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Selected students', parents', and graduate student tutors' experiences and perceptions in a community of interest summer literacy camp
h [electronic resource] /
by Kim Thomas.
[Tampa, Fla] :
b University of South Florida,
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Dissertation (PHD)--University of South Florida, 2010.
Includes bibliographical references.
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ABSTRACT: In this qualitative case study, I examined a local summer literacy camp in which graduate student tutors tutored elementary and middle school students in reading and writing. I focused the study on the primary stakeholders in the summer literacy camp: tutors, tutees, selected tutees' parents, and the course instructor/camp director because their voices are limited in the current literature. In this Community of Interest Summer Literacy Camp, the graduate student tutors moved from a position of fear and trepidation to a position of empowerment in which they hoped to make changes in their classrooms, schools, and communities. The tutees learned to appreciate the tutoring program and some tutees began to understand tutoring could be an enrichment experience rather than only a remedial experience. There was limited parental participation in the tutoring program and that may have hindered a richer experience in which parents learned strategies to help their child/children excel in reading and writing.
Advisor: Janet C. Richards, Ph.D.
Out-of-school time tutoring
x Curriculum and Instruction
t USF Electronic Theses and Dissertations.
! ! ! !Selected Students, Parents, and Graduate Student Tutors Experiences and Perceptions in a Community of Interest Summer Literacy Camp by Kim G. Thomas A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy Department of Childhood Education and Literacy Studies College of Education University of South Florida Co-Major Professor: Kathryn Laframboise, Ph.D. Co-Major Professor: Janet C. Richards, Ph.D. Deirdre Cobb-Roberts, Ph.D. Anthony J. Onwuegbuzie, Ph.D. Date of Approval: November 10, 2010 Keywords: reading, writing, literacy, tutoring, out-of-school time tutoring Copyright Kim G. Thomas
Dedication Galatians 1:5 My Tribu t e Andrae Crouch, 1996 God gets all the glory for t hi s thing (my dissertation) He has done. Without Him, there To my parents, Joseph and Levonia Thomas, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for believing in me, supporting me, and never giving up on me. Through the trials and tribulations of life, you have always been there for me. This dissertation is for you. My children are my inspiration. Kabria and Jamal, Momma has finally completed this journey. Kabria, although you have no idea what is going on here, your sweet spirit inspired me through the worst of times. Jamal, you grew up in the hallways of USF and you so willingly your patience, son. Thank you for looking at me with those i t is. I hope this accomplishment is an inspiration for you. I love you both, my beautiful children!
Acknowledgements I am grateful to my co-chairpersons for helping me, guiding me, and prodding me throughout this journey. Dr. Janet Richards, my professor, my mentor, my friend, I will be forever grateful for your tireless efforts to help me complete this dissertation. We began different journeys at USF in August, 2003. Now, my dissertation journey has come to an end. I have no doubt that the remainder of your journey will be just as successful and rewarding as the first 7 years of the journey. I am also grateful for the attention to detail provided by Dr. Kathryn Laframboise. No one knows that paper trail like you. Thank you for your support. This work was also made possible because of the dedication of the two other professors on my committee. Dr. Anthony J. Onwuegbuzie, what can I say? I asked for your participation on my dissertation committee because of the vast expertise you possess. I appreciate that expertise and your insistence on excellence. Thank you for the countless hours you spent reading, editing, and making suggestions. Dr. Deirdre Cobb-Roberts, thank you for being an inspiration. Thank you for the suggestions and thought-provoking questions. I owe each of you a debt of gratitude! A special thanks goes to Susan Bennet and Charlene Helsel for the many hours they contributed as they help me with interviews. All the best!
i Table of Contents List of Tables ..................................................................................................................... iv List of Figures ......................................................................................................................v Abstrac t ............................................................................................................................. vi Chapter One: Introduction .................................................................... ............1 .............................................................2 ...............................................................3 ................................................................11 Research .............................................12 Significanc ....................................12 Over .............................................13 ...........................................................14 ..............................................................14 Definition .................................................21 Adequate ...........................21 ........................................21 After................................21 At..........................................21 Community.......................22 Enri ..................................22 Extended Scho ...................22 No Child Left ..................................22 Out-of-schoo ....................22 Supplemental Educa ............22 ...............22 ................................................................................23 .................................................................23 Chapter Two: ............................................................24 Out-of-school Time (After...........27 Commu .............................................38 Li ....................................................40
ii The Reading/ ..................40 Literacy ...........................43 Struggling .........................................58 Literacy Instruction ...........68 Culture and Li ....................74 Sum ................................77 Parental Perceptions of After-school and Tutoring Programs ...............................80 Summary ........84 Chapter Three ..............................................................87 ........................................................................88 Qualitati ..........................88 Some Paradigms and Assumptions of Qualitative Research .............90 My paradigmatic positions .................91 My position in the research ................93 Case Study Design .........................................94 The Research Context ................................................96 The Community Center ..............................................96 Morrison Elementary .....................................97 Miller Elemen .................98 Community Center Partnership Tutoring Program (CCPTP) ........98 Population and Sample ....................................................................102 Re s ...............................................105 ................................................................105 .....................................................106 Elem. Reading Attitude Survey and Elem. Writing Attitude Survey ......107 Data Analysis ........... 108 Su m ..................111 Chapter Four: ........................................................................113 How Do ....................................113 Prepara ..............................114 ................................................................129 The Co .......................................141 Perceptions ......145 Fear and Trepidation ....................................147 Fear of Not Getting It Right .............148 Fear of the Unknown ...................................151 Fear of Collaboration .......................153 Fear of the Physical Location ..........155 Confusion and Working Things Out ............................................157 Planning ...................................................................160 Getting to Know You .......................162 Collaboration ............................................................163 Empowerment ..............................................167 How Do Select ed Tutees Experience and Perceive the Program? .......................172
iii ........174 Tutoring and Tutors Do Help Me 175 How Do Some Parents of Selected Students who Participated in the Study Perceive CCPTP?............................................... ..................................................180 Summary............................................... ...............................................................187 Ch apter Five: Summary and Discussion ..........................................................................190 Restatement of the Problem an ......190 Revi ..........................................191 Summary ..................................................................192 ............................................................................199 Relatio .............................................200 Unant ................................207 Implicat ..............................209 Suggestions .............................212 ..................................................................213 References ........215 .......................................................243 Appendix A: CCPTP Contact Summary Form ....................244 Appendix B: Interview Questions ...........................................245 Appendix C: Poss ..................................248 Appendix D: Within Case Anal ys .............249 Appendix E: Presence of Supportin ..............................250
iv List of Tables Table 4.1 .................146 Table 4.2 Th emes by Graduate Student Tutor ....................................172 Table 4.3: Checklist Matrix: Identification of .........173 Table 4.4: .....179
v List of Figures Figure 4.1 ............................................................125 ................146 Figure 4.3 Themes by Graduate StudentTutor ....................................172 Figure 4.4: Checklist Matrix: Identification of ........173 Figure 4.5: .................................................................179
vi Abstract In this qualitative case study, I examined a local summer literacy camp in which graduate student tutors tutored elementary and middle school students in reading and writing. I focused the study on the primary stakeholders in the summer literacy camp: ts, and the course instructor/camp director because their voices are limited in the current literature. In this Community of Interest Summer Literacy Camp, the graduate student tutors moved from a position of fear and trepidation to a position of empowerment in which they hoped to make changes in their classrooms, schools, and communities. The tutees learned to appreciate the tutoring program and some tutees began to understand tutoring could be an enrichment experience rather than only a remedial experience. There was limited parental participation in the tutoring program and that may have hindered a richer experience in which parents learned strategies to help their child/children excel in reading and writing.
CHAPTER I: INTRODUCTION Stat e m e nt of th e Probl e m Many schoolchildren in the United States struggle with reading (Allington, 2005; Morris & Slavin, 2003). The difficulty is evidenced in results from the 2007 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Grade 4 reading results (National Center for Education Statistics, 2007a) and research that examines literacy losses that some students experience during the summer months when they are out of school (Alexander Entwisle, & Olsen, 1997, 2001; Cooper, Charlton, Valentine, & Muhlenbruck, 2000; Schacter, 2003). In particular, a large number of children living in poverty continue to lag behind the reading achievement demonstrated by their middle/upper class counterparts (National Center for Education Statistics, 2007b). To help close the reading achievement gap, many out-of-school time literacytutoring services function as stand-alone programs or operate as part of a more comprehensive outof -school time program (Bodilly & Beckett, 2005; Fashola, 2002; Gordon, 2003; Sanderson, 2003). Some programs focus solely on reading. Other programs concentrate on reading and mathematics. In addition, there are programs that provide enrichment opportunities as well as academic pursuits. Out-of-school time programs might be one way to provide literacy tutoring that aids in closing the reading achievement gap. Although these various out-of-school time delivery methods for reading tutoring exist, there remains limited information on how stakeholders ( i. e., tutees, and tutors) experience and perceive these programs. Thus, one serious
2 problem I identified in the current literature. Baker (1997) previously expressed limited parental voices as a problem in the education literature. In this study, I provide a voice for selected stakeholders who participated in or had a vested interest in one out-of-school time literacy tutoring program. Rational e heard regarding perceptions and experiences of out-of-school time literacy tutoring programs), I decided to conduct a study to describe a Community of Interest Summer Literacy Camp, to examine the experiences and perceptions of selected stakeholders, and to report my findings. The specific summer literacy camp I studied has existed for approximately 5 years, with different organizational structures. The tutoring program began with one group of undergraduate students taking a reading assessment course. They tutored children at the community center as part of the service learning component of the course. At other times, undergraduate students tutored children who attended the after-school program at the community center as part of the course requirements for a reading methods course. The undergraduate courses included Lin k ing Li t e ra c y and A ss e ssme n t and Cr e a t iv e Exp e ri e n ce s In a different scenario, a professor linked an undergraduate course with a graduate-level course with graduate students mentoring undergraduate students. Another variation of the tutoring program is the design I examined for this study. One professor taught two graduate-level courses (Pra c t i c um in R e ading and Wri t e r s and Wri t ing: Tr e nd s and I ssu e s) simultaneously as graduate students tutored elementary and middle school students. Although Dr. Clark (a pseudonym, and the current course instructor/camp director) and
3 colleagues conducted several studies at the community center regarding the tutoring programs during the school year and the summer, they did not consider the tutees and Previous research at the community center includes Richards (2007); Richards and Shea (2006); Richards and Shea (2007); Richards, Bennet t and Shea (2007a, 2007b); and Richards, Bennett, and Shea (2008). Each of these five studies involved a different summer literacy camp. Lumby (2007) suggests parents are willing and able to participate in xperiences, but they are often silenced in these contexts. Therefore, one reason I conducted this study was to ensure parents had the opportunity to think about and to discuss the summer literacy camp their children attend ed Additionally, through this study, summer literacy camp in which their child (children) participated. Patterson and Elliott (2006) recommend that itudes are often not studied in research that focuses on tutoring programs for struggling readers. Research on many student achievement (I review several of these studies in Chapter 2) but they do not consider s. In my inquiry I sought to narrow the gap in the current perceptions about tutoring programs their children attend. Con ce ptual Fram e work In this section, I present the conceptual framework for my inquiry. I identify several broad ideas related to my study (e.g., outof -school time programs, communities
4 of interest, literacy instruction, and parental perceptions of after-school and tutoring programs). I include both out-of-school time programs and after-school programs in the conceptual framework because the two terms are often used interchangeably in the literature. I then describe how the broad ideas relate and how they helped me to frame the questions I examined during this dissertation. Th e N ee d for Out-of-S c hool and Aft e r-S c hool Program s Many children who attend school in the United States are unsupervised during the after-school or non-school hours (National Institute on Out-of-School Time at Wellesley Centers for Women, Wellesley College, 2008). These hours without adult supervision may create situations in which children engage in inappropriate behaviors that can affect school performance (Belle, 1999; National Institute on Out-of-School Time at Wellesley Centers for Women, Wellesley College, 2008). The concern for what children do during the after-school and other non-school hours (i.e., weekends, summer break, school holidays) sparked the practice of extending the school day to provide academic learning opportunities, enrichment opportunities, and social connections (Fashola, 2002). Afterschool programming is part of the larger field of out-of-school time programs, which also includes summer programs for children (Bodilly and Beckett, 2005). Many such programs currently exist (Scott-Little, Hamann, & Jurs, 2002). Throughout this document, I will use the term out-of-school-time to refer to after-school, weekend, and summer programs. Th e N ee d for Lit e ra c y Program s for Struggling R e ad e r s My professional experiences as an elementary school teacher, a middle school teacher, an adjunct professor at a local community college, and a professor at a regional
5 state college also provided credence to the concerns I investigated in this study. I taught elementary school students in a small city in the southern United States for 3 years. Then, I taught middle school students for 2 years in a large urban center in the southern United States. I taught preparatory reading courses at a local community college and, currently, I teach preparatory reading classes and Coll e g e Su cce ss at a state college. I continue to observe firsthand how some students struggle with reading. During the earlier years of my teaching career, I was baffled when I learned the degree to which many of my second-, sixth-, and seventh-grade students struggled with reading and writing. These discoveries marked the beginning of my quest to learn ways to help struggling readers experience success. I began to question what types of programs, activities, or interventions might benefit struggling readers. Years later, as a doctoral student, I volunteered to tutor struggling and at-risk readers in an after-school phonics-based tutoring program. I pondered whether this type of program might help students experience success in reading. If so, how? As a doctoral student, I also had the opportunity to participate in an out-of-school time tutoring program operated as a partnership between the university I attended and a local the community center. I asked myself if this program might help students achieve success in reading. If so, how? These questions piqued my attention. I wanted to know how children (tutees) and other stakeholders experienced and perceived these kinds of programs. Although I did not study student achievement in this Community of Interest Summer Literacy Camp, I include a discussion of results from the NAEP as part of the conceptual framework for this inquiry. I include the NAEP data because many summer
6 literacy tutoring programs exist to help struggling readers achieve academic success. The NAEP provides background reasons for why many summer literacy programs operate. In this section, I provide information about (also known as the NAEP). I present this information because it renders evidence of the limited reading achievement among some poor and minority students in the United States. The NAEP also generates data about the reading achievement gap between students from middleto high-income households and students from low-income households in the United States (Slavin, 2003). The data provided by NAEP are important because they help us understand current reading achievement of schoolchildren in the United States. Knowing this information provided an understanding of the perceived need for out-ofschool-time literacy-tutoring programs. The NAEP assesses students on three components of reading: (a) reading for literary experience; (b) reading for information; and (c) reading to perform a task (National Center for Education Statistics (2007a). The reading for literacy experience examine literary elements and the language of literary works as they read novels, short stories, poems, plays, legends, biographies, myths, and folktales. Students also are required to read for information when they examine excerpts from materials such as magazines, newspapers, textbooks, essays, and speeches. In addition, students are asked to apply what they have read to a particular task (National Center for Education Statistics, 2005). For example, students may be asked to read and to interpret a bus schedule, then develop a transportation plan for arrival at a specific destination at a particular time.
7 According to the National Center for Education Statistics (2007a), there are three levels of performance on the NAEP reading assessment: Ba s i c Pro f i c i e n t and Advan ce d The achievement level descriptions and benchmarks are based on policy decisions made by the National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB), which governs and sets policy for NAEP. To understand better NAEP results, I think it is helpful to understand what each achievement level means. If a student performs at the Ba s i c level, he or she comprehends the general information read by connecting to the text and making inferences. Students who perform at the Pro f i c i e n t level on the NAEP are able to comprehend the text, make connections to the text, draw conclusions, and make inferences. An Advan ce d rating means that the student can make generalizations about a topic, understand how the author uses literacy devices, and critically analyze the text. Although NAEP assesses reading performance among fourthand eighth-grade results because in this study I studied an outof-school-time literacy tutoring program designed primarily for elementary schoolchildren. The National Center for Education Statistics (2007b) released the 2007 NAEP results in October 2007. Fourth average reading score was two points higher in 2007 than in score in the history of the NAEP and was statistically significant ly (p < .05) higher than the 217 scale score in 1992, the first year of the NAEP assessment. Sixty-seven percent of fourth graders performed at or above the Ba s i c level in 2007, which was statistically significant ly (p < .05) higher than the proportion of fourth graders who scored at the Ba s i c level in 2005. The percentage of fourth graders performing at or above the
8 Pro f i c i e n t level increased from 29% to 33% from 1992 to 2007, a change NAEP considers to be statistically significant. The NAEP disaggregates data by children living in poverty versus children who do not live in poverty. Children living in poverty or below the middle-income level are considered those who received free or reduced-price school lunch. Both students who received free or reduced-price lunch and students who did not receive this service had higher average scores in 2007 compared to 2005. Students who received free lunch showed a two-point increase from 2005 to 2007 (National Center for Education Statistics, 2007b). However, there remains an achievement gap between students who received the subsidized lunch service and those who did not receive the service. The gap between students who received free school lunch and those who did not was 30 points for 2003, 29 points for 2005, and 29 points for 2007. The National Center for Education Statistics notes that changes that allow for the National School Lunch Program might increase or decrease the gap between students who receive free lunch and those who do not. However, the chasm indicates a disconnect remains in reading achievement between children of poverty and children who do not live in poverty. The reading achievement gap might be exacerbated by the reading losses that some children of poverty experience during the summer months. Researchers found students tend to progress in reading achievement at equal rates during the school year (Alexander, et al., 1997, 2001). However, during the summer months, many children from low socioeconomic households experience reading losses (Alexander et al., 1997, 2001; Cooper et al., 2000). In fact, Schacter (2003) notes children from middle-class or affluent families often show gains in reading achievement over the summer months,
9 whereas children from families of limited economic means often experience decreases in reading achievement over the same period of time. P Smalley and Reyes-Blanes (2001) report there is a challenge to actively involve challenge might be addressed when members of the education community provide leadership training for parents. Leadership training might be the mechanism by which some African American parents find ways to participate schooling. Historically, many parents have been silenced by the educational system. But, when the same parents who often felt their voices were ignored were given the (Lumby, 2007). Lumby notes many parents are pleased when someone asks them what that although many involvement, they have powerful opinions about teaching and learning approaches to program in general. As I examined the information reported here about out-of-school time and afterschool programs; the need for additional literacy instruction for struggling readers; theory in which to ground my study. Rogoff (1990, 1993, 2008) discusses apprenticeship, guided participation, and participatory appropriation as different planes of sociocultural
10 activity. She suggests the three planes work interdependently to create the sociocultural activity. The first plane, apprenticeship, involves individuals working with others in an organized social activity as more mature participants model a craft and provide expertise for less experienced participants. In this Community of Interest Summer Literacy camp, more experienced in-service teachers often served as mentors for less-experienced inservice teachers. In additional, the program was designed so that all graduate student tutors were mentors for the elementary and middle school students for whom they provided literacy tutoring in this social context. When Rogoff (1990, 1993, 2008) considers guided participation, she refers to the communication and coordination that occurs when people participate in a culturally valued activity. In this summer literacy camp, the tutors collaborated to provide reading and writing lessons to elementary and middle school students. They collaborated within the culturally valued activity of tutoring with a community of interest. This guided participation includes the faceto -face interactions tutors had with each other during weekly tutoring sessions as well as the interactions they had as they planned weekly lessons. The guidance in this context was provided by the course syllabus for the course in which the tutors were enrolled. The participation aspect refers to the actual hands-on participation in the activity (tutoring), in which tutors engaged weekly. Participatory appropriation (Rogoff 1990, 1993, 2008) refers to changes individuals undergo as they engage in one or more activities. In this context, as I considered the question of how tutors, tutees, and parents experience and perceive the tutoring program, the participants engaged in participatory appropriation based on the
11 nature of the summer literacy camp. That is, the summer literacy camp was designed as a community of interest. Therefore, participants were expected to learn from their interactions with others in the community of interest. As I considered the elements in this conceptual framework, I concluded there was support for the questions I sought to explore in this inquiry. To summarize, many poor and minority schoolchildren in the United States experience difficulties with reading achievement. At the same time, many outof -school time programs provide opportunities for students to increase academic achievement and/or participate in enrichment activities. If paren educational settings, might this silencing also apply to out-of-school time literacy tutoring programs? Thus, I combined these broad concepts and determined a need existed to study an out-of-school time summer literacy camp (i.e., a Community of Interest Summer Literacy Camp), not to measure changes in reading achievement, but to understand In the remaining sections of this chapter, I identify the purpose for this study, and the research questions I hoped to answer. I also discuss the significance of the study and an overview of the methods I employed. To frame the study in the proper context, I describe delimitations and limitations of the study as well as definitions of terms to be used throughout the research. Purpo s e In this study I sought to examine a summer literacy-tutoring program that is a voluntary component of an all-day summer program. I hoped to discover how this literacy-tutoring program works and how some stakeholders perceived and experienced
12 the program. The purpose of this study, therefore, was to understand how the Community Center Partnership Tutoring Program (CCPTP) operated, to understand how selected stakeholders experienced and perceived the program, and to understand out-of-schooltime literacy programs by examining this particular program. R e s e ar c h Qu e s tion s I addressed the following research questions: 1. How does the Community Center Partnership Tutoring Program (CCPTP ) operate? 2. How do selected tutors who tutored children in CCPTP experience and perceive the program? 3. How are selected students enrolled in CCPTP engaged in literacy activities? 4. How do selected students who are enrolled in CCPTP experience and perceive the tutoring program? 5. How do parents of selected students who participated in the study perceive the CCPTP? Signifi c an ce of th e Study This study is significant for several reasons. First, there is a need to explore ceptions of out-of-school-time literacy-of-school-time literacy tutoring programs. Second, as an educator, I thought it was important I understand the structures and availability of resources in the community and how such resources might contribute Finally, the CCPTP has existed for
13 approximately five years as a partnership between the community center and the Childhood Education and Literacy Studies Department at a local university. To date, research about this program had been seeking in, and tutors views about the program. In the Chapter 3 section on R e s e ar c h Con t e x t I provide information on the previous research (Richards & Shea, 2006; Richards et al., 2007a, 2007b; Richards, Bennett, & Shea, 2008) conducted at CCPTP regarding tutors professional development. Ov e rvi e w of M e thod s I used a qualitative research design and employed the case study tradition of inquiry. The case study tradition was appropriate because CCPTP is a bounded system I studied over time as I collect ed descriptive data (Creswell, 2007; Stake, 2005). The CCPTP was bounded by time and space 2 weeks of class time in which the university professor prepared tutors (who were -seeking students in two different literacy courses) to tutor children in CCPTP, 6 weeks of tutoring, and the community center that housed CCPTP. Additionally, I utilized in terviews, and peer debriefing as data sources. I used the method of constant comparison (Glaser & Strauss, 1967) and within-case displays (Miles & Huberman, 1994) to analyze the data.
14 D e limitation s Although many out-of-school time programs offer literacy tutoring, I limited this study to one reading and writing summer tutoring program with which I was familiar and is in close proximity to the university I attend. I also limited this study to 10 tuteeparticipants, 6 parents of some of the tutees who participated in the study, 10 tutors, and the course instructor/ camp director. I limited participation to 10 tutees, 10 graduate student tutors and 6 parents of some of the tutee participants because I wanted to attempt to get to know the tutees, graduate student tutees, and parents well enough to document fully their experiences and perceptions of the summer literacy camp. I conducted 60 tutor interviews, 60 tutee interviews, 6 parent interviews, and 2 interviews with the camp director/course instructor. I wanted to ensure there were enough participants to provide triangulation and data saturation. Additionally, if a study participant chose not to be a part of the study, the inquiry could still have proceeded as a collective case study because there would have b een two or more remaining participants. Two are more participants may constitute a collective case study (Stake, 2005). Limitation s I could not and did not separate who I am (the knower) from what I experienced and learned as I collected and analyzed data (the knowing) for this study. Although this mythological creature we know as objectivity does not exist, to maximize rigor, I identify threats to internal and external credibility. Onwuegbuzie and Leech (2007c) recommend that in order to provide rigor in the research process, I must be responsible for data collection, analysis, and procedures used. I must also take measures to determine the truth value of my findings. As I considered the
15 truth value of this study, I remained mindful of potential threats to legitimation threats I identified as I planned for the possibility of the threats becoming reality. I identified both internal and external threats to credibility. Internal threats represent vulnerabilities that might impact the truth value, applicability, consistency, neutrality, dependability, and/or credibility of interpretations and conclusions. Conversely, external threats represent risks to confirmability and transferability (Onwuegbuzie & Leech, 2007c ). Researchers often might have difficulties separating themselves from the researched and might have personal biases or a priori assumptions that cannot be bracketed (Denzin & Lincoln, 2005; Onwuegbuzie, 2003). For me, this bias was created because one of the co-major professors on my dissertation committee was the course Pra c t i c um in R e ading level Wri t ing and Wri t e r s : Tr e nd s and I ssu e s course. Students in these graduate-level courses tutored children in CCPTP. During the course of this summer session, my comajor professor conducted demonstration lessons and delivered lectures for her students. These interactions impacted how the graduate students tutored elementary and middle school children because their lessons were based largely on or modeled largely after lessons taught and demonstrated by my co-major professor who was also the summer literacy camp director. To bracket my biases in this regard, outside of the formal interviews I conducted with my co-major professor in her role as course instructor/ camp director recommendations, or any other aspect of the summer literacy camp with my co-major professor during the data collection and data analysis process. I used peer interviews (Onwuegbuzie and Leech, 2007c) to improve the trustworthiness of my findings. In doing
16 so, I hoped to limit the biases I had. The peer debriefer was another doctoral student in the Childhood Education and Literacy Studies Department in the College of Education at the university I attended and a researcher at the summer literacy camp that was the context for this study. Internal credibility might have been threaten ed via descriptive validity. Maxwell (1992) refers to descriptive validity as documenting accurately the accounts of the phenomenon. As findings are reported, there is the potential for both errors of omission and commission (Maxwell, 1992). I conducted member checks after each field contact and/or data collection episode. Before proceeding with the second through sixth interviews (I interviewed tutee-participants, and tutor-participants 6 times each during the course of the semester; the course instructor/camp director twice; and each parent participant once after the sixth tutoring session), I reviewed the contents of the previous interview with study participants to determine whether I captured accurately the to -face conversations, telephone conversations, or e-mail contacts. I provided a copy of the transcript in person, by fax, or by email prior to conducting member checks. Doing so helped to ensure I accurately represented the experiences. To guard further against this threat to legitimation, I used multiple data sources (data triangulation) and multiple data analysis techniques (methodological triangulation) to corroborate findings (Denzin, 1989; Flick, 1998). In Chapter 3 of this document, I discuss further data triangulation and methodological triangulation. Conducting member checks allowed study participants an opportunity to correct factual
17 errors, to clarify misunderstandings, to provide additional information, and to summarize and to verify results (Lincoln & Guba, 1985). I was limited by time and space. Tutees received tutoring for 2 hours once per week for 6 weeks. Additionally, time and space became problematic when I asked adult participants to designate a specific time for each interview. I recognized there were issues with work schedules, childcare responsibilities, and the location for the interview. The limitation of time and space posed another threat to internal credibility observational bias. Observational bias might have threatened this study had I not collect ed sufficient data from study participants via observations and/or interviews (Onwuegbuzie, 2003). To combat this threat to internal credibility and to collect sufficient data, I made every provided a token of of school supplies (did not exceed $10.00 per participant) for each tutee-participant. I personally purchased the gift cards and school supplies with my own funds. I revealed the compensation for parent and tutee study participants in the Institutional Review Board (IRB) application. I decided to offer compensation to parent participants and tutee participants to increase the like lihood that these individuals would participate in the research (Bentley & Thacker, 2004). This was a minimal risk study and I did not have a dependency relationship with the participants. Also, because the research did not degrade the participants in any way, the incentive to participate (monetary or material compensation) was not problematic (Grant & Sugarman, 2004). My experiences as an elementary school teacher, doctoral student, a person of color, a woman, a person with prior connections to CCPTP, and a student of the course
18 instructor/ camp director influenced how I analyzed data and grouped themes. For 2 semesters, I was the university instructor for a class of preservice teachers who tutored students enrolled in CCPTP. I am a person of color who has taught in schools with many children of color who struggled to learn how to read and who were from families of low socioeconomic status. One of the co-major professors on my dissertation committee was the course instructor for the tutors in the CCPTP program and the camp director of the program. Also, my researcher bias was particularly salient because I identify myself as an interpretivist or constructivist and I was also the person who collected data. The type of constructivism with which I identify myself here may be referred to as epistemological constructivism. As an epistemological constructivist, I believe that reality is independent of me, the observer. To understand the external reality I observed, I was responsible for constructing meaning of that which I observed (Chiari & Nuzzo, 1996). Because I describe myself as an epistemological constructivist, I identify myself as not purely an idealist, but as someone who believes in an external reality that is separate and apart from whom I am. As the researcher and observer in this study, I did not know independent reality except through the construction of reality by different human beings (Raskin, 2002). As a course instructor for the CCPTP tutoring program, who used a balanced approach (Freppon & Dahl, 1998; Gambrell, Mandel Morrow, & Pressley, 2007; Pressley, 2006; Pressley, Roehrig, Bogner, Raphael, & Dolezal, 2002) to literacy instruction, I countered the philosophy of the course instructor/camp director who taught the combined Pra c t i c um in R e ading course and the Wri t e r s and Wri t ing: Tr e nd s and I ssu e s course. That is, the course instructor for the combined Pra c t i c um in R e ading
19 course and the Wri t e r s and Wri t ing: Tr e nd s and I ssu e s course taught using a holistic approach to literacy instruction (J. Richards, personal communication, April 25, 2008). This same professor also serves as co-major professor on my dissertation committee. To again 1 week later to ensure my interpretations were not based on my own teaching philosophy. Also, I participated in debriefing interviews with the methodologist on my dissertation committee. By having the methodologist review my data collection processes, analyses, and reflective journal via the debriefing interviews, I was able to provide an audit trail for my findings (Koch, 2006). This research also was limited by the self-reported data of the case study participants (Creswell, 2007). Onwuegbuzie and Leech (2007c) refer to this type of legitimation as reactivity, which might impact both internal and external credibility. The are aware of their involvement in research. In an attempt to combat this threat, I rephrased some questions during formal interviews and informal conversations with study participants. The threat of reactivity appeared more apparent in interviews and conversations with the elementary and middle school study participants and parent participants than it did with tutor participants and the course instructor/camp director. Interpretive validity might have posed a threat to external credibility. This threat involves how the researcher interprets the findings and re voices (Onwuegbuzie and Leech 2007c). To ensure I most accurately represented the journal to represent adequately each participant s voice (Lincoln & Guba, 1985). As I
20 addressed the threat to interpretive validity, I was better able to understand the study 2007a ). The length of the tutoring program during the summer session also provided a limitation for this study. The length of the tutoring session was determined by the length of the summer school session and the directives of the community center personnel. Therefore, the summer literacy camp convened for 6 weeks. This limitation represents an internal threat to dependability and credibility. The amount of data I collected and the number of data sources helped to combat this limitation. There were 6 interviews per tutee (n = 60), 1 interview per parent participant (n = 6), 6 interviews per tutor (n = 60), and 2 interviews for the course instructor (n = 2). I also observed the 2 classes prior to the beginning of the tutoring sessions. These 2 classes introduced the graduate student tutors to the Community of Interest Summer Literacy Camp and began to prepare them to tutor children in CCPTP. Continuity of the tutoring program also was a limitation for this study. The university course instructor and tutors for CCPTP may change from one semester to another. These factors determine the type of literacy instruction tutees receive from one semester to another. During this summer literacy camp, the focus was on both reading comprehension strategies and writing strategies. However, if another course instructor were teaching a different course (e.g., ), the focus of tutoring might differ.) However, this case study was limited to a period of one summer session, which is the entire duration of this summer literacy program. Conducting similar research over a span of 2 semesters may be considered for future research.
21 Finally, this study was limited by other factors that might reading engagement. In addition to CCPTP tutoring, some students might have been enrolled in other summer enrichment programs or might have received additional literacy tutoring at home or at some other community-sponsored site. To combat this limitation, I asked tutees and their parents about other literacy-learning experiences in which students were engaged during the summer months. There were none. Therefore, this potential limitation did not appear to impact the discoveries for this research study. D e finition of T e rm s Ad e quat e Y e arly Progr e ss (AYP) Each state defines adequate yearly progress for schools under its jurisdiction. Adequate yearly progress should be diagnostic in nature and alert education personnel to areas in need of improvement (U. S. Department of Education, 2005a). A c hi e v e m e nt gap The term achievement gap refers to the inequalities among races, ethnicities, and genders on measures of educational achievement (Educational Testing Service, 2007). Aft e rs c hool program s After-school programs are services for schoolage children (typically 5-18 years old) that emphasize academic as well as nonacademic activities (Fashola, 2002). At-Ri s k s tud e nt s At -risk students are students who are typically serviced by Title I teachers. These students are usually from urban or rural poverty-stricken areas, and many are from ethnic, racial, or linguistic minorities (McCormick, 2003). At -risk students have a greater-than-average chance of failing in school (Natriello, 2002).
22 Community-ba s e d program s These are programs that may or may not include academic learning goals; may be located in schools, or community buildings, and may be community-owned (Fashola, 2002). Enri c hm e nt program s Enrichment programs are after-school programs that focus on other areas of development such as visual and performing arts, technology, life skills, and so forth (Fashola, 2002). Ext e nd e d s c hool day s e rvi ce s Extended school day services are programs that operate on school grounds during the after-school hours with activities directly connected to teaching and learning that occurred during the school day. Such programs are often a mixture of academic, recreational, and cultural programs and are staffed by regular school day teachers and paraprofessionals (Fashola, 2002). No Child L e ft B e hind This legislation is a bipartisan act that reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965 (U. S. Department of Education 2005a). Out-of-S c hool tim e program s Out-of-school time programs include a wide range of offerings for young people (usually between the ages of 5 and 18) that take place before school, after school, on weekends, and during the summer and other school breaks (Peter, 2002). Suppl e m e ntal e du c ational s e rvi ce s Supplemental educational services are extra academic assistance for low-income students of Title I schools not making annual yearly progress for 3 or more years (U. S. Department of Education, 2005b). Summ e r r e ading lo ss Summer reading loss refers to the decrease in reading development that can occur during summer vacation times when children are away from
23 the classroom and not engaged in formal literacy programs (Allington & McGill-Franzen, 2003). Urban ar e a An urban area is an area with a population density of at least 1,000 people per square mile, or an area with a total population of at least 50,000 (U.S. Census Bureau, 2000). Summary In this study, I examined how selected stakeholders experienced and perceived the The community center Partnership Tutoring Program (CCPTP), a collaborative effort between a local the community center and a large local, urban university. The stakeholders included selected tutors (graduate degree-seeking students), selected tutees, and selected parents of some of the tutees who participated in the study. I utilized a qualitative research design to answer my research questions. My discoveries will enhance further the body of literature on out-of-school time literacy tutoring programs. The enhancements provide of this out-of-school time (summer literacy camp program).
24 CHAPTER II: REVIEW OF LITERATURE For some schoolchildren in the United States, the non-school hours of 3:00-6:00 p.m. during the school year, weekends, and summers pose opportunities for extracurricular activities, enrichment programs, academic remediation or enhancement, or risky activities that might (Anthony, Alter, & Jenson, 2009; Noam, 2002). Persons who live in the United States are extremely concerned with what children do during the non-school hours; in fact, a 2001 survey indicated that 95% of U.S. voters think children and teenagers should have some place to go where there are numerous opportunities for out-of-school time learning (Noam, 2002). Some concerned educators worry about what schoolchildren do during the non-school hours and how those activities might levels of academic performanc e (Fashola, 1998, 2002; Jacobson, 2008 -school activities even interest the federal government. The Congress of the United States of America passed a federal education bill that allocated $1 billion for after-school programs (Noam, 2002). Because many after-school and summer programs include a literacy-tutoring component or are stand-alone literacy tutoring programs (Fashola, 1998, 2002; Little, Wimer, & Weiss, 2007), I thought it necessary to learn how one out-of-school time literacy-tutoring program operates and how some stakeholders experience and perceive the program. In this inquiry, I studied the program based on the perceptions and experiences of selected tutors, tutees, and This kind of information is limited in the current body of research on out-of-school time literacy tutoring programs.
25 I contemplated the research questions I sought to explore and used those questions to guide the literature review. The research questions and the related research topic(s) we re : 1. How does CCPTP operate? (Literature review topics: after-school programs, literacy instruction, community of interest) 2. How do selected students enrolled in CCPTP engage in literacy activities? (Literature review topics: Literacy instruction, communities of interest, reading/writing connection, literacy tutoring, literacy instruction for struggling readers, culture and literacy instruction) 3. How do selected students who were enrolled in CCPTP experience and perceive the tutoring program? 4. How do parents of selected students who participated in the study perceive CCPTP? (Literature review topic: Parental involvement in after-school programs and literacy tutoring programs) 5. How do CCPTP tutors experience and perceive the tutoring program? In the first section, Ou t -o f -Sc hool-Time and A ft e rs c hool Programs I describe the typology of out-of-school-time and after-school programs. I identify the types of programs and explain the salient characteristics of each program. In the second section, I provide information on Communi t i e s o f In t e r e st Dr. Clark organized the CCPTP as a community of interest comprised of -seeking students enrolled in 2 2008). In section 3 of the literature review, I provide information on some aspects of Li t e ra c y In st ru c t ion I reviewed information on the reading/writing connection, literacy
26 tutoring, literacy instruction for struggling readers, literacy instruction in urban settings, and summer reading losses. In the fourth and final section, I highlight research on parental perceptions of out-of-school time programs, after-school programs, and literacy tutoring programs. This fourth section is important because there is a limited amount of lite rature that exists currently in this field of study. I searched the following online article databases through the university library system: (a) Education: a SAGE full-text collection; (b) Wilson Web (Education full text); (c) Cambridge Scientific Abstracts; and (d) JSTOR. I used the university library catalog to locate books and other references on the topics of interest (out-of-school time programs, afterschool programs, community of interest, literacy instruction, the reading/writing connection, literacy tutoring, literacy instruction for struggling readers, literacy instruction in urban settings, summer reading losses, parental perceptions of outof-school time programs, parental perceptions of afterschool programs, and parental perceptions of literacy tutoring). I also searched the Dissertation Abstracts database for dissertations about after-school or out-of-school time literacy tutoring programs. My searches yielded more than 1,600 related results. I read the abstract or summary of each applicable publication. Then, I decided whether the publication related directly to this review of the literature. Using the following criteria, I decided which sources would guide the literature review. 1. Would understanding the findings of the research or argument presented help me better understand the topic and answer the research question? 2. Was the article or book considered a seminal publication in the field of study? 3. Might the article or book assist me in designing a future direction for this work?
27 If the publication met any of the criteria, I read it thoroughly, analyzed it, and critiqued it. The result was a synthesis of the literature for the topics related to this inquiry. Out-ofs c hool-tim e (Aft e rs c hool) Program s The term ou t -o f s c hoolt ime (OST) encompasses all programs in which schoolage children engage during non-school hours. Out-of-school time hours include nonschool hours during the regular school week, weekends, and summers. The terms ou t -o f s c hoolt ime and a ft e rs c hool t ime are often used interchangeably in the literature. The Afterschool Alliance recently reported that 3 out of every 4 out-of-school time or afterschool programs were overcrowded and many children in local communities remained un-served or underserved (National Institute on Out-ofSc hool Time at Wellesley Centers for Women, Wellesley College, 2008). The National Institute on Out-of-School Time (National Institute on Out-ofSchool Time [NIOST] at Wellesley Centers for Women, Wellesley College, 2008) reports there is a suggested relationship between consistent participation in out-of-school time programs and positive outcomes. The positive outcomes include increased levels of academic achievement, increased school attendance; increased time spent on homework, and increased involvement in extracurricular activities, as well as increased effort in school and student behavior. The National Institute on Out-of-School Time [NIOST] at Wellesley Centers for Women, Wellesley College (2008) also reported out-of-school time programs are able to offer supportive contexts for youth development and opportunities for young people to develop skills in supervised, safe, and engaging environments.
28 Additionally, Neuman (2010) contends that not only do afterschool programs provide safety nets for children who would otherwise be unsupervised during the nonschool hours, but afterschool programs also help children develop and expand goals that are both school-related and non school-related. As she observed an afterschool program housed in an elementary school in California, Neuman (2010) devised suggestions for creating an afterschool program that are most beneficial for children ages 5-14. Such programs give children opportunities to use problem solving skills and focus on teamwork. Promising afterschool prog both academic areas and non-academic areas. Furthermore, if an afterschool program is to be successful, students should have choices. In other words, the afterschool program should not simply be an extension of the school day, but it should provide additional enrichment opportunities that students are unable to receive in school during the school day. Collins and Onwuegbuzie (2002) and Onwuegbuzie et al. (2001) reported on an after-school peer tutorial program for at-risk middle school students. These researchers concluded that the overall impact of the tutoring program was positive. Between 61% and 70% of tutored children received passing grades in the areas of mathematics, language arts, science, and social studies. The researchers also note that many students in this after-school tutorial had a history of suspensions. They recommend the tutorial program be enhanced by providing social skills and behavior management training as is consistent with literature on middle school students at risk for dropping out of school (Edmonson & White, 1998). This implication is also consistent with recommendations of the National Institute of Out of
29 School Time at Wellesley Centers for Women, Wellesley College (2008) for successful out-of-school time programs. According to Fashola (1998, 2002), after-school programs provide services for school-age children (typically 5-18 years old). The programs emphasize academic as well as nonacademic activities with services provided at the school site or away from the school site. After-school programs that operate on school grounds are generally extended school day services directly connected to the teaching and learning that occurred during the school day. Such programs are often a mixture of academic, recreational, and cultural programs and are staffed by regular school day teachers and paraprofessionals. There are many different configurations of after-school programs. For example, content-specific Language Arts programs provide reading and writing assistance for students (Fashola, 2002). The learning goals of these programs may vary, and the programs do not necessarily target struggling readers and writers, although many programs often do (Fashola, 2002). Language Arts after-school programs are designed to encourage students to read and to -efficacy in Language Arts competencies, and to reduce the dropout rate among adolescents (Fashola, 2002). Other after-school programs focus on different areas of the curriculum and may not be content-specific. Fashola (2002) categorizes these programs as enrichment programs. They are often operated by for-profit organizations and are specifically designed for after-school use. Enrichment programs often provide theme-based, hands-on instruction. Many times, students are able to join theme-specific clubs and work in cooperative groups with peers to meet learning goals. Fashola (2002) recommends that
30 school districts consider these programs carefully to weigh the cost-benefit ratio and the Brockenbrough, & Dhillon, 2005), an on-site after-school program with a focus on technology and the arts. Students in the Multimedia Literacy Program produced videos for the community and created websites for the school. Eventually, the program coordinators secured funding to pay students wages for their work. These kinds of themebased programs provide opportunities to link school and out-of-school possibilities (Schultz et al., 2005). Community-based programs may or may not include academic learning goals. They may be located on-site in local schools, in community buildings, or at religious institutions. Community-based programs serve large numbers of children and meet the need for providing safe places for children during non-school hours (Fashola, 2002). Some of the more popular community-based programs are Big Brothers and Big Sisters of America, Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of America, Camp Fire Boys and Girls, and Boys and Girls Clubs of America (Fashola, 2002; Schultz et al., 2005). varied delivery options for after-school programs in recent years. After-school programs appear to be more popular because of opportunities for additional time to learn basic skills; for academic enrichment; for cultural exposure; and for opportunities to participate in sports, drama, and community service projects (Slavin, 2002). Although the goals of after-school programs are seemingly well meaning, Slavin raises concern that some afterschool programs designed to enhance basic skills do offer enrichment opportunities but out some after-school
31 programs arises from the limited number of empirical studies about the effectiveness of after-school programs. In fact, several researchers recommend future studies in the area of after-school programs. Belle (1999) and Wasik, Bond, and Hindman (2002) suggest that future research studies inspect the quality of after-school programs, particularly in the areas of employee training and adult-child ratios. Also, Shortt (2002) and Wasik et al., (2002) contend there is an information gap in after-school programming, and further research is needed in the areas of staffing, programming, and infrastructure. Additionally, Collins and Onwuegbuzie (2002) advocate for more empirical studies about the implementation threats in after-school tutoring programs. In support of such future research efforts, Pittman, Irby, Yohalem, and Wilson-Ahlstrom (2004) surmise that afterschool program providers are increasingly being asked to deliver information about the effectiveness of their programs. The concern about what happens in after-school programs and the call for future research in this area highlight the need to examine recent studies and commentaries on after-school programs. Although an abundance of after-school programs exists currently, most research studies report inconclusive or both positive and negative effects of after-school programming (Lauer, Akiba, Wilkerson, Apthorp, Snow, & Martin-Glenn, 2006). I did not seek to determine the effectiveness of CCPTP. Rather, I wanted to learn how the program operated and how some stakeholders experience and perceive the program. But, I thought it was important to understand how the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of some out-of-school time programs was determined. To this end, I examined several research reports on the performance of after-school programs. I selected the following studies because of the focus on at-risk students and the analysis of more than 1 program per
32 report. One report (Beck, 1999) involved the examination of an after-school program designed to diminish factors related to school failure. Two studies (Afterschool Alliance, 2006; Fashola & Cooper, 1999) focused on self-reported findings or findings reported by an affiliate agency for several different after-school programs. I also reviewed a metaanalysis of the effects of out-of-school-time programs for at-risk students (Lauer et al., 2006) and a U.S. government document that chronicled a U.S. Senate subcommittee hearing on investments in after-school programs (Subcommittee of the Committee on Appropriations, United States Senate, 2003). The design of after-school programs can make a difference in prevention and intervention for students at-risk for academic failure. To this end, Beck (1999) sought to identify programmatic issues that make a difference in after-school programs by examining a successful after-school program, the Manchester Youth and Development Center (MYDC). The MYDC began in 1972 with the goal of helping youth living in poverty to overcome the constraints that might negatively impact their futures. Beck considered MYDC to be a successful program because the high school graduation rate of students who attended MYDC was higher than that of students in the region who did not attend the program. Also, MYDC students exhibited higher levels of academic achievement and lower rates of teenage pregnancy. As Beck (1999) examined this program, she employed (1982) best-practices orientation, which states that examining exemplary programs can help to identify what makes those programs exemplary, and the findings can be used to start other successful programs. As a result of her inquiry, Beck identified 6 characteristics that made MYDC successful. The characteristics were: (a) inclusion of
33 both structured and autonomous space; (b) support of academic achievement; (c) cultural needs of students met; (d) a large number of committed, authoritative adults; (e) childcentered leadership; and (f) a safe environment. I surmise Beck was successful in using many of the common tenets of qualitative research (participant-observation, field notes, and semi-structured interviews) to arrive at the reported conclusions. The lessons from MYDC may, therefore, be applied to other after-school programs as the best practices orientation model suggests. The Fashola & Cooper (1999) report emphasized programs that reported success rates for African American students, a focus on academics, ability to replicate, and inplace program evaluation mechanisms. The four programs on which Fashola reported were The Howard Street Tutoring Program (HSTP ; Morris, 1990), Help One Student To Succeed (HOSTS ; HOSTS Corporation, 1994), The Center for Research in Educational -Day Tutoring Program (CREP ; Ross, Smith, Casey, & Slavin, 1996), and The Exemplary Center for Reading Instruction (ECRI ; RMC Research Corporation, 1995). Two of the programs (HSTP and ECRI) compared treatment and control groups. The HSTP treatment group made gains on measures of word recognition (ES = 0.22), basal word recognition (ES = 0.59), spelling (ES = 0.48), and basal passage reading (ES = 0.99). The ECRI reported the effect size for its treatment group of 1.21 based on a standardized test. Researchers evaluated students in the HOSTS program based on springto -spring gains on normal curve equivalent scores and reported increases of 15, 25, and 25 for students in Grades 1, 2, and 3, respectively. The CREP program based student achievement on formative and summative evaluations including teacher survey and observation forms
34 attended more CREP sessions slightly outperformed their peers who did not attend CREP  standards). Although Fashola designated all four programs as exemplary programs, I find it difficult to make a true comparison of the programs (a comparison that would determine their exemplary status) based on the varying methods of measuring student success. Also, several of the reported effect sizes are classified as small or At the time of this writing, there were more than 1,000 studies on the effectiveness of after-school programs in the FirstSearch: ERIC List of Records. As I searched article databases for such reports, I noticed government agencies or nonprofit organizations summoned and/or funded many research studies. The Afterschool Alliance, a nonprofit organization that calls attention to the importance of after-school programs, report summarizes two national reports, 7 state-level reports, and 10 local or programlevel evaluations. The Alliance summarizes the data into four areas: (a) improved school attendance and engagement in learning, (b) improved test scores and grades, (c) improved frequency and duration of participation, and (d) improved scores among students at greatest risk. Of the 19 summarized reports, only two programs reported mixed findings : -based Citizen Schools) sixth grade students did not show improvements on end-of-grade achievement tests. However, students in all of the other grades did show improvements on end-of-grade achievement tests. Additionally, the report on the Boston-based Citizen Schools indicated that sixth
35 graders did not show any positive impacts on the state Mathematics test. Private consulting firms with no direct links to the after-school programs studied the North Carolina -based Citizen Schools with mixed results. On the contrary, the other 17 studies reported overwhelmingly positive results. Universities (independently or in partnership with other agencies), departments of education, and foundations that fund after-school programs either conducted or commissioned the 17 inquiries. In 2006, Lauer et al. conducted a meta-analysis of out-of-school time programs and their effects for at -risk students. They conducted the research initially because they discovered that many research reports indicated mixed results for out-of-school time programs. Additionally, the requirements of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act requires outof -school time programs to address the needs of students who continue to exhibit signs of academic failure (U.S. Department of Education, 2005a). Lauer et al. use the term ou t -o f s c hoolt ime programs to include after-school programs and summer levels of academic achievement. The literature search for this meta-analysis yielded 1,808 citations of which 371 were accessed and read. Thirty-five of the studies met the 9 inclusion criteria as determined by the authors. Each of the 35 studies was coded based on construct-related validity, internal validity, external validity, and statistical validity. The authors reported statistically significant positive effects on student achievement in reading and mathematics achievement. Larger effects were noted for programs with a specific focus such as literacy tutoring. Sample sizes in this study ranged from 10 to 1,978. The authors
36 were unable to determine whether the groupings within the sample made a difference in terms of intervention success. Many after-school and out-of-school time programs are funded by federal grants (U.S. Department of Education, 2005a). To provide some accountability for the grants provided, the U.S. government often conducts hearings to learn of the effectiveness and cost-benefit ratio of some of the programs it funds (Subcommittee of the Committee on Appropriations, United States Senate, 2003). On May 13, 2003, one such special hearing was held before the Subcommittee of the Committee on Appropriations of the United States Senate. Witnesses provided members of the committee with information on several after-school programs. Additionally, student attendees of some after-school programs testified as did public officials who support after-school programs in their specific by private research organizations or research teams from public universities. At the end of the hearing, members of the United States Senate acknowledged the important work of after-school programs and the need for such programs in many U.S. communities. But, the Senate Committee also acknowledged that maintaining the current level of funding for after-school and out-of-school time programs depended on the funding level provided by the United States Budget (Subcommittee of the Committee on Appropriations, United States Senate, 2003). After-school and out-of-school time programming continue to increase in popularity. Programs differ in funding sources, students served, focus, and duration. Because of the differences in after-school and out-of-school-time programming, it becomes more important to understand how such programs operate and how stakeholders
37 of after-school and outof -school time programs experience and perceive the programs. This inquiry begins to address those concerns. Although I noted several studies on afterschool programs, in his 2009 review of evaluation research on after-school programs for adolescents, Apsler (2009) discovered several limitations in after-school programming research. Apsler considered the conclusions of many of the reports on afterschool programs ambiguous. He found the research on the programs did not provide the rigor to reach unambiguous conclusions. First, many research studies on after-school programs include selection bias. That is, because the after-school programs are voluntary, there are differences between children of parents who agreed to allow them to participate in after-school programs and children whose parents did not agree for them to participate in after-school programs. Additionally, in many studies selection bias existed in the form of attendance and participation. Often, attendance policies did not include requirements for frequency of attendance. In numerous studies Apsler (2009) reviewed, he noted the authors of the studies often reported sporadic attendance and high attrition rates among after-school participants. Thus, the evaluations of afterschool programs often include only students who attended the programs frequently. Apsler (2009) considers this issue a doubl e do s e o f s e l ec t ion bia s Only students whose parents agreed to allow them to participate did participate in the afterschool programs. Of the students who were allowed to participate, a subgroup of those students chose to participate frequently in the afterschool program. But, in many studies, researchers chose to compare the students who voluntarily agreed to participate in afterschool programs with those students who chose not to enroll in the afterschool programs. Researchers did not consider characteristics of students who self-
38 selected to participate in the study. Rather, the researchers attributed the positive outcomes to the afterschool program itself, without regard for the students who participated. Due to such flaws in methodology, the positive outcomes reported by some afterschool programs may be unfounded (Apsler, 2009). Communiti e s of Int e r e s t I include this section of the literature review because the tutoring program I studied was organized as a community of interest model (Fischer, 2001a, 2001b) in two different yet related courses) form ed communities of interest (5-6 tutors per community of interest) to tutor small groups of students (J. C. Richards, personal communication, April 25, 2008). I found that the community of interest structure of the summer literacy camp permeated my data collection, data ana sessions being set up as numerous communities of interest. Members of a community of interest share an identity, an experience, or a concern and work together to highlight that identity, share the experience, or address the concern (Fischer, 2007). Also, within a community of interest, members share boundary systems (e.g., graduate students in two separate courses interact together) (Fischer, 2007). Although members of a community of interest share interests and goals, there might be challenges in working together within the community. Members often do not understand the task at hand initially, and shared understanding increases as the community matures (Fischer, 2001a, 2001b).
39 When members of a community of interest collaborate, they do not confine themselves to the role of teacher or learner. Rather, in a community of interest, any member may be a teacher or a learner depending on expertise, needs, and overall context of the situation (Fischer & Ostwald, 2005). As participants of a community of interest work together and change roles as needed, they learn from each other through the course of the collaboration. Researchers posit that an additional benefit to working in a community of interest is that the solutions to problems are often more creative than are solutions that may have been found by individuals working alone (Fischer & Ostwald, 2005). Although members of a community of interest share a common goal, they might experience numerous challenges in their attempts to problem-solve or to work together. Initially, members of a community of interest might have different ideas about the problem at hand. They may not be able to arrive at a unanimous definition of the problem. However, over time, as members of the community interact with one another and respect the changes in teacher and learner roles, they are able to define succinctly the problem. Through membership in the community of interest, participants learn to understand and to respect the stores of knowledge other members of the community contribute to the problem-solving effort (Fischer, 2001a). The works by Fischer (2001a, 2001b) and Fischer and Ostwald (2005) refer to communities of interests working in the field of computer science. Richards (2007) adopted this concept and formed communities of interest consisting of graduate students enrolled in a graduate-level writing methods course. In these communities of interest, the common focus was writing instruction and the reading/writing connection. The graduate
40 students discussed these topics among several communities of interest via threaded email discussions. In this current research, Dr. Clark formed communities of interest among collaborated to plan and implement literacy lessons for groups of elementary and/or middle school children. The Community of Interest model supports my philosophical position as an epistemological constructivist. That is, I believe reality is independent of me, the observer. Rather, reality in this study resided with the members of the community of interest. I could not know the reality or interpret the reality without the members of the community of interest. Additionally, within the community of interest, members created needs. Lit e ra c y In s tru c tion In this section, I broadly discuss some aspects of literacy instruction. This review is not intended to be an all-inclusive view on literacy instruction. Rather, in this section, I focus on areas of literacy instruction pertinent to this study. Here, I include information on the reading/writing connection, literacy tutoring, struggling readers, literacy in urban settings, culture and literacy instruction, and summer reading losses. Th e R e ading / Writing Conn ec tion -seeking students enrolled in either Pra c t i c um in R e ading or Wri t e r s and Wri t ing: Tr e nd s and I ssu e s or both. Students enrolled in either course shared one instructor and one time-slot during the summer session. The instructor for the combined classes focused on the reading-writing
41 -seeking students to implement literacy lessons for elementary and middle school children (J. C. Richards, personal communication, April 25, 2008). Therefore, I include information on the reading/writing connection in this review of the literature. Historically, educators taught reading and writing as separate subjects. The rationale for teaching reading and writing separately included: (a) the higher value placed on reading than was placed on writing; (b) the political emphasis placed on reading; and (c) varying pedagogical, cognitive, and developmental theories (Clifford, 1989; Kaestle, 1985; Shanahan, 1988). However, as researchers made advances in theories of cognition and development, views on the relationship between reading and writing changed (Fitzgerald & Shanahan, 2000). Research on the relationship between reading and writing tends to focus on reading and writing as forms of communication (Nelson & Calfee, 1998), connections to complete a task (Beal, 1996), and activities that share knowledge and cognitive processes (Tierney & Shanahan, 1991). In their 1998 study, Nelson et al. regard ed the relationship between reading and writing as existing because of the role that both reading and writing play in the act of communication. Nelson and Calfee (1998) adopted a rhetorical approach to the issue of the reading-writing relationship. They based their ideas on the notion that both reading and writing are means of communication. They surmise that readers gain insights by writing and, likewise, writers gain insights by reading. Reading and writing are often combined to complete academic tasks. To that end, Beal (1996) examined how reading is used in the revision stage of the writing process. More specifically, Beal sought to understand how and when students were able to use
42 reading skills and comprehension monitoring skills to modify written texts. She rationalized that although students are taught to monitor comprehension during reading, the same comprehension monitoring is necessary to revise writing. In her 1996 study, Beal asked fourthand sixth-grade children to examine and revise problematic texts to make the texts easier to understand. The texts were problematic in 3 areas: (a) missing information, (b) anomalous information, and (c) contradictory information in informational texts. Beal (1996) discovered children overlooked problems in texts when asked to revise the texts in the three problem areas noted above but the same children reported they comprehended the text. She concluded children often do not monitor comprehension when texts contain problematic information. Shanahan (1990) and Tierney & Shanahan (1991) explored the connection between reading and writing through research studies and theoretical explanations. As a result of their work, they determined there is a relationship between good readers and good writers. That is, good readers are generally good writers and vice versa. The researchers also surmised that students who write well tend to read more widely than do those students who are less capable writers. Considering this finding, Shanahan (1990) and Tierney & Shanahan (1991) also concluded that wide reading might be as effective as writing practice in developing and improving writing skills. The researchers conclude that capable readers and writers might read and write more independently than less capable readers and writers because capable readers and writers tend to have a more positive self-image of themselves as readers and writers. The link between reading and writing as previously described is viewed as an avenue to help students use more and
43 different cognitive processes as they learn new concepts (Tierney & Shanahan et al., 1991). In a 2007 study, Richards examined discussions of the reading and writing connection between graduate students enrolled in two different graduate courses (Pra c t i c um in R e ading and Wri t e r s and Wri t ing: Tr e nd s and I ssu e s). As the course instructor for each of the graduate-level courses, Richards (2007) formed virtual communities of interest among her students. The communities of interest served as the impetus for conversations about the reading and writing connection. Richards (2007) learned graduate students in the two courses had limited knowledge about theoretical underpinnings of connecting reading and writing. Rather, the graduate students (most of whom were classroom teachers) focused primarily on reading strategies and strategies that could be used for making the connection between reading theory limited, she continued to advocate using the virtual community of interest as a way for students to read and to reflect on the reading/writing connection. Lit e ra c y Tutoring Program s For this review of the literature, I focus on both in-school and out-of-school time literacy-tutoring models. Both models deserve consideration because educators often recommend expert tutoring as a way to enhance achievement among struggling readers (Moore-Smith & Karabenick, 2009; Ritter, Barnett, Denny, & Albin, 2009; Allington, 2004, 2006; Caserta-Henry, 1996; Elbaum, Vaughn, Hughes, & Moody, 2000; Fowler, Lindemann, Thacker-Gwaltney, & Invernizzi, 2002; Leal, Mowrer, & Cunningham, 20
44 1997, 1998; Wasik & Slavin, 1993). In fact, oneon -one tutoring is often thought to be effectiveness, Topping (1998) challenges educators to discontinue the line of questioning that asks whether tutoring works, and instead focus on what the education community and society at large can do to make tutoring work in different contexts (Topping, 1998). There are numerous delivery options for after-school tutoring (Fashola & Cooper, 1999; Gordon, 2002, 2003) that comprise: (a) private one-on-one tutoring by a certified teacher; (b) tutoring administered under the auspices of an academic services company like Sylvan Learning Centers, Inc. or Huntington Learning Centers, Inc.; and (c) tutoring by volunteer tutors in faith-based settings, school settings, community settings, and university settings (Gordon, 2003; Leal et al., 2002). Literature on after-school tutoring programs includes empirical studies and descriptive-only studies. I include both empirical studies and descriptive-only studies in this review to provide a broad view of after-school literacy tutoring programs. This broad view includes information on the programmatic structure and design of after-school literacy tutoring programs, student achievement in after-school literacy-tutoring programs, and tutor recruitment and training for after-school literacy tutoring programs. The most effective oneon -one tutoring programs are those in which certified teachers are tutors (Wasik, 1997). But there is also evidence that adult volunteer tutoring programs might be effective and might benefit a greater number of students (Baker, Gersten & Keating, 2000; Caserta-Henry, 1996; Elbaum, Vaughn, Hughes, & Moody, 2000; Fowler et al., 2002; Invernizzi, Juel, & Rosemary, 1997; Juel, 1996; Leal et al., 2002; Morris, Shaw, & Perney, 1990; Neuman, 1995; Pullen, Lane, & Monaghan, 2004;
45 Rimm-Kaufman, Kagan, & Byers, 1999; Sanderson, 2003; Vadasy et al., 1997; Wasik 1998; Wasik & Slavin,1993). Morris et al. (1990) reported that tens of thousands of 6, 7, and 8year olds were not learning to read and there were hundreds of thousands of adults who had the time and knowledge (with supervision) to help children learn to read. With professional guidance and commitment, a community-based tutoring program staffed by volunteer tutors can provide increased opportunities for children to learn to read at a critical point in their literacy development (Morris et al., 1990; Wasik, 1997). In addition, volunteer tutoring programs have the benefit of being more cost effective than is one-onone tutoring by a paid certified teacher or a paid paraprofessional (Wasik, 1997). Although volunteers cannot replace the expertise of certified teachers, they can fill a void if they are used effectively (Caserta-Henry, 1996; Elbaum et al., 2000; Pullen et al., 2004; Rimm-Kaufman et al., 1999; & Vadasy et al., 1997). Therefore, stakeholders in our nation assist struggling readers. If one-on-one tutoring is in fact one of the most effective forms of literacy instruction, might oneon -one tutoring be made available to more schoolchildren in the United States? If one-on-one tutoring is logistically unfeasible, might small group tutoring be an option? As I discuss in the St ruggling R e ad e r section of this literature review, small-group instruction is beneficial for students who struggle with reading. One-on-one tutoring programs serve as positive interventions for students at-risk for reading failure. In three different meta-analyses, researchers reported positive effects for one-on-one literacy tutoring by peers, certified teachers, paraprofessionals, college
46 students, and community volunteers (Cohen, Kulik, & Kulik, 1982; Elbaum et al., 2000 ; Wasik & Slavin, 1993). I summarize, review, and critique those meta-analyses next. M e ta analy s e s of out-ofs c hool tim e / aft e r s c hool tutoring program s The Cohen et al. (1982) study focused on one-on-one peer tutoring. The inclusion criteria for this meta-analysis were (a) tutoring in elementary or secondary school settings, (b) outcomes measured quantitatively, and (c) no methodological flaws in the study. I wonder whether there are any research studies in which there are no methodological flaws (either intended or unintended). Fifty-two of the 65 studies examined reported results on student achievement. Of the 52 reports on student achievement (average ES = 0.40), 45 reported better outcomes for tutored students than for non-tutored students whereas 6 studies reported better outcomes for non-tutored students than for tutored students. In one study, there was no reported difference in achievement between tutored students and non-tutored students. Although the average effect size of 0.40 for the 52 studies is modest, Cohen et al. (1982) continued the achievement analysis to determine whether the type of tutoring program (structured vs. non-structured, cross-age vs. non cross-age, tutor training vs. no tutor training, random versus non-random assignment, and control for teacher effects vs. no control for teacher effects) made a difference in achievement. They determined larger effects in structured programs and in programs in which lower level skills were taught and tested. Larger effect sizes also were found in mathematics tutoring versus reading tutoring. These findings may challenge professionals in the literacy community to focus more attention on the design of literacy-tutoring programs and the effectiveness of those programs.
47 In 2000, Elbaum et al. had published a meta-analysis of oneto -one tutoring programs for students at-risk for reading failure. The impetus for this meta-analysis was the conce concerns for the children who receive tutoring services also sparked interest in this research. They wanted to help ensure as many children as possible reaped the benefits provided by effective, one-on-one adult tutoring. To provide rigor to this meta-analysis, Elbaum et al. (2000) established strict parameters for inclusion in the study and comparisons of individual effect sizes. The parameters comprised: (a) research reports published between 1975 and 1988; (b) inclusion of elementary students who scored between the 20th and 30th percentiles on standardized measures of reading achievement; (c) oneto -one tutoring compared to a control group; and (d) data could yield the calculation of an effect size. The authors coded data from the studies that met criteria for the meta-analysis. Then, the authors calculated effect sizes when the means and standard deviations were available in the study. Thirty research studies were included in the meta-analysis. Elbaum et al. (2000) concluded that students who receive one-on-one adult tutoring outperform their non-tutored peers by two fifth of a standard deviation. The authors suggested that an increase of two-fifth of a standard deviation is unlikely to help students with severe reading difficulties achieve grade level performance. But, students who do not have severe learning difficulties might be able to keep pace with their onlevel peers when an increase of 2/5 standard deviations is made. The authors further concluded that certified teachers are not needed to achieve these results. Properly trained college students and community volunteers might help students increase their levels of
48 reading achievement. Thus, the cost-benefit concern of using certified teachers to tutor struggling readers is unfounded. The effectiveness of certified teachers as tutors versus the effectiveness of other properly trained tutors might be minimal enough to support using adult volunteers as tutors. Wasik et al. (1993) also reported that properly trained volunteer tutors may be as effective, but less costly than certified teachers for tutoring struggling readers. Perhaps the most widely known after-school tutoring program for struggling readers is the Howard Street Tutoring Program (Brown, Morris, & Fields, 2005; Morris, et al., 1990). In the Howard Street Tutoring Program model, volunteer tutors with varying degrees of experiences and reasons for volunteering (e.g., college students, retirees, and suburban moms) tutor struggling secondand third-grade readers in a community setting, not on the school campus. The Howard Street Tutoring Program is one of the few afterschool literacy-tutoring programs to provide empirical evidence of its success in enhancing the reading achievement of the students they serve. Tutors are trained tutoring regimen was so successful that Morris (2005) published Th e Howard St r ee t Tu t oring Manual: T e a c hing A t -Ri s k R e ad e r s in t h e Primary Grad e s as a guide for volunteer tutors and directors of tutoring programs alike. Morris et al. (1990) evaluated The Howard Street Tutoring Program in 1990. Additionally, Lauer et al. (2006) included The Howard Street Tutoring Program in their meta-analysis. Morris et al. (1990) outlined the need for reading tutors, described how the Howard Street Tutoring Program originated, and evaluated their initial efforts in implementing a reading tutoring program. The Howard Street Tutoring Program provides
49 services to secondand third-grade students who exhibit poor reading achievement (i.e., students who perform in the lower one third of their secondand third-grade classes in a neighborhood public school). The rationale for servicing this population was that they performed significantly below grade level peers and were at-risk for further academic failure if intervention were not offered. Morris et al. (1990) compared a group of tutored children to a group of their nontutored peers. Both groups of students performed similarly on pre-test measures designed by the authors (i.e., word recognition, spelling, basal passage reading). However, posttest results showed tutored children statistically significantly outperformed their nontu tored peers in gain score results (p .05 for spelling and p .02 for basal passages). Effect sizes were not reported. In this study, one third of the tutored students made accelerated gains in reading achievement. In other words, these students were able to compete with their on-level peers on instructional level materials. Another 30% of the students (although they did not reach grade level achievement) did begin to learn to read at an expected rate of 1 year of reading growth for 1 year of schooling. The authors did not indicate whether the researchers for this study controlled for the additional instructional time the tutored students received. The results of the Morris et al. (1990) study support the idea that well-trained community volunteers can help children learn to read and improve reading skills. The authors noted that the success of their program highlights the disconnect between many -risk readers really need in order to be successful.
50 Although the founders of the Howard Street Tutoring Program provided evidence as to its effectiveness, the same findings also were used in a meta-analysis, which provided a secondary examination of the validity of the findings as well as the reported effectiveness of the program. The Morris et al. (1990) study was one of the studies included in a meta-analysis by Lauer and her peers. Thirty studies were included in the meta-analysis; however, only three studies were comparable in terms of the services provided (primarily literacy tutoring). Although the Howard Street Tutoring Program had a moderate effect size when compared to the other 29 studies, the comparison might not be the most effective because only one of the other programs under study w as similar in deliverables to the Howard Street Tutoring Program. Wasik (1993) review of five one-on-one tutoring programs included programs that used teachers, paraprofessionals, and adult volunteers as tutors. Instead of conducting a meta-analysis, this review used the best-evidence synthesis procedure (Slavin, 1986). Using this technique, the authors were able to include both meta-analysis techniques and techniques of narrative reviews. The inclusion criteria for this review were: (a) one-on-one instruction delivered by adults, (b) tutees in the first grade and learning to read for the first time (i.e., students had not previously been enrolled in first grade), (c) comparison of students who received tutoring to those who did not, and (d) tutoring duration of at least 4 weeks. Where effect sizes were not available in the studies included in the review, the authors calculated effect sizes based on F t or other statistics. The five one-on-one tutoring programs Wasik & Slavin (1993) reviewed were (a) Reading Recovery (Clay, 1985), (b) Success for All (Slavin, Madden, Karweit, Livermon, & Dolan, 1990), (c) Prevention of Learning Disabilities, (d) Wallach Tutoring
51 Program (Wallach & Wallach, 1976), and (e) Programmed Tutorial Reading (Ellson, Barber, Engle, & Kampwerth (1965). The programs differed in structure, focus, duration, and philosophy but each program showed positive effect sizes. The effect sizes differed tutors showed effect sizes of 0.55 to 2.37 whereas programs using paraprofessionals as tutors showed effect sizes of 0.20 to 0.75 (low to moderate effect size). This is an important finding because educators who advocate one-on-one tutoring as a way to enhance important component in the tutoring process. Because one-on-one tutoring by certified teachers is often cost-prohibitive, educators may consider that one-on-one tutoring by persons other than certified teachers also provide positive effects. The America Reads Challenge (The Challenge) was enacted during the Clinton administration. The Challenge sought to ensure that all schoolchildren in the United States would become readers by third grade. One element of the challenge was to empower a cadre of volunteer tutors across the country to dedicate time during the school concerns for what happens in these volunteer tutoring programs prompted her to review 11 tutoring programs that utilized community volunteers as reading tutors. This study was neither a meta-analysis nor a synthesis of best practices. Rather, this was a review to determine what practices wer e used in these volunteer reading tutoring programs and how much and what kinds of knowledge was available to the tutors. When Wasik (1998) searched the Education Resources Information Center (ERIC) database for reading tutoring programs using adult volunteer tutors, the search
52 yielded 11 studies, all of which are included in this review. Wasik (1998) summarized the evaluation studies for each of the 11 programs. She found only 2 of the programs (The Howard Street Tutoring Program and the School Volunteer Development Project) used an experimental design when they tested the effectiveness of their programs. Authors of the other studies reported difficulty in obtaining permission from school districts to conduct experiments that comprised a control group and an intervention group. Wasik (1998) reported on the Morris et al. (1990) study mentioned earlier. She does note there might be some issues duplicating the program because the study does not reveal how the skilled supervisor monitored volunteers or developed lesson plans. Although a tutoring manual does exist, there is variability in basal readers and trade books chosen by different programs. Wasik (1998) also reported on the School Volunteer Development Project, a program designed as an intervention for second through sixth graders who experienced difficulty in reading. Volunteers tutored students for 30 minutes four or five times per week. Although the program is no longer in existence (U.S. Department of Education, 1979), researchers were successful in demonstrating its effectiveness. Fifty children were randomly assigned to tutored or non-tutored groups. After a year of weekly tutoring sessions, the tutored group gained 0.50 standard deviations more than did the untutored group. Students were preand post-tested using the Metropolitan Achievement Test. Wasik (1998) found the remaining 9 programs to have design flaws that prevented her from suggesting conclusively the programs were effective. However, Wasik (1998) did note that anecdotal data indicate the programs did provide benefits to tutees and some
53 (1998) initial concern that not enough evidence on the effectiveness of volunteer tutoring programs exists. Upon reviewing the programs, Wasik (1998) concluded several components are necessary to implement a successful one-on-one tutoring program with community volunteers as tutors. First, Wasik (1998) recommend ed that directors of tutoring programs hire a reading expert who can coordinate student assessments and lesson Wasik suggest ed the tutoring sessions contain structure. Each time children and tutors meet, both should know the routine and timeframe of the tutoring session. Training of tutors is the third common component of successful one-on-one volunteer-tutoring programs. Wasik found tutor training varies widely from program to program, but the most successful programs dedicated more time to tutor training. For example, the Reading Recovery/AmeriCorps program typically invests more than 150 hours of training for volunteer tutors. Therefore, the volunteer tutors received training equivalent to 3 clock hours of a traditional 3-semester hour reading course. Wasik concluded that volunteer tutors can help students succeed in learning to read, particularly if the suggested guidelines are followed. Some tutoring programs are adapted and retrofitted for in-school or after-school programming, using the small-group tutoring format. One such program uses preservice teachers as tutors. The preservice teachers tutor elementary students in reading and writing as part of the course requirements for a literacy methods course. The university course instructor supervises preservice teachers during each tutoring session (Gipe, Richards, & Barnitz, 1992). Richards implemented this grassroots program while a
54 doctoral student in an urban city in the southern United States (J. C. Richards, personal communication, September, 2006). As she moved to different contexts as a literacy professor, she implemented the program in each new context. This model is different than the other tutoring programs I discussed. The program exists because Richards seeks out resources and locations to maintain its existence (J. C. Richards, personal communication, January, 2008). Over the past few years, this tutoring program was held in two different venues. Initially, the program was housed in a local elementary cSmith er school. Currently, the program is housed at a local the community center. Rather than focus on the effectiveness of the tutoring program based on student achievement, Richards and Shea (2006) focused on the experiences of preservice teachers who tutored students in this program. The purpose of this study was to understand how preservice teachers continue to define their teaching philosophies as a result of leading a small group tutorial as part of a required methods course. The researchers did not compare the experiences of preservice teachers who participated in the field-based tutorial program to those who did not. Richards & Shea (2006) found two overarching themes that categorized the -themes to support the two broad themes. The first theme Richards & Shea (2006) identified was Un ce r t ain t y St r e ss and Doub t management, supervision of students, implementation of interdisciplinary lessons, and preparation and implementation of creative arts lessons. The researchers learned preservice teachers replaced their uncertainty, stress, and doubt with po s i t iv e vi e wpoin ts und e r st anding and c on f id e n ce (theme 2) as the semester wore on. Preservice teachers
55 expressed appreciation for the opportunity to participate in a field-based experience in which they could plan lessons using subject integration. Their communications with the course instructor also indicated they were more confident in their abilities to teach using an interdisciplinary approach. Although preservice teachers in the Richards & Shea (2006) study refined their pedagogy, there were concerns with this grassroots approach to restructuring field experiences for preservice teachers. The researchers learned to include preservice teachers in future restructuring efforts. They were also able to reflect on their own practices and design a plan for future restructuring efforts. Abrego, Rubin, and Sutterby (2006) operate another tutoring program that uses preservice teachers as tutors for small groups of elementary school students. In this program, preservice teachers are enrolled in an Englishas -a-second-language reading course. One requirement of this course is that preservice teachers meet at a partner elementary school once per week for 10 weeks and tutor either individual students or small groups of students for 1 hour. Unlike the Richards & Shea (2006) program that focused on the professional development of preservice teachers, this program focuses on how preservice teachers interact with parents during this tutorial. Preservice teachers have opportunities to talk with parents on numerous occasions throughout the tutoring program including a parent orientation session, two family literacy nights, and a confere parents are invited to stay for all tutoring sessions. Because the focus of this study is on preservice teachers and parental communication, we do not have information on how the
56 program operates or how parents perceive the program. The research considers only Moore-Smith and Karabenick (2009) studied a volunteer tutoring program for 167 culturally diverse students who ranged in age from 5-12 and who were in grades 1-5. The students attended 6 different schools located in an urban setting. Fifty-three percent to 67% of the students in grade 4 who attended the 6 different schools were not proficient in reading. The volunteer tutors attended a local university and were AmeriCorps volunteers. The tutors were also culturally diverse and included European Americans, Asian Americans, African Americans, and Arab Americans. Mo ore -Smith and Karabenick (2009) designed the program using suggestions from other volunteer tutoring programs in which students experienced positive results (See Wasik, 1998; Wasik & Slavin, 1993; Morris et al., 1990). During the school year, tutors attended 30 weekly tutoring training sessions. Each session was 90 minutes long. In the training sessions, tutors learned about the psycholinguistic aspect of reading; word recognition and lettersound relationships; the tutoring process; and using multicultural literature. Once tutors successfully completed the training sessions, they began conducting 30-minute one-onone tutoring sessions with their tutee for either two or four times per week, depending on the school the tutee attended. The format of the tutoring sessions was the same whether the tutee received tutoring two or four times per week. Every tutoring session included paired reading (reading by the tutor and tutee) of a multicultural children tutee selected a book with the guidance of his or her tutor. Additionally, all tutoring sessions included word-building strategies and word recognition activities. Tutors
57 incl theater, writing responses, or journal writing. To examine the effectiveness of the tutoring program, Moore-Smith & Ka rabenick (2009) used a mixed-method evaluation design to evaluate the program. Based on observations, structured and semi-structured interviews, surveys, and questionnaires, Moore-Smith & Karabenick (2009) determined tutors implemented the program as it had been designed. The tutors read the multicultural books and trade books interactively with tutees. Tutors modeled fluency and expression as they asked tutees comprehension questions. Additionally, when asked, the tutors were able to explain how they used reading strategies they learned during the training sessions. Tutors also reinforced understanding of the letter-sound relationship as they read with tutees. Moore-Smith and Karabenick (2009) considered ding achievement. Seventy percent of the tutees improved a minimum of one grade level equivalent. Students in grades 2 and 3 showed greater improvement than students in other grades. Students who attended tutoring sessions more frequently experienced greater improvements in reading. Specifically, students who received tutoring two times per week improved an average of .74 (SD = 1.35) grade equivalents. Students who received tutoring four times per week improved an average of 2.74 (SD =1.47) grade equivalents. The difference between the two tutoring groups was statistically significant F(1, 106) = 3.58, p<.0001. Based on the results of their study, Moore-Smith and Karabenick (2009) concluded one-on-one tutoring sessions that include reading, word recognition, writing, and word-building strategies helped culturally diverse students improve reading
58 performance. They recommend tutoring sessions be held four times per week to achieve maximum results. For others interested in implementing and evaluating tutoring programs, they also suggest utilizing the help of a Literacy Coordinator who is a reading expert al landscape. Such programs range from one-on-one programming using certified teachers or community volunteers as tutors to small-group tutoring using preservice teachers as tutors. Because so many different models exist, learning what takes place currently in one local summer literacy camp is an important pursuit in gaining information about literacy tutoring programs in general. Struggling R e ad e r s During this study, I hoped to discover how students enrolled in the CCPTP were engaged in literacy activities that combine reading and writing. Because some of the students I selected to participate in this study were classified as struggling readers based helping struggling readers engage in literacy activities. Following is a review of literature on some strategies and best practices that might work best for struggling readers. In my experiences as a classroom teacher, doctoral candidate, and volunteer tutor, I continued to hear both educators and laypersons use the term st ruggling r e ad e r to st ruggling r e ad e r s? What determines whether a child is labeled a st ruggling r e ad e r?
59 Some scholars classify struggling readers as those students at risk for failing a high stakes test or who have already failed a standardized test (Massey, 2007; Valencia & Buly, 2004). At other times, the classification applies to students who perform in the bottom 20% to 30% of their class based An Ob s e rva t ion Surv e y o f Early Li t e ra c y A c hi e v eme n t (Rightmyer, McIntyre, & Petrosko, 2006; Scordias, 1996). Considering the different classification schemes to identify struggling readers, Lyon (1997) compiled a list of common characteristics of struggling readers: (a) difficulty sounding out unknown words; (b) consistent misreading of known words; (c) non-fluent reading including many pauses, stops, and miscues; and (d) poor ling readers is consistent with other see Gillet, Temple, & Crawford, 2004; Juel, 1996, Stanovich, 1986). When the struggling reader label is applied to students, teachers are challenged to help all students succeed in reading while helping the struggling reader make substantial gains in reading achievement. Other researchers attempt to classify students based on their progression through traditional levels of reading. They claim that students typically move through five stages of reading development (emergent, beginning, building fluency, reading to learn and for pleasure, and mature reading). Although students might move through the five stages at varying rates, if they differ too much from the established norm (apparently an arbitrary number), difficulties in reading and learning to read can occur (Gillet et al., 2004). If students do not attain foundational reading skills during the emergent stage, they will probably struggle with reading and lag behind their peers unless they receive intensive intervention (Gillet et al., 2004; Juel, 1996). During the beginning reading stage,
60 problems generally occur when students have difficulty with word decoding, sight vocabulary, and comprehension. These students struggle to focus their attention on decoding words, resulting in comprehension difficulties (Gillet et al., 2004; Stanovich, 1986). If students have not developed automaticity in their reading during the building fluency stage, they tend to become discouraged with reading and continue to lag further behind their peers. During the reading for pleasure and reading to learn stage, students cultivate the habit of reading for information and reading for pleasure. Typically, if students have not developed the habit of reading, academic achievement generally wanes because at this stage, students are being asked to read content material that is the cornerstone of most school studies (Gillet et al., 2004). I decided not to describe the mature reading stage in this discussion because once students reach the mature reading stage, they are no longer considered struggling readers. Although students who possess specific characteristics are often labeled st ruggling r e ad e r Allington (2002) contends it may be difficult to articulate a precise definition of st ruggling r e ad e r Historically, educators and policymakers designed numerous schemes to determine the st ruggling r e ad e r classification. Simple classification schemes suggested that students who fell below reading by one grade level or who performed in the 27th percentile or below on standardized tests were st ruggling or a t -ri s k readers. More sophisticated classification schemes suggested that differences between intelligence and school performance indicated st ruggling or a t -ri s k reader. Such topologies usually determined whether students were eligible for specialized educational services. But Allington (2002) maintains there has never been a universal definition of st ruggling r e ad e r
61 Whether educators subscribe to one school of thought or the other in terms of classifying struggling readers, they are responsible for helping to ensure that those students succeed in reading. There are many strategies for engaging struggling readers and helping them to engage in literacy. In the next section, I will describe some research on effective interventions for struggling readers. Int e rv e ntion s for Struggling R e ad e r s Once a classroom teacher or other school personnel identifies a student as a struggling reader, they consider appropriate interventions and design lessons for individualized instruction. The instructional options available to teachers for assisting struggling readers are vast, and the options can be confusing. Expert teaching can help struggling readers succeed and expert teachers understand how to analyze standardized test data to individualize instruction. Master teachers do not believe in a one-size-fits-all approach to reading instruction (Valencia & Buly, 2004). Because they understand assessment and the reading process, they are better able to make informed instructional decisions (Valencia & Buly, 2004). Just as expertise matters in other industries, expertise matters in education. Allington (2002) contends investing in good teaching creates results no matter which curriculum materials, pedagogical approaches, or reading program teachers choose to use. This suggestion is supported by the 2006 study by Rightmyer et al., in which the researchers sought to understand the use of different instructional models for struggling primary grade readers. The research team observed instruction using the following programs: Br e a k t hrough t o Li t e ra c y (McGraw Hill, 2004), Early Su cce ss (Taylor, Strait, & Medo, 1994), Four Blo ck s (Cunningham, Hall, & DeFee, 1991), SRA R e ading Ma st e r (Englemann & Bruner, 1995), and Tog e t h e r W e Can (a locally developed model). In
62 addition to observing classroom instruction using each program, the authors preand post-tested 117 participants on (Clay, 1993) and the Flyn t -Coo t e r In f ormal R e ading Inv e n t ory (Flynt-Cooter, Cooter, & Flynt, 1998). The researchers also interviewed teachers as a data source. The authors found students progressed equally in phonics instruction no matter which program was used. Additionally, although teachers primarily used the programs as they were required to use them, teachers also were eclectic in their approach to reading instruction, providing students with additional opportunities for literacy learning. The authors contend ed that cess in reading achievement, whereas programs may not. Allington and Johnston (2001) and Protheroe (2003) recommend small group requires access to a wide range of books and reading materials (Valencia & Buly, 2004). reading for an entire classroom of students, Ganske, Monroe, and Strickland (2003) recommended that guided reading groups meet 3 to 5 times a week, often on alternate days for 20 to 30 minutes. The teacher plans meaningful tasks for the rest of the class during reading group time and teaches students the routines and expectations for completing tasks at learning centers within the classroom and for independent work. During small group instruction, students who do not participate in the small group are often asked to read independently. While the reading group is in session, during whole group instruction, and at independent reading times, students need to read material that they can read, understand, and enjoy if they are to become competent lifelong readers
63 and learners (Graves & Philippot, 2002). High-interest, easy reading books can help struggling readers to become accomplished readers (Graves & Philippot, 2002; Protheroe, 2003). In his simple admonition to the reading community, Allington (2002) may have expressed it best when he reminded us that students cannot do much with books they cannot read. Similarly, read-aloud experiences might comprehension skills. As teachers read texts aloud, they give students the task of answering as well as asking questions, as all good readers do. This type of questioning helps readers monitor their understanding of the text (Ganske et al., 2003; Lane & Wright, 2007). During the read-aloud, teachers often use think-aloud strategies as a way of modeling the self-questioning, reacting, and visualizing that occur during the reading act (Ganske et al., 2003). To understand struggling readers and to identify their instructional needs, Valencia & Buly (2004) measured reading achievement for 108 students who had recently performed poorly on standardized tests. They assessed students on reading of single and multisyllabic words, oral reading, comprehension, and vocabulary. The authors reasoned struggling readers do not experience difficulties in the same areas at the same time. Therefore, instruction should match the area of need. After analyzing on the 1989 Wood c o ck -John son P sy c ho-Edu c a t ional Ba tt e ryR e vi s e d (Woodcock & Johnson, 1990), the 1995 Quali t a t iv e R e ading Inv e n t ory II (QRIII) (Leslie & Caldwell, 2001), and the state standardized tests, they categorized the 108 readers into six clusters: automatic word callers, struggling word callers, word stumblers, slow comprehenders, slow word callers, and disabled readers.
64 The automatic word callers were fast decoders but they failed to comprehend what they were reading. For this group of students, the authors suggested explicit instruction in reading comprehension strategies. The struggling word callers wrangled with making meaning and they struggled with word identification. The authors concluded these problems interfered with reading comprehension. The suggestions for this cluster include teacher and peer read-alouds, independent reading, and small group instruction. The third categorization, termed word stumblers, comprised students who had considerable difficulty with word recognition but who were strong comprehenders. These students may need methodical instruction in word recognition as well as varied opportunities to practice word recognition in connected texts. Cluster 4 consisted of slow comprehenders. These students typically had a slow reading rate and demonstrated some problems when they read multisyllabic words. This group of students might benefit from guided reading cluster comprised students the authors categorized as slow word callers. These readers experienced difficulty in both comprehension and fluency, and might be best served by instruction in fluency and comprehension strategies. Finally, Cluster 6 consisted of disabled readers, those readers who experienced severe difficulty in word identification, meaning, and fluency (Valencia & Buly, 2004). The authors note these are the children we often think about when we describe students who fail state standardized tests. However, in this inquiry, these students represented only 9% of those who did not pass the state test. This finding supports the notion that st ruggling r e ad e r s have varying characteristics that should prompt educators to provide differentiated instruction. Disabled readers need intensive instruction in word recognition at the beginning reading
65 stages, access to a wide variety of reading materials at the instructional level, and additional support from both the classroom teacher and a reading specialist. Each cluster of struggling readers that Valencia & Buly (2004) identified experienced problems comprehending text. The authors did not identify barriers to the barriers to comprehension even when a student may have a wealth of background knowledge. Massey followed Cameron, a struggling reader, for two years. She selected this student because his decoding skills far out-paced his comprehension skills and he was at-risk for reading failure and retention in grade. Massey based the ability on the QRI II (Leslie & Caldwell, 1995), a spelling interview, and interviews with -year time frame, Massey tutored Cameron during 49 tutoring sessions over an 18-month period. The tutoring sessions focused on fluency and word identification practice as a means to improve comprehension. During the tutoring sessions, while predicting or summarizing text content, Cameron often used the prior knowledge he gained from television programming like Th e Di s c ov e ry Chann e l Because Cameron often misinterpreted what he heard and saw on Th e Di s c ov e ry Chann e l it was difficult for him to comprehend the text without overlaying it with his misinterpretation of the facts. This misinterpretation often became a barrier to comprehension of the written text. Secondly, although Cameron knew many comprehension strategies, he was unable to use them to help understand different genres. Cameron often used distraction techniques to avoid attending to the reading. For example, if Cameron were asked to retell a story, he often began the retelling, and then he began a conversation about a different topic. Additionally, to avoid engagement with
66 comprehension, Cameron slowly and methodically moved through routine tasks (like writing his name) to prevent tackling the comprehension questions. To combat Cameron focused before, during, and post-reading. The comprehension checklist also helped Cameron develop his metacognition skills. Cameron also struggled with word identification and had few strategies to help him read unknown words. Six months of tutoring elapsed before Cameron began to use iliar parts, and skip the unknown word and attempt to read it again once he reached the end of the sentence. Massey relied on model techniques to help Cameron learn to use word identification strategies. Although Cameron struggled with comprehension for a number of reasons, Massey (2007) concluded that one of the primary tools we can give struggling readers is time. Time is needed to help struggling readers become strategic and thoughtful as they read. Teachers also may provide struggling readers with the opportunity to talk about texts so they are able to construct meaning and reflect on what they have read. Finally, reading educators should consider time for questioning to help students comprehend texts. Another intervention for struggling readers is to provide one-on-one tutoring by preservice teachers as part of their education coursework. Ambe (2007) describes a program in which preservice teachers from a Mississippi university visit various schools throughout the surrounding school districts to provide tutoring for students who have been labeled as struggling readers. One suggestion Ambe (2007) makes is to provide
67 ways to increase student motivation. In the tutoring program she describes for struggling, often disenchanted readers, tutors worked diligently to locate books that tutees might find engaging. Tutors also ensured the tutoring environment was warm and welcoming. Tutors displayed positive attitudes, smiled with tutees and asked tutees questions about topics that interested them. Because expository texts are often difficult for struggling readers (Rapp, van den Broek, McMaster, Kendeou, 2007), tutors in this program (Ambe, 2007) often used Additionally, the tutors demonstrations, brainstorming, questioning, or pre-teaching some vocabulary words. To develop specialized vocabulary, tutors helped the struggling readers to use context clues to unlock the meaning of unknown words. Finally, to improve reading comprehension, tutors experienced success when they used the Directed Reading Thinking Activity (DRTA; Stauffer, 1975). Using this strategy includes prediction, questioning, and purpose setting for reading. Although (Ambe, 2007) does not provide quantitative data to demonstrate the effectiveness of the tutoring program, some evidence is provided in the 14-week tutoring program are highlighted. Students took pride in their portfolios because they were able to display tasks they previously could not accomplish or would not previously try to accomplish. Based on the studies reviewed above, I conclude struggling readers need expert teachers (Allington, 2002), small group instruction (Allington & Johnston, 2001; Protheroe, 2003), explicit instruction in the use of comprehension strategies (Lane &
68 Wright, 2007), more time on task (Graves & Philippot, 2002; Massey, 2007), opportunities to discuss what they read (Lane & Wright, 2007), self-questioning and other-questioning techniques (Massey, 2007), and explicit instruction in comprehension strategies for expository texts (Ambe, 2007). In the next section, I examine how some of these strategies for struggling readers have been used in urban settings where many students might struggle with the reading task. I focus on literacy instruction in urban settings because the two schools that the tutee participants in this study primarily attend are located in urban areas and serve children who bring urban stores of knowledge to the literacy experiences in the classroom. Lit e ra c y In s tru c tion in Urban S e tting s Although literacy professionals understand what generally works best for struggling readers, some strategies and best practices have been used specifically in urban settings. Because this inquiry took place in an urban setting (the community center), in this section, I highlight studies conducted in inner-city schools. The instructional strategies, approaches, or best practices used in these studies included: (a) literaturebased instruction with and without the accompaniment of a basal reader; (b) balanced or whole-part-whole instruction; (c) integrated instruction; (d) Cultural Modeling; and (e) studies that described the Cultural Modeling mode of instruction and the integration of hip hop culture into literacy instruction. The other strategies or approaches did not or otherwise impacting instructional decisions. Although the strategies, approaches, or best practices
69 highlighted here can be and often are effective in mainstream settings, I highlight these because they were used and studied specifically in urban settings. Literature-based approaches to reading instruction emphasize the reading of s story elements and monitoring student comprehension (Roe, Burns, Smith, & Smith, 2005). Literature-based approaches have been successful in middle-class and suburban settings, but, historically, the efficacy of literature-based approaches had not been extensively studied in urban settings. In fact, when I conducted an online search of Wilson Web with the key words literature-based reading instruction and urban schools, I found 4 studies. When the search included literature-based reading instruction, and either at-risk students, children of color, or children of poverty, no publications were found. When using the same database, and inquiring about literature-based instruction, 744 sources were found; and when searching for literature-based reading instruction, 87 studies were found. Although this is one of many available databases, the search results indicate a need to exam further literature-based instruction in urban school settings. Some research does exist, however, regarding the use of literature-based instruction in urban schools. Such research highlights the fact that literature-based instruction might improve the free and probed retellings of students from diverse backgrounds in highpoverty schools (Gipe & Richards, 1999; Gipe et al., 1992; Morrow, 1992; Morrow, & Smith, 1990). Oral retellings are important in literacy learning because they are a way of gauging whether or not students understand holistically the main idea of the story. Oral retellings help to develop comprehension, sense of story, and oral language
70 skills. During oral retellings, children become active participants in the learning process (Gambrell, Pfeiffer, & Wilson, 1985; Morrow, 1985, 1989). Students in urban elementary schools who were taught using a literature-based cu rriculum demonstrated improved concepts about books and print (Dahl & Freppon, 1995, 2003; Morrow et al., 1990). Students became more familiar with the conventions of print placement of words on a page, directionality, capitalization, and punctuation (Butler & Turbill, 1987). The use of the literature-based curricula may help teach students the mainstream language used and more widely accepted by the majority of the United States population that Delpit (1988, 1995) describes when she underscores the idea that children of poverty and children of color (often urban children) might not instinctively understand the language of school and the language of books. Also important to acknowledge is that in literature-based instructional settings, students became familiar with themselves as readers and with the processes they encountered in learning to read or in learning to become better readers (Dahl & Freppon, 1995; Morrow et al., 1990; Morrow, 1992). Considering the fact that many students in low-performing urban schools do not view themselves as readers, writers, or academics, this finding has great implications for urban classrooms. Such a discovery may challenge teachers in urban schools to strive conscientiously to help their students see themselves as readers, writers, and overall academics. Balanced reading instruction involves the combination of direct skills instruction and holistic instruction including activities with authentic literature (Roe et al., 2005). Musti-Rao and Cartledge (2007) contend this type of reading instruction is necessary because many children who attend urban schools begin school without having had the
71 benefit of a literacy-rich environment. Therefore, to provide a literacy-rich environment and teach necessary prerequisite skills that are lacking, Musti-Rao and Cartledge (2007) recommend a balanced approach to reading instruction. The whole-part-whole framework (Strickland, 1998) is a model of balanced reading instruction that begins with a readaloud and discussion of a piece of quality follows the read-aloud and discussion with skills-lessons (the part) that are directly related to the selected literature. Following the skills lessons, children are required to demonstrate their understanding of the skills taught by using them in another reading of the text (the whole). As a proponent of a balanced approach to literacy instruction, I was disappointed to learn that the research base on whole-part-whole instruction in urban schools is limited. Although educators in general recognize the benefits of such instruction, limited research has been conducted in urban schools where children may benefit most from a balanced literacy program. I discuss some of the pertinent research below on whole-part-whole instruction. Dermody (2001) and Hendrick and Pearish (1999, 2003) utilized the whole-partwhole approach with small groups of children in urban school settings. The reasons for strative team and classroom teachers would only allow Dermody and the preservice teachers she supervised to work with small groups of children. Conversely, Hedrick and Pearish pull-out program for attempting to increase reading achievement for below-level readers. In either case, both studies indicated increased levels of word recognition, comprehension, and
72 listening comprehension. Dermody shared the results of her study with school administrators who later decided to adopt a balanced literacy program. All may not be well in providing specific programs for use in urban schools. Statistics reported by the National Center for Education Statistics (2007b) indicate a reading achievement gap between African American students and their Caucasian counterparts and between children living in poverty and their more affluent peers. Because of the reading achievement gap, the United States government has invested more than US$4 billion to improve reading instruction and achievement in grades K-3 (Teale, Paciga, & Hoffman, 2007) through Reading First. Reading First primarily focuses on professional development for teachers, instructional materials, and literacy assessment programs and materials. The Reading First funds are typically used in schools with high percentages of children from families whose family incomes are below the poverty line (www.ed.gov/programs/readingfirst//index.html). Although there is some evidence that Reading First is having a positive effect on early literacy achievement (Spellings, 2007), the reforms have also created a curriculum gap (Teale, et al., 2007) which occurs when there is insufficient or no attention to other areas of the curriculum (e.g., science, social studies). Teale et al., identify 3 areas in which a curriculum gap exists: comprehension instruction, core content instruction, and writing instruction. The comprehension gap occurs when teachers place more emphasis on phonics and fluency without consideration for comprehension instruction. Doing so prevents children from understanding complex texts that allow them to hear and understand words beyond the conversations they routinely encounter.
73 often go unused because of the Reading First focus on phonics and fluency instruction. There is also a background/domain knowledge gap. This gap occurs when the connection between background knowledge and early literacy achievement is not made a priority in the classroom (Teale et al., 2007). Findings from a study conducted by the Center of Education Policy (CEP, 2007) indicated about a 62% increase in English/ Language Arts instruction and a corresponding decrease of about 44% in other subject areas. The results of this study indicate school districts often teach literacy skills at the expense of other content areas in the primary grades. Therefore, many K-3 students miss the opportunity to learn domain specific knowledge. Finally, Teale et al. (2007) describe a writing instruction gap. That is, many times when teachers focus on Reading First, they fail to take advantage of connecting reading and writing in their literacy block. Therefore, children miss the benefit of connecting reading and writing, which has been welldocumented in the reading literature (See Shanahan, 2005 and Snow, Burns & Griffin, 1998). To combat the curriculum gap in urban schools, Teale et al. (2007) recommend continuing to focus on phonological awareness/decoding, word recognition and fluency. However, other aspects of the curriculum (comprehension, writing, and content area instruction) should also have a focus. Teale et al. (2007) contend the curriculum gap must be addressed to reduce the reading achievement gap. They suggest educators who work primarily with K-3 students rethink what constitutes good reading instruction. Although some researchers (Dermody, 2001and Hendrick et al., 1999, 2003) identified the students with whom they worked as African American or Hispanic, they
74 literature-based model. Teale et al. (2007) discuss how one program used in urban settings might create other problems. Some studies and commentaries, however, do seek to understand how culture might impact literacy-learning. In the next section, I examine the connection between culture and reading instruction and achievement. I include this section in the literature review because, historically, the majority of the students who attended CCPTP were either African American or Hispanic. Cultur e and Lit e ra c y In s tru c tion Many classrooms across the United States are culturally diverse or are home to minority-majority populations (National Center for Educational Statistics, 2010). Conversely, most classroom teachers in United States schools are not ethnic minorities (National Center for Educational Statistics, 2010). National statistics show the population of the United States has become more ethnically diverse and this trend will continue (Brown, 2004). In addition, in 2010, 95% of classroom teachers are mostly White, middle class, monolingual females with limited or no previous multicultural experiences and interactions (National Center for Educational Statistics, 2010) As a result, teachers interact with many children whose cultural, linguistic, racial, and economic backgrounds differ from their own (Banks, 2001; Sleeter, 1995). To that end, teachers are encouraged to understand culture, its effects on education (specifically reading education), and design Dalhouse, 2005; Willis, 1995). Crdova and Matthiesen (2010) contend designing experiences and literacy achievement and performance on state-mandated tests. Several researchers have outlined plans to incorporate culture into reading instruction. In the next
75 section, I synthesize what the research says about cultural responsibility as a means to enhance pedagogy. Cultural R e s pon s ibility and R e ading In s tru c tion Researchers who acknowledge the role of culture in literacy teaching and learning understand the role of language in educating children from different cultures. These scholars encourage educators to help students br e a k t h e c od e of academic language so they are more successful in learning to read. They caution that breaking the code is not equivalent to skill-and-drill and decoding instruction. Teaching in this manner does not help children make meaning of texts they read. Such an approach blocks true learning in which the reader interacts with the text to form meaning (Dahl & Freppon, 2003; Delpit, 1988, 1995, 1997, 2005; Hedrick & Pearish, 2003). In beginning to understand the need to teach the language of academics, educators also began to understand that language is rooted in a deeper context. The language children bring to school is rooted in and reflected by their loved ones, their communities, and their own personal identities. Conceptualizing the fact that language is context-laden, teachers can assist students by supporting the language they bring to school while simultaneously exposing them to standard English so they are equipped to break the academic code and use it effectively (Delpit, 1995; PurcellAllier, & Smith, 1995). Lee (1992) calls this process c ul t urally s e n s i t iv e s c a ff olding (p. 278). When teachers enact c ul t urally s e n s i t iv e s c a ff olding they knowledge and as a way to bridge home and community language to the language of schools (Lee, 1992).
76 When we consider the fact that reading comprehension is a meaning-making process (Goodman, 1967), we bring into acc facilitates meaning-making. Culture may be viewed as a lens through which all text is seen and processed before meaning is created (Lee, 2005). Because some children from urban settings might not have the cultural experiences that allow them to look through the lens and relate to the narratives found in most books commonly used in schools, experts encourage teachers to teach the narrative form found in most texts so that diverse students might adjust their cultural lens to comprehend texts (Lapp & Flood, 2005). Musti-Rao and Cartledge (2007) identify strategies that are most useful for providing urban readers with what they need most. Specifically, Musti-Rao and Cartledge (2007) recommend balanced reading instruction; early identification of at-risk students; supplemental instruction for students in grades K-2; active student responding; smallgroup instruction; regular monitoring of reading achievement; peer-mediated activities; positive, nonexclusionary classroom management practices; and parental involvement. They also suggest each of the above recommendations be applied in culturally responsive ways, which represent good teaching, but which are often not present in urban classrooms. Musti-Rao and Cartledge (2007) recommend using their suggestions can help teachers in urban classrooms move from simply diagnosing reading problems among urban children to providing answers to helping students in urban schools to achieve success in reading. To summarize, culture plays an important role in children learning to read and understanding what they have read (Lapp & Flood, 2005; Lee, 2005). Therefore, it is incumbent on the academic community to ensure culture is acknowledged and utilized to
77 help students achieve success in reading (Delpit, 1988). Doing so might help many more children become successful readers (Delpit, 1988; Lapp et al., 2005; Lee, 2005; MustiRao & Cartledge, 2007). Summ e r R e ading Lo ss Because the tutorial program I studied took place during the summer, I highlight here information on the reading losses some students experience during the summer months. Summer reading loss is the decrease in children's reading achievement that can occur during the summer months when children are out of the classroom and away from formal literacy programs (Allington & McGill-Franzen, 2003; White & Kim, 2008). Some researchers conclude the reading achievement gap between middle and upper class students and their economically disadvantaged peers is perpetuated due to losses in reading skills during the summer months (Alexander et al., 1997, 2001 ; McGill-Franzen & Allington, 2006; Gladwell, 2008). students, America does not have a school problem, it has a summer260). Two studies that compared 10 economically advantaged schools to 10 economically disadvantaged schools led to the conclusion that students in all schools made similar achievement gains during the school year (Alexander et al., 1997, 2001). However, during the summer months, achievement levels decreased for students from economically disadvantaged schools, whereas achievement levels increased for students from economically advantaged schools (Alexander et al., 1997, 2001). Considering the losses some students from high-poverty schools experience, McGill-Franzen & Allington (2006) suggest persons in charge of accountability systems rethink the practice of
78 measuring achievement from spring to spring. Due to the reading losses in high-poverty schools, teachers must often teach until October to recover the reading losses experienced during the summer months. In a more recent study, White and Kim (2008) designed a voluntary summer reading program in which teachers explicitly taught their 4th grade students reading co mprehension strategies, provided opportunities for fluency practice, and modeled the use of a postcard system which would be used to track their summer reading. This explicit teaching occurred during the month before summer break. For the duration of the summer, students were divided into three groups: a control group who received 8 books at the conclusion of the summer program; a group which received 8 books at the beginning of the summer (with no oral reading scaffolding or comprehension scaffolding) a gr oup which received 8 books at the beginning of the summer along with oral reading scaffolding only; and a group which received 8 books at the beginning of the summer along with oral reading scaffolding and reading comprehension scaffolding. White and Kim (2008) matched books to readers in terms of interests and reading level. The oral reading scaffolding included reading a 100-word portion of each book 2-3 times to an adult family member who recorded information about fluency. The reading comprehension scaffolding meant each student completed a postcard indicating the reading comprehension strategy used, number of times the book additional comments on the postcard. The student and family member mailed the completed postcard to White and Kim (2008) upon the completion of reading each book.
79 White and Kim (2008) discovered only giving matched books to students did not significantly affect reading achievement. Although 55% of students who had been given books with no explicit reading comprehension or fluency instruction reported having read the books, there was no positive effect on reading achievement. In fact, the books only group (M= 203.6) had similar performance to the control group (M=203.1). Students who received books with oral reading scaffolding only (M=204.8) outperformed the control group (M=203.1), but the difference reported here is not statistically significant. The major discovery for this group was that providing oral reading scaffolding alone may not produce better readers. Students who received both oral reading scaffolding and reading comprehension scaffolding (M=207.0) significantly outperformed students in the control group (M=203.1). The difference here represents a learning advantage of 2.5 months. Based on their discoveries, White and Kim (2008) indicate their experiment Alexander et al., 1997, 2001; Allington & McGillFranzen, 2003; McGill-Franzen & Allington, 2006) which suggest voluntary reading if students are reading books that are appropriate for their reading level and interests, and if students are provided necessary supports through the summer reading program. White and Kim (2008) recommend teachers provide explicit instructions on what to do before, during and after reading books during the summer; get parents involved in the summer reading program; and properly match books with st s and reading level. Mraz and Rasinski (2007) make recommendations for curbing the summer reading loss. First, they suggest schools provide workshops for parents before the beginning of summer vacation. During the workshops, teachers provide information
80 about the importance of summer reading and make suggestions for engaging their children with books during the summer months. Second, school communities may consider providing a list of 3read during the summer months because the children would be held accountable for having read these books when they return to school. The selected books should be readily available at local public libraries. Third, teams of parent volunteers could log in th e number of minutes each child reads during the summer (as reported by the child and parent) via a postcard mailed to the school. The cumulative minutes read would then be es to remind parents of the importance of summer reading and the recording of the tota l number of minutes read. Finally, to further engage families, Mraz and Rasinski (2007) recommend s and provide magazines, newspapers Par e ntal P e r ce ption s of Aft e r-S c hool and Tutoring Program s Because I wanted to understand how parents perceived the tutoring program in which their child/children were enrolled, I examined research on parental involvement in both after-school programs and literacy-tutoring programs. The information in this area is limited in the current body of literature. One of the goals of my inquiry was to understand how parents perceived the tutoring program in which their child/children were enrolled. There is limited information in the literature -school and tutoring programs. Of 30
81 research articles on reading tutoring or after-school (out-of-school-time) programs, 7 children In 3 research reports, the authors described how they conducted training sessions with parents at the beginning of the tutoring program and throughout the program. The researchers designed the training sessions to provide information about the structure of the program, an introduction to the tutors, and practical ways parents could help improve ; Wasik, 1997). In 3 of the studies or reports, the readers glimpse how parents perceived either the reading tutoring program or the after-school program in which their child/children were enrolled. Caserta-Henry (1996) reported qualitative data that indicated parents were pleased with the improvements they saw in their ch reading habits. Parents reported children were able to read more difficult texts and often read to themselves and to family members without being prompted to do so. Through the use of a questionnaire, Heins, Perry, Piechura-Couture, Roberts, Collins, and Lynch (1999) received positive comments about St e tson R e ad s (Heins et al., 1999), a tutoring program for atelf esteem, and their children better understood the value of learning to read. The St e tson R e ad s parents also reported that their children demonstrated a greater interest in reading. In September 2006, the Afterschool Alliance published a report that summarized formal evaluations of after-school programs. In formal evaluations of two of the programs ( and Th e Ex t e nd e d-Se rvi ce
82 Sc hool s Ini t ia t iv e e programs. Parents of children enrolled in the San Di e go program reported a high perception of the quality of academic services their children received and their children often discussed the program and looked forward to attending the San Di e go 6 t o 6 Ex t e nd e d Sc hool Day Program. Likewise, parents of children enrolled in the Ex t e nd e d-Se rvi ce Sc hool s Ini t ia t iv e reported (via a parent survey) that they did not worry about where their children were after school; and their children liked school more and tried harder to succeed at schoolroles in tutoring or after-school programming provided a checklist of questions parents might ask when attempting to locate a tutoring program for their children (Gordon, 2003). literacy methods course to help prospective teachers develop a vision statement for teaching reading in elementary schools in a culturally responsive manner. Twent y prospective students participated in the study. They were diverse in that the group included 14 females and 6 males. The group also comprised 14 Caucasians, 1 African American, 2 Afro-Caribbeans, 2 Hispanics and 1 multiracial student. The course in which the prospective teachers were enrolled was titled R e ading M e t hod s in El eme n t ary Sc hool s As part of the reading methods course, the cohort was required to observe in an elementary classroom for 2 days each week. Additionally, they were concurrently enrolled in a diversity course. responsive literacy instruction included classroom environments designed as literacy
83 communities; teachers serving as orchestrators in the classroom; students as active community members; learner-centered teaching and learning as the key to literacy development; and the promotion of student ownership of literacy. In addition to these goals prospective teachers envisioned in the ir lives as literacy educators, Turner (2007) related to my study is parental involvement. Although the prospective teachers viewed parental involvement as important for student success, most (85%) of the prospective teachers viewed the home-school connection as challenging in an urban environment. The prospective teachers noted the relationship might be challenging because they viewed parents as unsupportive of the learning institution and lacking in educational values. Fifteen percent of the prospective teachers viewed the parent-school relationship as challenging because of language differences, work schedules, and limited time for teachers and schools. But, the discussion did not stop here. Because of the vision project, Turner (2007) also challenged the prospective teachers to design strategies to enhance communication between teachers and parents. Their solutions included meeting parents at places other than school, creating different kinds of opportunities for parents to translate documents and to be present at parent-teacher conferences. Turner (2007) viewed their plans for enhancing parental involvement as limited. However, by to use relevant course readings and activities that help prospective teachers understand parental involvement, challenge previously-held assumptions and create environments in
84 -of-school time and afterschool literacy tutoring programs, when asked, parents are often eager to share their thoughts and concerns about the programs in which their child/children are enrolled. the ir out-of-school-time and/or afterschool literacy tutoring programs. Summary The purpose of this study was to examine a summer literacy-tutoring program that exists as a voluntary component of an all-day summer camp. The questions that guided my research incl experienced and perceived the program, how the tutoring program operated, and how tutees engaged in literacy activities during the summer literacy camp. In the first section, Outof -school time (after-school) programs, I discussed the meaning of out-of-school time programs and the relationship between participation in out-of-school time or after-school programs and positive outcomes for school-aged children. I presented information about several out-of-school time programs with a successful focus on both academic and extracurricular enrichment. I also provided summaries of several program evaluations. This section is important because the summer literacy camp I studied was embedded for 6 weeks in an all-day summer program. Dr. Clark designed the summer literacy camp I studied as a community of interest. Therefore, in the section in which I focused on communities of interest, I defined the phrase and I reviewed how communities of interest are utilized in the field of computer science and has been adapted to other academic areas. In this section, I also
85 considered how the communities of interest design support my stance as an epistemological constructivist. In the third section, Literacy Instruction, I consider this broad concept by identifying areas of literacy instruction that related directly to my study. Specifically, I reviewed the reading/writing connection because tutors were graduate students enrolled in either a reading methods course, a writing methods course, or both, and they joined philosophy includes teaching reading and writing concurrently. In the Literacy Instruction section, I also reviewed, summarized, and analyzed studies on literacy tutoring programs. I considered the types of programs (school-based versus community(formal or informal; one-time versus onThe tutoring programs I studied provide only one way to deliver literacy tutoring to elementary and middle school students. I anticipated most students enrolled in CCPTP would be struggling readers so I defined the term st ruggling r e ad e r and researched what literacy experts suggest works best for struggling readers. Because the CCPTP is located in an urban area, I also included literacy instruction in urban settings in this section. This area closely coincides with my discussion of culture and literacy instruction because CCPTP served students from various cultural backgrounds. I also considered the issue of summer reading loss here. I studied a summer literacy camp which provides one way of promoting summer reading as a way to curb or prevent the summer reading loss. I included one group of stakeholders in this study who are often overlooked in research, parents. Therefore, the final section in this literature review highlights parental
86 perceptions of after-school and tutoring programs. This is an area in which there is limited information in the literature. However, parents do often acknowledge that if they From this review of the literature, I conclude literacy tutoring programs, whether they are stand-alone programs or whether they exist as part of an outof -school time program offer one way to help students experience literacy success. However, more empirical studies s Doing so might provide evidence of what works and what does not work so that other programs may be designed based on the discoveries from the empirical studies. Additionally, literacy professionals know what works for struggling readers; and they know how to create eclectic plans for struggling readers. However, the current challenge is to use those proven strategies and best practices and to successfully apply them in urban settings. Another challenge educators face is to use effective strategies and best practices for struggling readers in culturally responsive ways, recognizing that culture is an important aspect of literacy teaching and learning. This literature review provided the basis for my study because of the numerous gaps in the literature. Specifically, primary stakeholders are not typically engaged in one study. Usually the focus of a study is one particular group of stakeholders (e.g., tutees). Further, there are few examples in the literature of literacy tutoring programs designed using the community of interest model. I used the literature review to inform my study and to pose new questions for future research.
87 CHAPTER III: RESEARCH METHODS After I reviewed evidence that indicates many minority schoolchildren and children of poverty in the United States continue to struggle with reading, might experience summer reading losses, and might attend summer literacy tutoring programs (see Chapter 1), are not adequately represented, I determined a need existed to examine an out-of-school-time literacytutoring program designed to help increase reading achievement and engagement among some struggling readers from the perspectives of tutors, tutees, and parents. I selected a local outof-school time literacy-tutoring program due to its partnership with and proximity to the university in which I was enrolled. The purpose of this study was to understand how The Community Center Partnership Tutoring Program (CCPTP) operated and how some stakeholders experienced and perceived the program to develop a more complete understanding of out-of-school time literacy tutoring programs in general. I used the following research questions to guide my inquiry: 1. How does The Community Center Partnership Tutoring Program (CCPTP) operate? 2. How do selected students enrolled in CCPTP engage in literacy activities? 3. How do selected students who are enrolled in CCPTP experience and perceive the tutoring program? 4. How do parents of selected students who participated in the study perceive the CCPTP?
88 5. How do selected tutors who tutor children in CCPTP experience and perceive the program? experiences, , (d) historical and programmatic information received from the course instructor and a former doctoral student who initiated the relationship between the university and the the community center, and (e) interviews with the course instructor/camp director. Additionally, I observed operations of the program and maintained fieldnotes and a s reflective journal to document my observations. In the following sections of this chapter, I outline the research methods I used for this study. I provide information about (a) the research design, (b) my role as researcher, (c) the research site and study participants, (d) data sources and data collection techniques, (e) data analysis procedures, and (f) a summary of the methods. D e s ign Qualitativ e R e s e ar c h D e s ign In this inquiry experiences as I examined the Community Center Partnership Tutoring Program (CCPTP). I employed a qualitative research design so I might capture adequately how CCPTP operated and how CCPTP provided literacy instruction as experienced and perceived by a variety of study p (through interviews) to learn about CCPTP as the participants described their realities and their perceptions.
89 The field of qualitative research changes constantly. As a result, there is not one succinct definition of qualitative research (Denzin & Lincoln, 2005; Leech & Onwuegbuzie, 2004). However, Leech and Onwuegbuzie (2004) propose a classification scheme to define qualitative research. The topology is based on a survey of what qualitative research entails. Their classification scheme begins with the research focus focus or question(s) to t I extracted and discussed characteristics of qualitative research pertinent to my study based on how several scholars define the term. I focused my definition of qualitative research on the characteristics of natural setting, social problems, human problems, and a holistic view. Qualitative researchers study people, events, or processes in their natural settings, which are direct data sources. Because the setting is a data source, the researcher does not distance self from the context under study (Bogdan & Biklen, 2003; Creswell, 2003). As qualitative researchers become involved in the natural setting, they attempt to understand or to explain a phenomenon based on how study participants interpret or apply meaning to the phenomenon. To gain an understanding of the phenomenon in its natural setting, the researchers position themselves in the natural context (Bogdan et al., 2003; Denzin & Lincoln to provide a holistic view of the phenomenon under study (Creswell, 2007; Miles & Huberman behaviors (Creswell, 2007).
90 Considering some of the pertinent characteristics of qualitative research (i.e., natural setting, holistic view, social problem), I concluded this type of research approach the community center and the local university in which the graduate literacy students were enrolled. The holistic view provided by the qualitative design helped me understand more about out-of-school time literacy-tutoring programs. A qualitative research design also enabled me to coincides with Leech and Onwuegbuzie practices of other outof -school time literacy-tutoring programs. I pondered my overall purpose for this inquiry as I thought about what research design to employ. According to Patton (2002), researchers may engage in qualitative research to evaluate a program, to test an existing theory, or to develop a new theory. Creswell (2003, 2007) adds that researchers engage in qualitative research to offer a detailed view of an individual, a program, or an issue. In this inquiry, I studied CCPTP to obtain a detailed view of CCPTP and to understand better the issue of outof -school time literacy tutoring. In the next section, I discuss some paradigms and assumptions associated with qualitative research. This discussion allowed me to position myself in the research. My position in the research context is paramount in qualitative research. Som e paradigm s and a ss umption s of qualitativ e r e s e ar c h I subscribe to the definition of paradigm as a way of seeing the world (Kuhn, actices that embody a
91 view of reality (Ame ri c an H e ri t ag e Di c t ionary o f t h e Engli sh Languag e, Fourth Edition, 2007). The particular paradigm to which a researcher subscribes affects the five philosophical assumptions associated with qualitative research (Creswell, 2007; Denzin & Lincoln, 2005): (a) ontological; (b) epistemological; (c) axiological; (d) rhetorical; and (Creswell, 2007; Guba & Lincoln, 2005). In the following section, I discuss my personal paradigmatic positions because I used my beliefs to situate myself as researcher in this context. My paradigmati c po s ition s. As I designed this inquiry, I was mindful of the paradigms I most espouse. I was aware my paradigmatic positions are not stagnant. Rather, they are dynamic and may change due to circumstances, situations, or contexts. First, I believe there are multiple realities my ontological stance. I believe my reality is not the only reality. Because I do believe in multiple realities and I believe those realities are socially constructed, my epistemological stance is one of co-constructor of knowledge with study participants. I understood as I talked to and collaborated with CCPTP participants, we co-constructed meanings they applied to their experiences and perceptions. I understood that I could not have conducted this research without the study tolerance, hospitality, and respect throughout this study (Bishop, 2005). As I thought about the axiological assumption (the role of values) in qualitative research, I remembered research is value-laden and I accepted responsibility for conducting this research in an ethical manner. I knew I could not separate myself from that which was being researched. I am who I am, and who I am encompasses many facets
92 such as Christian, African American female, mother, daughter, sister, friend, student, instructor, and former director of a faith-based out-of-school time program, to name a few of my many selves. I reveal my many selves here because I understood the need to bracket any preconceived ideas I may have had in regard to outof -school time and afterschool programs, communities of interest, literacy instruction, and parental perceptions in these areas. I could not collect data, analyze data, or reflect on the research process without my many selves impacting my observations, my conversations, my questioning, my analysis, or my reflections. The paradigms I describe undergirded my position as researcher within the qualitative research design in general and this research in particular. To establish further my worldview, I consider myself a constructivist. Guba & Lincoln (2005) identify the constructivist paradigm as a way of knowing in which knowledge (along with its meanings and values) cannot be separated from the knower. As a constructivist qualitative researcher, I sought to provide opportunities for study participants to share their knowledge of CCPTP based on their personal experiences and perceptions. I did not seek to overlay their experiences onto my own experiences or research agenda. The study ir experiences and opinions may be taken into consideration for future out-of-school time programming. I discussed my constructivist stance in Chapter I in the discussion of researcher bias. Being a constructivist in this regard supports my epistemological stance as a researcher who coconstructs meaning with persons involved in the research (Raskin, 2002). I discuss ed the topic of constructivism in Chapter 2 (Review of the Literature).
93 My po s ition in th e r e s e ar c h. Along with my positions as researcher, interpreter, and research instrument, I must acknowledge my relationships to CCPTP. During the fall semester of 2006, I taught an undergraduate field-based writing methods course at the community center for the CCPTP. Preservice teachers enrolled in the course learned to teach writing by tutoring small groups of elementary students in the CCPTP. I tailored the tutoring curriculum based solely on the methods course in which the preservice teachers were enrolled. Another doctoral student and I designed the course around the write about changing their school, changing their community, and changing their country. Children also shared their ideas about career choices, demonstrated their knowledge of their home state, and worked on ways to educate others about conserving our natural resources. During the spring semester of 2007, I observed another instructor as she taught a literacy assessment course in which preservice teachers assessed students enrolled in CCPTP and designed individuali the literacy assessments they administered. Finally, I taught the undergraduate assessment level Pra c t i c um in R e ading course, of which Dr. Clark was the course instructor. These experiences gave me prior knowledge about the overall structure of CCPTP. However, throughout this summer literacy camp, I was not engaged in CCPTP as either an instructor or an assistant instructor. My roles were that of participant-observer and researcher. I reveal my previous relationships with CCPTP as a way to identify biases in the research process.
94 My research philosophical and methodological stance is that of epistemological constructivist. That is, as a researcher, I understood realities were their own. As researcher, it was not my job to create the reality for them. My research philosophical stance involved a way of conducting qualitative research that is based on and how together, the study participants and I could come to know and understand the world (i.e., The Community Center Partnership Tutoring Program) around us (Poulin, 2007). Previously, I discussed qualitative research, my belief system, and my position in the research. N ext I turn to the specific research design I employed. In the next section, I discuss the case study design. I also describe the design and delineate the type of case study I used. Then, I explain my rationale for using the case study tradition to help provide clarity to my research questions. Ca s e Study D e s ign When researchers engage in case study research, they focus on a bounded system. The bounded system may be represented by one case or by multiple cases. Regardless of whether the researcher selects to study an individual case or multiple cases, the focus of the inquiry is on comprehensive data collection and field involvement (Creswell, 2003, 2007; Stake, 1995, 2005). In a case study, the researcher attempts to capture and to report on the uniqueness of a particular case, which may be a person, a group of people, a program (e.g., CCPTP), a community, and so forth. A case is a complex, whole unit made up of numerous working parts (Stake, 1995, 2005). CCPTP represents a complex, whole unit. The whole of CCPTP comprises elementary and middle school tutees, tutors
95 the Pra c t i c um in R e ading or Wri t e r s and Wri t ing: Tr e nd s and I ssu e s course or both courses), selected instructor, and the community center personnel who recruit children for CCPTP and who partner with university personnel to organize the program. Another feature of the case study design is it is bounded by time, space, and activity (Creswell, 2007; Patton, 2002; Stake, 2005). CCPTP is bounded by time (an 8-week university summer school session containing two course sessions in preparation for tutoring and 2 hours of tutoring per week for 6 weeks), space (the community center), and activity (literacy tutoring). A case study may be either intrinsic or instrumental. In an intrinsic case study, the focus is on the uniqueness of the case itself. Conversely, the focus of an instrumental case study is an issue that can be illuminated by studying the case (Stake, 1995, 2005). For this study, I adhered to an instrumental case study design because I sought a general understanding of out-of-school time literacy tutoring programs. Studying CCPTP from the perspectives of stakeholders whose views do not appear often in the current literature helped me better understand out-of-school time literacy tutoring programs from these More specifically, I designed this study as a collective case study. Researchers use collective case studies to study two or more individuals, sites, programs, events, and so forth. (Stake, 1995, 2005). As I considered the design of this inquiry, I defined CCPTP as a case (n = 1), a separate unit of analyses. Within the CCPTP case, I considered the individual study participants (n = 27) as individual units of analyses. The individual units of analyses included selected tutees (n = 10), some parents of selected tutees (n = 6), selected tutors (n = 10), and the course instructor (n = 1). Patton (2002) defines these
96 individual units of analyses as nested or layered cases. Because this case study included different layers, this case may also be referred to as an embedded case study. In an embedded case study, there is knowledge integration (Scholz & Tietje, 2002). In this inquiry, I utilized the knowledge of different stakeholders (i.e., tutors, tutees, parents of tutees, and course instructor/ literacy camp director). Additionally, the case study design is appropriate for research questions that begin with wha t or how (Creswell, 2007; Miles & Huberman, 1994). For this inquiry, I asked research questions to discover how a variety of study participants experienced and/or perceived the tutoring program. Th e R e s e ar c h Cont e xt The context for this study was an urban area in the southeastern United States. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (2001) defines urban as an area with a population density of at least 1,000 people per square mile, or an area with a total population of at least 50,000. According to year 2000 census data, the southeastern city in which CCPTP is located reported a population of 303,447, which qualifies the city as an urban area (U.S. Census Bureau, 2000). Th e Community C e nt e r The community center, which houses CCPTP, opened in June, 2000. The complex is a central component of the rebuilding efforts of this area of the city located north of downtown. There are more than 40,000 residents in the university area, an area of less than four square miles. Household incomes in the area are approximately 70% of the median income for other parts of the city. Approximately 90% of the school children who live in the university area receive free or subsidized school lunch (University Area Community Development Corporation, 2005b).
97 The community center is in close proximity to two local elementary schools, a National Junior Achievement site. The community center complex has more than 50,000 square feet of space including classrooms, offices, fitness center, multi-purpose gymnasium, auditorium with stage, music and art studios, computer laboratories, daycare facilities, and more (University Area Development Corporation, 2005a). The majority of the children who attend CCPTP are enrolled at one of two local elementary schools: Morrison Elementary School or Miller Elementary Magnet School. (The school names are pseudonyms.) Students who attend Morrison Elementary School -school program, located in the community center complex. Students who attend Miller Elementary Magnet School attend the school district-sponsored after-school program housed in the community main building. Many students from both Morrison Elementary School and Miller Elementary Magnet School also attend one or more of the summer programs offered at the community center. Morri son El e m e ntary S c hool As of September 2007, the total enrollment at Morrison Elementary School was 810 students. Of the total number of students, 393 (48.52%) were Hispanic, 286 (35.31%) were African American, and 81 (10.00%) were White. The remaining 50 students (6.17%) were self-classified as either Multi-Racial, American Indian/Alaskan Native, or Asian/Pacific Islander. For the 2006-2007 school year, Morrison Elementary received a Left Behind (Hillsborough County Public Schools, 2006).
98 Mill e r El e m e ntary Magn e t S c hool communication, and environmental studies. As of September 2007, the total enrollment at Miller Elementary was 371. Of the total enrollment, 127 (34.23%) were Hispanic, 106 (28.57%) were African American, and 99 (26.68%) were Caucasian. Thirty-nine students self-reported their racial or ethnic classification as multi-racial, American Indian/Alaskan Native, or Asian/Pacific Islander (10.52%). For the 2006-2007 school year, Miller Left Behind (Hillsborough County Public Schools, 2006). Th e Community C e nt e r Partn e r s hip Tutoring Program (CCPTP) Dr. Stephen Smith (a pseudonym), then a graduate teaching assistant working toward a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with a specialization in Reading/Language Arts, conceptualized CCPTP during the fall of 2002. He implemented CCPTP for the first time in the spring of 2003. The Childhood Education Department (now the Department of Childhood Education and Literacy Studies) in the College of Education, where Dr. Smith worked and studied, received a grant to incorporate service-learning experiences into the teacher education program. Dr. Smith collected information about local agencies around the university area that provided services for elementary school age clients. Through that research, he met Ms. Martine Johnson (a pseudonym), Director of Community Relations and Events for the community center. Dr. Smith met with Ms. Johnson to inquire about how the Childhood Education Department might help the community center expand the services they already provided to elementary school-aged children. Ms. Johnson interests included establishing a tutoring program for elementary school children who
99 participated in some of the other after-school and summer programs already offered at the community center. She tried previously to establish a tutoring program with little success. The volunteer tutors were often inconsistent. Some tutors did not show up for tutoring sessions. Other tutors did not return to the tutoring sessions after they had acquired their 10 or so required hours of student observations (if they were elementary education majors). Past tutoring efforts focused on homework help only and did not provide supplemental literacy instruction. Ms. Johnson was particularly concerned about children who did not meet the minimum competency requirements on the reading component of the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT). She wanted university education majors to help the elementary students improve in reading. Dr. Smith offered a plan to have preservice teachers who were enrolled in a literacy methods course meet at the community center for class and tutor students at the community center after class. The on-site tutoring seemed to meet the needs of all parties involved. Dr. Smith (personal communication, May 1, 2006) concluded the children at the community center benefited from one-on-one or small group literacy instruction and the preservice teachers benefited from the experience of working with elementary school children under the supervision of a university instructor who had been an elementary classroom teacher and a reading specialist (S. M. Smith, personal communication, October 9, 2006).! As course instructor, Dr. Smith approached literacy learning from a sociocultural approach as he helped preservice teachers understand how to tutor struggling readers (S. M. Smith, personal communication, October 11, 2006). As he facilitated the course Lin k ing Li t e ra c y and A ss e ssme n t Dr. Smith led the class in discussions about literacy
100 development that focused on the skills and strategies typical good readers use when reading. Dr. Smith wanted to help preservice teachers understand how different communities of learners place different values on literacy practices. He hoped the preservice teachers might begin to understand how the different values placed on literacy practices are often evident in the skills and strategies elementary school readers use. During this class, Dr. Smith emphasized the use of assessments to understand the funds of knowledge, experiences, and strengths students bring to the literacy table. Throughout the course, students learned about research-based reading strategies. Upon analyzing the assessments, the preservice teachers in this literacy methods course planned literacy strengths. They also designed the lessons to help students develop other effective literacy strategies. The instructional designs of CCPTP attempted to work from the content interests and the literate practices of the elementary students and infuse reading strategies into those lessons. For example, knowing that students are interested in football and use the Internet as a literate practice, preservice teachers developed lessons that incorporated a football web site to teach inferencing strategies or to develop various cueing systems. Although Dr. Smith is no longer affiliated with CCPTP, preservice teachers and graduate students continue to provide literacy tutoring throughout the school year and during the summer months under the supervision of different course instructors. The focus of the literacy instruction changes from one semester to another depending on which course instructor teaches the field-based course at the community center. Prior to this particular summer literacy camp, the following courses had been taught as fieldbased classes at the community center : Lin k ing Li t e ra c y and In st ru c t ion T e a c hing
101 Wri t ing (both the undergraduate course and the graduate course), and Pra c t i c um in R e ading (a graduate-level course). Since Dr. Clark began directing the summer literacy camp, the university has offered other courses (e.g., Wri t e r s and Wri t ing: Tr e nd s and and Cr e a t iv e Exp e ri e n ce s ) For the past three summers, the CCPTP comprised several collaborative groups of ma -seeking students and undergraduate preservice teachers working together to tutor elementary schoolchildren. As mentors, the graduate students initially planned and implemented lessons as the preservice teachers observed, asked questions, and took notes in preparation for their turn as planners and implementers. During the third or fourth week of the summer literacy camp, preservice teachers planned and implemented literacy lessons with input and suggestions from the graduate student mentors, the course instructors, and sometimes a doctoral student literacy camp volunteer. Throughout this process, graduate students became less and less involved in planning and implementation reased as they assumed more of the planning and teaching responsibilities (Richards et al., 2007a, 2007b, 2008). During the summer in which this research occurred (2008), Dr. Clark organized the CCPTP literacy-tutoring program (summer literacy camp) differently. Two groups of Pra c t i c um in R e ading or Wri t ing and Wri t e r s : Tr e nd s/ I ssu e s or both, collaborated to plan and to deliver literacy lessons to small groups of children. Although reading was the primary focus of previous summer literacy camps (tutors were enrolled in a reading course), course instructors often emphasized the reading/writing connection and encouraged tutors to plan both reading and writing
102 activities for their tutoring sessions. This time, because all tutors were enrolled in either a reading course or a writing course or both and planned together, Dr. Clark required integration of the two areas. She taught both of the courses. Her philosophical orientation is that reading and writing should be taught together and not separately, as is currently the way other reading and writing methods courses are taught at the university where she is a professor (J. C. Richards, personal communication, April 28, 2008). Therefore, Dr. Clark volunteered to teach both courses simultaneously in a field-based setting at the community center. Dr. Clark describes this model as a community of interest, in which learners with similar interests come together for a limited time to work on a joint project. This summer, students in the two courses joined together to deliver literacy (reading and writing) tutoring to students enrolled in CCPTP. They shared a combined syllabus that provided information about the structure of the tutoring program in general and communities of interest in particular (J. Richards, personal communication, April 18, 2008). Population and Sampl e The population from which I selected case study participants comprised approximately 50 tutees who attended CCPTP and approximately 65 tutors from the two differ -level literacy courses. The CCPTP population of tutees included children in Grades K-5 who attend one or more of the summer out-of-school-time programs offered at the community center and who also chose to attend tutoring sessions. The CCPTP population also included children who came to the community center for literacy tutoring only (i.e., they did not participate in any other programs offered at the community center). Initially, I sought to limit participation to tutees ages 8 to 12 years
103 old (typically Grades 3-6). I did, however, include one seventh grader in the study due to I selected 10 tutees (five male and five female), 6 parents of some of the tutees who participated in the study, and 10 tutors because I viewed CCPTP as an instrumental case as well as a collective case. Guest, Bunce, and Johnson (2006) suggest 12 study participants generally provide data saturation. Therefore, I hoped to reach data saturation with the total of 26 study participants. Data saturation is considered the point at which no new information is obtained from the data source(s) (Morse, 1995). In an instrumental case study, the researcher seeks to understand a broad issue by looking at the particular case. I wanted to understand out-of-school time (i.e. summer) literacy tutoring programs by examining this case. To do so requires a variety of study participants who might form a matrix of themes found during the research (Stake, 2005). Additionally, in the case study design, comprehensive data collection is required (Stake, 1995, 2005). I initially planned to select tutee study participants using the criterion sampling scheme. When researchers use the criterion sampling scheme, they select participants based on one or more criteria (Onwuegbuzie & Leech, 2007b; Patton, 2002). I wanted to select tutees who had not previously participated in CCPTP; who were at least 8 years old; who had demonstrated the ability to vocalize their thoughts and opinions (based on information from tutors, parents, and program administr at ors, as well as my observations ; who were African American; and who demonstrated characteristics of struggling readers (based on initial assessments administered by the tutors, information from parents, or information from the community center personnel). However, I could not identify tutees who met all the selection criteria. Therefore, I used
104 snowball sampling to recruit tutees. Snowball sampling involves asking study participants to recruit others to participate in the study (Onwuegbuzie & Leech, 2007a, 2007b; Patton, 2002). I conferred with Carolyn (a pseudonym), a community center summer camp employee to recruit tutee and parent study participants. Logically, using snowball sampling to recruit both tutee and parent study participants was expedient study. I used convenience sampling to select tutor participants. Convenience sampling means selecting study participants because they are available and willing to participate in the research study (Henry, 1990; Onwuegbuzie & Collins, 2007). In addition to the tutee participants, the parent participants, and the tutor participants, I included the university course instructor as a case study participant. I included this study participant as a key informant whose perspectives were necessary to understand better the history, funding, curricula, administrative processes, and philosophies of CCPTP. Patton (2002) advises qualitative researchers to collect information at the program level. Dr. Clark (course instructor/ camp director) was best suited to provide this type of information. My selection here represented a form of critical case sampling. In critical case sampling, participants are selected because of specific insights they may provide about the phenomenon under study (Onwuegbuzie & Leech 2005, 2007b; Yin, 2009. Some information I sought to understand could only be obtained from the course instructor/ camp director.
105 R e s e ar c h In s trum e nt s R e s e ar c h e r As a researcher engaged in a qualitative research study, I served as the primary research instrument (Janesick, 2004; Patton, 2002). I was confident my credentials and research experiences qualified me for this role. To date, I have presented at 13 state, national, or international conferences. I have co-authored three journal articles and two book chapters. As the researcher serving as research instrument, I recruited two current doctoral students to assist in the interviewing process. Due to the number of interviews required to describe adequately this collective case study, I trained the two doctoral students (the interviewers) to use the protocol of questions I planned to ask. Additionally, one of the doctoral student interviewers also engaged in de-briefing interviews with the methodologist on my dissertation committee. My responsibilities as a research instrument included providing a broad description of CCPTP and r perceptions. I maintained fieldnotes based on my observations of the two class sessions in preparation for tutoring (n = 2), observations of weekly tutoring sessions (n = 6), and all interviews with study participants (n = 127 for each data collection activity. I also personally transcribed all interviews. See Appendix A for the organizational structure I used for fieldnotes (Miles & Huberman, 1994). Journaling took the form of handwritten reflections in a spiral notebook specifically designated for dissertation journaling. I based my decision to use fieldnotes, 2007) compendium of data collection approaches in qualitative research as well as the advice of
106 other scholars (Bodgan &Biklen, 2003; Janesick, 2004; Stake, 1995). Additionally, I followed Bogdan & Biklen ollect data from observations (usually as a participant observer), complemented by formal and informal interviews. Int e rvi e w s The other two interviewers and I used the semi-structured interview technique (Spradley, 1997) with a predetermined protocol (See Appendices B.1 B. 3). I chose to use the semi-structured interview style to ask impromptu or probing questions based on the interviews. I followed probing techniques based on the suggestions of Bogdan & Biklen (2003) (See Appendix C).We interviewed each tutee and tutor study participant after each tutoring session for a total of six interviews per tutee (n = 60) and six interviews per tutor (n = 60). I scheduled each tutee-participant interview for approximately 15 minutes and each adult-participant interview for approximately 30 minutes. I also interviewed the course instructor two times during the semester, once at approximately the halfway point of the tutoring sessions and then again when all tutoring sessions had been completed. I interviewed parents once during the course of the semester. After each interview, I conducted member checks either in person, via telephone, or via email, whichever option was the best choice for the study participant. Prior to the member checks, I provided participants with a transcript of the interview (either via email, fax or hard copy in person). We audiotaped all interviews with each
107 As I discussed in Chapter 1 of this document, I wanted to minimize biases during this dissertation study. After each interview session, I met informally with a doctoral student (one who did not interview participants) for peer de-briefing sessions. Peerdebriefing is one way to promote inter-coder reliability. The peerhelp me maintain honesty during the data analysis phase of the research and to help ensure biases did not interfere with interpretations (Onwuegbuzie, Leech, & Collins, 2008). After several rounds of interviews, one of the doctoral student interviewers and I engaged in de-briefing interviews via a telephone conference call. The conference call was necessary because the methodologist now teaches at a university in another state. The de-briefing conference calls were audiotaped and transcribed. Dr. Anthony J. Onwuegbuzie, a methodologist with experiences in interviewing the interviewer(s) led the debriefing sessions. Dr. Onwuegbuzie and colleagues designed frameworks for debriefing interviewers. He also field-tested several questions used in the framework (Onwuegbuzie et al. 2008). The de-briefing interviews led to additional questions being asked of study participants or some questions not being asked at all. My dissertation committee understood that as principal investigator in this study and as research instrument, I was responsible for designing additional questions, eliminating questions, and/or using suggestions of other interviewers or the debriefer (Anthony J. Onwuegbuzie and J. C. Richards, personal communication May 27, 2008). El e m e ntary R e ading Attitud e Surv e y and El e m e ntary Writing Attitud e Surv e y I used the El eme n t ary R e ading A tt i t ud e Surv e y (McKenna & Kear, 1990) and the El eme n t ary Wri t ing A tt i t ud e Surv e y (Kear, Coffman, McKenna, & Ambrosia, 2000) to
108 and writing. I administered the surveys to tutees prior to the first tutoring session and again after the last tutoring session (6 weeks later). The reading survey instrument was first field-tested with 499 elementary school students in a school district in the midwestern United States. Upon feedback from the initial field test, the instrument was revised and administered to more than 18,000 children. The reading attitude survey uses four pictures of the cartoon character, Garfield in four different poses ranging from very happy to very sad. McKenna and Kear selected -6. Additionally, they selected only 4 poses because of research that suggests young children can typically attend to and discriminate among no more than 5 items at one time. Each children. The writing attitude survey was similarly field tested and also uses the four Garfield pictures. The instruments have been widely used among elementary schoolchildren. Additionally, to determine validity, McKenna and Kear used factor analyses which indicated the two subscales did measure discreet aspects of reading attitude, as they were designed to do. Therefore, these instruments did not require further field tests prior to using them in this particular research. Data Analy s i s In this study, I sought to provide insight into out-of-school-time literacy tutoring
109 those experiences helped me understand how CCPTP operated and provided a basis for a general understanding of out-of-school-time literacy tutoring programs. The information learned also led to research questions for future projects. In this section, I discuss the data analysis techniques I used to discuss the research questions. I also provide the rationale I used when deciding which analysis approach was most appropriate. I subscribed to Bogdan & Biklen thoughts as I considered how to interpret data I collected during this study. They define transcripts, fieldnotes, and other materials you accumulate to enable you to come up with & Biklen, 2003, p. 147). Other scholars (Miles & Huberman, 1994; Spradley, 1979) also refer to the importance of systematically analyzing qualitative data. Spradley (1979) focuses on a systematic examination as a way of thinking that allows the researcher to identify the relationship among parts and the relationship of the parts to the whole. Finally, Miles & Huberman (1984) discuss data reduction, data displays, and conclusion drawing/verification as the systematic process of qualitative data analysis. I considered all of these views as I analyzed data. First, I analyzed the 6 journal, tutee interviews, tutor interviews, parent interviews, and course instructor/camp director interviews) using constant comparison analysis. Constant comparison analysis (Glaser & Strauss, 1967) involves the researcher revisiting data to make comparisons to previously identified themes (Glaser & Strauss, 1967). The researcher examines the data systematically and continues to refine themes upon subsequent data analysis (Glaser & Strauss, 1967). I then analyzed the data sources as a whole and chunked the data into
110 small parts. Each chunk was labeled (i.e., coded) with a descriptive term. Thereafter, I compared each new chunk or code with previous codes and I grouped similar chunks of meaning together. I identified themes based on each coding group. Once I identified themes, I analyzed the data further using within-case displays to explore, to describe, and to explain findings. Miles and Huberman (1994) suggest using within-case displays as a way to reduce data. They contend that qualitative data are often presented in long, narrative text that may be too cumbersome for the reader to manipulate. Within-case displays provide a way to present data in a format policymakers and other stakeholders can use. I used a checklist matrix to display pertinent information about each participant in the study. The checklist matrix is a kind of partially ordered matrix, a display format of pre-determined, unordered rows and columns in the format of a checklist (Miles & Huberman, 1994). I also used a partially ordered display to identify (by study parti ci pant) conditions supporting a positive tutoring experience and conditions supporting a negative tutoring experience. Finally, to understand better the case, I used a role-ordered matrix. Miles and A role-ordered matrix allows researchers to compare and readers to understand meanings individuals may attach to a phenomenon depending on their roles. A role-ordered matrix standing impacted (or not) their experiences in the program and their perceptions of those experiences. When I entered the data collection stage of this research, I understood new information might evolve during my time in the field and such information might require
111 a modification in methods. Several scholars contend researchers must understand that plans made during the design of a qualitative research study might render themselves inappropriate once research has begun (Bogdan & Biklen, 2003; Fraenkel & Wallen, 2006; Patton, 2002). Creswell (2007, 2003) also cautions the research questions might emerge or expand as the researcher understands more about the research site and the study participants, causing a possible ripple effect in the re-design of data sources and data analysis. I was aware some aspects of the methods I initially proposed might have evolved as I conducted my research. In Chapter 4, I discuss what occurred when I realized the CCPTP population was not what I expected. I sought to ensure the reader of the final manuscript was able to understand not only the findings of this study, but also the methods and the rigor employed as I conducted this research. Anfara, Brown, and Mangione (2002) urge qualitative researchers to make the research process public and to provide evidence of the rigor involved in data collection and analysis. Constas (1992) refers to this kind of disclosure Summary In this section, I explained the methods used in this qualitative case study of the experiences and perceptions of selected stakeholders in a community of interest summer literacy camp. I also discussed the procedures I used for data collection and analysis. First, I reviewed my rationale, purpose, and research questions; and then, I defined qualitative research. I explained why I selected a qualitative research design and how the qualitative research design helped me answer my research questions.
112 Second, I explained some paradigms and assumptions of qualitative research. Then, I discussed my personal paradigmatic positions. I discussed my personal paradigmatic positions to reveal my beliefs in multiple realities and to identify myself as having had previous encounters with the CCPTP. I also positioned myself in the research, meaning that I identified myself as researcher, interpreter, and research instrument. Additionally, I thought it important to reveal myself as an epistemological constructivist. This part of my identity impacted how I designed the research, how I determined the research instruments I used, and how I analyzed data. I defined and reviewed the case study design, a tradition in qualitative research because I identified CCPTP as a collective case study. Third, I described the research context in which this inquiry was situated. The research context included the community center, Morrison Elementary School, Miller Elementary Magnet School, and the Community Center Partnership Tutoring Program. I also described the population from which I selected study participants. I discussed and explained my choice of sampling techniques. Finally, I described the research instruments and my choice of data analysis techniques. I used 7 data sources to inform my inquiry: researcher, interviews, Elementary Reading Attitude Survey, Elementary Writing Attitude Survey, fieldnotes, constant comparison analysis, role-ordered matrix, and within-case display. In the next chapter, I present the discoveries I wished to use to inform others.
113 CHAPTER IV: DISCOVERIES Five research questions guided my inquiry. In this chapter, I report discoveries for each question. I employed the method of constant comparison to illuminate recurring and the university course instructor/camp director. I also utilized within-case displays to represent the data visually. Then, I synthesized and compared and contrasted the themes among and within each group of study participants. How do e s CCPTP op e rat e ? Through my direct observations of the weekly tutoring sessions and interviews with graduate student tutors, tutees, and the course instructor/camp direct or I describe my discoveries of Research Question 1: How does the Community Center Partnership Tutoring Program (CCPTP) operate? The CCPTP operates as a community of interest with tutors involved in 6 different communities, often simultaneously. I explain the 6 communities of interest later in this chapter. The CCPTP community of interest in its entirety includes the graduate course instructor/camp director, the graduate student tutors, elementary and middle school tutees, graduate student volunteers (non-researchers and researchers), grant-funded graduate student researchers, the community center community liaison and the community center Director of Community Affairs. I describe how CCPTP operates in the following narrative. Dr. Clark described her vision of the community of interest this way:
114 So I thought here would be a chance to try out what I envisioned as a true community of interest where uhh students who were of comparable experience and education would come together and collaborate in a reading/writing connection, so I decided to do that at the camp. Additionally, Dr. Clark hoped the graduate student tutors would perceive themselves as being part of a larger community while at the same time not losing sight of the primary objective of the summer literacy camp (i.e., to learn advanced reading and writing methods). Dr. Clark expressed these 2 issues this way: ...I took out [emphasized] parts of the community of interest so they [graduate student tutors] would know that they were special and that uhh I was expecting students [graduate student tutors] who were committed. And that they would indeed collaborate and that we had something larger that we had to do Pr e paration for tutoring I interviewed Dr. Clark 6 days after the first tutoring session. I wanted to ensure I allowed Dr. Clark and myself ample time to reflect on what we had seen and heard during the first tutoring session. In addition, we needed to decide on a mutually agreeable time at which to meet. During the interview, Dr. Clark recounted the importance of her preparation for the Community of Interest Summer Literacy Camp, and the urgency of stressing similar, intense preparation to the graduate student tutors for their roles in the tutoring program. Dr. Clark responded, teachers, into various groups so that they would feel that they were part of a
115 community, which you know, I promoted from the very first class meeting and on the syllabus. Preparation for tutoring in CCPTP officially began 2 weeks before tutors met at the community center to tutor small groups of children. The groundwork for tutoring began during the first night of class (5:00 pm-8:00 pm), when graduate students who were enrolled in the courses Pra c t i c um in R e ading and/or Wri t e r s and Wri t ing: Tr e nd s and I ssu e s met with Dr. Clark in a large classroom on the first floor of the College of Education (COE) building on the university campus. The room accommodates large groups of people and is set apart from other classrooms in the COE building. To access the room, one must walk down a first floor hallway, and then descend a set of steps. The room has two front doors through which most people enter and exit. Although I had previously been in this classroom, I had never noticed the rear door. I noticed it this time. Three students entered through the rear door. There are ample tables and chairs, a video screen, and a whiteboard. Tables and chairs are arranged so that people can sit behind the tables and face the front of the room. Sets of 3 tables are placed side by side, with chairs on one side facing the front of the room. The room is considered a Smart Room because it is technology-ready. I had previously met in Room 115 for a graduate student orientation and a previous CCPTP orientation, and I remembered it well on this evening. When class began and the majority of graduate students had taken a seat, I thought about how large the room was, and I thought it was too large for the number of people who were there that night. Having such a large room might distract from the community atmosphere Dr. Clark was attempting to create. Graduate students positioned themselves throughout the large room. Some graduate students sat in the very front of the
116 room, whereas others chose to sit in the rear. There were 3 individual tables in the back of the room. These tables were set apart from the other tables in the room. Eight graduate students sat at the tables in the rear. Near the front right of the room, 3 tables were set up to accommodate the teaching supplies graduate student tutors would use during their tutoring sessions. (Dr. Clark purchased both consumable and non-consumable teaching supplies through a Verizon Grant she had written and was awarded especially for the summer literacy camp.) Dr. Clark used a lapel microphone during the first two class sessions in the COE building. From my vantage point near the rear of the room, she projected her voice well enough for everyone to hear her. I was seated near the rear of the room, along with my son and another graduate student researcher, and we were able to hear everything Dr. Clark said. To begin the first class session, Dr. Clark the graduate student tutors that this would be her way of communicating with them at the address questions, issues, concerns, and agenda items for the current tutoring session. Dr. Clark Dr. Clark addressed the combined class of graduate students, I noticed 5 students sitting in the rear of the large room using laptop computers while Dr. Clark was speaking. I do not think the students were using the laptops to take class notes because none of them looked at Dr. Clark while she was speaking, and none of them glanced down at their camp notes while Dr. Clark read them. Although I did not approach any of the these graduate students to inquire about whether
117 or not they were listening to Dr. Clark while she spoke, my people-watching skills suggested the graduate students were not engaged with Dr. Clark s announcements, lectures, and instructions. Dr. Clark introduced me and the other doctoral students who were in attendance and explained why we were there. She introduced me as a doctoral candidate who would collect data during the summer literacy camp. During my introductory remarks, I indicated I would need some graduate student participation would include weekly interviews followed by member checks in the form of follow-up faceto -face conversations, telephone conversations, or e-mail communication. Additionally, I explained the rationale for my study and indicated if any of the graduate student tutors were interested in advanced graduate work, this would be an opportunity for them to see some of the elements involved in research. I assured the prospective study participants their decision to participate in this study or not was strictly voluntary and it would in no way impact their grade(s) in the course(s). I also told the graduate student tutors the research had been preliminarily approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) and I was awaiting approved informed consent forms, which I would discuss with them and which would require their signature. Then, Dr. Clark introduced Susan, another doctoral candidate who was a grantincluded collecting data during the tutoring sessions, ensuring all graduate student tutors signed in at the beginning of class, maintaining an inventory of non-consumable camp supplies, and serving as a liaison between Dr. Clark and the community center personnel.
118 Dr. Clark introduced Melinda next. Melinda was also a doctoral candidate. Her role during the tutoring sessions would be to collect data for a pilot study that would lead to her dissertation. The final doctoral student Dr. Clark introduced was Ho, who had previously taken a qualitative research class with Dr. Clark and was interested in gaining some practical insights into literacy teaching and learning. The doctoral students further explained their respective roles in the summer literacy camp. My then 9-year old son and a 6-year old girl were also in attendance at the first class. As he had done on previous occasions, my son volunteered (after my strong insistence) to participate in a demonstration lesson Dr. Clark would teach. I later learned that the six-year old girl was the daughter of one of the graduate student tutors. She also participated in a demonstration lesson during this class session, and she later attended the weekly tutoring sessions at the community center. After all introductions had been made, Dr. Clark handed out the course syllabus. She explained the syllabus was thick because it outlined the requirements for 2 separate courses (Pra c t i c um in R e ading and Wri t e r s and Wri t ing: Tr e nd s and I ssu e s) being taught together. Dr. Clark explained each element of the syllabus in detail. She emphasized tha t this summer literacy camp was designed to be a community of interest in which groups of graduate student tutors would work together to solve a problem (e.g., improving literacy engagement among some elementary and middle school students). Dr. Clark further elaborated on the connection between reading and writing and the need for reading and writing to be taught simultaneously. This philosophical stance, Dr. Clark reasoned, prompted her to teach both of these graduate literacy courses concurrently. Dr. Cla rk interrupted her introductory comments to make sure all graduate students knew and
119 understood the schedule for the remaining weeks of the summer session. The very next week, graduate students would once again meet with Dr. Clark in room 115 of the COE building. Then, starting the third week, graduate students would meet at the community center weekly for 6 weeks at 9:00 am each time. From 9:00-10:00 a.m., graduate students would meet in a whole group setting with Dr. Clark. During these sessions, Dr. Clark lectured, taught demonstration lessons, and outlined expectations for the day. Then, from 10:00 a.m.-12:00 noon, groups of graduate student tutors would tutor small groups of children in reading and writing. From 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m., graduate students would reconvene with Dr. Clark upcoming week. Because the summer literacy camp was a community of interest and graduate student tutors would collaborate to deliver reading and writing instruction, Dr. Clark suggested each group of graduate student tutors create a theme for their tutoring groups to be used throughout the summer literacy camp. The graduate student tutors were to use the theme to help define the group and to provide a basis upon which to select writing lessons. A large part of Dr. Clark s introductory information centered around her philosophy on the teaching and learning of reading and writing. Dr. Clark told the graduate students there would be no round robin reading during the summer literacy camp. She explained round robin reading does not help children learn to read. Instead, round robin reading tends to embarrass readers and often does not afford readers ample reading time. Dr. Clark explained that when students engage in round robin reading they do not use their metacomprehension skills.
120 Rather, Dr. Clark indicated the focus throughout the summer literacy camp would be on reading comprehension strategies and writing strategies. She defined a strategy as a to help children learn strategies to accomplish the tasks of reading and writing. Dr. Clark suggested all good readers use metacognitive skills to monitor comprehension. Therefore, strategic readers will recognize when they do not understand and they will go back and re -read. Dr. Clark s philosophy also includes the premise that reading is a silent nonobservable Dr. Clark hoped graduate students would understand is that teaching is neither telling or testing. Furthermore, one of goals was that the elementary and middle school students be able to identify and to use reading and writing strategies at the end of the summer literacy camp. To that end, Dr. Clark charged the graduate student y( ies) did we The combined class syllabus also outlined expectations for each tutoring session. During each tutoring session, elementary and middle school students would wear nametags. Dr. Clark preference was that the elementary and middle school students make their own nametags. Each tutoring group was required to display camp rules during each weekly tutoring session. The camp rules were the same for everyone: 1) We listen when others speak. 2) We raise our hands when we want to speak. 3) We respect others and ourselves. The rules were positively stated and Dr. Clark reasoned 3 rules would be easy for most of the elementary and middle school students to remember. Dr. Clark
121 suggested the tutors type the camp notes on a standard sheet of paper and display them in a picture frame. Dr. Clark also required graduate student tutors to use dialogue journals to writing. Most groups of graduate student tutors chose to use the spiral notebooks or black and white journals Dr. Clark provided as their dialogue journals. The graduate student tutors gave their tutors time to decorate and to personalize their dialogue journals during the first 1 or 2 tutoring sessions. Each week, a graduate student tutor wrote a personalized note to each tutee. The tutee would, in turn, respond to the graduate student tutor in In the course syllabus, Dr. Clark also delineated the products required of each of the gr aduate students. Dr. Clark required: 1. a class book (one per group) 2. a weekly 2-page report of their collaborations and accomplishments for each tutoring session (by reading/writing pairs) 3. a description of the reading comprehension strategy(ies) and writing strategy(ies) taught during the weekly tutoring sessions (by reading/writing pairs) 4. pre-reading, during-reading, and post-reading strategies used during each tutoring session (by reading graduate student tutors) 5. pre and post-assessments of an elementary or middle school tutee using a suggested Informal Reading Inventory (IRI). (The reading half of the
122 reading/writing pair was to administer the IRI and use one of the IRIs suggested in the course syllabus.) 6. a writing sample from each tutee 7. answers to paraphrased question from the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children Revised (Woodcock & Johnson, 1990), along with interest inventory questions. Understanding the arduous task the graduate student tutors were about to undertake, Dr. Clark suggested the graduate students think about what they had seen, heard, and read this week, and they would discuss further the specific requirements of the tutoring sessions the following week. Tonight, Dr. Clark wanted to conduct demonstration lessons to help graduate student tutors understand how to use pre-reading, during-reading, and postliterature. Using the Creole folktal e Th e Tal k ing Egg s (San Souci, 1989), Dr. Clark the 6-year old volunteer, participated in the demonstration lesson. Then, Dr. Clark reading strategy) using the historical fiction Ba s e ball Sav e d U s (Mochizuchi, 1993). This time, Joseph, my then 9-year old son participated in the lesson. As is Dr. Clark s custom, she asked graduate students to unpack the lesson. They noticed both lessons were interactive and engaging. They also noticed Dr. Clark did not have to read the books verbatim to help Joseph and Marisa comprehend the storyline. Rather, she read some of the pages in the book, and then paraphrased other pages in the book.
123 Another task for the evening was to form tutoring pairs (a reading graduate student paired with a writing graduate student) and tutoring groups (a combination o f reading/writing pairs ). There was no stipulation on the minimum or maximum number graduate student tutors per group. Dr. Clark asked the class to separate themselves into the two classes (reading/ writing). The combined class consisted of 52 graduate students. Of the 52 students, four were enrolled in both the Pra c t i c um in R e ading course and the Wri t e r s and Wri t ing: Tr e nd s and I ssu e s course. The four graduate students who were enrolled in both courses were required to meet the demands of the individual courses. That is, they were to submit all assignments for both courses. When asked to form reading/writing pairs, students who were enrolled in both courses were given the option of identifying themselves as a reading student or a writing student for purposes of forming the tutoring pairs. Then, Dr. Clark asked graduate students from each group who wanted to tutor children in a particular grade level to step forward. As graduate students identified themselves this way, Dr. Clark paired graduate students together to form the reading/writing pairs. Once all reading/writing pairs had been established, the pairs combined to create tutoring groups (based primarily on the grade level of tutees that graduate student tutors hoped to tutor). Dr. Clark dismissed the graduate students for the evening. Two graduate students remained after class to talk with me. I thought their questions would be related to the questions about the doctoral program. They were interested in learning the acceptance criteria for the advanced graduate program and what exactly was involved in doctoral
124 work. I answered their questions and encouraged them to pursue the doctoral program if they were interested in obtaining a terminal degree. I noticed that one of the studen -level course attempted to carry all the supplies for her group to her car. Because my son had been with me the entire evening, I offered his services to help with carrying supplies out to her car. On our way to the parking garage, the graduate student let me know she really did not understand Dr. Clark outlined for working with children while learning how to teach reading and writing strategies, she did not understand how the tutoring program would unfold, how the children would respond to the program in general and the tutors in particular, and how all the tutors would accomplish their tasks as graduate students given the fact that they may have a limited (I later learned she would be a doctoral student in the fall semester) that I had worked with Dr. Clark course content with the graduate student. She thanked me for the advice and thanked my son for his muscles. At approximately 8:30 in the evening, my son and I left the university. The following week, we met again in room 115 of the College of Education conversation. They had already arranged themselves in their tutoring groups (which had
125 been formed the previous week), and they had begun to discuss expectations and concerns about what they could expect at the community center the following week. At the end of the evening, 12 graduate student tutors approached me and stated they would like to participate in the research. Eventually, 2 of the 12 graduate student tutors decided they no longer wished to participate. Their schedules were not conducive to participating in weekly interviews and responding to member checks, which I indicated would be conducted in person or via email or telephone as a follow-up to their weekly interviews to ensure I did not misrepresent their voices in this research. I was originally apprehensive that no one would volunteer to participate. However, I was thoughts moved on to how I would fare in recruiting tutee volunteers and parent volunteers. Dr. Clark Dr. Clark acknowledged that graduate students had been given a plethora of information the previous week, and they would spend some time this evening answering questions and clearing up confusion. Dr. Clark would also provide class time for the graduate students to meet in their tutoring groups and begin to plan lessons for their tutoring sessions. Also, the larger group divided itself into two groups: reading students and writing students (i.e., students enrolled in the reading class met together, and students enrolled in the writing class met together). During these course-specific meetings, Dr. Clark asked the students enrolled in the Pra c t i c um in R e ading course to share their cloze passage assignment with another
126 guidelines and requirements Dr. Clark had previously issued. The graduate students enrolled in the writing course exchanged their memoir homework and critiqued one memoir, Dr. Clark and the doctoral students (including me) circled around the room, room, I reflected on what I had seen and heard during the first class session a week earlier, and what I was hearing and seeing during this class session, the second night of class. I reasoned the atypical structure of the summer literacy camp stressed out the graduate student tutors. They wondered how many children they would be responsible for tutoring. They wanted to know for what were they were planning (e.g., how man y Many of the graduate students indicated they did not have either the content knowledge or the practical knowledge to connect effectively reading and writing. Then, a few of the Pra c t i c um in R e ading students stated the course syllabus primarily dealt with teaching writing, not teaching reading, which is the course in which they were enrolled. As a researcher in this context, I did not answer the questions. Rather, I told the graduate students I was there as a researcher, and procedural or content questions should be directed to Dr. Clark or one of the graduate students whose job or volunteer assignment it was to assist with the summer literacy camp. I continued to circulate around the room, and I listened to other conversations. While I was doing so, I identified 5 graduate students who appeared to be engaged in their group discussions. I surmised they were actively engaged because they referred to
127 the combined course syllabus as they talked and the conversations I heard were not offtopic. From these 5 graduate students, I would decide which two of their groups I would observe during the tutoring sessions. My goal was to select 2 tutoring groups that included at leas t 1 graduate student tutor study participant. Both of the groups I selected to observe during the 6 weeks of tutoring comprised 2 graduate student tutors who would participate in the study and 2 tutee participants. After the groups spent about 20 minutes Dr. Clark Dr. Clark stated she was sure the graduate students wanted to know why she brought together 2 graduatelevel classes for a combined field experience. She responded with the following points: 1. Reading and writing are connected and should be connected. 2. Education majors need field-based experiences to practice their craft. 3. She wanted to place the university on the cutting edge of education research and course delivery. Dr. Clark had just declared. Ledoux, Thurlow, McHenry, Burns, and Prugh (2007) and Cuevas, Schumm, Mits-Cash, and Piloneta (2006) also acknowledge the challenge of simulating real-life practicum or internships for part-time graduate students. The majority of the graduate student tutors in CCPTP were full-time teachers and part-time graduate students. As Dr. Clark had promised the previous class period, the night end ed with a demonstration lesson. Dr. Clark inferences using the same Creole folktale. She continued discussions with Marissa (a
128 pseudonym, the 6-year old who participated in the demonstration lesson from the first class session) that ev ening, the second class session. Dr. Clark s methods included rich conversations with Marissa. Dr. Clark did not dictate what inferences Marissa should make. Rather, Dr. Clark talked with her and asked pertinent questions, often altering her line of questioning My son was not in class on the second night. Therefore, rather than continuing her lesson on critical literacy, Dr. Clark briefly lectured on the topic. Then, Dr. Clark assured community center. But, she also reminded them they should ask questions of her or any of the doctoral students while they we re planning and implementing their lessons. Dr. Clark that help would be available if and when they needed it. remained. I thanked them repeatedly for their willingness to help with my research. One I informed the graduate students my Institutional Review Board (IRB) application had been approved, but I did not yet have the stamped copy of the consent forms. I was fairly certain I would have the forms the following week, so I told the graduate students I would discuss the consent forms with them the next week, answer any other questions they might have, and each of us would sign the consent forms.
129 Th e Big Day ha s Arriv e d The big day had finally arrived. Graduate student tutors, doctoral student volunteers and researchers, grant-funded doctoral student researchers, the university course instructor, and I converged on the community center on Wednesday, June 11, 2008. As I drove into the parking lot, where there appeared to be ample parking for everyone, I noticed some graduate student tutors arriving carrying teaching supplies with them. (Several graduate students had already entered the community center building.) Some graduate student tutors carried teaching supplies in tote bags, whereas others relied on rolling computer bags and rolling crates and carts. Some graduate student tutors walked in groups. Other graduate students walked in alone. As I walked toward the building, I greeted two ladies whom I assumed were graduate student tutors. They assured me they were, but they did not know exactly where to go. I told them to follow me, and we entered the building together. When I entered the building, I noticed other tutors had also previously arrived or were arriving at that moment, but they had no idea where they should meet for class. (Graduate student tutors were told they would meet with Dr. Clark first, be addressed by a community center employee, then they would break away into their tutoring groups and begin assessing, then tutoring children.). I decided my role at that point should be to remain at the main entrance of the community center building and direct graduate -observer at CCPTP. I assisted whenever I saw a need I could fulfill without jeopardizing the integrity of my primary role as researcher. Eventually, another advanced graduate student arrived. Because there were now two of us who could help graduate student tutors with logistics,
130 the other graduate student made signs indicating in which direction graduate students role of guides until it was time for class to begin. The flurry of conversation did not subside once the majority of the graduate student tutors had loca knowing how this process would work, difficulty locating the facility, positive surprise attractive appearance and upkeep, and not knowing what was expected of them as tut I could not help but wonder how these professional educators would navigate this community-based field experience and whether they had been given enough information in the 2 class sessions prior to coming to the community center. Perhaps reviewing the works of Cuevas et al (2006) and Ledoux et al. (2007) might provide an understanding rom the university to a community setting. Class began as scheduled at 9:00 a.m. Dr. Clark led an opening discussion in which she welcomed graduate students to the community center. She then reminded the of events (which would remain essentially the same for each week of tutoring). From 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., graduate student tutors met in a whole-group setting with Dr. Clark, graduate student researchers, and volunteers. During the whole-group sessions, Dr. Clark would lecture, facilitate group discussions, provide the questions, and allow time (if possible) for graduate student tutors to meet in their tutoring
131 groups before tutees arrived for tutoring sessions. Then, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m., graduate student tutors met with tutees in their tutoring groups and reconvened as a whole group from 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m., with dismissal from the course at 1:00 p.m. During this first whole-group session at the community center, graduate student tutors randomly Dr. Clark fielded questions, one after another. During her responses, Dr. Clark attempted graduate students would be there to answer any questions and resolve any problems that might arise. Dr. Clark also informed the graduate student tutors that some confusion was normal because this was the first day of tutoring. She assured them that as they worked through subsequent weeks of tutoring, the confusion would subside and they would have had one of the most meaningful professional experiences of their careers. Sensing her class with Dr. Clark in which she and her classmates tutored at the community center, ra ised her hand, was acknowledged by Dr. Clark, and spoke up and explained how the tutoring sessions were to be structured. As I watched other graduate students during the Then, more questions surfaced. Many of the questions were the same or very similar to the questions graduate students posed during the 2 previous class meetings that had been held on the university campus. Dr. Clark assured the graduate student tutors that within the broad guidelines for the tutoring sessions, they had autonomy to decide what kinds of lessons and activities (e.g., singing, dancing, playing musical instruments, parading)
132 would be most beneficial for the elementary and middle school students in their individual tutoring groups. Dr. Clark s reminded graduate students to do their best, to ask questions (which she would always answer), and to take responsibility for planning lessons and implementing lessons. In the Dr. Clark also reminded graduate student tutors they were to work collaboratively. They were not to work individually and then connect their individual work. Amber (a pseudonym), an employee at the community center, welcomed everyone to the facility and thanked everyone for being willing to work with the children from the community. Amber assured all tutors, doctoral students, and Dr. Clark their efforts do not go unnoticed. Amber played a short video that described the history of the community center and the many programs offered there. After the video presentation, Amber introduced Marlene (a pseudonym), Director of Community Affairs for the community center. Marlene welcomed everyone on behalf of the state senator who conceived the idea of the community center in that area of the city. Marlene also let everyone know how appreciative she was for the relationship the community center continued to have with the College of Education. She also indicated she knew many children had been helped and they continued to be helped because of the relationship between the community center and the College of Education. After having participated in the whole group discussion led by Dr. Clark and being welcomed by the community center personnel, Dr. Clark dismissed the graduate student tutors. Their tasks upon dismissal were to meet with their respective tutoring
133 group members, continue planning for their first tutoring session, and secure a meeting place for tutoring. They were to return to the large meeting room at approximately 9:50 a.m. to meet and greet their tutees. The graduate students began to disperse and explore the grounds of the community center. When tutors came upon empty rooms, empty hall space, an open deck, and empty rotunda space, they claimed a location within the community center as theirs for tutoring. Neither one of the community center employees who addressed the group of graduate student tutors, doctoral students, or Dr. Clark, indicated any room in the community center was off-limits for tutoring. We would discover in subsequent weeks, however, that there were rooms that were not supposed to be used for tutoring. As Dr. Clark approximately 9:50 a.m. to meet their tutees. The community center camp personnel ushered campers into the large meeting room. What happened next can only be described Dr. Clark knew what was going on, and those of us who had either assisted Dr. Clark in the past or had taught a class at the community center -lived, tutors would settle into their roles as tutors, and tutees would learn in a happy, well-supported environment. But, for the newcomer, I concluded it appeared that everything was out of order and no one knew what was happening. As I looked around the room, I saw frowns on the faces of several graduate student tutors. I noticed another graduate student tutor shaking her head Dr. Clark asked each of them to what grade they had been promoted. After the child responded, Dr. Clark
134 assigned the elementary or middle school student to a tutoring group of graduate student tutors whose preference was to work with a particular grade level. One group of graduate student tutors was disappointed, however, because they expected to tutor high school students, and had planned for a group of high school students. However, the tutees enrolled in the summer literacy camp included students in kindergarten through eighth grade no high school students. To my knowledge, there had never been high school students enrolled in CCPTP. Based on conversations with Dr. Clark, there was speculation, however, that this year would be different. The process of assigning tutees to tutoring groups lasted approximately 10 minutes. Once Dr. Clark had assigned al l tutees to a tutoring group, groups of tutors and tutees assembled at their previously claimed tutoring location. As tutors and tutees explored and became familiar with their surroundings, I had a few moments to process what I had just seen. Through my observations, I concluded neither the community center summer camp personnel nor the tutees themselves realized tutoring would start on this particular Wednesday. Tutees and the community center camp counselors appeared to be confused. They had been abruptly taken away from their typical community center activities. I made myself a mental note to ask this question of the summer camp personnel and tutees. During oneon -one interviews, all of the children indicated they did not know they would be attending tutoring that day. C.D., a 10year [summer camp counselors] just told us we had to go to tutoring and they brought us Wednesday, but did not realize tutoring would begin on t hi s Wednesday. A lack of
135 Perhaps, all elementary and middle school children who attend the all-day programs at the community center could have been assigned to a group prior to the university students arriving. Groups of tutors delivered their reading and writing lessons in the adjoining meeting rooms, in the rotunda, in the hallway adjacent to the meeting rooms, in the science classroom, in the music classroom, in the gymnasium, and on the stage. Because of the logistics of observing all of the tutoring groups, I decided to observe primarily the 2 tutoring groups I previously identified. I would divide my time weekly to observing the 2 groups (i.e., I would observe 1 group for 1 hour, then observe the other group for 1 hour), but rotating around to all of the groups at the beginning of the tutoring sessions and again towards the end of the tutoring session to notice similarities and differences among groups. I allowed the groups a few minutes to settle into their chosen tutoring location. Then, I circulated around the community center building, being mindful to remember the 1 group meeting behind the stage. Their location was somewhat remote. I made a conscience effort to make sure I visited every group. I wanted to develop a sense of how much consistency there was among tutoring groups. After all, Dr. Clark had laid out some specific guidelines each group must follow. She did, however, encourage autonomy for tutors to add their own flair to the lessons (See page 130). On the first day of tutoring, I observed individual graduate student tutors administration of an IRI was one of the deliverables required of the students in the Pra c t i c um in R e ading course, and was outlined in the combined course syllabus, along
136 other graduate student tutors in the groups engaged tutees not participating in an IRI. In 2 groups, I noticed graduate student tutors improvising activities (e.g., a graduate student tutor and a tutee tossing a ball back and forth and tutees drawing pictures unrelated to a reading and/or writing lesson). I later learned tutors did this because they did not realize administering the IRI would be such a lengthy process, and they were ill prepared to occupy other tutees for more than 30 minutes while one or two tutees in each group participated in the IRI administration. I confirmed this was the case in individual interviews with graduate student tutors and in the debriefing session Dr. Clark conducted later that day. During the tutoring sessions, I also noticed tutees and graduate student tutors using the dialogue journals as Dr. Clark had instructed. Graduate student tutors had written generic welcome letters to the tutees. The letters could not be personalized during the first tutoring session because tutors did not know which tutees would be in their tutoring groups. Tutees responded to the welcome notes in the dialogue journal. The graduate student tutors used many variations of interest inventories. One group used bubbles as a way to encourage students to talk about themselves and their interests. One at a time, tutees blew bubbles. The tutees then talked about themselves (e.g., likes, dislikes, hobbies, families, pets) until all bubbles had disappeared. Another group used a beach ball game to accomplish the same task. The beach ball in this interest inventory was plastered with interest inventory questions. As the ball was tossed to tutees in the group, the tutee had to answer the question closest to his or her right hand after having caught the beach ball. Additionally, tutees engaged in read-alouds and independent reading while their peers completed the IRIs.
137 The first week of tutoring was not limited to observing the tutoring session and interviewing tutor participants afterwards. Rather, the first week of tutoring also included recruiting tutee and parent study participants. As described in Chapter 3, I planned to use the criterion-sampling scheme to select tutee participants. I could not pre-select tutee participants because I did not know which children would be present to participate in the tutoring program. My experiences from previous years in CCPTP indicated some reasons for not knowing which children might participate: 1. Children might be enrolled in the community center all-day programs but not participate in the tutoring program. 2. Students might only attend the community center programs in the afternoons. 3. Students arrive at the community center at approximately 11:00 a.m. and miss more than one half of the tutoring session. My original selection criteria were: 1. Tutees who had not previously participated in CCPTP 2. Tutees who were at least 8 years old 3. Tutees who demonstrated the ability to verbalize their thoughts and opinions (based on information from tutors, parents and program administr at ors as we 4. Tutees who demonstrated characteristics of struggling readers (based on initial assessments administered by the tutors, information from parents, or information from the community center personnel) 5. African American students
138 If I could not readily identify tutees who met the selection criteria, I planned to use snowball sampling as a means to recruit tutees, to which I did resort. As soon as the elementary and middle school students entered the main different from what I had known it to be from my previous work in CCPTP. Based on initial observations, I thought there were not enough African American tutees in the population of CCPTP from which to select study participants (i.e., The limited number of African American students in the population might lead to a situation in which not 100% of tutee participants would be African American). Then, once I spoke with individual gra duate student tutors, I also noted many of the tutees performed at or above grade level and writing samples. Quickly, I realized the criterion sampling scheme I originally designed would not work for this study. Then, I consulted my co-major professors. They understood situations might change once the researcher is in the field so they indicated I could continue with the study and use my secondary method of tutee recruitment, snowball sampling. My co-major professors also indicated I should discuss this matter with the methodologist on my dissertation committee, which I did. He, too, agreed and I was granted permission to move forward. As I began to talk with the community center summer camp personnel, I found an ally to assist me with tutee and parent recruitment. Carolyn (a pseudonym) was an undergraduate student at the same university I attended. She worked at the community center while she matriculated at the university. In addition, she had taken an undergraduate literacy methods course in which she partnered with CCPTP to tutor
139 children there. Carolyn indicated which parents she thought might agree to allow their child/children to participate in the study, and who might also like to participate themselves. Carolyn made several phone calls for me, talked with parents on my behalf, efforts, yielded 10 tutee-participants and 6 parent-participants. Of the 10 tuteeparticipants, one half of them met 3 of the 5 original recruitment criteria. That is, 5 tuteeparticipants were African American, 8 years old or older, and could articulate adequately their thoughts and opinions. They were not, however, struggling readers. Also, these study participants had previously participated in CCPTP. The remaining study participants comprised one 6year -old African American male, one 7year -old African American male, one 11year -old Hispanic female, and 2 White males (9 year s old and 6 year s old). Only 1 was a below-average reader. Likewise, these remaining five tutee participants had also previously participated in CCPTP although my original criteria dictated tutee-participants had not previously participated in CCPTP. Circumstances did not allow for tutee-participants who had not previously participated in CCPTP. There were willing to participate in the study. Although I had reached a milestone by securing 10 tutor-participants to assist in this study, I quickly realized interviewing them would be a challenge. Although I had been granted permission to allow two other doctoral students to assist in interviewing, I understood I needed to interview tutors first (before tutee participants) after each tutoring session because they were only at the community center once per week and interviewing tutors on site at the community center might be more conducive to their schedules. Most
140 of the tutees, on the other hand, attended all-day programs 5 days per week at the community center so I could conceivably interview tutees in the afternoons. Therefore, I made a decision to interview tutors first, and then interview tutees. After the first 2-hour tutoring session was over, the graduate student tutors and Dr. Clark reviewed her discoveries with tutors. These were discoveries she made upon walking around the community center and observing tutoring sessions. She indicated what tutors had performed well and commented on some procedural components to which tutors needed to pay more attention. Then, Dr. Clark briefly lectured on the differences between strategies and best practices. Throughout this discussion, she referred back to a packet of materials she had prepared e were primarily to use during their time at the community center. Dr. Clark was pleased that the first tutoring session had gone so well. In fact, she indicated she would have liked for other professors from the university to be there to see exactly what goes on at the community center. While Dr. Clark spoke, I gazed around the room to see the reactions of some of the graduate student tutors who had volunteered to participate in this research. I noticed one student looking directly at Dr. Clark as she spoke. Another graduate student indicated she expected all kids in the summer literacy camp to be struggling readers. She found this was not the case. Then, the tutor realized as a parent herself, she would probably enroll her son in a program like this although he is not a struggling reader. She also indicated she was disappointed because she and members of her group did not have an opportunity to do everything they had planned. One graduate student tutor who worked with
141 kindergarten students during the camp was pleased she and her group were able to keep ties, so they could now because she and members of her group expected to tutor high schoolers. When they arrived at the camp, they learned there were no high school students there. So, they would have to tutor 9year -old students. But, members of that group learned the 9year -old tutees were very cooperative and performed above where the tutors expected them to perform academically. The graduate student tutors who expected to tutor high-school students conceded the activities they had planned were probably not the best ones for the 9-year old students because they had planned for high school students. But, this tutor said, Everything worked out well in the end. Two tutors raised the issue of time management. They did not realize the assessments would consume so much of their tutoring time, so they could not undertake other activities because they needed to be certain they completed all the assessments during the first week of tutoring (per Dr. Clark s instructions). Finally, another graduate student tutor was pleased to learn she now understood what the program was all about. She also reported children controlled the talk in her tutoring group. To her, this was extremely important, and she hoped this way of communicating would continue for the remaining weeks of tutoring and beyond. In fact, she hoped to foster this kind of environment in her own classroom. Th e Communiti e s of Int e r e s t During her discussions with graduate student tutors for the first 3 weeks of this program (2 weeks in the classroom-only setting on the university campus and 1 week of tutoring children), Dr. Clark suggested graduate student tutors would find themselves
142 involved in several different relationships in which they would often assume different roles. She surmised by working together in communities of interest, the graduate student tutors might learn valuable lessons from their peers. Jensen and Tuten (2007) learned similar lessons when they mov university-based reading clinic to a community-based afterschool program. After this first week of tutoring, I began to see the various relationships take shape and solidify. The graduate student tutors had been charged with establishing relationships with one another, with their course instructor, and with the tutees they were to tutor in CCPTP. One of my jobs in the research was to determine how tutors negotiated each of those relationships while learning the course content for the course(s) in which they were enrolled while, at the same time, delivering quality reading and writing instruction to elementary and middle school students at CCPTP. Most graduate student tutors were enrolled in only one of the graduate-level courses, but a few of them were dual-enrolled in both courses. Through my conversations with tutors, conversations with Dr. Clark, and direct observations, I learned the tutors were involved in 6 different relationships (i.e., they were members of 6 different communities of interest within the larger CCPTP community of interest). First, tutors were positioned as graduate students who participated in whole group lessons and discussions. In this community, graduate student tutors participated in joint whole-group lessons (i.e., both reading students and writing students met together). Second, tutors participated in whole-group lessons specific to the course in which they were enrolled (i.e., Dr. Clark alternated meeting with reading students only or writing students only). These are the second and third communities: all
143 reading students, and all writing students. The fourth community to which tutors belonged was a two-person community, a one-on-one relationship with Dr. Clark. The one-on-one relationship was fostered through weekly email communications between Dr. Clark and each graduate student tutor. Each week, tutors were required to email reflections about their tutoring session directly to Dr. Clark, who personally responded via email to each graduate student tutor. When she considered the one-on-one community between herself and each graduate student tutor, Dr. Clark commented during my first interview with her: -onone, mean The fifth community in which tutors were involved was the tutoring group community. In this community, a group of graduate student tutors (from both the reading course and the writing course) collaborated to provide literacy lessons to a group of elementary and/or middle school students. Sixth, within the tutoring group community, each graduate student also created a partnership with another tutor who was enrolled in the opposite course (i.e., a student enrolled in the reading course partnered with a student enrolled in the writing course). The following (Figure 4.1) is a visual depiction of the 6 relationships in which the graduate student tutors were engaged.
144 Figure 4.1. Tutor Relationships. Each circle represents a different community of interest in which graduate student tutors were members during the summer literacy camp. The larger center circle represents all graduate student tutors enrolled in either Pra c t i c um in R e ading or Wri t e r s and Wri t ing: Tr e nd s and I ssu e s, or both. Seeking Student (Graduate Student Tutors) with each graduate student tutor 1. All degree seeking students 3. Reading students with reading students 4. Writing students with writing students 6. Tutoring Groups (a combination of reading/writing pairs) 5. Reading/Writing Partnership within tutoring grou ps
145 I concluded that CCPTP operates as a community of interest with several smaller communities embedded into the larger community. How the community of interest operates is a question that permeates all other research questions because CCPTP is a dynamic program. Operations are subject to change as new elementary and/or middle school students enroll, as tutees stop attending the program, as tutors are absent or tardy, or as the course instructor reflects and decides to change some aspect of the program. Therefore, the answer to the question How do e s t h e CCPTP op e ra t e is also answered along with the other research questions. In the next section, I respond to the second research question. The second research question I sought to explore was: How do s e l ec t e d t u t or s who t u t or e d c hildr e n in CCPTP e xp e ri e n ce and p e r ce iv e t h e program? I use pseudonyms to identify graduate student tutors. I determined how 10 graduate student tutors experienced and perceived the program by interviewing the selected tutors after each tutoring session, by conducting member checks after each interview, and by direct observations of the 2 class sessions before tutoring began and observations of the 6 tutoring sessions at the community center. In my proposal, I indicated I would select 10 graduate students to participate in this collective case study. Initially, 12 graduate student tutors indicated they would participate in the study. However, 2 graduate student tutors who originally stated they would like to participate withdrew their participation because th ey did not realize they were required to participate in an interview after each tutoring session, for a total of 6 interviews. I used either email or follow-up communication in person or on the phone to conduct member checks. During the member checks I followed
146 up with participants to determine whether I interpreted accurately their experiences and perceptions. When I list quotations from study participants, I indicate which comments were clarified through member checks versus obtained through the original interviews. I thought it was important to understa backgrounds. Therefore, I include Table 4.1, a Checklist Matrix that describes some characteristics of the graduate student tutors. Graduate Student Tutor Education Teaching Experience (years) Race or Ethnicity 1. A.G. Data not available Data not available Caucasian 2. B.B. B.S., Anthropology 1 Caucasian 3. B.P. B.S., Speech/Language Pathology 0 Direct Teaching Exp., 20+ years as a speech/language pa thologist in school settings Caucasian 4. E.H. B.S., Elem. Ed. 1 Caucasian 5. J.F. B.S., Elem. Ed, A.A., Medical Asst. A.C., Computer Information Systems 4 Caucasian 6. M.B. B.S., Elem. Ed., Final program 1 Caucasian 7. M.D. B.S., Special Education 11 Caucasian 8. M.G. 12 Caucasian 9. S.C. B.S., Elem. Ed., Final program 10 Caucasian 10. S.T. B.S., Psychology 2 Caucasian Tabl e 4 1 Checklist Matrix: Identification of Graduate Student Tutors. In this checklist matrix, I identify pertinent characteristics of each graduate student tutor where available. When data were not available, an error was made by either one of the interviewers and the information was not obtained.
147 F e ar and Tr e pidation During the first 2 weeks of the tutoring program, graduate student tutors expressed fear and trepidation. Their fears were expressed as paraphrased comments were made during whole group discussions by graduate student tutors who did not participate directly in the study but who were aware of my role as researcher at CCPTP. To maintain the integrity of this research, I did not discuss graduate student tutor interviews with Dr. Clark during the data collection stage. We did not discuss the issues until the data analysis phase of the research, during which time Dr. Clark s role was that of co-major professor, not course instructor and summer literacy camp director. However, when I interviewed Dr. Clark, she expressed a similar sentiment about the graduate novices who have never taught before, they have never gone into the experience, they were a nervous wreck [referring to previous summer literacy camps in which preservice teachers were tutors]. Well these people [graduate student tutors] were a nervous wreck too and they were worried about all sorts of things that didn tutoring session]. Seven of the 10 tutors (70%) expressed fear and trepidation during the first 2 weeks of the tutoring program. The tutor interviews conducted during the first 2 weeks of the tutoring program yielded a total of 140 coded items. Of these coded items for the first 2 weeks of tutor interviews, 19 coded items (13%) related to fear and trepidation. The
148 140 coded items addressed many different issues, some of which emerged as individual themes. Therefore, I think it is important to understand how many tutors experienced and/or perceived fear and trepidation because my job as researcher is to represent their words and actions throughout the summer literacy camp. I categorized the fears (using the method of constant comparison) the tutors expressed during the first 2 weeks of tutoring into 4 distinct subthemes: Fear of not getting it right Fear of the unknown Fear of collaboration Fear of the physical location for tutoring F e ar of not g e tting it right. Four graduate student tutors (40%) worried they -theme represent 4% of all coded items for the first 2 weeks of tutoring. One graduate student tutor made 2 different comments during 2 worried they would not meet the requirements of their graduate school course. They also while attempting to meet the needs of the like the following: as far as her [Dr. Clark s] assessment of us. Because again, when it comes down to it, we (J.F. ). J.F. was concerned about Dr. Clark s assessment of her performance and her
149 about what was in the best interest of the elementary and middle school tutees. Rather, satisfactory grade in the course : ( B.B. ). B.B. was concerned about whether she woul had never taught 9 year olds before. B.B. is a middle school teacher and expected to tutor hildren she would tutor rather than on her ability to adapt to the circumstances in which she found herself at CCPTP. present to the kids. I expected to have tough children and disrespectful children. Instead I got umm respectful kids who were here to learn. (M.G.) of her teaching persona. Her previous teaching experiences taught her she needed to adjust her personality for different teaching situations. This time, she wanted to make only had 6 B.P. noted that (B.P. ). plan, plan, understood this, but was concerned that in the
150 context of working in collaborative groups, they might not have ample time to get the planning right, and that would impede on their performance as a community of interest. led me to surmise she considered arranging meeting times in which members of the tutoring group could meet and plan for tutoring sessions, but arranging such meetings might be of 9 graduate student tuto rs (M.G. ). M.G. internalized what she had seen and heard in the 2 class sessions prior to the tutoring sessions at the the community center. Based on these observations, 6-week tutoring program. Instead of considering each week of the tutoring program separately by planning for it, implementing it, then reflecting on it, M.G. considered the 6-week program in its entirety, which appeared to overwhelm her and cause fear about her ability A.G. stated the following: time to accomplish everything we desire, and I am worried that our students may not not charge. She was uncertain about whether or not the time they had been given for tutoring would be enough time to make a difference for the tutees to whom she had been assigned this summer. Through conversations with previous tutors at CCPTP and the course oring sessions at the community center, A.G. worried she would show up for tutoring each Wednesday morning and there would not be
151 enough children for her group of tutors to help with reading and writing. Although A.G. not not having enough time to accomplish everything), her fear indicated something else. That is, if the tutees did not show up, the tutors would not have an opportunity to meet the requirements for the course(s). F e ar of th e unknown. The second fear highlighted through interviews of the graduate student tutors was fear of the unknown. Most graduate student tutors had not previously engaged in a field-based graduate-level literacy methods course (based on direct conversations with graduate student tutors who participated in the research and the comments some graduate students made during their whole class discussions with Dr. Clark). Also, most tutors had not been given as much autonomy in their teaching careers as they were given in this field-based experience. Overall, graduate student tutors did not know what to expect of this program. They were often very vocal about their concerns. S.C. made this comment after the first tutoring session. Other tutors also made comments reflecting their fears of the unknown. Four tutors (40%), including S.C., expressed fear of the unknown. These comments represented 3% of all coded items for the first 2 weeks of tutoring. One tutor commented about fear of the unknown 2 different times: because so many, one (B.P. ). m. None of the tutors knew any of the tutees. So, the tutors wondered if their personalities would
152 react to them. After all, on some levels, the tutors were interfering with the tutees typical day at camp. In this one comment, B.P. lumped all of her concerns together, levels of uncertaint t exactly to expect. (M.D.) For me, probably it would be the lack of structure, like the unexpected. I tend to get a little stressed because I like to have clarity about things or at leas t have an idea. So that complete unknown is probably the least appealing thing [about the summer literacy camp] for me. (J.F.) During a different interview, J.F. again expressed fear of the unknown. She stated, I am concerned about the unknown factor with regard to the children and parents. You never know what to expect, especially when you are coming into territory that is uncertain. Through interviews and listening to J.F. respond during class, I learned J.F. had not previously participated in a field-based methods course. She was concerned with the when she showed up at the community center on the first day of tutoring. And, she did not know the academic levels of the students she would tutor. This concerned J.F. as well. Most of the graduate student tutors had never participated in a field-based methods course before (either during their undergraduate studies or their graduate
153 studies). Their fears of the unknown were based on their own prior experiences as students. They did not know what to expect and they did not have any prior practical experiences with field-based methods courses. However, I did hypothesize that because the majority of the graduate student tutors involved in CCPTP were experienced educators, they would adapt well to a new environment, considering the adaptations educators make throughout their careers (e.g., new administration; different groups of children each school year; changes in curriculum; changes in local, state, and federal government mandates). I learned that was not the case, however. Due to the fear some graduate student tutors experienced during the first 2 weeks of tutoring, they were unable to remain flexible with their plans and implementation of their plans. F e ar of Collaboration. Six of the 10 graduate student tutors (60%) feared the collaboration aspect of the course, representing 4% of all coded items in the first 2 weeks of tutor interviews. Through my interviews with them as well as via informal conversations during the tutoring sessions, I learned most of the tutor participants had experienced classroom teaching situations in which they were isolated in their own classrooms, often participating in team meetings to discuss collaboration, but never actually collaborating on their teams. The fear of collaboration among graduate student tutors was exemplified by the following statements: 8 different minds coming together um to make a plan and I (M.G.) There are 7 of us. There are 8 coordinate. I have never really had the experience of collaborating with ( B.B. )
154 I think, just time [is the missing element], and figuring out how 7 adults are going to work together. I am more concerned about working with a large group of teachers, seeing how our personalities will interact and if anyone will take on a dominating leadership role. (M.D. ; member check) I have many thoughts and concerns about the organization of our all-toobrief two-hour time with the students and about working out effectiv e (B.P.) I have been processing through the last two weeks with my own fears, my own sense of confidence as a teacher, my own honest evaluation of how good of a team player am I, which I have to question. Because I do wonder. I do think sometimes mine is the best way. ( SC ; member check) But it is a challenge when you are working with people, people with (A.G.) These 6 graduate student tutors were concerned about how well groups of graduate students would work together. Their fears encompassed areas like individual personalities, self-evaluation, and busy schedules. S.C. was particularly astute at looking inward and thinking about her own abilities to collaborate with other educators. She did Dr. Clark set up the course as a community of interest, collaboration was always a primary concern and a requirement for the graduate student tutors. Collaboration was a part of the combined course syllabus, again, indicating how important collaboration was to the
155 Although in my role as researcher and Dr. Clark summer literacy camp director we did not discuss our thoughts and observations, Dr. Clark also identified an issue with collaboration, which appeared to be based on more assertive graduate student tutors sharing control with other members of the tutoring community. Dr. Clark observed: problems. There are some outspoken people and some introverts and the outspoken people who are leaders and who take control ummm and then how they [extroverts] are playing a part in that themselves. They need to become better collaborators. F e ar of th e phy s i c al lo c ation. Graduate students also were fearful of the physical location of the community center. Although only three (30%) of the graduate student tutors expressed fear of the physical location for tutoring, I thought this was an important issue to include as a subtheme. When I previously supervised teacher candidates during 1 or 2 of 3 required internships, I heard teacher candidates discuss their fears about completing their internships in inner-city schools. They thought they were illequipped and unprepared to teach in urban settings, and expressed a fear of failure and a fear of personal safety. When compared to the total number of items coded for the first 2 weeks of tutor interviews, fear of the physical location represented 2% of the total codes. During my observations of the tutoring sessions and my informal conversations with other graduate student tutors, I heard similar comments about the physical location of the field-based practicum experience. After having seen the community center for the
156 first time, many graduate student tutors expressed surprise when they encountered the state-of-theart community center building. As I discussed in Chapter 1, the community center is located in the heart of an urban area of a large southeastern city. Some graduate students were concerned about whether or not the facility could accommodate them. They wondered how much space they would have to set up their materials and work with the tutees. Other graduate students were concerned simply because they had never visited that particular area of town in general or the community center building in particular. My that some graduate student tutors were fearful because the location was a low-income area of the city, known for incidents of crime, as reported by local news outlets. Some graduate student tutors expressed their fear of the physical location this way: Being that I had never been here [the community center area], it was really hard. That was part of the stress. Like had I known what the buildin g looked like, what kinds of rooms were available to us. Was it a place You know, had I known those things that would be something I would not have to be so stressed out about. (J.F. ; member check) had never been to this facility before. Ummm I guess I was just worried (A.G.) I was thinking this area [geographical area], and I was thinking what I re level and in that respect, I can honestly say that I think that was part of it
157 that was part of the reason why people were making assumptions. Umm, associating economic issues with a generalized area. (S.C.) Confu s ion and Working Thing s Out Between Weeks 2 and 3 elementary and middle school students), tutors began to recognize some of the confusion that might prevent them from having the best learning experience and providing the best tutoring situation for the elementary and middle school tutees. With recognition of both their fears and confusions, tutors (individually, in the reading/writing pairs, and within the tutoring groups) began to take measures to work through their fears and confusions. Tutors were confused about sharing the tutoring responsibilities with their peers and the challenges of engaging all tutors in the tutoring sessions. I coded 110 data chunks during Weeks 2 and 3 these weeks. Five tutors (50%) talked about their sense of confusion, as follows: Last week we had a kind of g e n e ral idea of who was doing what but nobody stood up and took the initiative. (J.F.) Last time we were all kind of jumping in. We all wanted to do everything. ( B.B. ) used to contributing. (M.D.) (B.P.) Communications diminished [after Week 1]. It was, it was lacking from (S.C. ; member check)
158 The graduate student tutors recognized what they had been doing was not collaboration at all. They also seemed to understand they had not planned sufficiently for their tutoring sessions. Instead of collaborating with their peers, it appeared graduate student tutors were working individually, which caused confusion when they attempted to deliver reading and writing lessons. In addition, (based on both interviews and direct observations) because they had not planned adequately, the lessons did not flow smoothly and the tutors sometimes talked over one another and contradicted each other during the tutoring sessions. As graduate student tutors became more accustomed to working with one another and began to understand the level of collaboration required of them, they recognized issues that might have been hindering thei of ways to make their tutoring groups work more as a cohesive team rather than as a splintered effort of individual graduate students. This phenomenon primarily occurred during week 3 of the tutoring program. Graduate student tutors shared some of their views about learning to collaborate within the tutoring groups. I do not attribute the comments here to any particular graduate student tutor because the comments were made during whole group sessions that were not audiotaped. All graduate student tutors were aware of my role as researcher at the summer literacy camp Also, I wished to hear a variety of views about learning to collaborate within the tutoring groups. First, graduate student tutors made general comments about learning to Another graduate student tutor realized it was okay to ask for help because members of
159 her group were available to provide the help she needed. A graduate student tutor who had taught special education for more than 10 years indicated the experience of the summer literacy camp was the first time in her career she had truly collaborated with peers. She remarked that as a special educator, she had been isolated and unable to collaborate. become. As an addition to that comment, someone else remarked that members of her s could be the most poignant comments was made during the Week 4 whole group discussion when In addition to the general comments about collaboration, several graduate student tutors shared specific strategies their groups used to collaborate more effectively and efficiently. The leader (as determined by group members) of the group that did not seem to experience issues with collaboration shared that their group met once after the first inclass session to plan the entire summer. Other tutoring groups learned to use technology to their advantage. In one group, specif so group members could communicate and plan between tutoring sessions. Sensing that collaboration was not occurring in her group, another graduate student tutor initiated telephone calls and emails to individual group members and to the entire group to determine ways they might work
160 better together and design a schedule suitable to all group members for meeting away from the community center. Interviews with graduate student tutors also revealed specific ways some groups learned to collaborate. The strategies mentioned during individual interviews were the same or similar to collaboration strategies mentioned during the whole group settings. Comments included the following: We collaborate through emails with the whole group and then when it comes to actual lesson plans we talk on the phone and email and share the final with the group and get any feedback from them. (S.T.) We are meeting after class every week ummm for an extra hour or so. (M.G.) sessions and by email by general emails to the whole group some of us are communicating with each other by phone. (A.G.) We collaborate via email and phone calls. (M.D.) During Week 3, I identified 71different data codes. Eight percent of the Week 3 for the tutoring sessions. Seven tutors (70%) getting to know their peers. Again, note where 2 quotes are attributable to one tutor, the quotes were recorded during 2 different interviews. Planning. From the first meeting at the College of Education, Dr. Clark reminded graduate student tutors that planning would be a large factor in their success as literacy
161 tutors in this context. Some graduate student tutors did not hee the initial 1-3 weeks of tutoring. Many of them learned that planning really did make a difference, and they learned to collaborate with one another and plan for more effective, efficient teaching and learning. [the class book]. A.G. We umm are taking turns. The reading and writing partner each will do 6 people in the group and we just figured out that we each have 2 lessons and we collaborate through emails with the whole group. S.T. We learned from our first experience and got our timing down and also umm designated time allotments that we were going to keep to and one of them [a tutor] was a time manager. B.P. So this week we decided we would have an assigned role that person would lead that part of the lesson and the rest of us would bite our tongue and it seemed to work out a lot better. M.D. So we changed our planning and our outlook because the writing people have some requirements that they need to get in. M.G. (member check) We are meeting after class every week ummm so for an extra half hour or s it goes a lot smoother. B.B.
162 I reached out there more so then by my emails and I made more of an effort to put out questions and confirm some things and to get some compliments on ideas and you know I was trying to elicit some more response. S.C. (member check) After the first and second tutoring sessions, many of the graduate student tutors began to understand Dr. Clark s student tutors realized they had not planned enough and inadequate planning led to unwanted results during the tutoring sessions. Therefore, during Weeks 2 to 3, graduate student tutors began to recognize their failures and make a more concerted effort to plan G e tting To Know You When Dr. Clark introduced graduate student tutors to the detailed course requirements, they expressed fear and trepidation during the first 2 class sessions and then throughout the first 2 tutoring sessions. Then, the graduate student tutors began to learn about their tutoring partners and other members of their tutoring expertise and began to utilize those areas of expertise during various facets of planning and implementation. Knowing one another better led graduate student tutees to true collaboration versus the splintered efforts in which they engaged during the first 2 to 3 tutoring sessions. Five graduate student tutors (50%) seemed to understand that getting to know the other graduate student tutors in their communities of interest, and their strengths and weaknesses, would benefit the entire community as they sought to deliver quality reading and writing instruction to the tutees for whom they were responsible. This discovery was made primarily during Week 3 of the tutoring sessions when I assigned 71
163 data codes. The G e tt ing t o Know You comments represent approximately 6% of the total codes for Week 3. The graduate student tutors indicated getting to know their fellow tu tors in the following ways: So this time we assigned very specific duties to each person and that lot smoother. (B.B.) I felt like we started to figure out how to work as a group a little bit and we realized some things that were not working well. (S.C.) Last week we started to learn more about each other and I realized how (A.G.) What I really uhh was the most rewarding in a way was my colleagues supporting me. (M.G.) I know my group members now. We trust one another. So, we work better together. (E.H.) Collaboration Whereas Weeks 2 and 3 marked periods of confusion and working things out for the graduate student tutors, Weeks 4 through 6 were evidence of the tutors having worked through their confusions and differences and having arrived at a point where they recognized what collaboration looked like in this community of interest context. They collaborated better with their peers, and they acknowledged the benefit(s) of this model of collaboration. I coded 42 pieces of data during this time period. The smaller number (compared to previous weeks) is due to the fact that during Weeks 5 and 6, tutors often repeated comments they had previously made during Week 4. The 12 comments
164 represented here account for 29% of the total codes for Weeks 4 through 6. Eight (80%) of the graduate student tutors characterized their experiences with collaboration in the following ways: best 6 weeks we can. But before things were just swirling about sense of order, than that third session. And my group was better. I went to manage our time more effectively and how to move or transition from one experience to another. (S.C. ; member check) we met in class, I was like this is going to be difficult and a mess and o work right. And then once we started meeting things. (B.B.) I think at this point we have all taken a leadership role like we all at some point become the leader and not even so m responsibility and we are all accepting some kind of responsibility for something, making the group run in a more cohesive manner. (J.F.)
165 I feel more comfortabl (A.G.) It was the actual direct collaboration and the meetings and actually talking our session. Some really great things happened this session that were (S.C.) We were more prepared as to what to expect. My team worked more cohesive. (M.G. ) So last week, first week we had a very tough nine-person collaboration. It was just frustrating and then the second week we had five people, which is a better number for collaborating. So we gelled more I think as a group. (B.P.) think because we planned and collaborated a little bit more. We are collaborating really well. We seem to gel a little. (M.D.) as a group because we were off sort of individualizing. We started to figure out how to work as a group a little bit and we realized some things that were not working well. (B.P.)
166 We were on the edge of that moment [full collaboration] then it became clear as it was going on so my team we were all working off of one an other recognizing teachable moments and how the routine should evolve. (S.C. ; member check) if everyone e implementing that strategy within a particular time period of the 2(S.C.) Last time we were all kind of jumping in. We all wanted to do everything. So this time we assigned very specific duties to each person and that helped the flow a lot. ( B.B. ) The graduate student tutors like the preservice teachers and graduate students who previously tutored in CCPTP under Dr. Clark s direction, reached a point during their time as a tutoring team when they understood what degree of collaboration was expected and required of them (Richards et al., 2007a, 2007b ; Richards & Shea, 2006). The collaborative efforts might be attributed to 2 different factors. First, Dr. Clark emphasized collaboration throughout the course. In fact, it was expected of students enrolled in the course because the graduate student tutors worked in a pre-arranged community of interest and smaller embedded communities of interest. Effectively collaborating within the communities of interest was part of the course syllabus and, hence, part of the final grade graduate student tutors would receive for the course. Second, the collaboration also might have been attributed to the fact that graduate student tutors began to understand
167 they would not succeed in the course or through the 6 weeks of tutoring if they did not plan lessons and deliver instruction cooperatively. Empow e rm e nt Once the graduate student tutors overcame their fears and confusions, and learned to work cooperatively, they began to understand they were empowered to impact the children they tutored and the children they would teach in the upcoming school year and beyond. They also believed the experience of tutoring in this summer literacy camp enabled them to make changes in their own classrooms and school communities. During an interview with Dr. Clark, she noted one student s remark during an [to make a career change from social work to teaching]. Dr. Clark also noticed the feeling of empowerment some graduate student tutors felt because of the summer literacy camp. Dr. Clark stated, Having moved through different stages before reaching this feeling of empowerment, the graduate student tutors utilized empowerment theory although the course instructor did not use this theory as part of the conceptual framework for the course. Neither did any doctoral student volunteer, researcher (paid or unpaid), employee, or the graduate student tutors discuss empowerment theory during the tutoring sessions. Empowerment theory (Robins, Chatterjee, & Canda, 1998, p. 91) defines empowerment as which individuals and groups gain power, access to resources and control over their own lives. In doing so, they gain the ability to achieve their highest personal 91). Seven
168 (70%) of the graduate student tutors comments related to empowerment accounted for 34% of the total codes during Weeks 4 through 6. The following tutors felt empowered because they were able to accomplish the goal of making a difference in the literacy lives of the children they tutored in CCPTP, as revealed by the following statements: come from high socioeconomic areas and they really feel special that we come in here and give our time and effort to help them and they love that attention and they love the experience. (M.B.) but at the same time supporting her to where it was period of spending on the rough draft of that piece. Um, letting her be independent as a writer, not stepping in and taking over the experience but at the same time moving it along so we could get to the final product. (S.C.) She [tutee] said we changed her. (S.C.) We kind of sit around the table next to one person [tutee]. She [tutee] was more comfortable asking how to spell a word or waiting to finish. (B.B.) rategies that they can use in their independent reading and writing as well as take next year with them to their first grade classroom and implement and possibly the teacher
169 friend well. (M.B.) She [tutee] told the person that was helping her that we made her feel like a princess. I just think that we could really with their thirst for knowledge they have we could probably help them a lot. (S.T.) The most rewarding part was not them actually doing the strategy, but calling it a strategy. (M.B.) a gift he can put in his hand (J.F. ; member check) And I hope the children here will take the strategies back. I think they all feel safe ir hand timidly them as well. (M.D.) Other tutors expressed a feeling of empowerment because they could make a difference in their own classrooms when they returned to work in the fall. my classroom but more on a one-on-one type basis. to give all my kids as much love and ny of them and not as many of me. (J.F.) I learned a lot of different strategies to bring back to my high school kids. (M.G.)
170 And work together and not just work in isolation as I do in my classroom cause e has been. So I want to take that back to my classroom. (M.B.) Still, other graduate student tutors felt so empowered, they believed they could make changes in their entire school: e language and moving in a certain direction together and this is how we do things in our culture here. I want to bring the collaboration idea. We talk a lot about it. the pe little cubby and do our own thing. So I want to bring that collaboration of ideas, materials, um debriefing, um you know observing each other to offer the support and to create ideas of where we can go from here. (S.C.; member check) speak up when I think that maybe something should be used in history or science or social studies, a reading strategy. (M.D.) During the summer session in which the tutoring program operated, graduate student tutors moved from the emotions of fear and uncertainty to a state of empowerment. At the beginning of the summer session, the graduate student tutors were afraid and confused. They did not know what to expect of the community center, the children they would tutor, or the CCPTP in general. Once the graduate student tutors convened at the community center, met their peers, and met the elementary and middle
171 school students, they found they could collaborate effectively to provide quality reading and writing instruction that would benefit the tutees. The graduate student tutors also learned lessons they could bring with them to their respective classrooms and school communities. In Table 4.2 I provide a visual representation that portrays graduate student tutors contributions to specific themes I report here. e represents at least one instance in which the graduate student tutor made a comment that contributed to a particular theme. E.H. tended to repeat herself during the 6 interviews, which explains figure entitled Th eme s by Gradua t e St ud e n t Tu t or s. Additionally, S.T. did not verbalize much during each interview.
172 Table 4.2 Themes by Graduate Student Tutor Theme Tutors A.G. B.B B.P. E.H. J.F. M.B. M.D M.G S.C. S.T. Fear X X X X X X X Fear of not getting it right X X X X X Fear of the unknown X X X X Fear of collaboration X X X X X X Fear of physical location X X X Confusion and Working Things Out X X X X X Planning X X X X X X X Getting to Know You X X X X X Collaboration X X X X X X X Empowerment X X X X X X X How do S e l ec t Tut ee s Enroll e d in CCPTP Exp e ri e n ce and P e r ce iv e th e Program? Next, I explore the research question: How did selected tutees (pseudonyms used) enrolled in CCPTP experience and perceive the program? Through the course of this research, I learned how difficult it can be to interview elementary and middle school
173 children. During the interviews, I often re-worded questions and prompted the tutees to say more. Many times, the tutees generated one-word responses although the question called for a more elaborate answer. Finally, audio taping the interviews sometimes created a problem because the tutees responded with body language versus oral language. Once I reminded the tutees the audiotape recorder could not see their faces or their hands, they usually remembered to respond orally. with selected tutees enrolled in the program, direct observations of tutoring sessions, and results of Th e El eme n t ary R e ading Surv e y (McKenna & Kear, 1990) and Th e El eme n t ary Wri t ing Surv e y (Kear at al., 2000) administered to study participants. I read the transcribed tutee interviews four times before I reached data saturation. My interviews with study participants yielded two themes: r e ading and wri t ing and Th e Tu t or s Do H e lp M e I provide a checklist matrix in Table 4.3 to provide more information about each study participant. Table 4.3. Checklist Matrix: Identification of Tutee Study Participants. Tutee Age/Gender Grade Completed Racial/Ethnic Identity (SelfReported) 1. C.C. 7/ F 2 nd African American 2. C.D. 10/ F 4 th African American 3. J.R. 9/ F 4 th African American 4. K.K. 6/ M 1 st African American 5. M.M 11/ F 5 th Hispanic 6. O.R. 6/ M 1 st Caucasian 7. R.O. 11/ M 5 th African American 8. R.R. 10/ F 4 th African American 9. S.R. 6/ M 1 st Caucasian 10. T.M. 13/ M 8 th African American
174 not Good at R e ading and Writing During the first 2 weeks of the tutoring program, tutees often expressed concern about their reading and writing abilities. Their comments indicated to me they thought they needed help with reading and writing, and that they lacked adequate skills in reading and writing. Some of t performance on the informal reading inventories (as reported by tutors) and selected Two of the tutees who expressed deficit thinking were a brother and sister whose mother indicated they needed help with reading. Both brother and sister had been retained one grade during their primary grade years (Grades 1-3). The language the other three tutees used was language I often heard there. Teachers, staff, and resource personnel at these 2 schools often reminded students their current school performance was not adequate for the sta -stakes test. After Week 1 of the tutoring program, 5 of the 10 tutees (50%) thought they needed this program to help them with reading and writing achievement. These 5 comments represent 6% of the 80 codes created from the tutee interview data : I like reading but it [tutoring] helps me read a little more better. I read kind of slow. (R.R. ; Student had been retained a grade level) [I came to tutoring] to help me get better at reading and writing (C.C. ; Student had been retained a grade level) I need. I (T.M.) I need help with my reading. I need help with my reading a little bit
175 more. (K.K.) nd I make mistakes. (O.R.) During the first 2 weeks of the tutoring program, the graduate student tutors expressed fear and trepidation, and then moved into Week 3 with feelings of confusion. Thereafter, tutors worked things out within themselves and between tutoring group members. Although the tutors experienced the feelings of fear, trepidation, and confusion, the tutees did not appear to notice. Tutees were engaged during the tutoring sessions, looking toward the graduate student tutors for guidance and direction. At no time did I notice tutees being disengaged, unruly, or uninterested during those early weeks of fear, trepidation, and confusion for tutors. Tutoring and Tutor s do H e lp M e During Weeks 3 through 6, 7 tutees (70%) provided 9 different accounts of tutors helping them, or 30% of the tutee interview codes for Weeks 3 through 6. The tutees discussed ways in which the tutoring program in general and specific tutors helped them become better readers and writers. After having talked with the tutees and rephrasing questions, the tutees were unable to provide more specific responses regarding strategies they learned. The graduate student tutors indicated their focus during the tutoring session was on reading and writing strategies, but the tutees left the tutoring sessions with the idea that the way graduate student tutors helped them become better readers and writers was primarily through word recognition strategies rather than reading comprehension strategies and/or writing strategies, which was supposed to be the focus of the tutoring
176 sessions. Tutees described how graduate student tutees helped them become better readers and writers as evidenced in the following 9 quotations: Whenever I needed help, she [tutor] always helped me, and like when I n helping me and like she was patient with me. ( R.R. ) (C.C.) with it and pronounce the word and write down the word so that we know the word. (C.D.) They [tutors] strive hard to help us with everything. They helped us with reading and writing. (O.R.) They [tutors] teach me a lot. (S.R.) It [tutoring] helps me learn about different things and things I of things. (J.R.) They [tutors] still help us if we need help. (R.R.) They [tutors] help me. They [tutors] help me learn how to read better. (C.C.) They [tutors] take us step by step. (M.M.) ` The tutees appeared to have focused on strategies with which they were most familiar. They focused on word recognition strategies used throughout the tutoring session versus focusing on reading comprehension strategies and writing strategies, which were the primary purposes of the tutoring sessions. Thus, there was a disconnect
177 between what Dr. Clark and the graduate student tutors viewed as the focus of the tutoring sessions and what the elementary and middle school tutees viewed as the Dr. Clark assigned graduate student tutors the task of asking tutees which strategies they learned. After being prompted, most tutees were able to recall a reading comprehension or writing strategy used during the tutoring sessions. However, without prompting (via my interview questions), the tutees were unable to indicate which reading comprehension or writing strategy they had focused on each week. I also analyzed t and postreading and writing attitude surveys. I administered Th e El eme n t ary R e ading Surv e y (McKenna & Kear, 1990) and Th e El eme n t ary Wri t ing Surv e y (Kear et. al., 2000) to each tutee study participant during Week 1 (pre-test) and again after Week 6 of the tutoring session (posttest) of the tutoring program. As suggested by the developer of these two instruments, I administered the preand post-tests individually, then I obtained averages. I examined the averages based on gender. Using the average score allowed me to consider tutees in this program in general. I did, however, also examine individual results. I was able to obtain both preand post-test data on eight study participants. Two study participants did not return for the final day of tutoring. I was told by a community center employee that they had already left the state for summer vacation. the pre-test to the postth percentile on the pre-test, and in the 15th percentile on the postrecreational reading were in the 86 th percentile on the pre-test and the 72nd percentile on
178 the post-test. I did not expect this result because I hypothesized the tutees would view the summer literacy camp as a fun experience, and not as an extension of school, thereby However, results of the reading attitude survey led me to think tutees viewed reading at the summer literacy camp and reading at school to be synonymous. -test as they were on the post-test (91 st declined as it did for recreational reading (42nd percentile on the pre-test and 21 st percentile on the post-test). I observed similar results on Th e El eme n t ary Wri t ing A tt i t ud e Surv e y I determined these were not appropriate instruments for this particular study. Throughout the course of this study (based on my direct observations and interviews) tutees were consistently engaged in the reading and writing lessons. Their engagement did not wane whether tutors chose to use fiction or non-fiction texts to teach reading comprehension strategies and writing strategies. My qualitative findings, then, directly contradicted the quantitative findings for Th e El eme n t ary R e ading A tt i t ud e Surv e y and Th e El eme n t ary Wri t ing A tt i t ud e Surv e y Therefore, I decided not to utilize the findings of these surveys in this case study. Rather, I discuss further how and why I determined these two instruments were inappropriate for this particular study. Although I attempted to use the instruments Th e El eme n t ary R e ading A tt i t ud e Surv e y (McKenna & et. al, 1990) and Th e El eme n t ary Wri t ing A tt i t ud e Surv e y (Kear et al ., 2000) to consider tutee as a result of the CCPTP, I now understand I selected inappropriate instruments to examine tutee achievement. The creators of both instruments intended the surveys for use as a pre-test at the beginning of the school year
179 and as a post-test at the end of the school year. Therefore, a six-week, once weekly tutoring program did not provide enough time or data to examine adequately or effec sample of studies that examined the effectiveness of literacy tutoring programs. Several studies indicated reading achievement recognized and measured after one full school year in programs that met for 2 to 5 days per week and from 30 minutes to 120 minutes per tutoring session (Fitzgerald, 2001; Jayroe & Brenner, 2005; Leal et al., 2002; Vadasy et al., 1997; Wasik, 1998). After examining the data again, I determined a plausible reason for the El eme n t ary R e ading A tt i t ud e Surv e y and the El eme n t ary Wri t ing A tt i t ud e Surv e y not corroborating my other findings. Perhaps the tutees considered the summer literacy camp to be a similar experience to the test preparation in which they participated in their elementary schools. Their positive attitudes toward reading and writing declined during the course of the summer literacy camp. This finding might be another area to explore for future research. Table 4.4 Theme by Tutee Theme Tutees C.C C.D. J.R. K.K. M.M O.R. R.D. R.R. S.R T.M. good at reading and writing. X X X X X Tutoring and tutors do help me. X X X X X X X X
180 How do Som e Par e nt s of S e l ec t e d Stud e nt s who Parti c ipat e d in th e Study P e r ce iv e CCPTP? I interviewed 6 mothers (pseudonyms used) of tutees who participated in the tutoring program. I did not meet any fathers during the recruitment process, during any of the tutoring sessions, or during any of the parent-participant interviews. Therefore, all parent-participants were female. During the interviews, I sought to understand how the parent study participants perceived CCPTP. I found it difficult to arrange individual interviews with the 6 parents of some of the tutee-participants in the study. Our schedules often co nflicted, and I understood I needed to be patient and understanding. After all, I am a parent too and I understand the challenges of juggling jobs, family, school, and other responsibilities. With much persistence, I was able to schedule all six interviews. I conducted two parent interviews at the community center, two at a local fast food restaurant, one at a local coffee shop, and one at a local mall. Due to the heightened noise level, the local mall was not as conducive of an interview location as were the other interview sites. All 6 parents indicated their child or children received free or reduced price school lunches during the previous school year. Four families received reduced lunch prices through the school lunch program, and children from 2 of the families received free lunch. Often, receiving free or reduced price lunches in school is considered an indication of children who might be at-risk for academic failure (National Center for Educational Statistics, 2007b). This claim does not describe the tutee participants in this study. Although the tutees received either free or reduced price school lunches, according
181 to IRI results, tutor input, parental input, and tutee input, only 2 of the tutee participants in the study were not performing at grade level in reading. Eight of the 10 (80%) tutee participants in the study participated in the allday program offered at the community center. The other 2 tutee-participants did not participate in the community center summer program. The community center summer program staff informed parents of the tutee-participants who attended the all-day summer program about the literacy tutoring to be offered on Wednesdays. The mother of the 2 children who did not attend the summer program called the community center to inquire whether they offered any programs to help her children with reading. Two parents indicated they thought all children were required to participate in tutoring if they attended the summer program. They did not realize the literacy-tutoring program was a voluntary program. Their comments indicate they would have preferred to know that the tutoring program was voluntary although they would have agreed to allow their child/children to participate anyway: still sign my girls up [for tutoring], but parents should know [it is voluntary]. (Charlotte) Because it [tutoring program] was what they [the community center] were us, you know. (Isabel) Parents signed the permission slips to allow their child or children to participate in the tutoring program for several reasons, whether they thought the program was simply another component of the community center summer program, or something different. One parent revealed that her daughter wanted to be in the tutoring program because she
182 had participated in the program previously and she found the tutoring program to be fun. Two parents indicated they knew their children needed some additional attention in reading, so they enrolled their child or children in the tutoring program. Charlotte said, aining 3 parents knew their child or children performed well academically, but they also understood that any additional contact with academic tasks would be beneficial for their children. Isabel declared When asked what their children told them about the tutoring program, some of the much conversation between parent and child/children about the tutoring program. For example, Maura indicated that her daughter concluded any other Two parents indicated their child or children liked the tutoring program, but with tutoring program, and all indication was that both girls excelled academically. Charlotte Two male tutee participants reported to their parents they did not like the program 2 children in the tutoring program. Although her daughter
183 liked every aspect of the program, her son did not like any aspect of the program. Jackie When asked what they thought was the best thing about the program, 4 responses directly related to reading and/or writing. They understood the tutoring program as being a place for their children either to improve their literacy skills or to program helping their children with reading and writing included the following: The best thing is getting him [my son] to read anything, for any amount of time. (Jackie) The best thing is getting them [my girls] to read more. great. (Charlotte) They [tutors] help the kids read better. (Maura) I want them [my sons] to read better. So this is good for them. (Samantha) The responses of the remaining 2 parents were more generic. They responded to the overall need for their children to engage in positive activities during the summer months. Their responses were: (Isabel) video games. (Carole)
184 Three of the 6 parents responded to the question Wha t do you li ke l e a st abou t t h e program? by indicating there was nothing they did not like about the program. One parent summed up this sentiment when she said, the community center] anyway. (Isabel) The remaining 2 parents indicated time was the one factor they did not like about the program. However, these 2 parents had very different concerns about time. Maura was concerned that the children were only tutored once per week. She responded, program was not the time factor that most concerned her. Rather, Carole was concerned about waking up a teenage boy, her son, during summer vacation. Carole voiced her time issue this way, program meets]. I have to get him up early and you know how kids feel about waking up I discovered the next question I asked was not a well-placed, well-thought out question. The question, I f you c ould c hang e any t hing abou t t h e program, wha t would i t b e ? was answered when parents responded to Wha t do you li ke l e a st abou t t h e program? questions. Her hope was that the tutoring program started later in the day. Likewise, directly related to the previous question. She wished the
185 program were a 3or 4-day program versus a once weekly program. Three parents did not respond to the question. The one remaining parent, Isabel, stated Then, I asked parents whether or not their child or children looked forward to attending the tutoring sessions each week. Both Carole and Jackie had 2 children enrolled in the program, one boy and one girl. Both Carole and Jackie indicated the girl wanted to attend tutoring and talked about wanting to attend tutoring. However, the two boys did not mention it unless they were asked about it. Also, Carole indicated her son talked negatively about tutoring each Wednesday morning when she awakened him to get dressed so they might get out of the house on time. The remaining 4 parents indicated their children did look forward to attending the tutoring sessions. They provided short answers, though. I think the shortness of their answers was because they previously answered the question when responding to the fourth question, namely: Wha t ha s your c hild / c hildr e n t old you abou t t h e t u t oring program? The responses to whether or not the child/children looked forward to tutoring were as follows: Yes. She [my daughter] talks about it [tutoring] and tries to get me to leave home earlier on Wednesdays. (Maura) Yes. They [my sons] (Samantha) [Isabel] Yes. They talk about it on Wed community center. (Charlotte) Again, I asked a question similar to previous questions asked of parents. I asked the similar question because I wanted to understand conversations parent and child had
186 about the weekly tutoring sessions. I asked, Two parents indicated their children said nothing voluntarily about the tutoring program. Rather, the parent solicited information: No I have to get information out of him. (Isabel) (Carole) Two parents deferred to their previous responses, and had nothing more to add. The remaining 2 parents indicated their child/children were eager to provide information about the tutoring session: Yes. She talks about it all the time and how much fun it is. (Jackie) Yes. It is fun. She likes the teachers. She wants to be a teacher. (Maura) Not unlike other literacy tutoring programs, one of the understood goals of the summer literacy camp was to increase the time tutees spend reading. Therefore, I asked the parents, One parent indicated she did home. Their child simply did not read at home. One of these parents, Maura, said, t hin k sh On the other hand, 4 parents their child had already been required to read daily at home during the summer months. None. They must read at home every day. (Samantha) None. They do read at home. And, I take them to the library. (Jackie)
187 None. He reads all the time. (Isabel) with them reading. (Charlotte) In summary, parent participants provided limited insights to their own perceptions were not required to have conversations about the tutoring sessions; thus, often there were no conversations. The lack of conversation between parent and child/children coupled with no requirement of parental participation in the tutoring program yielded little information. Summary In this chapter, I reported the findings of my experiences with the CCPTP over a period of 8 weeks (2 weeks in preparation for tutoring and 6 weeks in which graduate student tutors tutored elementary and middle school students in reading and writing). I entered the research situation with prior knowledge of CCPTP because I taught a literacy methods course in which university students tutored elementary and middle school students -level methods course. I also assisted Dr. Clark during other CCPTP engagements as a graduate student volunteer and research volunteer. During these experiences, I wanted to know how primary stakeholders (tutors, tutees, and some parents of tutees) experienced and perceived CCPTP. Therefore, I s and perceptions. Through this research, I learned how graduate student tutors develop professionally when they teach and learn in a community of interest. In this community of interest, graduate student tutors learned to collaborate with other graduate student
188 tutors. The graduate student tutors also learned the power they possess to empower their tutees, and to make changes in their classrooms, their schools, and their communities. When I observed and interviewed tutees during the tutoring sessions and after the tutoring sessions, I learned tutees entered the tutoring situation with the feeling they were there because they possessed a deficit in reading and writing, when oftentimes, no deficit from week to week. Although some tutees were unable to name specific reading and writing strategies the tutors emphasized during the tutoring sessions, the tutees expressed an overall feeling that the tutoring sessions did in fact help them in reading and writing, and they might be better readers and writers because of this experience. the CCPTP. However, my excitement waned when I learned parents engaged in limited communication with their children about CCPTP. I also discovered parents viewed themselves as removed from CCPTP. In general, the tutoring program was something their children did because they were also physically at the community center to participate in the full day summer camp program. At the end of the 8 weeks, I concluded CCPTP provides benefits to both graduate (2 hours, once weekly for 6 weeks) did not provide ample time to measure changes in ting achievement, anecdotal episodes su ggest the program does benefit tutees because they were engaged in reading and writing activities during the summer months, versus not having those reading and writing experiences during the summer months at all. Tutees
189 also benefited due to the continued social contact with teachers or teacher figures. Engaging in reading and writing activities during the summer months provided the tutees with opportunities that might have benefited them when they entered their respective school and classrooms in the upcoming school year. By the end of the 8 weeks of data collection, I was able to increase m y able to provide recommendations for out-of-school time literacy-tutoring programs and suggestions for future research. I address recommendations and suggestions in Chapter 5.
190 CHAPTER V: SUMMARY AND DISCUSSION In this final chapter of the dissertation, I restate the research problem and I review the methods used in the study. This chapter is divided into 3 major sections: restatement of the problem, review of methodology, and summary and discussion of findings. In the discussion section, I emphasize possible implications of the findings pertaining to out-ofschool time literacy tutoring programs, field experiences for graduate students majoring in literacy education, and the inclusion of parents and tutees in designing, implementing, and evaluating out-of-school time literacy tutoring programs. R e s tat e m e nt of th e Probl e m and R e vi e w of M e thod s As I contemplated conducting this research, I learned about the need for out-ofschool time literacy-tutoring programs. I discovered many U.S. schoolchildren continue to struggle with literacy achievement and many out-of-school time literacy-tutoring programs exist with the primary or secondary purpose of improving reading achievement among some schoolchildren in the United States. However, I also learned a problem persisted. Specifically, there is limited information in the current literature about how primary stakeholders (tutors, tutees, and parents) experience and perceive these programs. Therefore, during this study I sought to add to the current literature about how select key stakeholders perceive and experience out-of-school time literacytu toring programs and how the particular program I studied might be used as a model for other programs.
191 R e vi e w of M e thodology As I explained in Chapter 3, I used a qualitative research design to conduct this inquiry. Specifically, I used a case study method of inquiry, identifying the CCPTP as the overall case that included embedded cases (tutors, tutees, I identified this case study as a collective case study (Stake, 1995, 2005) because I hoped studying this case would provide insight into what occurs or what can occur at one out-of-school time literacy tutoring program. See Stake (1995, 2005) for an in-depth discussion of the collective case study. As I studied the community center Partnership Tutoring Program, I relied primarily on direct observations, weekly interviews with tutors and tutees, one interview with each parent participant, and two interviews with the course instructor/camp director. In addition, I utilized my r nd within-case displays that helped to illuminate further my findings. I observed the case for 8 weeks (2 weeks preparing tutors for the tutoring program and 6 weeks of observing tutors and tutees as tutors provided literacy instruction to elementary and middle school tutees). I followed each tutoring session with an interview of each of the 10 tutor participants and each of the 10 tutee participants. I also interviewed six parents of some of the tutees (at the end of the tutoring program), and the course instructor/literacy camp director twice during the semester. By using these methods, I was able to discover how the CCPTP operates and how primary stakeholders experienced and perceived the program. I report ed my discoveries in Chapter 4. Following is a summary of the findings of this study.
192 Summary of Finding s In this section, I summarize the findings of my study. I elaborate on the findings in Chapter 4. Here, I do not interpret the findings, nor do I relate the findings to previous literature. I interpret findings and relate to other literature in subsequent sections. Although I did not set out to focus on the collaboration aspect of the tutoring program, collaboration became an important finding in this study. Because of the nature of the CCPTP (it is a community of interest), the course instructor/camp director charged the graduate student tutors with collaborating with their peers to deliver quality literacy instruction to their elementary and middle school tutees. The CCPTP operates as a community of interest in which members joined together to combat a common issue. Th e common issue for this community of interest which comprised graduate student tutors, course instructor/camp director, and tutees was enhanced literacy engagement among some local elementary and middle school students. Through the community of interest, the tutors also engaged in learning -level literacy teaching skills as they studied in their graduate-level courses at the university. Graduate student tutors in two separate graduate courses joined forces to deliver reading and writing instruction to elementary and middle school students. As members of a community of interest in which members work together to solve a particular problem, the problem to be addressed had been pre-determined because graduate student tutors were enrolled in either a graduate reading methods course or a graduate writing methods course (four graduate student tutors were enrolled in both courses ) that would meet weekly at the community center. Because of the nature of the two courses in which
193 graduate student tutors were enrolled (Pra c t i c um in R e ading and Wri t ing and Wri t e r s : Tr e nd s and I ssu e s) and the needs of the population of tutees (as defined by the community center personnel), the focus of the tutoring program was literacy tutoring for some elementary and middle school students primarily from the areas surrounding the the community center. Therefore, graduate student tutors used several specific reading comprehension strategies and writing strategies in their weekly lessons as they worked together to provide reading and writing enrichment for some local elementary and middle school students. However, once they met and assessed the tutees, the graduate student tu tors further defined the issue(s) to be addressed by the community of interest as they identifi ed ths and weaknesses so they might individualize instruction while at the same time meeting the requirements of the course(s) in which they were enrolled. The graduate student tutors collaborated in reading/writing pairs and as entire tutoring communities to enhance reading and writing engagement among tutee participants. Although the community center employees were not aware of the requirements of the combined course syllabus (one syllabus had been created to incorporate both courses) that identified CCPTP as a community of interest and the expectations of the graduate student tutors, they too unknowingly defined CCPTP as a community of interest. They did not utilize the term c ommuni t y o f in t e r e st but in their welcome comments to the graduate student tutors, they discussed characteristics of a community of interest. Specifically, the community center employees were thankful to the university and to the graduate student tutors in particular for the ir efforts to help children from the community enhance and/or increase their reading and writing engagement (the defined problem of the community of interest). The community center personnel understood the combined
194 efforts of the College of Education and the community center personnel worked together to meet the goals of providing literacy tutoring to local elementary and middle school students. Combined effort is a salient feature of a community of interest (Fischer, 2001a, 2001b, 2007; Fischer & Ostwald, 2005) Graduate student tutors experienced fear and trepidation during the first 2 weeks not would be in collaborating with their peers to deliver quality reading and writing instruction to groups of elementary and middle school tutees. They also feared the unknown. Most of the graduate student tutors had not previously engaged in a field-based methods course, so they were afraid of this unfamiliar way of teaching and learning. The level of autonomy Dr. Clark provided as course instructor/camp director was also an unknown factor for many graduate student tutors and was a source of the The graduate student tutors were also fearful of the physical location of the community center. The thought of collaborating with other professionals caused feelings of fear among graduate student tutors. They did not understand how to meld together different personalities and experiences to plan and to implement reading and writing lessons. Collaboration of this magnitude was not a familiar concept. According to most of the graduate student tutors, they did not collaborate at this level in their professional schoolbased settings although such collaboration was often alluded to in teacher workshops and in grade-level team meetings.
195 Finally, the physical location of the community center creat ed a sense of fear for some graduate student tutors. The community center is located in higher crime areas, a locale that most graduate student tutors do not frequent. However, after their initial visit to the community center, most of the fears of the physical location dissipated. Their fears subsided after they entered the state-of-the-art building that was the community center and after they met the elementary and middle school tutees with whom they would work for the upcoming 6 weeks. The fear and trepidation graduate student tutors experienced during the first 2 weeks of tutoring led to inflexibility, which immobilized the graduate student tutors, and they were unable to determine how to move forward as a group. They were unable to identify ways in which they were not collaborating at all, ways in which collaboration was dysfunctional, and ways in which they might collaborate better for the remaining weeks of tutoring. I also noted the graduate student tutors existed in a state of confusion due to the fear and trepidation they experienced. Once they recognized the confusion between and within tutoring groups, they began to work out the situation themselves without intervention from the course instructor/camp director. They decided a need existed for better planning and more collaboration and lesson implementation to succeed at delivering group reading and writing lessons to the tutees in their charge. Graduate student tutors also began to understand they had not been collaborating, but rather th ey had been acting individually and meeting on the day of tutoring. Many graduate student tutors initially identified those first efforts as collaboration. I reached these conclusions
196 follow up and ask graduate student tutors how they learned to collaborate better. Due to time constraints and the physical location of the tutoring groups (they were located throughout the entire the community center building), I was unable to observe what individual groups did or listen to the conversations they had to become bette r collaborators. After the graduate student tutors began to work together to focus on designing and implementing reading and writing lessons for their groups, they experienced a sense of empowerment. They were empowered to make a difference for the tutees with whom they worked during this summer literacy tutoring program. They also were empowered to leave the 6-week literacy-tutoring program and make changes in their classrooms, on their grade-level teams, and in their schools. The professional growth the graduate student tutors experienced during this summer literacy camp corroborates the findings of the literacy camp director/ course instructor (Richards, 2007; Richards et al., 2007a, 2007b, 2008; Richards & Shea, 2006). These 5 studies represent 3 different summer literacy camps with different configurations. One of the camps included only preservice teachers as tutors. Two of the 3 summer literacy camps included graduate student mentors and preservice teachers as tutors. And, one camp included only graduate students as tutors. In each of the studies, the researchers noted noticeable professional growth among the tutors. These findings are also supported by other studies in different contexts (s ee Abell, 2006; Edwards, 2007; Zeichner & Liston, 2006) professional development during field-based experiences. The following is a summary of discoveries about the experiences and perceptions of tutee-participants.
197 Although I experienced difficulty interviewing some tutee-participants (I elaborate on this problem .), I was able to uncover 2 overarching themes related to tutee-participants s and perceptions. First, 50% of the tutee-participants expressed an academic need for enrollment in the tutoring program. These tutee participants articulated they needed help with reading and writing, and par ticipating in this tutoring program was a way to receive that help. The abilities, however, were in stark contrast to the Upon with graduate student tutors (as evidenced by anecdotal notes and IRI results), I learned that approximately 63% of all tutees performed at or above grade-level in reading and writing, and tutees did not need the tutoring program as a remediation tool. Because many tutees entered the tutoring program with the notion they needed remediation in reading and writing, they viewed the tutors d other assistance similarly to their experiences in the respective schools they attended during the school year The tutees suggested the tutors helped them with reading and writing because they were not proficient or not proficient enough at reading and writing. They did not view the tutoring sessions as a time for enhancing skills they already possessed. Rather, the tutees considered the tutoring sessions as performance sessions, not unlike their training to perform on the annual state-required high-stakes tests. I concluded that the tutees experienced this deficit thinking because of the prior experiences I had with the schools in which most of the elementary school tutors were enrolled. For approximately years, I supervised elementary education major interns at the 2 schools. During my observations
198 as an intern supervisor, I noted the intense focus on preparation for high stakes testing. I had numerous opportunities to speak with children who attended the 2 schools. The children often talked about how much they needed the intense preparation and how bored they were with the intense preparation, yet understanding the need for intense preparation because the high stakes tests were so important. In addition to the differences in perception of literacy achievement between tutors and tutees, ion of the purpose of the tutoring program and Dr. Clark s (course instructor/camp director) perception of the tutoring program. Although Dr. Clark designed the program to teach jointly reading and writing strategies to 2 groups of graduate student tutors while focusing on enhancing literacy engagement among some local students (which she emphasized throughout the summer literacy camp), numerous graduate student tutors primarily focused on their role as students and p e r f orming in the context as a graduate s engagement was not the primary focus for many graduate student tutors. The third group of primary stakeholders was turn my attention now to summarizing selected specific in the summer literacy camp. That is, they did not observe tutoring sessions; they did not discuss tutoring sessions with tutors; and they held limited conversations with their children about the tutoring sessions. Most parents dropped their children off at the community center in the mornings (Monday through Friday) for the all day summer programming that the community center provided. Three parents brought their children to the community center specifically for
199 the summer literacy camp. Although these parents sometimes observed a portion of the tutoring sessions, they provided little input and asked few questions. Also, few questions were asked of the parents. Their responses to interview questions were based primarily on the limited conversations they had with their children who were enrolled in the program. Parents did not have many ongoing conversations with the children about the tutoring programs. Therefore, parents were able to provide only limited information about how their children experienced, perceived, and engaged in the tutoring sessions. Parents indicated they wished they had known tutoring was voluntary. They thought it was a requirement of the community center summer program. Although having this information might not have deterred parents from enrolling their child/children in the summer literacy camp, they would have liked the opportunity to choose. Parents also realized they had limited information about the program because their information was provided primarily by their children. I failed to design the research to increase the likelihood of parent/child(ren) conversations about the tutoring prog likelihood of participating in the program. If given the opportunity, parents might have been more actively engaged in the summer literacy camp and might have been able to ns. Di s c u ss ion I cannot generalize the discoveries of this dissertation to other out-of-school time literacy tutoring programs in which graduate students tutor elementary and middle school students in reading and writing. However, this study does provide insight into one kind of out-of-school time literacy tutoring program that may used as a model for other programs with the goal of providing expert literacy tutoring in an out-of-school time setting. This
200 study also adds to the current body of literature by examining how primary stakeholders ) experience and perceive this out-of-school time summer literacy camp. R e lation s hip to Prior R e s e ar c h I included the broad constructs of out-of-school time programs, communities of interest, literacy instruction, and parental perceptions of after-school (outof -school time) programs and tutoring programs in the conceptual framework for this study. These broad concepts converged as I considered the limited information in the current literature that When I included the concept of out-of-school time programs in the conceptual framework for this study, I noted a variety of outof -school time programs exist currently. Such programs serve a variety of needs for students, but many include some component of literacy tutoring. The CCPTP existed for the primary need of providing out-of-school time services to children in the community it served. The out-of-school time program that the community center provided was designed as an out-of-school time program organized to meet the specific needs of a community. This goal of OST programs is defined by numerous researchers (Fashola, 1998, 2002; National Institute on Outof -School Time at Wellesley Centers for Women, Wellesley College, 2008 ; Noam, 2002). Whether literacy tutoring occurs as a stand-alone program or as part of a more comprehensive outof -school time program, the literacy tutoring may be provided by peers, by teachers, by college students, or others. I examined numerous studies wherein the researchers investigated tutoring by tutors with a variety of backgrounds (e.g.,
201 Abrego, et al., 2006; Afterschool Alliance, 2006; Baker et al., 2000; Fowler et al., 2002). Tutors in CCPTP met the highest level of credentials suggested for tutors, certified teachers (Gordon, 2002, 2003; Taylor et al., 1994; Wasik & Slavin 1993). That is, the vast majority of the graduate student tutors in CCPTP were already professional educators, certified teachers who worked with children on a daily basis in their school settings. Tutors are sometimes paid for the services they provide. In other programs, unpaid volunteer tutors provide literacy tutoring. As I studied CCPTP, I observed experts who provided tutoring to elementary and middle school students. Although the tutors were not monetarily compensated for their tutoring efforts, they were also not volunteers. The tutors did receive benefits for their services as literacy tutors. The benefits they received included a passing grade for the course(s) in which they were enrolled and personal and professional growth and development. Several studies indicate literacy tutoring is more effective when it is provided by paid expert tutors (e.g., teachers who provide tutoring as an extension of the school day). As demonstrated in this context, students can receive expert tutoring in the absence of monetary compensation. As I studied the CCPTP, I noted the tutoring program was originally designed as a community of interest. I discovered CCPTP did, in fact, operate as a community of interest. In a community of interest, members share an identity, experience a concern, and work together to address the concern (Fischer 2001a, 2001b). In CCPTP, the graduate student tutors shared an identity. They were graduate student tutors representing one institution of higher learning and, in this context, one department within that institution of higher learning. The other shared identity of the graduate student tutors was that of
202 community center. The tutors met at the community center for a limited amount of time to engage in one project with a definitive end date. Additionally, the concern to be addressed by the community of interest had been defined for them by the course instructor/camp director. They were tasked to work together to address the concern, that of increasing engagement in reading and writing among some students from the local community. Additionally, Fischer (2001a, 2001b) indicates members of a community of interest may be challenged to work as a group. The findings of my study support this claim because members of the community of interest experienced difficulty collaborating with one another during the first half of the tutoring program. Sometimes, they did not agree on the task before them. However, as the community matured during the course o f the semester, shared understanding increased. Again, this phenomenon directly corresponds to Fischer & Ostwald (2005) work with communities of interest in the field of computer science. Before the communities of interest were dissolved at the end of th e semester, members of the community began to learn from one another as they delivered reading and writing lessons to the tutees in their charge. As I observed tutoring sessions and interviewed tutors and tutees, I noted graduate student tutors in CCPTP followed many tenets of reading instruction in general and reading instruction for struggling readers in particular, as they delivered reading and writing lessons to the tutees in CCPTP. With Dr. Clark s guidance as course instructor/ camp director, graduate student tutors learned to deliver reading and writing lessons simultaneously, in support of the research, which indicates that because reading and writing are both cognitive processes, they should be taught and learned at the same time
203 (Fitzgerald & Shanahan, 2000; Shanahan, 1990; Tierney & Shanahan, 1991). The graduate student tutors helped their tutees to combine reading and writing for various types of communication (Nelson & Calfee, 1998). For example, tutees in one group wr ote a play and acted it out. And, all tutees participated in making a group book in their respective tutoring groups. Beal (1996) examined how reading and writing are often combined to complete academic tasks. When reading informational texts, tutees in several tutoring groups created webs to learn and remember facts from informational texts. Some tutees in the middle school group even began to learn simple notetaking techniques using informational texts they read. Another way graduate student tutors combined reading and writing was during the dialogue journal activity. Tutees read the journal entries the graduate student tutors had written. Then, tutees used their writing skills to respond to their tutees(s) in the dialogue journal. Doing so was one way the graduate student tutors promoted the findings of Shanahan (1990) and Tierney & Shanahan (1991), who concluded that good writers are typically good readers and vice versa. Additionally, the graduate student tutors understand one-size does not fit all in literacy instruction (Valencia et al., 2004). They used a variety of strategies and activities to engage tutees in the reading and writing lessons. During the tutoring sessions, tutees engaged in read-alouds (Ganske et al., 2003; Lane & Wright, 2007), and participated in numerous arts activities (as suggested in the combined course syllabus) to enhance their reading and writing lessons. Furthermore, the very nature of the tutoring sessions instruc
204 appropriate books and materials are utilized during the small group instruction (Valencia & Buly, 2004). Although I am pleased to report that the graduate student tutors in CCPTP followed many of the suggestions for literacy instruction in general and for working with struggling readers in particular, I must also report I did not notice graduate student tutors personal lives (Roe et al., 2005). According to one tutee r son was particularly interested in soccer but books about soccer were not referred to or utilized during the tutoring sessions. Furthermore, several tutees enrolled in CCPTP were children of color. I did not notice a Graduate student tutors experienced fear and trepidation as they engaged in the initial 2 to 3 tutoring sessions. Hargreaves (1998) contends teachers need to feel the emotions they encounter because teaching is an emotional kind of work. The emotions teachers experience in their work are influenced by how teaching and learning are might have led the camp director/course instructor to structure the tutoring program in such a way that graduate s may have been prevented or at a minimum, limited only to the first tutoring session. fears of the unknown, of not getting it right, of the expected collaboration with their peers, and of physical location were similar to anxieties experienced by counseling practicum students. Fitch and Marshall (2002) noted that equipping counseling practicum students with strategies to cope with the cognitive stressors related to the practicum experience reduced the typical anxieties that counseling practicum students experienced. Perhaps the course instructor/camp director might
205 consider a cursory introduction to strategies for dealing with this type of anxiety. Equipping graduate student tutors in such a manner might have reduced or eliminated the fears they experienced. Although graduate student tutors experienced fear and trepidation in the first weeks of tutoring, Dr. Clark anticipated such feelings based on her previous work with tutors in CCPTP. As a constructivist, Dr. Clark designed CCPTP in such a way that mbedded in the social and cultural context of CCPTP, which included other tutors, the specific nature and instructor/camp director, advanced graduate student researchers, and the community center personnel. Therefore, Dr. Clark required that graduate student tutors learn to collaborate and to prepare and to deliver quality literacy instruction while considering the context in which their learning occurred. Additionally, Dr. Clark s views of constructivism is adopted partly from Freire (1987), who believed people attain knowledge when they exchange ideas, discuss issues from varying perspectives, and make meaning from those processes. Dr. Clark expected graduate student tutors to embrace this way of knowing. However, most did not do so until the final 2 weeks of the course. In fact, many graduate student tutors believed this way of teaching and learning was disjointed and confusing. Finally, Dr. Clark provided and designed course assignments and course objectives that Windschitl (1999) described as a combination of existing knowledge, and cultural and social contexts to stimulate new learning. Windschitl
206 specifically noted dialogue with peers, multiple sources of information, and opportunities to demonstrate knowledge as representing constructivist ways of teaching and learning. Throughout the tutoring program, and as required by the combined course syllabus, graduate student tutors collaborated with one another; relied on their textbooks, journal articles, and Internet resources; performing arts to showcase what they learned. One of the reasons the course instructor/camp director began this initiative known as the summer literacy camp was to provide an opportunity for graduate students majoring in literacy education to engage in a practicum experience. Cuevas et al. (2006) and Ledoux et al. (2007) noted many institutions of higher learning struggle with providing field-based experiences for graduate education majors, particularly those who are parttime students. The feasibility of providing such an experience becomes complex because most graduate education majors are also full-time teachers. In their research, Cuevas et al. suggest more inquiries should be conducted to determine how colleges of education have resolved this issue. Ledoux et al. (2007) meet the needs of the graduate student tutors. Because of the culture of some colleges of education and some school districts, administrators and teachers might not readily a program such as the summer literacy camp I studied in this dissertation. Traditionally, teachers learned to become reading specialists by working in a reading clinic with struggling readers (Carr, 2003; Vogt & Shearer, 2003). In such settings, the teacher and student(s) were usually isolated from other teachers and students
207 and the community was not involved in the process. In this summer literacy camp, the course instructor/camp director did not isolate the community, but rather brought the university to the community, similar to what Jensen & Tuten (2007) did with s from a clinic model to a community model. They designed an aftereducation majors tutor children in Grades 1-6. Like CCPTP, to design appropriate and effective teaching and learning situations throughout the tutoring program. Unanti c ipat e d Finding s I include this section on Unan t i c ipa t e d Finding s based on a recommendation from the book Wri t ing t h e Winning Th e s i s or Di ss e r t a t ion (Glatthorn & Joyner, 2005). The authors suggest providing readers with an explanation of surprising discoveries. There were 2 unanticipated findings I discovered throughout this study. First, I decided initially to utilize criterion sampling to select tutee participants for the study. The criteria included tutees who were at least 8 years old, had not previously participated in CCPTP, were African American, had been identified as struggling readers, and could articulate adequately his or her thoughts about experiences in CCPTP. However, upon meeting the population from which I would select tutee study participants, I learned I could not use the criterion sampling scheme I originally proposed. First, most of the tutees had previously participated in CCPTP. There were only approximately 10 African American children enrolled in CCPTP (and 3 of them were under the age of 8). And, finally, there were a limited number of struggling readers enrolled in CCPTP who were interested in
208 volunteering to participate in my study. I resolved this unanticipated finding by conferring with my dissertation committee who agreed I could utilize the snowball sampling scheme and continue with the research. As I thought about the population from which I was to select tutee participants, I concluded the population was not what I had known it to be because the summer program was competing with heard tutees, other camp participants, and the community center summer camp staff reation Another unanticipated problem was the difficulty I experienced interviewing some of the tutee participants. Many of the tutees had not had their voices recorded before so they often used body language to convey their ideas. I continually reminded the students to talk and to speak loud ly enough so the audio recorder would properly record their voices. voices. Additionally, because 2 of the tutees were younger than 8 years old, they often had difficulty conveying their ideas in a complete thought. For example, they often provided one-word responses, causing me to repeat and/or restate the interview questions. For future consideration, I suggest determining the population prior to beginning research, then designing the sampling scheme and research questions. This would involve more direct contact with both the community center personnel and parents who consented to allowing their children to participate in the tutoring program. Another opportunity might have existed in designing and piloting a questionnaire in which tutees could provide simple numerical responses in addition to their oral responses. Utilizing both instruments might have led to richer, more conclusive data.
209 Impli c ation s for Pra c ti ce Although a single embedded case study cannot provide enough information for findings to be generalized to other summer (outof -school time) literacy camps, I suggest this study begins to provide some practical implications for designing and implementing out-of-level courses and work together in several communities of interest while providing reading and writing tutoring to children in the community. Educators who are contemplating starting their own summer literacy camp might look to this study to learn some of the triumphs and challenges faced by primary stakeholders whose voices I represented in this inquiry. The findings of this study suggest that if one were to design and to implement a community of interest summer literacy camp, the participants of the community of interest should be informed beforehand. The course instructor/camp director might consider informing the graduate student tutors (or undergraduate if the summer literacy camp is so designed) that their work during the summer literacy camp would include working in a community of interest. I suggest that the course instructor reveal such information in the course description and perhaps in the university catalog if such a pursuit is a graduation requirement. I do understand the restraints of this suggestion because the structure of the summer literacy program depends on the course instructor. The course instructor may have chosen to utilize the Bla ck board system to inform students of the course structure. A program such as the one studied here is important in that it has the potential to help teachers learn how to collaborate effectively with their
210 peers. Throughout this study, several graduate student tutors indicated they did not really collaborate with their peers. The importance of collaboration in schools warrants the additional time and labor requirements of informing graduate students of the community of interest component of the course. Similarly, I recommend that at that institution attend a mandatory information session before signing up for the summer literacy camp. The mandatory meeting may be designed to inform parents that their children ipation in the summer literacy camp is voluntary. Additionally, tutees and parents should be made aware they were not invited to participate in the summer literacy camp because the child is a struggling reader. Rather, the communication should inform parents and tutees that the summer literacy camp is designed to assist struggling readers, on-level readers, and above-level readers. Doing so might have prevented tutees from thinking their participation in the summer literacy camp meant they had deficits in reading and writing skills. During the informational meetings, parents may be made aware of the importance of preventing summer learning losses and enhancing literacy skills during the summer months. Another practical suggestion for implementing a program such as the one studied here would be to allow additional time before the tutoring sessions start for graduate student tutors to get to know one another, to tour the tutoring facility, to meet the potential tutees, and to begin planning lessons together. M any of the graduate student tutors indicated that 3 hours per week for 2 weeks was not enough time to understand fully their roles in the community of interest, to get to know their peers, and to plan effectively for the tutoring sessions. In addition, the graduate student tutors had no idea
211 who they would tutor and where they would tutor them. The problem with having graduate student tutors meet further in advance was that when the summer session begins, most of the graduate student tutors are still teaching in their respective jobs and tutees are still enrolled in school. Conversely, the course instructor/camp director may have suggested that graduate student tutors tour the facility on their own, with permission from the community center personnel. In either case, the graduate student tutors might have felt more comfortable before meeting the tutees for the first time. To learn to collaborate on a deeper level, the graduate student tutors (many of whom would eventually move into some type of supervisory role) may have been required to engage in mini-sessions on strategies for effective collaboration as part of the course content. Additional time was not only important for the graduate student tutors, it also might have been helpful for the tutees. If the tutoring sessions spanned a longer period of time (perhaps 8-10 weeks), graduate student tutors might have had more of an the program did in fact have an impact on tut engagement. Because the graduate student tutors engaged tutees in required assessments during the first week of tutoring and celebrated with the tutees during the final week of tutoring, the graduate student tutors effectively worked with their group of tutees for approximately 4 weeks. reading and writing abilities during the 2 to 4 weeks (suggested) prior to beginning the tutoring program. Again, the beginning while local public schools are still in session prohibited the extension of the tutoring sessions.
212 Because collaboration was such an important concern for the graduate student tutors, I thought I should provide some practical suggestions for improving collaboration among tutors. First, graduate student tutors might wish to consider more facetoface collaboration. Because this experience was new to a number of graduate student tutors, faceto fac e meetings might have been more effective than electronic modes of communication. Perhaps the course instructor/camp director might have required some special guidelines regarding the role each graduate student tutor was to take on in the reading/writing partnership and in the larger tutoring group. Collaboration does not really exist if not all participants are able to interject their thoughts and opinions in the process. Finally, graduate student tutors might have better assessed each tutoring group membe strengths. By identifying each group member s strengths, each group member might have been more apt to participate fully in the tutoring process. Finally, most of the graduate student tutors were classroom teachers enrolled in a m (in reading education) at the university. One requirement of the provides an opportunity for fulltime teachers to participate in a practicum without taking away from their work. Therefore, a program such as this one is important in providing flexibility for graduate students who are fulltime teachers to fulfill the practicum requirement of their programs of study. Sugg e s tion s for Futur e R e s e ar c h As I concluded this study, I began to think about how I might expand upon this research in the future. One advancements in reading and writing achievement. This research did not involve
213 ng so would involve extending the length of the tutoring program and identifying appropriate instruments to measure changes in reading and writing achievement. Additionally, the research questions for such a study might justify the use of quantitative instruments in addition to or instead of qualitative instruments. Another suggestion for future research would be to recruit only struggling readers for the tutoring program and to focus on whether or not the tutoring program can help struggling readers advance. As discussed throughout this document, many U.S. schoolchildren continue to struggle with reading achievement. Studying programs that intend to enhance reading achievement among struggling readers is important to the education community and to the U.S. citizenry at large. Finally, future research might include following the elementary and middle school tutees into their respective classrooms when the school year begins. How do the tutees transfer the reading and writing strategies they learned during the summer literacy camp? How do the tutees label the reading and writing strategies in their school settings as they were expected to do during the summer literacy camp? Summary In this chapter, I restated the problem and reviewed the research methods and methodology used in the study. Then, I summarized the findings, providing enough I presented the Discussion section after the summary of findings. In the Discussion section, I related the current research to prior research used in Chapters 1 and 2. I also
214 discuss 2 unanticipated findings in the Discussion section. These were issues that occurred in the field that were different from issues addressed during the initial proposal. Finally, the Discussion session concludes with implications for practice and recommendations for future research. The implications consider how this study can be used for other (perhaps similar) tutoring programs, whereas the recommendations for future research consider additional questions that arose as a result of this study. This study adds to the current body of knowledge about out-of-school time literacy tutoring programs, specifically summer literacy tutoring programs, by reveali ng selected Additionally, this study provides more information on organizing tutoring programs as a community of interest and considering the viewpoints of primary stakeholders (tutors, My hope is that because of this research, other educators consider designing and implementing summer literacy camps that consider and meet the needs of all members of a community of interest.
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244 Appendix A CCPTP Contact Summary Form (Fieldnotes) Contact Date: __________________ Contact Type: Person(s) Contacted: Site Visit _____ _________________ Phone _______ _________________ E-mail _______ _________________ Interview _______ _________________ 1. Main issues/themes that struck me during this visit: 2. Information obtained during this contact: 3. Questions that arose as a result of this contact 4. Concerns
245 Appendix B Interview Questions: Tutee-Participants: 1. What were your reasons for coming to tutoring today? 2. What is (was) the best thing about tutoring today? 3. 4. What is the best thing about your tutor? 5. What do you tell other people (like your parents or friends) about your tutoring sessions? 6. How does your tutor help you learn to read and write? 7. What have you learned in your tutoring sessions? 8. What other activities do you participate in this summer? 9. What do you tell your friends about tutoring? Age: __________ Gender: __________ Grade: ________ School: __________ Ethnicity: __________ Ever Repeated a Grade: _____________________
246 Appendix B (Continued) Interview questions for tutor-participants: 1. Please describe your current educational level. 2. Describe any prior experiences you have had working with children. 3 What is (was) most appealing about the tutoring program? 4 What is (was) least appealing about the tutoring program? 5 What has been your most rewarding experience with the tutoring program? 6 What has been your most challenging experience with the tutoring program? 7 Describe any changes you have noticed with children enrolled in the tutoring program. 8 If you could change anything about the program, what would it b e? 9 What changes have you noticed in yourself? Age: _____ Gender: _____ Race/Ethnicity: ___________
247 Appendix B (Continued) Interview Questions for Parents of Tutees: 1. Does your child receive free or reduced lunch at school? 2. How did you learn about this tutoring program? 3. For what reasons did you enroll you child/children in the program? 4. What has your child/children told you about the tutoring program? 5. What do you think is the best thing about the program? 6. What do you like least about the program? 7. If you could change anything about the program, what would it be? 8. Does your child look forward to the tutoring sessions? How do you know? 9. Does your child talk about the tutoring sessions? What does he or she say about them? 10. habits? 11. Is your child choosing to read more?
248 Appendix C Possible Interview Probes: Bogdan, R. C., & Biklen, S. K. (2003). Quali t a t iv e r e s e ar c h f or e du c a t ion: An in t rodu c t ion t o t h e ori e s and me t hod s Boston: Allyn & Bacon. 1. What do you mean? 2. 3. Would you explain ? 4. What did you say then? 5. What were you thinking at the time? 6. Give me an example. 7. Tell me about it. 8. Take me through the experience.
249 Appendix D Within Case Analysis Checklist Matrix Previously Participated Tutee Age Grade Gender Race/Ethnicity in the program?
250 Appendix E Presence of Supporting Conditions Within Case Display ________________________________________________________________________ Presence of Supporting Positive Conditions Condition Tutee 1 Tutee 2 Tutee 3 Tutee 4
251 Appendix E (Continued) Within Case Display _______________________________________________________________________ Presence of Supporting Negative Conditions Condition Tutee 1 Tutee 2 Tutee 3 Tutee 4