Jeanette Conner

Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Donald Ritter, John Vokurka, Eugene Rich


This thesis was submitted to the department of Elementary Education.

Degree Program

School of Teacher Education

Degree Type

Education Specialist Degree


The reading achievement of two groups of ninth grade students with learning disabilities was compared using the standard scores on the Reading subtest of the Wide Range Achievement Test (WRAT) as the pre- and posttest measurement to determine gain in reading achievement. The experimental group used only curriculum materials written in the Initial Teaching Alphabet (ITA). The control group used curriculum materials written in traditional orthography provided for students with learning disabilities by a rural Kentucky School District. At the end of an 80-day period, the standard scores on the Reading subtest of the WRAT were compared using a t-test, multiple regression equation, Mann-Whitney U Test, and a sign test. The statistical analyses of the convergent findings of these tests indicated that the experimental group made significant gains in reading achievement while the reading achievement of the control group regressed. In addition to gains indicated by statistical analysis, observations indicated the experimental group had also made gains in self-confidence and motivation. The members of the control group appeared to become lackadaisical in their attitude and motivation by the end of the investigation.


Curriculum and Instruction | Disability and Equity in Education | Education | Educational Methods | Elementary Education