Doctor of Philosophy
Dr. Deanna Friesen
Children with Late Emerging Reading Disabilities (LERD) are believed to represent a significant proportion of children with reading disabilities (Badian, 1999; Leach et al., 2003; Shaywitz et al., 1992). Yet, these disorders have gone unnoticed or are minimally discussed in educational settings (Chugh, 2011; Catts et al., 2012). Little is known about the extent of teachers’ LERD knowledge, which is problematic given their role in supporting students with reading difficulties. In the first study of this dissertation, in-service teachers’ knowledge, and perceptions of LERD was investigated. Results showed that teachers had little knowledge of LERD and limited confidence in their abilities to identify and provide interventions for these students in the classroom. Based on these findings, a web-based, self-paced workshop was developed with the purpose of increasing educators’ conceptual and practical knowledge of LERD. Participants in Study 2 were pre-service teachers at the University of Western Ontario. Participants watched three module videos, completed associated quizzes, and completed pre- and post-workshop questionnaires. The findings of this study supported the utility of the short web-based workshop for significantly improving pre-service teachers’ conceptual knowledge of LERD. There was some support for its impact on practical knowledge acquisition. Implications for current and future educators’ professional development as well as limitations and next steps for this area of research are discussed.
Summary for Lay Audience
Children can struggle in different areas of their reading and can begin to struggle at different stages in their learning. For example, students might struggle with word reading, reading comprehension (i.e., understanding texts they read), or both. They can also start to struggle in the early elementary grades (grades 1-3) or middle elementary grades (grade 4-6). These are referred to as Early Emerging Reading Disabilities (EERD) and Late Emerging Reading Disabilities (LERD), respectively. Students with an EERD require different supports from those with LERD. As with many other places in the world, in Ontario, teachers are often the ones to initiate supports for struggling learners. In fact, there is an expectation that teachers have appropriate knowledge of assessment practices, progress monitoring, and intervention strategies to help students with learning needs. In order to appropriately support struggling readers, teachers must have sufficient knowledge of both the assessment and intervention practices but also the reading disabilities impacting the child’s learning. In this dissertation, an initial study was conducted to determine what Ontario school teachers know about LERD given that this type of reading disability has been less well-studied and is believed to be less well-known amongst educators. Results showed that teachers had little knowledge of LERD and limited confidence in their abilities to identify and provide interventions for these students in the classroom. Based on these findings, a web-based, self-paced workshop was developed with the purpose of increasing future educators’ conceptual and practical knowledge of LERD. In this second study, pre-service teachers completed three modules to help facilitate their learning of LERD. The findings of this study supported the utility of the short web-based workshop for improving pre-service teachers’ knowledge of LERD. Implications for current and future educators’ professional development as well as limitations and next steps for this area of research are discussed.
Lamoureux, Chastine, "Knowledge of Late-Emerging Reading Disabilities Amongst Current and Future Ontario Educators" (2023). Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository. 9655.