Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Prince, Debra

Committee Member

Taggart, Amanda

Committee Member

Karriem, Dinetta

Committee Member

Boggan, Matthew

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Elementary, Middle, and Secondary Education Administration

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education


Department of Educational Leadership


The consequences of less than proficient reading skills are well documented. In educational settings, as children progress through the grades, the expectation that they acquire content knowledge through reading continually increases. However, many children lack the proficient reading skills that would enable them to acquire content knowledge through reading. Consequently, less than proficient reading skills are associated with academic failure and academic avoidance behaviors such as absenteeism and discipline problems. This study examined the effects of sheltered instruction on the academic and non-academic behaviors of a group of struggling readers. A causal-comparative research design was used to compare MCT2 Language Arts scores, attendance, and number of discipline referrals of 28 sixth grade struggling readers attending a rural school in northern Mississippi. Paired-samples t tests were used to compare measures of the dependent variables of students when they were in a traditional classroom setting to when they were in a sheltered instruction classroom setting. The results of the data analysis failed to detect any statistically significant differences between the measures of the dependent variables under the two conditions. Therefore, it appears that sheltered instruction did not have an effect on the academic and nonacademic behaviors of struggling readers. However, there are limitations to the findings of this study. The two most serious limitations are the small sample size and the incomplete data sets. With this small sample size, the t tests may not have been robust enough to detect statistically significant differences. In addition to the small sample size, each of the dependent variables had cases where data were missing. Consequently, a replication of this study is one of the recommendations of this study. Another recommendation is that the effects of sheltered instruction on student achievement be examined after students have been exposed to the treatment for multiple years.



academic behaviors||struggling readers||perfomance levels||proficient reading skills||reading achievement||attendance||discipline referrals||non-academic behaviors||academic achievement