Reading instruction for students with learning disabilities at the middle school level

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

First Committee Member

Jeanne S. Schumm - Committee Chair


This study examined the perceptions of exceptional student education (ESE) teachers regarding reading instruction for students with learning disabilities (LD) at the middle school level. Focus groups with middle school teachers were conducted and a survey was developed. Items based on the findings from the focus groups, a review of the literature, and existing surveys were included. Sixty-nine teachers from 14 schools responded to the survey. Survey items addressed four issues: Perceptions about the quality of reading instruction for students with LD at the middle school level; perceptions about the components of effective reading instruction; perceptions about desirable, feasible, and utility of instructional practices; and barriers to successful reading instruction for middle school students.Results indicated that although teachers reported that students with LD were reading at levels three to six years below grade, teachers were satisfied with the reading instruction that students with LD receive and with their own knowledge and ability. Respondents viewed subskill approaches as most appropriate for this population of students, but were not uniform about the implementation of such approaches. Teachers indicated that they preferred homogeneous grouping, but whole class activities were found to be most feasible. Factors related to the students themselves were listed as the primary barriers to progress in learning to read. The discussion focuses on the implications of these findings for teacher preparation programs, program development for students with disabilities, and for future research.


Education, Special; Education, Secondary; Education, Reading

Link to Full Text


Link to Full Text