers, classroo m teaching assistants and graduate students. The 15-item survey asked the teachers to define term s, locate or give examples of phonic, syllabic, and morphemic units and analyze words into speech sounds, syllables and morphemes. Moats revealed that teachers were comm only misinformed about differences between speech and print. Many subjects were unaware of what was meant by the term speech sound or phoneme. Specifically, many of the subjects thought le tters were equivalent to speech sounds. When teachers were asked to isolate and pronoun ce speech sounds, they were typically unable to identify the third phoneme in a word. Teachers were also unaware of the difference between many of the terms associated with phonemic aw areness. Moats found that the scores were surprisingly low, indicating that even experienced teachers displayed a lack of knowledge about the differences between speech and print and abou t how print represents speech. Although this study increased awareness about the lack of teacher knowledge regarding phonemic awareness, there were two main limitations to this study. First, the participan ts were self-selected for the study by participation in the class. Since the course was not require d for certification many of the participants enrolled out of interest in the topi c. Therefore, the results of the survey may be

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31 overly optimistic as a reflection of teachers knowl edge in general. Next, the author did not state the reliability or validity data for the survey that was used. Bos, Mather, Dickson et al. (2001) compared the perceptions and knowledge of pre-service teachers (teachers in training) a nd in-service teachers (experien ced teachers) and the role of explicit instruction. The researcher s collected data on 252 pre-servi ce teachers and 286 in-service teachers. Teachers were given the Teacher Perc eptions about Early Reading and Spelling which was adapted from an instrument developed by DeFord (1985). The survey was developed to focus on two theoretical orientati ons, explicit code inst ruction (EC) and implic it code instruction (IC). Teachers were asked to rate each of the 15 items on a six-point Likert scale. The Structure of Language assessment (adopted from Moats, 1994) consisted of a 20 item multiple-choice assessment that examined knowledge of the Eng lish language at both the word level and the sound level. To address perceptions and knowledge of preservice and in-service teachers, the means for each group were computed and the means of the individual item responses were visually examined. Similar to Moats (1994) findings, less than two-thirds of both the pre-service and inservice teachers had mastered knowledge related to the structure of language. It was found that although both groups of teachers were unable to answ er at least half of the questions correctly, in-service teachers possessed si gnificantly more knowledge of phonemic awareness than preservice teachers. These findings suggest that experienced teache rs are more knowledgeable about phonemic awareness than teachers who lack expe rience. These findings contradict Troyer and Yopps (1990) study. They found th at less experienced teachers we re more knowledgeable about phonemic awareness than the experienced teachers.

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32 The researchers also concluded that although both groups had positive perceptions about phonemic awareness and felt prepared to use phone mic awareness activities in their classrooms, both groups lacked basic knowledge related to phonemic awareness inst ruction. The results indicate a dichotomy between teachers knowledg e of phonemic awareness and their perceptions about the role and importance of phonemic awar eness training. While both groups of teachers perceive phonemic awareness as an important component of reading in struction, the authors found that both groups lacked knowledge relate d to phonemic awareness instruction. This study had several limitations that are important to consid er in interpreting the findings. First, the results relied exclusively on self-report data. The researchers did not c onduct any field-based observations. Next, the data were collected in a face-to-face context. This means the data might be prone to social desirability bias. Lastly, although the surveys were field tested, both surveys had low reliability. The internal consistency on the Teacher Perceptions about Early Reading and Spelling was .70 for explicit code instruction and .50 for implicit code instruction, and the Structure of Language had an internal consistenc y of .60. This can be attributed to the limited number of items on the survey. Recently, Cunningham et al. (2004) investigated the knowledge calibration in the domain of reading. Specifically, they examined t eachers knowledge of childrens literature, phonological awareness, and phonics The researchers surveyed 722 kindergarten through third grade teachers from 48 elementary schools in a large, urban school district in northern California. To assess teachers knowledge of childrens literat ure, the researchers used the Title Recognition Test (TRT) (Cunningham & Stanovich, 1991). Th e TRT lists 35 childre ns book titles and 15 false book titles; the participants were instructed to put a check mark next to the book titles they recognized. A modified version of the Informal Survey of Linguistic Knowledge (Moats, 1994)

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33 was used to assess the teachers knowledge of phonological awareness. T eachers were asked to supply the number of phonemes or sounds in 11 di fferent words. Researchers used two different tasks to assess teachers knowledge about phonics. First, teachers were asked to identify words that contained regular and irregular spelling patterns. Then, teachers were asked to respond to seven multiple choice questions rela ted to the structure of Englis h language at the level of both words and sounds. The researchers then assessed teachers perceptions of their knowledge in the three domains by asking them to answer a questi on about their current skill level by marking one of four choices: (1) no experien ce, (2) minimal experience, (3 ) proficient, (4) expert. After analyzing and reviewing the results, the authors found th at 90% of the teachers were not familiar enough with the most popular books fo r children in kindergarten through third grade to recognize a majority of the titles. Af ter examining teachers knowledge of phonological awareness, it was found that 20% of the teachers were not able to correctly identify the number of phonemes in any of the eleven words presented. Specifically, only 29% of teachers were able to determine that grass had four phonemes. When examining teachers levels of implicit knowledge of phonics, only 11% of the teachers were able to identify all 11 irregular words. When examining teachers levels of explicit knowledge of phonics, it was found that only 28% of the teachers were able to correctly respond to the seve n multiple choice questions. When examining the relationship between t eachers actual knowledge and perceived knowledge of childrens literature, teachers did show some evidence of calibration of knowledge. However, in the domain of phonological awaren ess and phonics knowledge, teachers displayed very little ability to calibrate their knowledge. Te achers tended to overestimate rather than underestimate their knowledge. Over all, the authors were able to conclude that the knowledge base of K-3 teachers is not aligned with the la rge body of research demonstrating the importance

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34 of phoneme awareness in learning how to read. Many of the teachers in their sample could not do what is asked of a kindergarten child in a be ginning reading program. The authors did have a limitation of their study. The task that was de signed to assess teach ers explicit knowledge displayed low reliability (Cronbach s alpha .40). This is attributed to the limited amount of items on the scale. Knowledge of Phonemic Awareness and Student Learning Teachers k nowledge of phonemic awareness is an important aspect of students ability to learn how to read (McCutchen & Berninger, 1999 ). Many researchers have connected teachers knowledge of phonemic awareness to students r eading development (Bos, Mather, Narr et al., 1999; McCutchen, Abbot et al., 2002; McCutche n, Harry et al., 2002; OConnor, 1999). This relationship demonstrates the importance for teachers to have an understanding of the components of language development. The following study discusses this relationship. Recently, McCutchen, Harry et al. (2002) conducted a study to examine the relationship between teacher knowledge of phonology and student learning. The researcher s investigated the relationships between 59 kindergarten, first and second grade teachers kno wledge of literature and phonology. To assess teachers knowledge of liter ature, the researchers administered a series of three Title Recognition Tests (TRT) (Cunningham & Stanovich, 1991). To assess teachers knowledge of the structure of langu age, the researchers used the Informal Survey of Linguistic Knowledge (Moats, 1994). The researchers used a 45-item test developed by Stanovich and Cunningham (1993) to assess teachers general know ledge and the researchers used the DeFord Theoretical Orientation to Read ing Profile (TORP) (DeFord, 1985) to assess teachers theoretical orientation. To investigate classroom practice, researchers took field notes during reading instruction. Student data were coll ected to connect student learning.

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35 The researchers correlated the teachers knowledge with their philo sophical orientation, classroom practice and student learning. They found that t eachers content knowledge of phonology was related to their students end-of-the y ear scores only at the kindergarten level. No correlations were found between teachers content knowledge of phonology and student learning at the first and second grade level. This conf irms the importance of phonemic awareness training at the early intervention level. It was also found that teachers overall phonemic awareness scores were low. The study had some limitations. First, there were some validity problems with the TORP. Specifically, there was a restricted range in teachers TORP scores. This could be due to the fact that the TORP was deve loped twenty years ago, and change s in theoretical orientations might have changed since then. Next, there was lo w internal reliability of the TRT for first and second grade teachers. This is due to the lim ited number of items of the test. Finally, the participants were self selected. Knowledge of Phonemic Awareness, Profes sional Development and Student Learning Other studies point to profe ssional d evelopment activities as an intervention to enhance teachers knowledge of phonemic awareness (Bos, Mather, Narr et al., 1999; Cunningham et al., 2004; Foorman & Moats, 2004; McCutchen, Abbot et al., 2002; OConnor, 1999). The following studies discuss the relationship between te achers knowledge gained through professional development activities and their students learning. Bos, Mather, Narr et al. (1999) examined the results from Project RIME (Reading Instructional Methods of Efficacy) which is an interactive collaborative professional development project designed to encourage elem entary teachers to integrate more explicit reading instruction in their curriculum for childre n at risk. Eleven teachers participated in the project as the experimental group and 17 teachers participated as the control group. The experimental group participated in an 18 da y inservice and a year-long collaboration with

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36 university researchers. Project RIME focused on the structur e of spoken language with an emphasis on strategies to improve phonemic awar eness and instructional methods for teaching rhyming, segmenting and blending sounds and letter manipulation. Project RIME included content on factors that affect early reading a nd spelling development, teaching strategies and methods and techniques for e xplicit reading instruction. The researchers assessed teacher attitudes by using the Teacher Attit udes of Early Reading and Spelling (Deford, 1985). To assess teachers knowledge of language, the researchers used the Structure of Language (adapted from Mo ats, 1994), which is a 24-item multiple choice assessment that examined teachers knowledge of the structure of the English language at the word and sound levels. Student data were collect ed to evaluate the effectiveness of project RIME. Using repeated measures of analysis ( ANOVA), Bos, Mather, Narr et al. (1999) found Project RIME to be a success at many levels. First, students who worked with teachers involved in the project made greater gains in reading acq uisition than students who worked with teachers in the control group. Teacher knowledge of phonological awareness, specifically phonemic awareness, played a direct role in students literacy acquisition. Next, teachers involved in Project RIME became more positive in their attit udes toward using explicit, structured language approaches. After completing Project RIME, evid ence from the teachers journals, classroom observations and collaborators fi eld notes revealed that profe ssional dialogues did include use and application of terminology related to diffe rent components of phonemic awareness. Finally, teachers knowledge of the structure of la nguage increased during the intervention and maintained throughout the yearlong collaboration. St udent data were collected to evaluate the effectiveness of the two types of professional development programs.

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37 OConnor (1999) found similar results when she compared kindergarten teachers involvement in professional development activities and student achievement. The kindergarten teachers were from a large, rural Midwestern school district. The study was conducted in two phases. Phase one included one group of teachers who participated in an intensive professional development program (n=10) and a group of teachers who served as the control group (n=3). The second phase of the study (two years later from phase 1) included one group of teachers who participated in a traditional professional de velopment program (n=9) and one group of teachers who served as the control group (n=8). Both the intensive and traditional professional development programs focused on instructing teachers on how to incorporate phonemic awareness skills in their reading instruction. The intensive professional development program encouraged teachers to interact by observing each other teach and by colla borating about specific questions related to phonemic awareness and print awareness. The traditional professional development program scheduled teachers to meet through three half-day sessions spaced across the school year. Project staff coordinators obser ved teachers and collected field notes on teachers involved in the intensive and trad itional professional development programs to verify that they were implementing the activities. OConnor conducted a repeated measures analys is of variance (ANOVA) to analyze the results. Phase one of the study indicated that children in classrooms of teachers who were involved in the intensive professional developm ent program performed be tter than children in classrooms of teachers who partic ipated as the control group. Ph ase two of the study indicated that children of teachers who were involved in the traditional professional development program performed better than children of teachers who participated as the control group. Across both phases of the study, children of teachers who were involved in the intensive professional

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38 development program performed better than ch ildren of teachers who participated in the traditional professional development program. Sp ecifically, OConnor (1999) found that children of teachers who received intensive in-service ach ieved higher outcomes in letter naming, word identification and spelling. There were no significa nt differences in the areas of blending or segmenting. There were several limitations of th is study. First, the sites differed in terms of urban or rural location. Next, the sites differed in the number of teachers who participated at each location. For example, phase one of the study ha d ten teachers involved in the intensive model and only three teachers involved in the control group. Next, the sites differed in terms of pre-test measures of the participating children. McCutchen, Abbot et al. ( 2002) also found that a profe ssional development activities between teachers and a team of university re searchers increased student achievement. The experimental group consisted of twenty-four kindergarten and first grade teachers who participated in a two week long summer ins titute. The control group consisted of twenty teachers who did not participate in the two-week long summer inst itute. After completion of the institute, the university researchers followed both groups of teachers into their classrooms for a year of collecting data on 492 kindergarten and 287 first grade students. Researchers collected data on teachers knowledge about the structure of language by usi ng a modified version of the Informal Survey of Linguistic Knowledge (Moa ts, 1994). To assess teachers general knowledge, the researchers administered a 45-item cultural literacy te st developed by Stanovich and Cunningham (1993). The researchers also observ ed teachers literacy instruction during the school year and recorded extensive field notes which were coded for into four categories. Students literacy development was assessed four times throughout the school year.

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39 During the institute, university researchers focused on deepening the teachers understanding of phonology, phonemic awareness and it s role in a balanced reading program. This was done by devoting considerable time to deepening understanding of the importance of phonemic awareness and its role in a balanced reading approach. Teachers were engaged in a number of authentic activities. These activitie s encouraged teachers to count the number of phonemes in words, analyze the typical seque nce of development in childrens phonemic awareness and provided the teacher s with opportunities to observe and then administer phonemic awareness assessments to children of various ages. The instructional intervention continued across the year in the context of three follow up sessions. University re searchers also observed teachers literacy instruction and recorded their activities th roughout the year. After conducting a repeated measures analys is of variance (ANOVA), researchers found that although teachers in the experimental group and the control group were comparable in their general knowledge and phonological knowledge at pre-test, teachers in the experimental group had higher post-test scores on their knowledge su rvey. It was also found that the kindergarten teachers in the experimental group spent more time on explicit phonolo gical activities than teachers in the control group. Although the overall time spent on phonological awareness was lower in first grade, first grad e teachers in the experimental group spent more time on explicit comprehension instruction than first grade teach ers in the control group. Researchers were able to document that teachers involved in the tw o week intervention changed their classroom practice by engaging their students in explicit instruct ion of word sounds and the alphabetic principle. Also, the researchers found that kinde rgarten students in classr ooms of experimental group teachers made greater gains across the year in orthographic fluency. First grade students in

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40 the classroom of experimental group teachers ou tperformed their control classroom peers on phonological awareness, readi ng comprehension, vocabulary and writing measures. This study documented changes in teacher knowledge and practice as well as links between those changes and student learning. The researchers had th ree major findings. First, the two week institute deepened teachers knowledge of phonemic awareness. Second, teachers can use new knowledge to make changes in their instructional practice. Thir d, the changes that are made can positively affect student learning. Th e researchers found that the teachers initial understanding of phonology and concepts on early literacy instruction were low in comparison to what the researchers expected. Moats and Foorman (2004) found similar resu lts with the Early Intervention Project funded through the National Institute on Child Health and Human Development. Teacher knowledge was measured by an experimental, nine teen question multiple choice survey (Moats, 1994); teachers classroom prac tice was measured with a structured observation instrument (Texan Teacher Appraisal System, TTAS); and student end of year outcomes were assessed using the Woodcock Johnson basic reading and broa d reading clusters. Teachers participated in a professional development program that was multidimensional. Teachers attended a two to four day summer workshop which focused on program implementation; teachers were involved in courses; teachers received bi-monthly visits to each classr oom from university observers; monthly visits and demonstration lessons from publishers program consultants; and regular informal meetings with project staff. Regression analysis uncovered th ree major findings. First, teach er rated as more effective in their classroom teaching techniques had st udents with higher read ing outcomes. Teachers were rated based on their classroom observat ions. Next, teachers who scored higher on the

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41 knowledge survey who had students that had high er reading achievement. Finally, it was also found that teachers who routinely participated in the professional development program scored higher on the knowledge survey th an the teachers who had lower attendance rates. There are limitations included in this study. The survey that was used was an experimental survey and the authors did not report any reliab ility or validity measures. Spear-Swerling and Brucker (2004) investig ated 147 novice teachers knowledge about word structure. The participants consisted of pr e-service and in-service teachers enrolled in a special education teacher certif ication program. Participants formed three different groups. Teachers in group 1 were taking day sections of an upper-level special education course and received supervised tutoring of children in a lo cal elementary school. Teachers involved in group 2 were taking the same course without the supe rvision. Teachers in group 3 were the comparison group and did not receive any instruction re garding the English word structure. The authors used the test of Word-Structure Knowledge to investigate teachers knowledge of the English word structure. They examined three specific tasks to measure word structure knowledge and grapho-phonemic segmentation of words, classifying pseudo words by syllable type and classifying real words as either phoneti cally regular or irregul ar. The grapho-phonemic segmentation task attempted to assess whether th e participants understood how to segment words by phonemes. This type of knowledge is important for accurate interpretation of childrens errors in reading and spelling. Knowledge about syllable types and irregula rities can enable teachers to avoid the use of inappropriate words in instruction. A way-one analysis of variance indicated th at teachers involved in group 1 and group 2 scored significantly higher on the post-test th an teachers involved in group 3. There was no difference in post-test scores between teacher s involved in Group 1 and teachers involved in

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42 group 2. Although tutored children show ed significant progress in all areas of tutoring, there was no clear support for the idea that supervised tu toring enhances teachers knowledge of word structure. There were limitations to this st udy. The sample size was small and the researchers were not able to randomly assign th e participants to the groups. Th e participants were also selfselected for this study. Summary of Teacher Knowledge Studies Reviewed Four studies that ex amined pre-service and in-service teachers perceptions and knowledge of phonemic awareness were reviewed. Alt hough there was a discrepancy between who possessed more knowledge between the in-service teachers and pre-service overall, it was found that teachers lack the knowledge necessary to use phonemic awareness inst ructional activities in their classroom. Other studies connected teachers knowledge of phonemic awareness to students reading development without providing any professional development activities. Researchers were able to conclude that teachers content knowledge of phonemic awareness was related to their students end-of-the year scores only at the kindergarten level. Several studies examined professional developm ent activities as an intervention to enhance teachers knowledge of phonemic awareness. These studies also connected teachers knowledge of phonemic awareness to their st udents reading development. Bo s, Mather, Narr et al. (1999) verified that interactive collaborative profe ssional development training increased teachers attitudes towards using explicit structured la nguage approaches to teaching early literacy acquisition. McCutchen, Abbot et al. (2002) also discovere d that a two week, on going collaborative professional devel opment program increased teachers attitudes and abilities to use phonemic awareness instruction in their classr oom. Researchers have documented that

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43 professional development activities increase s teachers knowledge of phonemic and that knowledge increases studen ts reading abilities. Several conclusions can be drawn from resear ch associated with teachers knowledge of phonemic awareness. First, teacher s generally have an insufficient grasp of spoken and written structures of language. Next, changes in teache r knowledge and classroom practice can improve student learning. Finally, effective professional development programs can deepen teachers understanding of phonemic awareness instru ction and enhance student learning. Reading First Reading First is a federally funded p rogram that focuses on putting proven methods of early reading inst ruction in the classroom (NCLB, 2002) Through Reading First, states and districts receive support to apply sc ientifically based read ing research to ensure that all children learn to read well by the end of third grade (NCLB, 2002). R eading First schools are also involved in intensive professional development activities that are impl emented throughout the school year. Floridas Reading First professi onal development model is a collaborative approach to the development and provision of programs for teachers and administrators. These programs encourage teachers to observe and practice research-based instructional strategies for reading. Each Reading First school is re quired to utilize a portion of th e Reading First funds to hire Reading First coaches. Each Reading First coach works closely with school administrators in planning and monitoring school improvement. Read ing First coaches are also required to work closely with classroom teachers to model effec tive reading techniques a nd strategies. Reading First coaches are required to attend on-going pr ofessional development through the district on recent reading research as well as techniques re lated to mentoring. Depending on the size of the

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44 school and the school district, a reading coach might serve one school full-time or a coach might serve several schools in the district. Teachers involved in Reading First schools are also involved in on-going professional development. This professional development may be provided by the on-site reading coach or by the district level reading coach. Teachers participating at Read ing First schools receive guidance in the five reading areas outlined by the NC LB act of 2002 (phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension). Teachers may attend a number of institutes that are usually provided during the summer or winter breaks. On going professional development is offered at both the school level and the distri ct level throughout the school year. Teachers are required to attend school level tr aining provided by the on-site reading coach as well as attend local district level trainings. The federal Reading First grant initiatives have led to overall improved reading instruction and student achievement (Manzo, 2006). Many feel th is is due to the teachers participation in the on going professional devel opment activities as well as th e on going support provided by the Reading First coaches at each participating school (Manzo, 2006). Directions for Future Research Reading res earch has demonstrated that early systematic instruction in phonemic awareness improves students early reading and spelling skills (Adams 1990; Adgar et. al., 2002; NCLB, 2002; NRP, 2000; Moats, 1999; Snow et. al., 1998; The National Right to Read, 1993; Reading Excellence Act, 1996 ). Although research confirms that this knowledge increases students understanding of read ing, research continues to demonstrate that teachers are not familiar with phonemic awareness activities (Mathe r et al., 2001; McCutchen, Harry et al., 2002; O,Connor, 1999). Professional development activities have been shown to increase teachers knowledge and skills (Mather et al., 2001; McCutchen, Harry et al., 2002; O,Connor, 1999).

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45 The literature reviewed in this chapter provide s a theoretical and empirical basis for this study. Researchers have demonstrat ed that phonemic awareness is cr itical for beginning readers to learn how to read. Recent studies have dem onstrated teachers lack of knowledge of phonemic awareness instruction and how this lack of knowledge has di re implications for student achievement and growth. This study builds on the existing research base by examining other forms of surveys to examine teachers knowledge and skills of phonemi c awareness. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between teachers knowledge about phonemic awareness, teachers own phonemic awareness skills and their students phonemic awareness growth.

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46 CHAPTER 3 METHODS AND PROCEDURES The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationships am ong ki ndergarten teachers knowledge and skills of phonemic awar eness and their students emer gent literacy development. Specifically, it examined teachers knowledge about phonemic awareness and their ability to manipulate and identity specific phonemes with in words. This study examined the knowledge base of teachers who teach reading to beginning readers. The survey assessed the specificity and depth of teachers knowledge to reveal misc onceptions, lack of know ledge or absence of information related to phonemic awareness in struction (Moats, 1994). Teachers knowledge scores were correlated with their students learning. In addition, teachers demographics were examined in relation to teacher knowledge a nd student learning. Usi ng teacher and student assessments, this study sought to answer the following overarching question: What are the relationships among kindergarten teachers knowledge about phonemic awareness, their phonemic skills, and their students emergent literacy development? More specifically, the study will examine the following tw o research questions: 1. What is the relationship between teache rs knowledge of phonemic awareness pedagogy and their students phonem ic awareness growth? 2. What is the relationship between teachers own phonemic awarene ss skills and their students phonemic awareness growth? This chapter details the methodology used to conduct this study. It in cludes the school setting, participants, development of the te acher instrumentation, student assessments, assessment procedures and analysis. Setting This research study took place in five different school districts locate d in north Florida. The five counties were chosen based on thei r participation in Reading First and their

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47 demographic differences. As show n in Table 3-3, one district was considered a large-sized district, two districts we re considered medium-sized district s and two districts were considered small-sized districts. The study was conducted in 42 Reading First schools from five different school districts. To qualify for Reading First, sch ools must show that the percentage of students reading below grade level is greater than the state average and at least 15% of the student population is eligible for free and reduced lunch (Reading First in Florida, 2006). Reading First schools were selected because of the type and amount of professional development that is at each school is somewhat uniform across the Reading Fi rst districts and schools. Teacher data were collected by the principal investig ator during a meeting at the teachers schools. Student data were collected from Progress Monitoring Repor ting Network (PMRN), a statewide database, after obtaining consent from the Florida Center for Reading Research (FCRR). Description of the Sample Participan ts included 211 kindergarten teach ers and 3,468 kindergarten students enrolled in Floridas Reading First schools. Participants we re volunteers who responded based on letters of invitation that were sent to Reading First coaches of Readi ng First schools throughout the five school districts. Once consent was obtained from FCRR, the data from participating teachers students were analyzed in conjunction with the survey data to examine potential relationships between teacher knowledge and st udent achievement. Parental c onsent was not obtained because the students participating in the study were anonymous. Teachers There were 42 participating schools f rom five pa rticipating districts from central Florida. As shown in Table 3-1, the number of participating Reading First schools varied in each district. It should be noted that not all the schools were in vited to participate in two of the participating districts. Schools in Alachua and Marion C ounty were chosen based on the number of

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48 kindergarten teachers at each Reading First school As noted in Table 3-1, the schools were categorized based on the number of Reading First schools in each district. Flagler and Putnam Counties were categorized as small-sized di stricts. Alachua and Marion Counties were categorized as medium-sized districts and Duval County was categorized as a large district. The overall participation rates in each district were high which indicated that the sample in this study is an accurate representation of the sample within each district. The population included 211 kindergarten teachers and 3,468 kindergarten students enrolled in Floridas Reading First schools. Not all the teachers at each participating school elected to participate in the study so participation rates were calculated for each school. Overall, participation rates were high which means that teachers were willi ng to participate in the study. Table 3-2 represents a summary of the demogr aphics for the teachers participating in the study. There were 206 females and five males who participated in the study. Seventy-nine percent of the participants were Caucasian and 21% of the par ticipants were from minority groups. Sixty nine percent of the participants had a bachelors degree and 31% of the participants had an advanced degree. Participants had an average of 11.4 years of teaching experience and an average of 6.9 years of teaching experience at the kindergarten level. The years teaching ranged from 1 to 37 years with a mean of 11.4 and a SD of 10.5. Ninety-two percen t of the participants had been teaching between one and five years. Th is means that 44% of the participants were beginning teachers. Twenty-two perc ent of the participants had b een teaching over twenty years. Over sixty percent of the participants had betw een one and five years of teaching experience at the kindergarten level. Although all the teachers we re teaching at the kindergarten level, only 181 of the participants indicated that they had an elementary cer tification. Ninety-eight of the teachers indicated that they had an early childhoo d certificate, five teacher s indicated that they

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49 Table 3-1. Number of schools that participated in the study County Number of Reading First Schools that participated in each county Total Number of Reading First schools in each county Participation Rate Alachua (medium district) *5 *10 *50% Duval (large district) 19 22 86% Flagler (small district) 2 2 100% Marion (medium district) *6 *12 *50% Putnam (small district) 10 10 100% Total 42 56 *Not all schools in the county were asked to participate in this study.

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50 Table 3-2. Teacher Demographics Teachers n % Gender Female 206 98 Males 5 2 Race of Teacher White 167 79 Black 24 11 Hispanic 12 6 Asian/Pacific Islander 3 2 Other 3 2 No response 2 Highest Level of Education Bachelors 146 69 Masters 57 27 Specialists 6 3 Doctorate 2 1 Years Teaching 0-5 92 44 6-10 35 17 11-15 13 6 16-20 22 10 > 20 47 22 No response 2 Experience at the K level 0-5 130 62 6-10 34 16 11-15 15 7 16-20 17 8 > 20 15 7 Areas of Certification/Endorsement Elementary 181 Early Childhood 98 Reading Certification 5 Reading Endorsement 1 Year of Last Degree < 1970 3 1 1970-1979 21 10 1980-1989 34 16 1990-1999 43 20 2000-present 104 49 No response 6

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51 Table 3-2. Continued Teachers n % College Coursework related to Reading None 23 11 1-3 Hours 14 7 4-6 Hours 35 17 7-15 Hours 50 24 More than 16 Hours 63 30 No response 26 Professional Development Reading First Academy (only) 21 10 Reading First: district training (only) 16 8 Reading First: on-site (only) 32 15 Reading First Academy and District 1 1 Reading First Academy and on-site 32 15 District and on-site 24 11 Participated at all 3 levels 28 13 Did not participate at any level 57 27 Table 3-3. District Size District Frequency Percentage Large District 84 40 Medium District 61 29 Small District 66 31 Total 211 Table 3-4. Number of Teachers w ho participated in the study County Number of K Teachers who participated in each county Total number of K teachers in each county who were asked to participate in the study Participation Rate Alachua (medium district) 19 20 95% Duval (large district) 84 108 77% Flagler (small district) 16 21 76% Marion (small district) 42 47 89% Putnam (small district) 50 54 81% Total 211 250 84%

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52 Table 3-5. Florida School Indicat ors Report 2005-2006 by District Distict Free and reduced lunch Advanced Degrees Average number of years teaching Alachua 53.3 49.9 14.5 Duval 49.3 29.1 13.4 Flagler 38.7 30.1 10.8 Marion 59.8 28.2 13.4 Putnam 71.8 26.9 14.1 had a reading certificate and onl y one participant indicated that he/she had a reading endorsement. Almost 50% percent of the teachers indicated th at they had received their last degree since 2000 and only three of the participan ts indicated that they had ear ned their last degree before 1970. Eleven percent of the partic ipants indicated that they ha d not taken any reading related courses in college. Although all participants were teaching at Reading First schools, 27% of the participants indicated that th ey have not participated in any Reading First professional developments activities within the last year. Table 3-5 represents data from the Florid a Indicators Report ( 2006). According to the report, in 2005-2006, 34.3% of elementary school teachers in the state of Florida had advanced degrees and teachers had an average of 12.5 years of teaching experience. Thirty-one percent of participants in this study had a dvanced degrees and participants had an average of 11.4 years of teaching experience. Based on this report, fewer teachers in this study had advanced degrees and the teachers were less experienced than the av erage teacher in the state of Florida. Students There were 3,468 students who participated in the study. As shown in Table 3-6, 48% of the students were fem ale and 52% of the studen ts were male. Students re presented a number of different exceptionalities although most of the students who were categorized as ESE were speech or language impaired. Ten percent of the students were retained and 62% of the sample

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53 were eligible for free or reduced lunch. Seven pe rcent of the sample were identified as limited English proficient (LEP) but were not enrolled in classes specially de signed for LEP students. Table 3-6. Student demographics Teachers n % Gender Female 1,662 48 Males 1,802 52 Ethnicity White 1127 33 Black 1737 50 Hispanic 389 11 Asian/Pacific Islander 29 >1 Other 156 4 ESE exceptionality Educable/Trainable Mentally Handicapped 24 >1 Orthopedically Impaired 4 >1 Speech/Language Impaired 227 7 Deaf or Hard of Hearing 1 >1 Specific Learning Disabled 52 >1 Gifted 9 >1 Hospital/Homebound 6 >1 Autistic 1 >1 Developmentally Delayed 79 2 Other Health Impaired 10 >1 Retention Yes 366 10 No 3099 89 Lunch status Student did not apply 1162 34 Applied but not eligible 125 3 Eligible for free lunch 1936 56 Eligible reduced lunch 221 6 Limited English Proficient (LEP) LEP but not in classes 254 7 Two year follow-up program 32 >1 Not applicable 3158 91

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54 Instrumentation Several instrum ents were used to assess teach ers and students. One test was designed to measure teachers knowledge about phonemic pedagogy (Phonemic Awareness Knowledge Survey, PAKS), and one test was designed to measure teachers phonemic awareness skills (Phonemic Awareness Skills Survey, PASS). These test s were developed to be correlated with students reading measures. St udents reading measures were collected from the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (D IBELS) assessment, which measures students phonemic awareness, phonics and fluency skills. The DIBELS have already been administered for educational/instructional pur poses in the schools. Student data were accessed from the Progress Monitoring Reporting Networ k (PMRN), a statewide database. The teacher instruments were designed after a comprehensive review of the literature to establish a rationale for a te st that examines teachers knowledge and skills of phonemic awareness. After reviewing previous measures that have been used to examine teachers knowledge of phonemic awareness, two instru ments were development, the Phonemic Awareness Knowledge Survey (PAKS) and the P honemic Awareness Skills Survey (PASS). The process included the following steps: test adaptation and constr uction, initial field tests and assessments of validity and reliabi lity. Each of these steps is discu ssed in the following sections. Phonemic Awareness Knowledge Survey (PAKS) The Phonemic Awareness Knowledge Survey (P AKS) was developed to exam ine teachers knowledge of phonemic awareness concepts a nd pedagogy (see Appendix B). A large body of converging evidence related to teacher knowle dge has revealed a number of conclusions regarding specific understandings of language and reading pr ocesses (Adams, 1990; Adgar, Snow & Christian, 2002; Moats, 1999; NCLB, 2002; NRP, 2000; Reading Excellence Act, 1996; Snow et. al., 1998; The National Right to Rea d, 1993). However, research has yet to resolve

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55 questions related to more advanced concepts abou t language that are relevant to both assessment and instruction. Specifically, rese archers have yet to examine wh at kinds of questions are the most sensitive and a meaningful indicator of how well a teacher is likely to perform in the classroom. Although recent evidence has concluded that teachers need explicit knowledge of phonemic awareness to teach reading, surveys ha ve yet to examine teachers knowledge of phonemic awareness (Adams, 1990; Adgar et. al ., 2002; Moats, 1999; NCLB, 2002; NRP, 2000; Snow et. al., 1998). While many of the exis ting surveys have focused on teachers abilities to identify and manipulate sounds within words, a questionnaire related to teachers knowledge of the terminology and uses of phonemic awarene ss has yet to be developed. The PAKS was designed to examine teachers understanding of phonemic awareness related to the importance of phonemic awareness and to examine their unders tanding of phonemic awareness assessment and instruction. Test adaptation and construction. The test was developed to examine teachers knowledge of phonemic awareness. Six questions were developed and all questions were openended questions. The questions were spaced across two pages so that each page had a total of three questions. The orders of the questions were also considered. The questions begin by asking the participants to define the term and then prom pt the participants to provide examples of how phonemic awareness should be assessed and used for instructional purposes. Initial field test. The initial field test had 20 respondent s who were enrolled in a graduate level reading course. The participants represen ted a range of teaching experience. The initial field test was administered duri ng a class, and the participants were asked to answer the six questions on the survey to the best of their ability. Many of the participants answered the

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56 questions in full and added any comments about the wording of the quest ions. The participants responses were reviewed, and a scoring rubric was developed for each question based on their responses. Validity and reliability. Validity entails an evaluation of the value implications of both test interpretation and test us e (Messick, 1980). Several measures were taken to ensure both validity and reliability of the PAKS. The conten t validity for the PAKS derived from the major consensus reports related to teachers knowledge of phonemic awareness (Adams, 1990; Adgar, Snow & Christian, 2002; Moats, 1999; NCLB, 2002; NRP, 2000; Snow et al., 1998). The PAKS was divided into two knowledge areas: (1) know ledge about the construct of PA and (2) knowledge about PA pedagogy. In order for teachers to have an explicit understanding of PA they should be grounded in both the construct of PA, as well as the pedagogy related to PA (Moats, 1994). In order to investigate constr uct validity, the respondents of the pilot survey were asked whether the purpose of the test was apparent and the questions were comprehensible. Since the respondents were all enrolled in a graduate level reading course, their evaluation of the test assisted the researcher in determining if there was face evidence of validity of the measurement. The respondents indicated that th e questions were clear, and they felt there was ample amount of space to answer the questions. Reliability is the extent to which an experime nt, test or any measuring procedure yields the same result on repeated trials (Babbie, 1990). In ter-rater reliability was used to ensure the consistency of the implementation of the meas urement. The six item questionnaire was coded by the use of a rubric on a scale from zero to th ree. All the questionnair es were coded by the researcher and another expert on th e field to enhance inter-rater re liability of the questionnaire.

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57 Phonemic Awareness Skills Survey (PASS) The Phonemic Awarenes s Skills Survey (PASS) was developed to assess teachers own phonemic skills. The inclusion of a test to asse ss teachers phonemic awareness skills was based on the findings from the NRP, as well as on a number of other reports and policy papers. These reports have identified phonemic awareness as one of the best predictors of how well children will learn to read (Adams, 1990; Adgar et. al., 2002; Moat s, 1999; NCLB, 2002; NRP, 2000; Reading Excellence Act, 1996; Snow et. al., 1998; The National Right to Read, 1993). Recent studies have identified phonemic aw areness and letter knowledge (alphabetic principle) as the two best indicators of how well children will learn to read specifically during the first two years of instru ction (Adams, 1990; Ball & Blachma n; 1991; Blachman, 2002; NRP, 2000; Snow et al., 1998). Because phonemic awar eness is a prerequisite to decoding, it is imperative that teachers have the skills to detect, segmen t and blend phonemes; and to manipulate phoneme positions in words, so they can teach these skills effectively to their students. As discussed in chapter two, previous measures were reviewed. Test adaptation and construction. The Phonemic Awareness Skills Survey (PASS) was constructed based on the lack of validity and reliabi lity of scores reported from previously used phonemic awareness surveys and the broad coverage of topics related to the structure of language. The questions on the PASS were adapte d from the Moats (1994) survey, the Moats and Foorman (2004) survey and the survey used in the Bos, Mather, Narr et al. (1999) study. The 25 items on the PASS comprise multiple-choice items and fill-in-the-blank items. The survey is divided into five different sections related to phonemic awar eness skills; (1) phoneme counting, (2) phoneme identification, (3) phoneme matching, (4) phoneme segmenting, and blending, and (5) phoneme deletion. The survey was designed to examine teachers phonemic

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58 awareness skills only, not their knowledge of other aspects related to reading acquisition (Moats, 2003). Initial field test. The initial field test of this instru ment included 20 respondents who were enrolled in a graduate level reading course. The participants represented a range of experience levels. The initial field test was administered during class and the partic ipants were asked to answer all items on the assessment. The researcher reviewed sample items in each section with the participants before instructing them to begin the assessment. Validity and reliability. The validity and reliability of the PASS were assessed using a variety of methods. The content evidence of validity was based of several studies that have examined teachers knowledge and skills of PA (Moats, 1999; Adams, 1990; Snow et al., 1998; NRP, 2000; Adgar et. al., 2002; NCLB, 2002). Many of the studies demonstrated an association between teachers knowledge of PA and student literacy growth. Questions in the measurement were modified from previous research studies (Bos, Mather, Narr et al., 1999; Foorman & Moats, 2004; McCutchen, Abbot et al. 2002; McCutchen, Harry et al., 2002; Moats, 1999; Moats & Foorman, 2003; Moats, 1994; OConnor, 1999;Troyer & Yopp, 1990). A test analysis was conducted using the re sults from a 25-item pilot test to provide additional construct evidence of validity and es tablish reliability. SPSS was used to measure the statistics of the measurement. Although there we re 25 items in the survey only 19 items were analyzed due to the fact that 4 items had zero variance and were removed from the scale and two items were removed based on the number of inco rrect responses. The mean number of correct responses were 79% for the participants (n=20). Once the two items were removed, the reliability of the measurement was .76 (Cronbachs coeffici ent alpha). The item difficulty ranged from 40%

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59 to 95% of respondents answering correctly, whic h indicates that there is a large range of difficulty. Student Measures Students sk ills were assessed using subtests from the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) assessment. Reading Fi rst requires an assessment of each child three times per year using grade-appropriate reading measures that are intended to monitor progress and predict future reading success. DIBELS is us ed at all Reading First schools to satisfy this requirement. Student data were collected from th e PMRN database. Four DIBELS subtests were used: (a) Initial Sound Fluency, wh ich assesses a students ability to recognize and produce the beginning sound(s) in an orally presented word ; (b) Letter Naming Fluency, which provides a measure of a students proficiency in nami ng upper and lower case letters; (c) Phoneme Segmentation Fluency, which measures a students ability to segment threeand four-phoneme words into their individual phone mes; and (d) Nonsense Word Fl uency, which taps into the students knowledge of letter-s ound correspondence and his/her abil ity to blend letters into words (test of the student s understanding of the al phabetic principle). The DIBELS assessments are intended to provid e data to inform instruction and to review school level outcomes. The measures are intende d to be brief and there are over 20 forms for each measure. The DIBELS assessments were originally developed at the Early Childhood Research Institute on Measuring Growth and De velopment at the University of Oregon. There has been extensive research done on the DIB ELS assessments, specifically on how accurately they predict performance on important outcome s that depend on the ability to read and comprehend text (Good, Kaminski, Smith, Simm ons, Kameenui, & Wallin, in press; Good, Wallin, Simmons, Kameenui, & Kaminski, 2002; Florida Center for Reading Research (FCRR),

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60 2005). The reliability and validity for these te sts have been found to be acceptable (Good & Kaminski, 2001) and are presented in Table 3-7. Data Collection Procedures Reading First schools were invited to particip ate in the study. Letters of invitation were sent to principals and Reading First coaches throughout the five selected school districts. The researcher m et with the teachers who were inte rested in participating in the study during Table 3-7. Reliability and Va lidity of DIBELS assessment Test Alternative-form reliability Validity Letter Naming Fluency .88 .70 (a) Initial Sound Fluency .72 .48 (b) Phoneme Segmentation Fluency .88 .54 (d) Nonsense Word Fluency .83 .36 (e) (a) The median criterion-related validity of LNF with the Woodcock-Johnson Psycho-Educational Battery-Revised readiness cluster standard score is 70 in kindergarten. (b) C oncurrent criterion-related validity of ORF with DIBELS PSF is .48 in January of kindergarten and .36 with the Woodcock-Johnson Psycho-Educational Battery Readiness Cluster score. (d) Concurrent criterion validit y of PSF is .54 with the Woodcock-Johnson Psycho-Educational Battery Readin ess Cluster score in spring of kindergarten. (e) Concurrent criterion-validity of DIBELS NWF with the Woodcock-Johnson Psyc ho-Educational BatteryRevised Readiness Cluster score is .36 in January and .59 in February of first grade (retrieved from Good et al., in preparation). grade-level meetings and obtained consent from each teacher. Demographic data (i.e., personal data, educational data and professional development activities) were collected from each participating teacher (see Appendix A). The rese archer administered the PAKS and the PASS to teachers from each site participating in the st udy. Teachers participati ng in the study were all teaching students at the kindergarten level. Teachers were provided as much time as needed to complete the surveys, but they were not allowe d to take the surveys out of the room or to collaborate with their peers while completing the surveys. Once the teachers completed the surveys, the researcher collected all the surveys. Teachers participating in the study were given a book as compensation for completion of the survey (Phonological Awareness: Assessment and Instruction: A Sound Beginning by Holly B. Lane and Paige C. Pullen).

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61 Student data were obtained from the PMRN database. DIBELS is administered by school administrators and is given to all kindergarten students enrolled in Read ing First schools three times a year (fall, winter and spring). School administrators th en enter DIBELS data into the PMNR statewide database. The researcher did not have access to the students identities, and the only data collected were from the DIBELS asse ssment. Students did not engage in any activity that is outside the scope of th eir regular education plan or so lely for the sake of this study. Therefore, no experimental procedures, instru ction or special incenti ve were given to the students. Table 3-8 identifies the research que stions, along with the data source and plan for analysis for each question. Table 3-8. Research Questions and Plan for Analysis Question Data Sources Analysis 1. What is the relationship between teachers knowledge of phonemic awareness pedagogy and their students phonemic awareness growth? Teacher responses to PAKS (knowledge about PA pedagogy) Student DIBELS scores Multiple regression analysis 2. What is the relationship between teachers own phonemic awareness skills and their students phonemic awareness growth? Teacher responses to PASS (skills related to PA) Student DIBELS scores Multiple regression analysis Data Analysis The analysis of results b egan with a preliminary analysis for each comparison. Descriptive statistics were analyzed which included an an alysis for missing data, missing subjects and an analysis to check for any outliers that had unnecessary influence on the data. A multiple regression analysis was then used for statisti cal analysis. To account for differing knowledge among teachers, other factors were entered into th e regression analysis. These factors included: teachers years of teaching experience, profe ssional development and educational background.

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62 The questionnaire was scored using a rubric to quantify the teachers responses regarding their current knowledge of phonemic awareness ( knowledge about PA pedagogy). In addition to the quantitative scoring, this information was an alyzed for common themes related to teachers knowledge of phonemic awareness. Summary This chapter presented the m ethodology for this study. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between kindergarten teachers phonemic awareness knowledge and skills and their students emergent literacy development. A description of the school setting, participants, development of the teacher inst rumentation, student assessments, assessment procedures and analysis were included. Chapter 4 will discuss the results of the study. Finally, Chapter 5 contains a discussion of the results as related to previous research, limitations to the present study and implications for future research.

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63 CHAPTER 4 FINDINGS Introduction The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationships am ong ki ndergarten teachers knowledge and skills of phonemic awar eness and their students emer gent literacy development. Specifically, it examined teachers knowledge about phonemic awareness and their ability to manipulate and identity specific phonemes within words. The general question of this study was as follows: What is the relationship between teachers knowledge and skills about phonemic awareness and their students phonemic awareness growth? To investigate this research question, teachers knowledge and skills was assesse d, analyzed and then correlated with their students literacy scores. Using a multiple regression analysis, the relationship between teachers knowledge and skills of phonemic awareness and their students phonemic awareness growth were measured and compared. This chapter will focus on the data findings fo r this study. It will begin with the descriptive statistics on the PAKS and PASS, which will be followed by the results of the teacher knowledge surveys (PAKS and PASS) and student assess ments. The chapter will conclude with a presentation of the findings for the relati onship between teacher knowledge and student outcomes, and the relationship between teacher demographics, teacher knowledge and student outcomes. Descriptive and Inferential Statistics This section will in clude the re sults of the teacher knowledge tests and student assessment scores. The section will begin with an examina tion of the Phonemic Awareness Skills Survey (PASS) and Phonemic Awareness Knowledge Survey (PAKS). This section will conclude with an examination of the DIBELS student scores.

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64 Phonemic Awareness Knowledge Survey (PAKS) Table 4-1 represents the descrip tive statistics for the PAKS survey which was administered to 211 kindergarten teachers. The survey asked the participants six open ended questions about phonemic awareness. Participants were given unlim ited time to complete the survey, and most participants used about 15 minutes to compose their responses. The surveys were scored with a rubric, using a scale from zero to three. The rubric was developed by the researcher and adapted from a similar study related to teacher knowledge (Lane et al., in press). It was developed based on the findings from the National Reading Panels (NRP, 2000) report on phonemic awareness. If an an swer demonstrated no knowledge or lacked sufficient detail it received a zero. If a response showed little knowledge or some information was incorrect it received a one. If the response showed some level of knowledge or knowledge at a surface level it received a score of two. If an answer demonstrated excellent, expert level of knowledge it was correct and received a three. In a very small number of cases the respondents answers received a score of .5 because the response fell between two scores on the rubric. That is on some items participants received a .5, 1.5 or 2 .5. If a participant answered all six questions correctly, he/she received an eight een. The entire rubric, including th e specific indicators used to arrive at a score, can be found in Appendix B. Once the rubric was developed, an inter-ra ter reliability score was conducted using a percentage agreement. Two experts in the field of reading scored 29 randomly selected surveys and out of 174 items, the researchers agreed on 161 items which gave them a 93% agreement rate. The mean score for the survey was 7.82. The minimum score was a zero and the maximum score was an eighteen. Using Cronbachs alpha, the reliability of the test was .67. An item

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65 analysis was conducted to exam the mean and st andard deviation of each item. Overall, item three had the highest mean of 1.64 and item 2 had the lowest mean of .99. PAKS scores were also anal yzed by district, education le vel and by certification. It was found that participants in the medium sized distri ct had the highest mean and participants in the large district had the lowest mean. Participants with an advanced degree scored higher than participants with a bachelors degree. It was also found that particip ants who had an early childhood certificate scored higher th an participants who did not have the specialize d certificate. Participants who were involved in Reading Firs t professional development activities had a higher mean score than those who did not participat e in any of the Read ing First professional development activities. Teachers responses to the PAKS items revealed both their knowledge and misconceptions about both constructs included in the survey. After reviewi ng the answers provided by the participants for each item, common themes we re identified based on misconceptions about phonemic awareness. Table 4-4 displays samp le responses for each item on the PAKS. Item 1: Item one asked the participants, What is phonemic awareness? Most participants who answered this question inappropriately indicated that phonemic awareness was the letter/sound connection or knowing the sounds of the letters. This type of response indicates a common confusion between PA and phonics. Correct responses included participants indicating that phonemic awareness was the ability to h ear, identify and manipulate sounds in spoken words. This confusion could be due to the fact that the NRP states in their Put Reading First handbook that Phonemic awareness is most effec tive when children are taught to manipulate phonemes by using the letters of the alphabet (NRP, 2000). T eachers who indicated that

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66 Table 4-1. PAKS Descriptive Statistics Number of Teachers taking PAKS 211 Number of items 6 Mean (M) 7.82 standard deviation (SD) 3.17 Minimum score 0 Maximum score 18 Test Reliability (Cronbachs ) .67 Table 4-2. PAKS Item Analysis Mean SD PAKS Item 1 1.58 .72 PAKS Item 2 .99 .70 PAKS Item 3 1.64 .99 PAKS Item 4 1.10 .91 PAKS Item 5 1.23 1.01 PAKS Item 6 1.28 .77 Table 4-3. PAKS Scores by Category PAKS Scores by District Size District Size Mean SD Large District (n=84) 7.20 2.96 Medium District (n=61) 8.80 3.22 Small District (n=66) 7.69 3.22 PAKS Scores by Educational Level Educational Level Mean SD Bachelors (n=146) 7.73 3.12 Masters of Above (n=65) 8.00 3.30 PAKS Scores by Early Childhood Certification Early Childhood Certification Mean SD Yes (n=98) 8.16 2.99 No (n=113) 7.52 3.31 PAKS Scores by Number of Professional Development Courses Number of PD courses Mean SD None (n=57) 6.98 3.06 One (n=69) 8.52 2.88 Two (n=57) 7.78 3.11 Three (n=28) 7.84 3.90 PAKS Scores by None verses at Least One Course Number of PD Courses Mean SD None 6.98 3.06 At least one 8.12 3.17

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67 phonemic awareness was the same as phonics ma y not have an understanding that phonemic awareness instruction can be taugh t without the use of letters. Item 2: Item two asked the participants, Why is phonemic awareness important? Participants who responded ina ppropriately either identifie d that phonemic awareness is important for students because they need to associate letters with sounds or they identified that phonemic awareness is important to learn how to r ead. Participants who answered this question correctly indicated that it teaches students how to blend or segment sounds in words or they identified phonemic awareness important because it is a prerequisite to reading. Many teachers felt that phonemic awareness was important but fe lt that it was important so that students could learn the letter/sound association. Item 3 : Item three asked the pa rticipants, What phonemic awareness skills are most important? Participants who responded inapprop riately indicated that teaching students the sounds of letters was the most important sk ill. Correct response s included blending and segmenting sounds. Item 4: Item four asked the participants, H ow can phonemic awareness be assessed? Participants who responded inappr opriately indicated that usi ng observations, running records and teacher made tests were the best ways to assess phonemic awareness. Correct responses included any component of the DI BELS assessment or any skills or methods that are based on research (i.e., Elkonin boxes, blending and segmenting spoken language and identifying beginning and ending sounds in words). Teachers who responded correctly to this question indicated an association between assessment a nd instruction. They identified a connection between the DIBELS assessment and the impor tance of phonemic awareness instruction.

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68 Table 4-4. Sample responses from the PAKS Item Score Sample Response 1 0 Its how we say words. 1 Phonemic awareness is the knowledge of letters and the sounds each letter makes. 2 Phonemic awareness is the knowledge of phonemes (the smallest units of sound). It is being able to connect sounds to the letters they represent. 3 Phonemic awareness is the knowledge and ability to discern the phoneme segments of words; in order that the learner can actually and fully sound out and read words. Phonemes are the segments that when combined make up words. 2 0 If the learner has a good understanding of phonemic awareness he or she will become fluent readers. 1 It helps students learn how to read words by teaching them the individual letter sounds. 2 It can help a child in beginning read ing by giving them the ability to decode words that may be beyond sight words. 3 To become a successful reader a student must have the ability to hear sounds in words which is the key to segmenting and decoding words. 3 0 Word identification and acknowledge ment of fluency in reading. 1 The most important skills to me are to be able to match letters to their sounds and to be able to identify letter sounds in words. 2 Segmenting phonemes, initial sound of words, onset and rime. 3 Phoneme segmenting, blending and rhyming. 4 0 Through individual and small group assessment. 1 DIBELS testing and reading series, teacher made tests, checklist, and individual testing. 2 Phonemic awareness can be assessed us ing sounds i.e., syllable blending, instructor asking students sounds of letters, ask students for rhyming words etc. 3 Through observations of activities where students blend sounds, find rhyming words, and segment sounds in words. 5 0 See how many words you can say in a minute. 1 Small group led exercises that focus on letter sounds. 2 Work with specific materials developed for phonemic awareness. Clapping/magnets on magnetic boards or any of the activities in the Reading First Academy. 3 Elkonin boxes, letter tiles, blank tiles and associating each tile with a sound, have students move tiles for the sounds and small group games. 6 0 I use the picture cards for my students and the sounds in writing. 1 I use an alphabet arc with sound boxes, pictures cards to segment sounds, rhyming puzzles etc. I work at risk students 30-45 minutes a day and group other students by ability for reading. 2 Rhyming work, phoneme segmentation, syllable work, onsets and rimes, small group instruction or one on one, initial reading instruction, 15-30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. 3 Games and activities from Phonemic Awareness: Reading First. Times: everyday small groups, 15 min. each whole group during skills block about 30 min. Specific activities, rhyming, segmenting, blending, syllables, count words in sentences and alliteration.

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69 Item 5: Item five asked the participants, Wha t instructional methods could be used to develop phonemic awareness? Inappropriate responses incl uded observation, conferencing, guided and independent reading and flashcards. Correct respons es included isolating sounds, identifying sounds, segmenting and blendi ng sounds and using Elkonin boxes. Item 6: Item six asked the participants,Describe briefly the instruct ional methods you use to develop students phonemic awareness sk ills (time, grouping, methods, assessment and skills)? Participants who responded inappropriately indicated th at 60-90 minutes a day, large group, observation and guided reading. Correct re sponses included 15-30 minutes, 35 times a week, small group instruction and blending and segmenting sounds and using the DIBELS assessment for progress monitoring. Phonemic Awareness Skills Survey (PASS) Table 4-5 represents the descrip tive statistics for the PASS survey which was administered to 211 kindergarten teachers. The survey asked the participants 25 questions about phoneme manipulation. The participants had to delete, count, identify, matc h, segment and blend phonemes within words. Participants received one point for each correct answer. The mean score on the survey was 16.8. The minimum score was five and the maximum score was 24. Using Cronbachs alpha, the reliability of the measure was .80. Table 4-6, represents the fre quency distribution for the PA SS survey. More than half (52.6%) of the teachers answered at least 18 of the 25 items corre ctly. Less than half of the teachers (47.6%) answered 17 or fewer items correc tly. One participant only answered five of the 25 questions correctly and two participants answered 24 of the 25 answers correctly. As shown in Table 4-7, an item analysis was conducted on the PASS to determine if the items were valid measures of the objective of the test. Specifically, item difficulty and item

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70 discrimination were analyzed. Item difficulty refe rs to the percentage of teachers answering the item correctly and item discrimination refers to the correlation between an item of interest and the total score. Therefore, 98.6% of teachers an swered item 1 correctly and only 7.1% of the teachers answered item 8 correctly. Items with lo w or negative correlations indicate items not relating well with the total test score and may be targeted for removal. Items 1, 7 and 8 are all below .20 which means that they are poorly correl ated with the total PASS score and should be removed from the survey. Table 4-5. PASS Descriptive Statistics Number of Teachers taking PAKS 211 Number of items 25 Mean (M) 16.8 standard deviation (SD) 4.2 Minimum score 5 (out of 25) Maximum score 24 (out of 25) Test Reliability (Cronbachs ) .80 Table 4-6. PASS Freque ncy Distribution Number of items correct Frequency Percent 5 1 .5 6 5 2.4 7 3 1.4 8 1 .5 9 6 2.8 10 4 1.9 11 7 3.3 12 8 3.8 13 9 4.3 14 14 6.6 15 9 4.3 16 17 8.1 17 16 7.6 18 19 9.0 19 28 13.3 20 21 10.0 21 22 10.4 22 12 5.7 23 7 3.3 24 2 .9 Total 211 100

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71 Table 4-7. Item Anal ysis of PASS PASS (Correct Sound) Items Item difficulty (p) Item discrimination Item 1 0.986 .081 Item 2 0.829 .272 Item 3 0.848 .349 Item 4 0.697 .366 Item 5 0.938 .349 Item 6 0.754 .531 Item 7 0.635 .017 Item 8 0.071 .178 Item 9 0.521 .361 Item 10 0.313 .276 Item 11 0.725 .502 Item 12 0.322 .432 Item 13 0.417 .517 Item 14 0.479 .258 Item 15 0.806 .518 Item 16 0.711 .570 Item 17 0.825 .354 Item 18 0.725 .337 Item 19 0.986 .214 Item 20 0.905 .223 Item 21 0.853 .283 Item 22 0.791 .425 Item 23 0.199 .299 Item 24 0.815 .361 Item 25 0.682 .404 As shown in Table 4-8, PASS scores were also analyzed by district, education level and by certification. It was found that part icipants in the medium sized di strict had the highest mean and participants in the large district had the lowest mean. These findings are consistent with the PAKS. Participants with an advanced degree had a mean of 17.18 and participants with a bachelors degree had a mean score of 16.68. It was also found that participants who had an early childhood certification scored higher than par ticipants who did not have the specialized certificate. Participants who were involved in Reading First professiona l development activities had a higher mean score than those who did not participate in any of the Reading First professional development activities.

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72 Table 4-8. PASS Scores by Category PASS Scores by District Size District Size Mean SD Large District (n=84) 16.0 4.51 Medium District (n=61) 17.8 3.78 Small District (n=66) 16.9 4.17 PASS Scores by Educational Level Educational Level Mean SD Bachelors (n=146) 16.68 4.28 Masters or Above (n=65) 17.18 4.22 PASS Scores by Early Childhood Certification Early Childhood Certification Mean SD Yes (n=98) 16.81 4.57 No (n=113) 16.86 3.98 PASS Scores by Number of Professional Development Courses Number of PD courses Mean SD None (n=57) 16.46 4.36 One (n=69) 17.14 3.87 Two (n=57) 16.91 4.47 Three (n=28) 16.68 4.65 PASS Scores by None versus at Least One Course Number of PD Courses Mean SD None 16.46 4.36 At least one 16.97 4.22 Student Scores (DIBELS) As shown in Table 4-9, DIBELS wa s administ ered three times during the school year (Fall (1), Winter (2) and Spring (3). The letter naming fluency (LNF) subtest was administered in the fall and winter. The initial sound fluency (ISF) subtest was administered in the fall, winter and spring. The phoneme segmentation fluency ( PSF) subtest and the nonsense word fluency (NWF) subtest were both administered in th e winter and spring. There were 179 classrooms included in the study. Although data was collect ed on 211 teachers, student data were only

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73 obtained from 179 of the participating teachers. Class size ranged from 5 to 39 and the average class size was 19. Teacher and student data were analyzed and compared across the five districts. Teacher data showed that Alachua County had the highest teachers knowledge scores and the second highest teachers skills scores. As shown in Table 4-8, Duval County had the lowest scores in both the teachers skills and teach ers knowledge surveys. Student scores revealed that Flagler County had the highest means in a majority of the DIBELS subtests. Putnam County had the lowest means in the DIBELS subtests. Alachua County made the highest gains in the LNF but made the lowest gains in the PSF and the NWF. Marion County made the highest gains in ISF. Putnam County made the lowest gains in the LNF from the fall to the spring assessment. Flagler County made the highest gains in both the PSF and the NWF but the lowest gains in the ISF. It should be noted that the teachers in Putnam Coun ty scored the highest on the skills survey and their students made the greatest gains on th e PSF and NWF during the school year. Both subtests are a based on a students ability to segment and blend phonemes in a word. Table 4-9. Mean Score for each subtest by County Alachua (M) Marion (M) Putnam (M) Flagler (M) Duval (M) LNF (Fall) 11.03 9.89* 12.92 14.44** 10.28 ISF (Fall) 19.00 20.89 18.42* 24.77** 21.59 LNF (Winter) 30.19** 22.76 21.41* 27.31 22.47 ISF (Winter) 34.55 40.90** 35.42* 40.81 37.87 PSF (Winter) 27.47 28.23 24.75* 35.27** 25.11 NWF (Winter) 23.68 27.07 20.57* 31.12** 24.41 ISF (Spring) 43.23* 52.97 49.38 54.04** 49.71 PSF (Spring) 36.26* 38.90 37.44 45.83** 37.70 NWF (Spring) 35.93* 48.91 40.48 49.49** 40.93 ** Indicates the highest mean betw een the counties for each subtest Indicates the lowest mean between the counties for each subtest

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74 Statistical Analysis of the Data This sec tion will discuss the data findings for the relationship of variables in this study including a multiple regression analysis for each dependent variable, correlations between the PASS and PAKS, number of years teaching experience, number of years teaching at the K level and the correlations between teachers knowledge a nd students scores. The data were analyzed to determine if there were any statistically significant differen ces between teachers knowledge and skills of phonemic awareness and students DIBELS scores. Additi onal analyses were conducted to explore further the results and to compare this study to previous studies. PAKS and PASS Correlations were com puted to test the rela tionship between partic ipants scores on the PAKS and the PASS. This correlation was conduc ted to examine if participants who did well on the PAKS survey to examine their ability to answer open-ended questions about PA also did well on the PASS a survey to examine their ability to manipulate sounds within words. An examination of the correlations reveals that par ticipants who did well on the PAKS also did well on the PASS. At the 0.01 level of significance (r=0.268, p<.01) a relationship was found between teachers score on the PASS and their score on the PAKS. PASS and Level of Teaching Experience Correlations were com puted to test the relationship between the PASS and years of teaching experience. An examination of the correlations reveals that there was a small but significant negative relationship between the PASS and years of teaching experience. At the .05 level of significance (r=-.146, p< .05) it was found that teachers with more years of teaching experience scored lower on the PA SS than teachers who had less years of teaching experience. It was also found at the .05 level of significan ce (r=-.149, p<.05) that there was a small but significant negative relationship between teachers scores on the PASS and years of teaching at

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75 the kindergarten level. It was found that teachers who had more experience teaching at the kindergarten level scored lower on the survey than teachers who had less years of teaching experience. PAKS and Level of Teaching Experience Correlations were com puted to test the re lationship between the PAKS and years of teaching experience. An examination of the co rrelations reveals that there was no significant relationship between the PAKS and years of teaching experience. At the .05 level of significance (r=-.018, p>.05) the corr elation indicates that there was no relationship between the two variables. Similar findings al so revealed that there was no relationship between the PAKS and years of teaching experience at the kindergar ten level. At the .05 level of significance (r=.034, p>.05) the correlation indica tes that there was no significan t relationship between the two variables. Teachers Knowledge and Student Outcomes As shown in Table 4-10, correlations were also computed between the means of the variables. If the subtest was gi ven three times, the difference was computed between the fall and spring assessments. If the assessment was only give two times during the year the mean was calculated between the fall and winter or the winter and spring assessm ents. Findings revealed that there was a positive correlation between teachers phonemic awareness knowledge and the LNF (r=.157, p<.05). Teachers who did well on the P AKS also had students who did well on the LNF. There were also positive correlations between the ISF and PSF (r=.334, p<.01), PSF and NWF (r=.325, p<.01) and ISF and NWF (r=.521, p<.01). Th is is due to the sk ills each subtest measures. If students did well on the PSF, they al so did well on the NWF a nd the ISF. All three subtests measure a students ability to identif y, segment and decode phonemes in words. There was a negative correlation be tween the LNF and the PSF (r=.-209, p<.01) which means that

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76 students who did well on the PSF did not do well on the LNF. This finding may be due to the fact that letter naming does not correlate with a childs ability to segment sounds in words. There were no correlations found between teachers skil ls of phonemic awareness and students scores. Table 4-10. Correlations between variables using difference between mean over time Knowledge Skills LNF (diff.) ISF (diff.) PSF (diff.) NWF (dif.) Knowledge 1.00 .268** .157* .064 -.146 .013 Skills .268** 1.00 .089 .030 -.135 .095 LNF (diff.) .157* .089 1.00 0.43 -.209** -0.53 ISF (diff.) .064 .030 .043 1.00 .334** .521** PSF (diff.) -.146 -.135 -.209** .334** 1.00 .325** NWF (dif.) .013 .095 -.053 .521** .325** 1.00 ** Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed) Correlation in significant at the 0.05 level (2-tailed) Multiple Regression Analysis A multiple regression analysis was conducted to examine the degree of association between the explanatory variables (teachers knowledge, teachers skills and the corresponding pre-test) and the outcome variables (DIBELS LNF (2), ISF (3), NWF (3) and PSF (3)). The multiple regression analysis was also conducted to test the following research questions. Question 1: What is the relationship between teachers knowledge of phonemic awareness pedagogy (PAKS) and their students phonemic awareness growth? Question 2: What is the relationship between teac hers own phonemic awaren ess skills (PASS) and their students phonem ic awareness growth? Four regression models were tested to i nvestigate the influence of teachers knowledge and skills on the increase in DIB ELS measures from the fall to spri ng, fall to winter or winter to spring assessments. Nonsense Word Fluency (NWF) Using multiple regression, the first model was analyzed with all four variables present. In term s of the overall model, a significant F-ratio of F (3, 174) =92.17, p<.001 was reported. In addition, the adjusted R2 value of .614 indicates that the explanatory variables are jointly associated w ith 61% of the shared variance in the DIBELS

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77 NWF scores. When examining the influence of each variable on the DIBELS NWF (3) scores, the greatest predictor of the post-test score (NWF 3) was the pre-test sc ore (NWF 2) controlling for the knowledge and skills variables. This is indicated by the larg e standardized beta coefficient (=.779). Additionally, NWF (2) has th e largest absolute t value and the smallest significance ( t =16.49, p<.001). It was found that teachers knowledge and skills did not have predictive value on the NWF (3) with significance levels of p=.750 and p=.233 (at the .05 level of significance), making NWF (2) appear to be the strongest of the explan atory variables in the model. Table 4-11. Full Regression Model (NWF) Outcome Variable Explanatory Variables b t Significance Zero-Order Correlations NWF (3) NWF (1) 1.163 .779 16.49 p<.001 .781 Knowledge -.073 -.016 -.320 .750 .053 Skills .209 .059 1.197 .233 .096 Phoneme Segmentation Fluency (PSF). The second model that was tested was analyzed with all four variables present. In terns of the overall model, a significant F-ratio of F (3, 174) = 64.78, p<.001 was reported. The adjusted R2 of .528 indicates that the explanatory variables are jointly associated with 52% of the shared variance in the DIBELS PSF scores. When examining the influence of each variable on the outcome variable, the greatest predictor of the post-test scores was the pre-test score co ntrolling for knowledge and skills. This is indicated by the large standardized beta coefficient ( =.736). The pre-test score also has the largest t value and the smallest significance (t=13.89, p<.001). It was also found that teachers knowledge and skills did not have predictive value on the PSF (3) with significance levels of p=.227 and p=.444 (at the .05 level of significance), making P SF (2) appear to be the stronge r explanatory variable in the equation.

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78 Table 4-12. Full Regression Model (PSF) Outcome Variable Explanatory Variables b t Significance Zero-Order Correlations PSF (3) PSF (1) .751 .736 13.897 p<.001 .721 Knowledge -.234 -.066 -1.211 .227 .013 Skills -.113 -.042 -.767 .444 .058 Initial Sound Fluency (ISF). The third model that was tested indicated a significant F ratio of F (3,174) =14.83, p <.001. In addition, the adjusted R2 value of .193 indicates that the explanatory variables are jointly associated with 19% of the shared vari ance in the DIBELS ISF scores. When examining the influence of each variable on the outcome variable (ISF 3), the greatest predictor of the post-test scores was th e pre-test scores controlling for knowledge and skills. This is indicated by the large standardized beta coefficient (=.452). The pre-test score also had the largest absolute t value and the smallest significant ( t =6.618, p<.001) which suggests that ISF (1) has a large impact on scores predicted for I SF (3). Findings also revealed that teachers knowledge and skills did not have predictive value on the ISF (3) with significance levels of p=.516 and p=.748 (at the .05 level of significance), making ISF (1) appear to be the stronger explanatory vari able in the equation. Table 4-13. Full Regression Model (ISF) Outcome Variable Explanatory Variables b t Significance Zero-Order Correlations ISF (3) ISF (1) .709 .452 6.618 p<.001 .451 Knowledge .146 .046 .651 .651 .039 Skills .055 .023 .321 .321 .056 Letter Naming Fluency (LNF). The fourth model that was te sted indicated a significant F ration of F (3,174)= 3.21, p >.05. The adjusted R2 value of .053 indicates that the explanatory variables are jointly associated with only 5% of the shared vari ance in the DIBELS LNF scores. When examining the influence of each variable on the outcome variable (LNF 3), the greatest predictor of the post-test scores was the teachers knowledge score when controlling for skills

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79 and the pre-test scores (LNF 1). This is indicat ed by the standardized beta coefficient (=.158). Teachers knowledge also had the largest abso lute t score and the smallest significance ( t =2.04, p=<.05) which suggest that teachers knowledge has an impact on LNF (3). Findings also revealed that teachers skills and DIBELS LNF pre-test did not have a predictive value on the LNF (3) with significance level of p=.292 and p=.160 (at the .05 level of significance), making teachers knowledge appear to be the stronger explanatory variable. Although findings revealed that there is a relationship betw een knowledge and LNF (3), it is an extremely weak relationship as evidenced by the small t-value, the poor R2 and a F ration of only 3.74. Overall, this model in much weaker than the other three models. Table 4-14. Full Regression Model (LNF) Outcome Variable Explanatory Variables b t Significance Zero-Order Correlations LNF (3) LNF (1) .406 .158 1.412 p=.160 .120 Knowledge .162 .082 2.044 p<.05 .186 Skills .225 .106 1.057 p=.292 .136 Based on the multiple regression analysis condu cted to answer Research Question1, it is apparent that teachers knowledge of pedagogy is weakly associated with the scores on the LNF (3), and that the scores on the teachers knowledge survey are just slightly pr edictive of scores on the DIBELS LNF (3) measure ( t =2.04, p=<.05). Findings also revealed that there are no other relationships between teachers knowledge of phonemic awareness and students DIBELS scores. Based on the multiple regression analysis condu cted to answer Research Question2, it is apparent that teachers skills related to phonemi c awareness is not associated with students DIBELS sores. Although results indicated th at the full models were significant once the influence on each variable was examined, it was re vealed that there are no relationships between teachers skills related to phonemic awareness and students scores.

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80 Summary The purpose of this study was to exam ine th e relationships between teachers knowledge and skills of phonemic awareness and students l iteracy outcomes. Data were collected from teachers using the PAKS and the PASS, and DIBELS data were collected from PMRN. A multiple regression analysis was used to test the relationship between teachers knowledge and students scores. Although there were limited relationships between teachers knowledge and skills and student outcomes, findings did reveal that th ere were statistical differences between teachers knowledge and th e LNF subtest of the DIBELS assessment. Findings also revealed positive correlations between the PAKS and the PASS. Teachers who did well on the PASS also di d well on the PASS. This chapter presented a description of the sa mple, a summary of results for the PAKS and PASS and results related to the relationship be tween teacher knowledge, teacher demographics and students scores. The final ch apter will discuss the results for the PAKS and PASS, results related to the relationship between teacher knowledge and students scores. Then, the implications of the study will be presented, which will be followed by generalizations, assumptions, limitations of the study and conclusi ons and recommendations fo r further research.

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81Table 4-15. Summary of Multiple Regression Analysis for Teachers Knowledge and Skills and Student Outcomes LNF ISF PSF NWF B t-stat B t-stat B t-stat B t-stat Knowledge 0.406 2.044 0.146 0.651 -0.234 -1.211 -0.073 -0.320 Skill 0.162 1.057 0.055 0.321 -0.113 -0.767 0.209 1.197 Pre-test 0.225 1.412 0.709 6.618 0.751 13.897 1.163 16.494 R Square 0.053 0.207 0.528 0.614 F-stat 3.212 14.863 64.782 92.171 Post-test (dependent measure) Winter Test Spring Test Spring Test Spring Test Pre-test Fall Test Fall Test Winter Test Winter Test

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82 CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS Introduction Researchers have found that early system atic instruction in phonemic awareness improves students beginning reading and sp elling skills (Mather et al., 2001) Although research confirms that this knowledge increases students unde rstanding of reading, research continues to demonstrates that teachers are not familiar w ith phonemic awareness activities (McCutchen, Harry et al., 2002; Mather et al., 2001; O,Connor, 1999). The purpose of this study was to determine th e relationships among ki ndergarten teachers knowledge about phonemic awareness and their student s emergent literacy development. More specifically, this study examined the relationship between teachers knowledge of phonemic awareness pedagogy and teachers own phonemic aw areness skills and their students phonemic awareness growth. This chapter provides an overview of the cu rrent study and summarizes the results found in Chapter 4. First, a summary of results will be di scussed related to the te acher knowledge surveys. Next, a discussion of the generalizations, assump tions, and limitations of the study; threats to external validity; and measurement and statis tical issues will be reviewed. Finally, the dissertation will close with a summary and implications for future research. Summary of Results Phonemic Awareness Knowledge Survey (PAKS) The m ean score for the PAKS was 7.82 out of a possible 18. The scores ranged from zero to eighteen which means that at least one of the participants did not answer any of the questions correctly and one participant recei ved a perfect score on all six items. An item analysis revealed that item two had the lowest mean (m=.99) and item three (m=1.64) had the highest mean. Item

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83 two asked the participants w hy phonemic awareness is important and item three asked the participants what phonemic awareness skills are most important. There was not much variance between the means of the items indicating that the pa rticipants lacked overall knowledge for all the items on the survey. Using Cronbachs alpha, th e reliability of the survey was .67. In the field of education, a reliability of .70 or higher is a cceptable (Tuckman, 1994). It is possible that the low reliability of the PAKS is due to the low nu mber of items on the survey. Reliability is higher when there are more items on the instrument (Tuckman, 1994). PAKS scores were also analy zed by district, education level, certification and professional development activities. Although there were variat ions found in the scores between the different categories, significant differences in scores were only found by th e district size. The medium sized districts, Alachua and Marion Counties, ha d the highest mean on the PAKS (M=8.80). This could be due to the fact that pa rticipants living in these counti es had advanced degrees because they were living closer to a public univers ity. Based on the Florida School Indicators report (2006), 49.9 percent of all Alachua county te achers and 28.2 percent of all Marion county teachers had advanced degrees. In comparison, only 29.1 percent of Duval county teachers, 26.9 percent of Putnam county teachers and 29.1 percen t of Flagler county teachers had advanced degrees. In addition, living closer to a University may have gi ven these teachers more access to professional development related to reading. In fact, in recent years Marion and Alachua county teachers have received extensive professional development specifically related to phonemic awareness from a University of Florida professor. Teachers who had advanced degrees scored hi gher on the PAKS than teachers who had only earned a Bachelors degree. Therefore, teachers who had a masters, specialist or doctorate did better on the PAKS than teachers who had a bachelors. These findings are consistent with

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84 similar studies related to teacher knowledge (T royer & Yopp, 1990). It was also found that teachers who have an early childhood certification had a higher mean on the PAKS and PASS than teachers who did not have the certification. Teachers who ha d this certification may have had more reading courses that focus on em ergent literacy development. Teachers who participated in at least one of the three R eading First professional development activities (Reading First academy, district tr aining or on-site training) had a higher mean (M=8.52) than teachers who did not participate in any type of professional de velopment (M=6.98). Although all the teachers participating in th e study were from Reading Firs t schools, many of the teachers indicated that they did not participate in any type of professional development. It should also be noted that there was a small but significant di fference between teachers who had one or more hours of professional development and teachers who did not have any hours of professional development. An independent t-test reveal ed a small but significant difference ( t=2.34, p=<.05) indicating that teachers who had one or more hours of professional development scored higher on the PAKS than teachers who had zero hours of professional development. However an independent t-test for the PASS revealed th at there were no significant differences ( t= .784, p>.05) between teachers who had one or more hours of professional development and teachers who had zero hours of professional development. Th ese results demonstrate that the scores are not equally dependent on profe ssional development. Teachers w ho participated in professional development scored higher on the PAKS than teachers who did not, and there were no differences between teachers who participated in professional de velopment and teachers who did not on the PASS. The findings of this survey are difficult to compare to other studies because studies comparable to this study examine teachers ability to identity, count and manipulate sounds

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85 within words. The items on the PAKS examin ed teachers knowledge of phonemic awareness pedagogy. Overall, the teachers lacked genera l knowledge about phonemic awareness; these findings are consistent with other studies relate d to teachers knowledge of the structure of language (Moats, 1994). The teachers misconcepti ons about phonemic awareness revealed that they knew little about the importance of phonemi c awareness assessment and instruction. The majority of the answers to the items on the PAKS indicated that teachers thought phonemic awareness was the letter/sound connection and fe w of the participants knew that phonemic awareness was the ability to manipulate, identif y and hear sounds in spoken language. Teachers used the word phonemic awareness and phonics interc hangeable as they answered their questions which indicated that they did not understa nd the difference between the two terms. Phonemic Awareness Skills Survey (PASS) The m ean score for the PASS was 16.8 out of a possible 25. The scores ranged from 5 to 24. Therefore, none of the particip ants received a perfect score on the survey. The item difficulty ranged from .071 to .986. The item with the lowest percent of correct responses was an item in the phoneme counting section. Participants were asked to count the number of phonemes in the word mix. Ninety-three percent of the participants answered this item incorrectly. A majority of the participants indicated that there were th ree phonemes in the word when the correct answer was four. Participants did not account for the tw o phonemes in the x which were k and s. Many teachers indicated that the k and the s were one phoneme representing the x sound. There were two items that had the highest per centage of correct responses. The first item was in the phoneme deletion secti on. Participants were asked to delete the sound t in the word meat and come up with a new word. Accepta ble answers included me, mea, and mee. Although there were different spellings of the word, the different representations of the word were all phonetically correct. Ea ch answer included both phonemes in the word. Ninety-nine

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86 percent of the participants were able to answ er this item correctly. The second item was in the phoneme matching section. Participants were asked to match the underlined sound in pi tch to the word lip. Ninety-nine percent of the particip ants were able to answer this item correctly. The participants were able to match th e short i sound in both of the words. PASS scores were also analyzed by district, education level, certification and professional development activities. Simila r to the PAKS, significant differ ences were only found by district size (p=.032). The medium sized districts, Alac hua and Marion Counties, had the highest mean on the PASS (M=17.89). Duval County ha d the lowest mean (M=16.00). Teachers who had advanced degrees had a higher mean (M=17.18) on the PASS than teachers who had only earned a Bachelors degree (M=16.68). It was also found that teachers who have an early childhood certification scored slightly higher than t eachers who did not have the certification. Teachers who participated in at least one of the three Reading First professional development activities (Reading First academy, district training or on-site training) had a higher mean (M=17.14) than teachers who did not participate in any type of professional development (M=16.46). Correlations were computed to test the rela tionship between partic ipants scores on the PAKS and PASS. Findings revealed that particip ants who did well on the PAKS also did well on the PASS. Since both the PAKS and the PA SS examined teachers knowledge of phonemic awareness, it was expected that teachers who did well on the PASS also did well on the PAKS. Teacher Knowledge and Student Scores This study d emonstrates limited relationships between teachers knowledge and skills of phonemic awareness and student outcomes. Using a regression analysis, fi ndings revealed that there was a small relationship between teachers PAKS scores and the LNF subtest. Although the LNF is a subtest of DIBELS it is not a specific measure of phonemic awareness. It measures a

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87 students ability to name letters therefore one can conclude that there are limited relationships between teachers knowledge and skills of phone mic awareness and students scores. Although some studies have shown that teacher knowledg e does impact student learning (Bos, Mather, Narr et al., 1999; McCutchen, A bbot et al., 2002; McCutchen, Harry et al., 2002; OConnor, 1999), this study found limited evidence to show a ny correlations between teachers knowledge of phonemic awareness and student learning. There could be multip le reasons for these findings. First, the PAKS and PASS were both adapte d surveys and were not used in previous studies. Since both surveys were used for the first time in this study it could be assumed that they are not accurate measures of what teachers know about phonemic awareness. Research has also yet to determine what kinds of questions are th e most sensitive and a me aningful indicator of how well a teacher is likely to perform in the classroom. Second, since classroom observations were not conducted on the teachers who participated in this study, it is hard to connect what teachers k now to what they teach in the classroom to their students or how they teach it. The PASS examin ed teachers ability to segment and blend phonemes within words. It could be assumed th at, if teachers do not know how to segment and blend phonemes within words, they do not know how to model that skill for their students. The PAKS examined what teachers re ported they do in their classroo ms. An observation checklist might be a more reliable way to capture what instructional strategi es related to phonemic awareness the teachers are using in their cla ssrooms. Future studies should examine what teachers know and what teachers are actually implementing in their classroom. It would also be beneficial to examine th e type of curriculum us ed in Reading First schools verses non-Reading First schools. Since the curriculum used in Reading First schools is rigorously examined prior to adoption teachers ma y have a different knowledge base because of

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88 the type of reading programs used in their sc hools. Perhaps with particularly well designed curricula teachers knowledge becomes less impo rtant. Future research should examine the different types of reading programs used in Reading First and non-Reading First schools and teachers knowledge base of phonemic awareness. Finally, since DIBELS scores were the only record of cla ssroom performance (DIBELS is a one minute timing of students automaticity of their phonemic awareness skills), information about students phonemic awareness development was limited. It is possible that a more in depth assessment that measures more specific con cepts of phonemic awareness (e.g., Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing, CTOPP) could yield student results more connected to what teachers know about phonemic awareness. Since DIBELS has been demonstrated to co rrelate with the CTOPP (Hintze, Ryan & Stoner, 2003), DIBELS was an a ppropriate measure to use given the number of participants in the study and the limited amount of time and res ources to assess each child. Table 5-1 displays the correlations for scores of the CTOPP and DI BELS. Examination of the coefficients indicates that both the ISF and the PSF tasks of the DIBELS correlate most strongly with the subtests of the CTOPP that are designed to measure both phonological awareness and memory (i.e., Elision, Blending Words, Sound Matching and Nonsense Word Repetition). It was also found that both the ISF and PSF tasks of the DIBELS correlates le ss strongly with those tasks that involve rapid naming activities (i.e., Rapid Color Naming, Rapid Object Naming and Memory for Digits). The LNF task also correlated strongly with subtes t of the CTOPP that re present both phonological awareness and memory as well as rapid naming abilities. These findings support the idea that student data from the CTOPP might connect more to what teachers know about phonemic

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89 awareness because the subtest on the CTOPP are a more detailed measure of what students know about phonological awareness and their ability to store that information in their memory. Although recent studies have shown that DIB ELS has been demonstrated to be a good predictor of performance on state reading tests (Good, Simmons, & Kameenui, 2000), it should be noted that the use of DIBELS, and other one-m inute assessments, should be used with caution because DIBELS is an assessment of fluency and automaticty. Since DIBELS measures a students automatacity, and st udents at the kindergarten leve l may not be at a point of automaticity, the CTOPP may capture more of what students know about phonemic awareness. The CTOPP examines students ability to perf orm the tasks without the focus on fluency and automaticity. Table 5-1. Ccorrelations for Scor es on the DIBELS and CTOPP Measure ELI RCN BLW SM RON MD NWR LNF .45 .59 .38 .53 .59 .43 .44 ISF .52 .21 .51 .51 .24 .34 .44 PSF .47 .08 .63 .25 .14 .32 .33 Note: LNF=Letter Naming Fluency; ISF=Initial Sound Fluency; PSF=Phoneme Segmentation Fluency; ELI=Elision; RCN=Rapid Colo r Naming; BLW=Blending Words; SM=Sound Matching; RON=Rapid Object Naming; MD=Memory for Digits; NWR=Nonsense Word Repetition Limitations to the Present Study This study h ad several limitations. The next se ction will discuss the threats to external validity, measurement issues and statistical issues. The participants in the study were volunteers. Instead of selecting the participants randomly, participants were asked by their Reading First coach to partic ipate in the study. The participants in the study were teachers who ta ught in Reading First schools. Therefore, it is difficult to draw conclusions about what ty pical kindergarten teachers know about phonemic awareness. Although the schools were diverse among race and socioeconomic status (SES), participants in this sample are not reflective of the teachers across the state of Florida or across

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90 the United States. Although the participants were compensated with a professional development book for participating in the study, not all teache rs chose to participate. Non-participating teachers did not share reasons for not participatin g, but it is possible that they chose not to participate because they felt they lacked knowledge about phonemic awareness. Although the overall scores for the two surveys were low, teac hers who did participate could have participated because they felt they had a strong knowledge base which could have skewed the results of the surveys. The demographics surveys asked the teacher s to indicate the t ype of professional development they participated in within the la st twelve months. Participants did not indicate professional development activities that they participated in prio r to the previous school year. Many of the participants noted that they did participate in Reading First professional development but it was not within the twelve m onth period. It would have been useful to have more detailed information about previous professional development experience. However, the effort to keep the survey short interfered with the collection of this potentially useful data. The PAKS was an adapted survey and has not been used in previous studies. The PAKS was developed to assess teachers knowle dge of phonemic awareness pedagogy. The PAKS asked the teachers six open ended questions about phonemic awareness. Although all of the questions were deemed appropriate as a result of the pilot study, this study demonstrated that the last question on the survey was too long. The la st question asked the t eachers to expand their answer from the previous question. The teacher s were asked to describe the methods, time devoted to teaching phonemic awareness, grouping arrangements, the types of assessments used and specific instructional skills that were taught. This question should focus on one or two of the instructional methods so that t eachers answering the questions can elaborate on their answers.

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91 The reliability of the PAKS was low, confirming th at the test should be ad apted before it is used in future studies. In the phoneme deletion section of the PASS, directions were stated as follows. If you said the word best without the sound /s/, you would say.... Since the directions did not ask the participants to specify a real word as their answer some of the participants answered by a correct phonological representation of th e word (i.e., instead of me mea and mee were accepted as correct answers). The directions should have specified If you said the word best without the sound /s/, what word would you say? Then, there would be only one correct answer per item. The answers were scored based on the corr ect phonemic representation of the word. The experimenter effect is a term used to de scribe any number of cues or signals from an experimenter that may affect the performance of the participants in the experiment (Rosenthal, 1998). Since the surveys were administered by three different data collector s, it is possible that the surveys were administered differently. Although there were scripted administration procedures for both the PAKS and the PASS it is po ssible that the data collectors influenced the performance of the participants. The Hawthorne effect refers to a phenomenon wh ich is thought to occur when participants observed during a research study temporarily change their behavior or performance because they know they are being studied. Prior to participating in this study, particip ants signed a consent form which informed them about the study. It is possible that the particip ants results could be skewed because they knew their answers were being reviewed. Although recent studies have shown that DIB ELS has been demonstrated to be a good predictor of performance on state reading tests (Good, Simmons, & Kameenui, 2000), it should be noted that the use of DIBELS and other one-minute assessments as a measure of phonemic

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92 awareness has been criticized by some research ers. As previously noted, a more in depth assessment (e.g., CTOPP) of students phonological sk ills may have yielded different results. Implications for Future Research This study yields several im portant imp lications for future research. Although measurement of teachers knowledge is challeng ing for researchers, acquiring an understanding of what teachers know and how it effects classroom practice is critical for improving teachers practice through effective teacher preparation and professional development activities. Survey Design The Phonemic Awareness Knowledge Survey (P AKS) was developed to exam ine teachers knowledge of phonemic awareness concepts and pedagogy. Although a large body of converging evidence related to teacher knowledg e has revealed that teachers lack overall knowledge about phonemic awareness, few studies have examined teachers knowledge related to more advanced concepts about language (Adams, 1990; Adgar, Snow & Christian, 2002; Moats, 1999; NCLB, 2002; NRP, 2000; Reading Excellen ce Act, 1996; Snow, Burns & Griffin, 1998; The National Right to Read, 1993). Specifically, rese archers have yet to examine what kinds of questions are the most sensitive and a meaningful indicator of how well a teacher is likely to perform in the classroom. The PAKS was designed to examine teachers understanding of phonemic awareness related to the importance of phonemic awareness and to exam ine their understanding of phonemic awareness assessment and instruction. Fu rther research is also needed on developing teacher knowledge surveys and connecting them to be valid predictors of how well a teacher is likely to do in reading instruction. Many of the surveys used to uncover teachers knowledge of phonemic awareness have not been identified as valid predictors of how well a teacher teaches reading.

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93 Although the reliability of the PAKS was low, on average teachers failed to provide adequate answers related to phonemic awareness pedagogy. The surv ey did reveal that teachers had many misconceptions about phonemic awareness; specifically, teachers indicated that phonemic awareness was the letter/sound connection (phonics). Future res earch should examine why teachers have this misconcep tion about phonemic awareness. Professional Development Participants involved in this study were all part of the Reading First initiative. All participants should have participated in som e type of Reading First professional development within the past twelve months. Despite simila r professional development experiences across the state due to teachers involvem ent in Reading First (i.e., site-based reading coaches, Reading First academy), teacher knowledge about phonemic aw areness varied widely. It was noted that 27% of the participants reported that they did not participate in any type of Reading First professional development activities. This finding was discouraging since all the teachers had a site-based reading coach at their school. A ll teachers teaching in Reading First schools are required to attend annual profe ssional development activities. Since studies have shown that effective profe ssional development models ensure teachers application of successful liter acy instruction (Lane et al., 2008; McCutchen, Harry et al., 2002; Mather et al., 2001; O,Connor, 1999), future research should focus on the implementation of effective professional development models. These types of models must provide educators with ample time to collaborate and must be supported by school personnel (Moats, 2004; Foorman & Moats, 2004). The Reading Firs t initiative supports effective professional development models by placing a site-based Reading First coach at each school. Although teachers may have the resources at their schools, many schools still fail to ensure effective professional development models by not connecting pr ofessional development to classroom practice.

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94 Teacher Preparation Participan ts in this study indicated that th ey had some college coursework related to reading instruction. Specifically, 46% of the participan ts indicated that they had taken between zero and two college classes related to teaching reading and 54% of the teachers had taken two or more reading courses. Teachers lack of knowledge related to phonemic awareness could be related to their level of prep aredness to teach reading (Ehri & Williams, 1995). Research has found that teachers who are well prepared to teach reading expressed confidence in the knowledge and instructional practi ces, verses teachers who are less prepared expressed their frustration at the disconnect be tween their training and their teaching (Foorman & Moats, 2004; Taylor, Peterson, Pearson & Rodriguez, 2003). Fu ture research should examine the knowledge base of teachers from different types of pr eparation programs. Different types of field experiences and methods courses should be examin ed to see if there is a different knowledge base for teachers from varyi ng levels of preparation. Although this study examined teachers knowledge of phonemic awareness, it did not address teachers ability to put their knowledge into act ion in the classroom. Future research should also examine how teachers put their knowl edge of phonemic awareness into action at the classroom level. Research has shown that t eachers who have a solid knowledge base about reading and apply their knowledge to instructional practices ha ve a greater impact on student learning (Darling-Hammond & Bransford, 2005; Moats, 1996; Whitehurst, 2002). Conclusion Policy m akers and researchers in reading deve lopment have made significant advancement in early detection and treatment of students with reading difficulties. Ho wever, unless teachers understand and are prepared to implement these re search based practices, students will continue to demonstrate a difficulty in learning how to read (Moat, 2004, Strickland, Snow, Griffin, Burns

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95 & McNamara, 2002). Since research on teacher e ducation is a relatively new enterprise, many questions still need to be answered. Future research should examine current teacher education programs, valid measures that predict teachers ability to teach readi ng, the amount of content knowledge needed to be effective reading te achers and effective pr ofessional development models related to reading. Recent mandates in the area of reading instruction have encouraged teacher education programs to renovate their current requirements for teacher certification. The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) legislation requires that teacher s participating in federally funded programs must be highly-qualified (Moats, 2004). Studies have found that current licensing programs are not preparing teachers to meet the diverse needs of students who are at risk for reading failure (Moats, 1994; Darling-Hammond, 1997). Stat e certification programs have minimal requirements, which range from no course work in reading to an average of twelve course hours. Other researchers have found th at the average read ing teacher only completes two reading courses (McCardle & Chhabra, 2004). Through ex tensive research, re searchers and policy makers must examine the current licensing proce dures and determine specif ic criteria that must be met prior to receiving a teaching certificate. Recent research has also demonstrated that students must be taught by teachers who are knowledgeable about emergent literacy developmen t and reading instruction (Bos, Mather, Narr et al., 1999; McCutchen, Abbot et al., 2002; OConnor, 1999; Foorman & Moats, 2004; Cunningham, Perry, Stanovich & Stanovich, 2004) Although the present study did not find any correlations between teachers knowledge and student outcomes, other studies have found connections between teachers knowledge of readi ng and student learning (Bos, Mather, Narr et al., 1999; McCutchen, Abbot et al., 2002; OConnor, 1999; Foorman & Moats, 2004;

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96 Cunningham, Perry, Stanovich & Stanovich, 20 04). Although this st udy did not find any evidence to show that students success in literacy development is dependent on their teachers knowledge of phonemic awareness, other studies have shown that it is still important for teacher education programs to incorporate phonemic awar eness training within th eir programs (Moat, 2004, Strickland, Snow, Griffin, Burns & McNamara, 2002). As teachers gain more knowledge about the benefits of using phonemi c awareness activities in their classroom, students literacy development will flourish. Future research e fforts should continue to contribute to our understanding of these relationshi ps and continue to further our efforts toward solving them.

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97 APPENDIX A PARTICIPANT INFORMATION Personal Data Name Sex : Female Male Please indicate your race/ethni city (circle all that apply): White Native American Black Asian/Pacific Islander Hispanic (of any race) Other: Please list all levels of education, year degree was obtained, institution and major: Level of Education Year Institution Major Bachelors Masters Specialist Doctorate Professional Data School District Number of years t eaching experience Experience at K level Other teaching experience Area(s) of Florida Teacher Certification or Endorsement (circle all that apply): Elementary Reading Certification Math/Science Early Childhood Reading Endorsement Technology Special Education ESOL Other:

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98 College Coursework and Pr ofessional Development How many credit hours of college coursework have you taken that related to teaching reading? None 7-15 hours 1-3 hours More that 16 hours 4-6 hours Have you participated in any reading-related professional developme nt (PD) other than university coursework within the past year ? If so, what type of PD did you engage in? Please check all that apply and indicate the approximate num ber of hours. Type of Professional Development Approximate number of hours Reading First Academy Reading First (district training) Reading First on-site (reading coach at school) LiPS training DIBELS training Great Leaps FDLRS training Orton Gillingham SRA training UFLI training FCRR Other: Other: Follow-up Data (optional) We will be conducting follow-up interviews with some participants. If you would be willing to participate in a follow-up intervie w via telephone or email, please provide your contact information here: Telephone best time to call Email address

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99 APPENDIX B PHONEMIC AWARENESS KNOWLEDGE SURVEY Please a nswer each of the following six questions to the best of your ability in the space provided below the question. 1. What is phonemic awareness? 2. Why is phonemic awareness important? 3. What phonemic awareness skills are most important?

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100 4. How can phonemic awareness be assessed? 5. What instructional methods could be used to develop phonemic awareness? 6. Describe briefly the instructional methods you use to develop students phonemic awareness skills, including the methods time devoted to phonemic awareness instruction (minutes per day and days per week) grouping arrangements, types of assessments used and specific instru ctional skills that are taught. Thank you for your time and effort!

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101Table B-1. Scoring Rubric for Teacher Knowledge of Phonemic Awareness Survey General Meaning of Assigned Ratings 0 1 2 3 Shows no knowledge or provides insufficient detail to tell how much they know Shows little knowledge and some information may be incorrect Shows some or acceptable level of knowledge knowledge at a surface level. Shows excellent, expert level of knowledgeknowledge at a deep, detailed level. Scoring Rubric for Question 1: What is phonemic awareness? Specific Indicators: No answer or incorrect answer Vague and general Lacks details Specific Indicators: Indicates that PA is the letter/sound connection (phonics/alphabetic principle). Specific Indicators: Indicates that PA is the ability to hear and identify sounds. Indicates that sounds make up words (does not include manipulation). Specific Indicators: Indicates that PA is the ability to hear, identify and manipulate sounds in spoken words (does not include letters). Scoring Rubric for Question 2: Why is phonemic awareness important? Specific Indicators: Indicates Phonemic Awareness is important for reading, comprehension, writing, and fluency. Vague and general Lacks details Specific Indicators: Indicates that PA is important because students must be able to sound out words before they can begin to read (refers to letter/sound connection). OR Prerequisite to other reading skills (spelling, invented spelling, language development). Specific Indicators: Indicates that PA is important for decoding (does not mention the letter/sound connection). OR Indicates that PA is important for blending or segmenting. Specific Indicators: Indicates that PA is important for reading because it teaches students how to break apart sounds (phonemes) in words. OR Indicates that PA is important for blending and segmenting (as a prerequisite to phonics).

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102Table B-1. Continued Scoring Rubric for Question 3: What phonemi c awareness skills are most important? 0 1 2 3 Specific Indicators: Answer incorrect Vague and general Doesnt answer the question Focuses on what teachers do, not what students need to learn. Mentions ALL skills are important. Specific Indicators: Indicates that it is important to identify and/or hear letters/sounds in words (has letter/sound connection). Skills are mentioned (blending and segmenting are omitted). Specific Indicators: Names or describes blending or segmenting. Specific Indicators: Names or describes blending and segmenting. Scoring Rubric for Question 4: How can phonemic awareness be assessed? Specific Indicators: Answer incorrect Vague and general Doesnt answer the questiondoesnt tell how to assess or tells about instruction Specific Indicators Name 1 appropriate method or skill. Mentions only DIBELS (does not mention any subtest). Specific Indicators: Names 1 skill and 1 method. OR Names 2 skills or 2 methods. OR Names specific subtests of DIBELS. Specific Indicators Name 3 skills or 3 methods.

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103Table B-1. Continued. Scoring Rubric for Question 5: What instructional methods could be used to develop phonemic awareness? 0 1 2 3 Specific Indicators: Methods mentioned do not address phonemic awareness Specific Indicators: Response relates to at least 1 method that includes the use of letters. Does not include oral language skills. Specific Indicators: Response relates to at least 2 methods (does not include the use of letters). Response includes more than 1 phonetic skill. Specific Indicators: Response relates to 3 or more methods. Response includes at least 3 different skills (does not include letters). Connects letters once oral piece is mastered. Scoring Rubric for Question 6: Rating of Methods Indicated Specific Indicators: Does not mention any indicators or mentions inappropriate indicators Time Grouping Methods Assesment Skills Specific Indicators: Describes 1 or 2 indicators. Indicators described must be research-based. Specific Indicators: Describes 3 or more indicators. Indicators described must be research based. Specific Indicators: Mentions all 5 indicators. Indicators described must be research based. OR Describes in detail effective instructional methods and includes indicators to support methods.

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104 APPENDIX C PASS SURVEY Phono logical Awareness Skills Survey SECTION 1: Phoneme Deletion Items 1-4: Listen for directions. Sample Item 1. 3. 2. 4. SECTION 2: Phoneme Counting Items 5-10: How many speech sounds are in each word? Sample Item cat 3 5. tie 8. mix 6. laughed 9. thrown 7. chalk 10. kitchen SECTION 3: Phoneme Identification Items 11-16: What is the 3rd speech sound in each of the following words? Sample Item shook k 11. joyful 14. folks 12. scratch 15. sheets 13. protect 16. lightning

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105 SECTION 4: Phoneme Matching Items 17-20: Read the first word in each line and note the sound t hat is presented by the underlined letter or letter cluster. Then sele ct the word on the line that contain the same sound. Underline the words you select. Sample Item pu sh although sugar duty pump 17. weigh pie height raid friend 18. does miss nose votes rice 19. pi tch fly hair lip kite 20. far march scary flare pillar SECTION 5: Phoneme Segmenting and Blending Items 21-25: Reverse the sequence of speech sounds in each of these words. Write the new word next to the line of the word pr esented. Think of the sounds, not the letters Sample Item cup puck 21. teach 22. pitch 23. sigh 24. spill 25. face Thank you for your time and effort!

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106 Phonemic Awareness Skills Survey (With Answers) SECTION 1: Phoneme Deletion Items 1-4: Listen for directions. Sample Item BET 1. ME or MEA or MEE 3. GOAT or GHOT 2. DRIER or DRYER 4. FRIENDS or FRENZ or FRIENZ FRINZ or FRENDS or FRENDZ or FRENZ or FRENDS SECTION 2: Phoneme Counting Items 5-10: How many speech sounds are in each word? Sample Item cat 3 5. tie 2 8. mix 4 6. laughed 4 9. thrown 4 7. chalk 3 10. kitchen 5 SECTION 3: Phoneme Identification Items 11-16: What is the 3rd speech sound in each of the following words? Sample Item shook k 11. joyful F 14. folks K 12. scratch R 15. sheets T 13. protect O 16. lightning T

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107 SECTION 4: Phoneme Matching Items 17-20: Read the first word in each line and note the sound t hat is presented by the underlined letter or letter cluster. Then sele ct the word on the line that contain the same sound. Underline the words you select. Sample Item pu sh although sugar duty pump 17. weigh pie height raid friend 18. does miss nose votes rice 19. pi tch fly hair lip kite 20. far march scary flare pillar SECTION 5: Phoneme Segmenting and Blending Items 21-25: Reverse the sequence of speech sounds in each of these words. Write the new word next to the line of the word pr esented. Think of the sounds, not the letters Sample Item cup puck 21. teach CHEAT 22. pitch CHIP 23. sigh ICE 24. spill LIPS 25. face SAFE Thank you for your time and effort!

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108 APPENDIX D DIRECTIONS FOR ADMINISTRATION Adm inistration Procedures Once all teachers are in the room, please verba lly confirm that all te achers all K teachers. 1. Pass out a file folder to each teacher. Ask te achers not to open folders until they receive directions. Please have teachers take out blue an d green consent forms. Have teachers read and sign the (blue consent) form. Collect form conf irming that all participants have signed the consent form place forms in envelope labeled Cons ent Forms .Tell teachers that the green form goes with them (GREEN =GO). Have teachers pl ace form under the tabl e or in their bag. 2. Ask teachers to take out yellow form. Please r ead instructions in bold aloud to the teachers. Inform teachers that once they have finished they can take out the pink form (teachers info. form) and start filling out their personal inform ation. (Once you see that a teacher has completed the yellow form and they have moved on to the pink form collect yellow form and place in envelope labeled PAKS 3. Once you have collected all yellow forms, ask t eachers to take out cream form. The first part of the cream form must be completed as a group. Make sure all teachers are on the sample item of section 1. Read Sample item (white sheet in folder). Give teachers 30 seconds to answer the question and then give the answer to the teach ers. If you said best without the sound /s/ you would say bet. Lets begin item 1. Please read the next 4 items to teachers (you may repeat the question only once). Give the teachers 30 sec. before you move on to the next item. Once you have completed the first section, review the sample items for sections 2-5. Ask teachers if they have any questions, then ask teachers to complete the rest of th e survey on their own. Once they have completed the cream sheet, collect and pl ace in envelope labeled PASS and ask the teachers to complete the pick sheet. 4. Ask teachers to completely fill out pink sheet (pleas e scan to make sure they have filled out all parts of the pink sheet before you collect the forms. Place pink sheet in envelope labeled Teacher Info Form. 5. Pass out book for compensation. OTHER NOTES: 1. PLEASE MAKE SURE ALL CONSENT FORMS HAVE BEEN SIGNED. 2. Before collecting forms and placing in them in the appropriate envelope, please make sure that they have COMPLETELY filled out the forms (all forms in file folder have an ID number so it is OK to collect the forms once they have completed each part of the survey). 3. REMIND teachers that survey should be done independently (you might want to place folders with spaces in between teachers so they dont look at each others answers. THEY CANNOT COMPARE ANSWERS

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109 4. REMIND teachers that scores will not be re ported by individuals or by schoolsscores will be aggregated by county. REMINDERS: BLUE FORM: Please remind teachers to sign and DATE YELLOW FORM: Please remind teache rs to fill out both sides PINK FORM: Please remind teachers that PD must be within the past year CREAM: Please remind teachers there is only 1 correct answer for each item in section 4 Reading endorsement goes under other for PD PLEASE CALL ME AT ANYTIME DURIN G ADMINISTRATION TO ASK ME ANY QUESTIONS YOU MAY HAVE ABOUT ANY PARTS OF THE SURVEY.

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110 Directions for PASS SECTION 1: PHONEME DELETION The first section must be done as a group. Lets review the sample item together. I am going to read the samp le item twice and then I will give you the answer Read Item. Wait 10 sec. Read item again. Pr ovide answer. Ask participants if they have any questions regarding this section. Sample Item If you said the word best without the sound /s/, you would say: (a) Bet I am going to read each item twice. Proceed with first item. Read item 1, wait 10 seconds, read item 1 again. Wait about 30 seconds between each item. 1. If you said the word meat without the sound /t/, you would say: 2. If you said the word driver without the sound /v/, you would say: 3. If you said the word ghost without the sound /s/, you would say: 4. If you said the word frenzy without the sound /y/ (this is the long e sound), you would say: OK, I am going to review the sample items within each section and then you can complete the survey independently. Once you have completed the survey you may complete the pink form. Now lets review the sample item in each section. Ask participants if they have any questions after each section.

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111 SECTION 2: PHONEME COUNTING Items 5-10: How many speech s ounds are in each word? Sample Item cat 3 SECTION 3: PHONEME IDENTIFICATION Items 11-16: What is the 3rd speech sound in each of the following words? Sample Item shook k SECTION 4: PHONEME MATCHING Items 17-20: Read the first word in each line and note the sound that is presented by the underlined letter or letter cluster. Then select the word on the line that contain the same sound. Under line the words you select. There is only one correct answer per item. Sample Item pu sh although sugar duty pump SECTION 5: Phoneme Se gmenting and Blending Items 21-25: Reverse the sequence of speech sounds in each of these words. Write the new word next to the line of the word presented. Think of the sounds, not the letters Sample Item cup puck

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112 Name:_____________________ School:________________________ SECTION 1: Phoneme Counting Items 1-6: How many speech sounds are in each word? Sample Item cat:___3_____ 1. tie _____2________ 4. mix_____4_________ 2. laughed _____4____ 5. thrown______4____ 3. chalk _______3______ 6. kitchen____5________ SECTION 2: Phoneme Identification Items 7-12: What is the 3rd speech sound in each of the following words? Sample Item: shook: ___K______ 7. joyful _____f_____ 10. folks____k__________ 8. scratch: ____r______ 11. sheets ____t__________ 9. protect ____o______ 12. lightning:___t_________

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113 SECTION 3: Phoneme Matching Items 13-16: Read the first word in each lin e and note the sound that is presented by the underlined letter or letter cluster. Then select the word or words on the line that contain the same sound. Underline the words you select. Sample Item: pu sh although sugar duty pump 13. weigh pie height raid friend 14. does miss nose votes rice 15. pi tch fly hair lip kite 16. far march scary flare rash SECTION 4: Phoneme Segmenting and Blending Items 17-21: Reverse the sequence of speech sounds in each of these words. Write the new word next to the line of the word presented. Think of the sounds, not the letters Sample Item cup:_____puck_______ 17. teach:____cheat _____________ 18. pitch:____chip_______________ 19. sigh:_____ice_______________ 20. spill:____lips_________________ 21. face:____safe_________________

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114 SECTION 5: PHONEME DELETION Items 22-25: Circle the letter that best represen ts the word without the identified sound (items will be presented orally). Sample Item If you said the word best with the sound /s/, you would say: (b) bet (c) beast (d) bets (e) Im not sure 22. If you said the word meat with the sound /t/, you would say: (a) meet (b) me (c) mead (d) Im not sure 23. If you said the word driver with the sound /v/, you would say: (a) drive (b) dive (c) dryer (d) Im not sure

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115 24. If you said the word ghost without the sound /s/, you would say: (a) ghots (b) goat (c) got (d) Im not sure 25. If you said the word frenzy without the sound /y/, you would say: (a) fritz (b) friendly (c) friends (d) Im not sure

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116 APPENDIX E PARTICIPANT DATA Table E-1. Participant data codes. Variable Code Name: WRITE-IN Sex: Female:1 Male:2 Race: White:1 Black:2 Hispanic:3 Native American:4 Asian/Pacific Islander:5 Other:6 Levels of Education Bachelors:1 Masters:2 Specialist:3 Doctorate:4 School: WRITE-IN Disrtict Alachua:1 Marion:2 Putnam:3 Flagler:4 Duval:5 No. of years teaching: WRITE-IN Experience at K level WRITE-IN Other Teaching Experience: Substitute:1 Teacher Assistant:2 Tutoring:3 ESE:4 Pre K-5:5 6-8:6 9-12:7 College:8 Volunteer:9 Intern:10 Montessori:11 Reading Coach:12 2/3 Year olds:13 Principal/Leadership: 14 Media Specialist: 15 Areas of FTC Elementary:1 Early Childhood:2 Special Education:3 Reading Certification:4 Reading Endorsement:5 ESOL:6 Math/Science:7 Technology:8 Other:9

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117 Table E-1. Continued. Variable Code College Coursework None:1 1-3 hours:2 4-6 hours:3 7-15 hours:4 More than 16 hours:5 Type of Professional Dev. Reading First Academy:1 Reading First (district training):2 Reading First (on-site):3 LiPS training:4 DIBELS training:5 Great Leaps:6 FDLRS training:7 Orton Gillingham:8 SRA training:9 UFLI training:10 FCRR training:11 Other:America Choice Conference: 13 Other:FLKRS: 14 Other: ELIC:15 Other: Literacy Center:16 Other:Inclusin: 17 Other: Book Clubs:18 Other: Brain Gym: 19 Other:Writing Workshop:20 Other:Florida Reading Initiative:21 Other: Kindergarten Workshop:22 Other: Guided Reading:23 Other: Success For All :24 Other:CRISS:25 Other:Fox in the Box:26 Other:Literacy 101: 27 Other: ECHOS: 28 Follow-Up Data: Yes:1 No:2 Cream Form: Correct:1 Incorrect:0

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118 APPENDIX F IRB FORMS

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122 APPENDIX G STUDIES RELATED TO PHONEMIC AW ARENESS

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123Table G-1. Studies related to Teacher Perceptions/Knowledge of Phonemic Awareness Author (s) & Year Sample Description Experimental Design Type of Knowledge examined Measures Results Troyer & Yopp, 1990 N=165 Survey Knowledge of Emergent Literacy Concepts 3-Part Questionnaire Less experienced teachers knew more about phonemic awareness Moats, 1994 N=89 inservice teachers enrolled in graduate course (diverse group) Survey Knowledge of phonics, phoneme and morpheme awareness, descriptive terminology about morphology Informal Survey of Linguistic Knowledge (Moats, 1994); 15 item survey, open-ended questions Teachers could not identify descriptive terminology, could not identify phonemes or morphemes Cunningham, Perry, Stanovich & Stanovich, 2004 N=722 (K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd) Knowledge of Childrens Literature; Phonolgical Awareness Knowledge; Phonics Knowledge; Knowledge calibration in 3 domains Titile Recognition Test (Cunningham & Stanovich, 1990); Knowledge Survey (modified version of Moats, 1994); Likert scale Only 10% of teachers were able to identify half or more of the titles; limited knowledge related to PA; Teachers tended to overestimate knowledge of PA

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124 Table G-2. Studies related to Teacher Knowledge of Phonemic Awareness and Student Learning Author (s) & Year Sample Description Experimental Design Type of Knowledge examined Measures Results McCutchen, Harry, Cunningham, Cox, Sidman & Covil, 2002 N=59 Teachers (K, 1st, 2nd, SE) Correlational Knowledge of Literature; Knowledge of Phonology; General Knowledge; Teacher Beliefs; Classroom Practice; Student Learning Title Recognition Tests (Cunningham & Stanovich, 1991); Informal Survey of Linguistic Knowledge (Moats, 1994); 45item test (Stanovich & Cunningham, 1993); TORP (Deford, 1985); Coded field notes; GatesMacGinitie Reading Tests, WIAT, writing sample Less knowledgeable about phonology and orthography, relationship between knowledge of phonology and student learning

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125 Table G-3. Studies related to Teacher Knowledge of Phonemic Awareness/ Professi onal Development and Student Learning Author (s) & Year Sample Description Experimental Design Type of Knowledge examined Measures Results Bos, Mather, Narr & Babur, 1999 N=11 Elementary level (K, 1st, 2nd, SE) (intervention group) N=17 (control group) Intervention Pre-testPost-test Teacher Attitude; Knowledge of Language Structures; Student Learning TAERS Survey (DeFord, 1985) likert scale; Knowledge Survey (modified version of Moats, 1994) 22item multiple choice; WoodcockJohnson III Teachers involved in RIME had higher knowledge scores and higher student scores than control group; Control groups knowledge scores did not change OConnor, 1999 2 models of Professional Development Model A (intensive) N=10 (intervention group) N=4 (control group Model B (traditional) N=9 (intervention group) N=8 (control group) Intervention Pre-testPost-test Models of Professional Development; Student learning; Classroom observations Intensive model verses traditional model; PPVT, short term memory, phonological assessments, letter knowledge, Woodcock Johnson; field notes Students from PD classrooms made greater gains than students from control groups; Students from Model A classrooms had gains in letter naming, word identification and spelling, no significant difference in blending or segmenting

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126 Table G-3. (continued) Author (s) & Year Sample Description Experimental Design Type of Knowledge examined Measures Results McCutchen, Abbott, Green, Beretvas, Cox, Potter, Quiroga & Gray, 2002 N=44 (K, 1st teachers) n=24 (intervention group) n=20 (control group) N=492 (K students) N=287 (1st students) Intervention Pre-testPost-test (2-week summer insttitute Knowledge of the Structure of Language; General Knowledge; Teacher Practice; Student Learning Informal Survey of Linguistic Knowledge (Moats, 1994); 45-item test (Stanovich & Cunningham, 1993); Field notes; TOPA, MRT, GatesMacGinitie Reading Tests, times fluency test Teachers in intervention group had higher post-test scores; Teachers in intervention group spent more time on explicit instruction; students in classrooms of intervention group had higher in reading comprehension Moats & Foorman, 2003 N= 50 Phase I (K, 1st, 2nd) n=41 Phase II (2nd, 3rd) n=103 PhaseIII (3rd,4th) Experimental Survey Knowledge of the Structure of Language Informal Survey of Linguistic Knowledge: 3 different forms (Moats, 1994) Few accurate responses to open-ended questions, teachers on all 3 forms had a difficult time identifying speech sounds

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127Table G-3. Continued Author (s) & Year Sample Description Experimental Design Type of Knowledge examined Measures Results Swerling & Brucker, 2004 N=147 (SE) Group 1 (n=39) Class and supervised tutoring Group 2 (n=49) Class no training Group 3 (n=59) Control group Intervention Pre-testPost-test Knowledge of Word Structure; Student Learning The Test of Wordstructure Knowledge (3 parts) Graphophonemic segmentation, Syllable types, Irregular words; CORE phonics survey Group 1 had higher post-test scores; No significant difference between Group 1 and Group 2; Participants with prior preparation (Group 1) had more knowledge; neither group scored high on the pre-test

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130 Good, R.H., Kaminski, R.A., Smith, S., Simmons, D. S., Kameenui, E.J., & Wallin, J. (In press). Reviewing outcomes: Using DIBELS to evalua te a schools core curriculum and system of additional intervention in kindergarten. In S.R. Vaugn & K. L. Briggs (Eds.). Reading in the classroom: Systems for observing teac hing and learning/ Baltimore: Paul H. Brooks. Good, R.H., Simmons, D.S., Kameenui, E.J ., Kaminski, R.A., & Wallin, J. (2002). Summary of decision rules for intensive, strategic, and benc hmark instructional recommendations in kindergarten through th ird grade (Technical Report No. 11). Eugene, OR: University of Oregon. Gray, A. L. (2002). Beginning literacy: Links among teacher knowledge teacher practice, and student learning. Journal of Learning Disabilities 35, 69-86. Hintze, J., Ryan, A. & Stoner, G. (2003). Concurre nt Validity and Diagnostic Accuracy of the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills and the Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing. School Psychology Review 32, 541-556. Juel, C. (1991) Beginning reading. In R. Barr, M.L. Kamil, P.B. Mosebthal, & P.D. Pearson (Eds.), Handbook of reading research (Vol. 2, pp. 750-788). New York: Longman. Lane, H., Hudson, R., Leite, W., Kosanovich, M., Taylor-Strout, M., Fenty, N. & Wright, T. (2007). Teacher Knwoledge about Reading Fluecny Growth in Reading First Schools. Reading Writing Quarterly. Lane, H. & Pullen, P. (2004). Phonological Awareness: A ssessment and Instruction: A Sound Beginning Boston: Allyn & Bacon. Lane, H.B., Pullen, P.C., Eisele, M.R., & Jord an, L. (2002). Preventing Reading Failure: Phonological Awareness assessment and inst ruction. Preventing School Failure, 46 (3) 101-110. Mather, N., Bos, C., & Babur, N. (2001). Perc eptions and knowledge of pre-service and inservice teachers about ea rly literacy instruction. Journal of Learning Disabilities 34, 472-482. Messick, S. (1995). Validity of Psychological Assessment. American Psychologist, 50 (9), 741-749. McCutchen, D., Abbot, R.D., Gr een, L.B, Beretvas, S.N., Cox, S., Potter, N.S., Quiroga, T., & Gray, A.(2002). Links among teacher know ledge, teacher practice, and student learning. Journal of Learning Disabilities 35, 69-86. McCutchen, D., & Berninger, V.W. (1999). Those who know te ach well; Helping teachers master literacy relate d content knowledge. Learning Disabilities Research and Practice 14. 215-226.

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131 McCutchen, D., Harry, D., Cunningham, A., Cox, S., Sidman, S., & Covill, A. (2002). Reading teachers content knowledge of childrens literature and phonology. Annals of Dyslexia 52, 207-228. Moats, L. C. (1994). Knowledge of language The missing foundation for teacher education. Annals of Dyslexia 52, 207-228. Moats, L, C. (1999). Teaching Reading is Rocket Science. Washington, DC: American Federation of Teachers. Moats, L. Speech to Print. (2003). Baltimore, MD. Paul H. Brookes Publishing Company. Moats, L. & Foorman, B. (2003). Measuring t eachers content knowle dge of language and reading. Annals of Dyslexia 53, 23-45. Moats, L, C. & Lyon, G. R. (1996) Wanted. Te achers with Knowledge of language. Topics in Learning Disabilities, 16, 73-86. National Center for Educational Statistics. (N CES). (2006, January). Digest of educational statistics 2006. Washington, DC: Author. Also available on-line: http://nces.ed.gov/ National R eading Panel. (2000). Teaching Childr en to read: An evid ence based assessment on the scientific research literature on reading and its implications for reading instruction. Washington, DC: National Academy Press. No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) of 2001. (P.L.107-110 [20 U.S.C. 7801]). No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) of 2002. (P.L.107-110 [20 U.S.C. 7801]). OConnor, R. (1999) T eachers learning la dders to literacy. Learning Disabilities Research & Practice 14, 203-214. Reading First in Florida. (2002). Retrieved on Septem ber 11, 2007 from http://www.ed.gov/programs/readingfirst/index.html. Reading Excellence Act, PL 1055-277, 112 St at. 2681-3 37, 2681-393, 20 U.S.C. Spear-Swerling L. & Brucker, P.(2004). Teache rs acquisition of Knowledge about English Word Structure. Annals of Dyslexia 53, 72-103. Shanahan, T. (2003). Research based reading instruction; My ths about the National Reading Panel Report. Reading Teacher, 56, 646-656. Snider, V.E. (1995). A Primer on Phonemic Awareness: What it is, why its important, and how to teach it. School Psychology Review, 24, 3.

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132 Snider, V.E. (1997). The Relationship be tween phonemic awarenes s and later reading achievement. Journal of Educational Research 97, 4. Snow, C., Burns, S., & Griffin, M. (1998). Preventing reading difficulties in young children Washington, DC; National Research Counc il, National Academy of Sciences. Stanovich, K.E. (1986). Matthew effects in re ading: Some consequences of individual differences in the acquisition of literacy Reading Research Quarterly, 21, 360-406. Stanovich, P. & Cunningham, A.E. (1993).Wh ere does knowledge come from? Specific associations between print exposure and information acquisition. Journal of Educational Psychology 85, 211-229. Stevenson, L.P. (2003). Reading First: A critical policy analysis. Reading Teacher 56,7. Strickland, D., Snow, C., Griffin, P., Burns, M.S. & McNamara, P. (2002). Preparing our Teachers. Washington, DC. Joseph Henry Press. Sweet, R. (2004). The Big Picture: Where we are Nationally on the Reading Front and How we Got Here. In Chhabra, V. & McCardle, P, The Voice of Evidence in Reading Research (pp.3-12) Baltimore, MD. Paul H. Brookes Publishing Company. Taylor, B., Peterson, M., Pearson, D. & R odriguez, M. (2003).Reading growth in highpoverty classrooms: The influence of teacher practices that encourage cognitive engagement in literacy learning. The Elementary School Journal. 104, 1. Torgesen, J.K. (1999). Prev enting Reading Failure in yo ung children with phonological processing disabilities. Journal of Educational Psychol ogy. 91, 579-599. Torgesen, J.K. (2002a). Lessons learned from intervention resear ch in reading. A way to go before we rest. Learning a nd Teaching Reading, 1, 89-203. Toregsen, J.K. (2002b). The prevention of reading disa bilities. Journal of School Psychology, 40. 7-26. The National Right to Read Foundation. (2006). Retrieved January 05, 2006, from http://www.nrrf.org/. Troyer, S.J., & Yopp, H.K. (1990 ). Kindergarten teachers knowledge of emergent, literacy concepts. Reading Improvement, 27, 34-40. Whitehurst, G.J. (2002). Resear ch on Teacher Preparation a nd Professional Development. Issue paper prepared for the White H ouse Conference on Pr eparing Tomorrows Teachers, Washington, DC. Yopp, H.K. (1992). Devel oping Phonemic Awarene ss in Young Children. The Reading Teacher, 45, 9, 696-703.

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133 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Meridith Taylor Strout was born in Lexington, SC, to John a nd Jean Taylor. She grew up in Chester, VA, and attended Thom as Dale High School. She attended Lynchburg College in Lynchburg, VA where she earned her bachelors de gree in special education in 1999. She moved to Gainesville, FL, where she attended the Univ ersity of Florida and earned a masters degree in 2000 in the Department of Special Education, sp ecializing in learning disabilities. She taught both in public and private schools in Gainesvi lle, as a special edu cation teacher. She won Rookie Teacher of the Year for Alachua C ounty in 2001 and then she won a statewide competition in 2003. She obtained a position with the Multidisciplinary Diagnostic Training Program (MDTP) at the University of Fl orida as an educational diagnostician. Meridith entered the Ph.D. pr ogram at the University of Florida in 2003. Her studies focused on the remediation and prevention of reading disabilities. She was supported by a federally funded project (Project ABC: Access to Books for Children) She also worked for the Lastinger Center for Learning at the Universi ty of Florida which focused on professional development for teachers who work in high poverty schools. Upon completion of her Ph.D. program, Meridith intends to teach at the college level and continue to volunteer at the comm unity level. She currently resi des in St. Augustine, FL, with her husband Stephen and her son Brandon.