Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


School of Teacher Education and Leadership

Department name when degree awarded

Teacher Education and Leadership

Committee Chair(s)

D. Ray Reutzel


D. Ray Reutzel


Janice A. Dole


Cindy D. Jones


Sarah K. Clark


Timothy A. Slocum


Core reading programs (CRPs) provide the curriculum and guide reading instruction for many classroom teachers. The purpose of this study was to conduct a content analysis of reading fluency instruction in current (2008-2011 copyright) grade 2 and 3 top-selling core reading program lessons to answer the following two research questions: (1) How do core reading programs recommend that fluency skills be taught? (2) How do reading fluency instructional practices in core programs compare to evidence-based reading fluency instructional practices defined in current research? The results of the analysis revealed that fluency instruction is more prevalent in current core reading programs than reported in previous content analyses and that the recommendations for fluency instruction are somewhat aligned with the findings of the National Reading Panel (NRP). All lessons coded focused on one of four characteristics of a fluent reader (i.e., rate, accuracy, expression, and/or comprehension). However, more lessons focused on expression than the other three categories. Second, current CRPs incorporated guided oral reading procedures; almost half of lessons included some type of explanation, modeling, and/or guided practice from a teacher or peer; however, reading with a partner was more prevalent than reading with the teacher (choral and echo reading). Also, more than half of the lessons included the use of repeated reading procedures; however, several CRPs suggested that students read the text more than the recommended three to four times. Last, the near absence of lessons that suggest the practice of independent silent reading also reflect the NRP’s findings that neither recommended nor endorsed its use in the classroom. More recent research reports no significant effect differences of guided wide reading (one time reading of text) and scaffolded silent reading of texts over guided oral repeated reading of texts. The five current CRPs did not recommend the use of either of these two practices.




This work was made publicly available electronically on September 30, 2011.