Date of Award

Spring 5-2010

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Education & Educational Psychology

First Advisor

Karen Burke, CSJ, EdD

Second Advisor

Lois Lanning, PhD

Third Advisor

Jennifer F. Mitchell, EdD


This study examined the impact of the Four Powerful Comprehension Strategies on comprehension achievement and reader self-perception of struggling readers in grades three, four, and five. The study also observed the relationship between the intervention and learning-style processing preferences. There is a need for effective reading intervention at the intermediate level to teach struggling readers how to efficiently manage the complexities of comprehension.

This study utilized an experimental research methodology. The 63 participants were the total number of struggling readers identified at one elementary school in an urban school district. All subjects were randomly assigned to the experimental group or the control group. The experimental group received small group instruction using the Four Powerful Comprehension Strategies in a gradual release lesson design approximately four times a week for 14 weeks, while the control group received alternate intervention instruction.

This research used quantitative analyses to investigate each question. Comprehension was assessed, posttest only, using the Gates-MacGinitie Reading Test. Student self-perception was assessed, pretest-posttest, using the Reader Self-Perception Scale. The analysis of pretest data determined that no initial difference existed between group means. For both the cognitive and affective measures data were analyzed using separate two-way Analysis of Variances (p ≤ .025) to determine a significant difference in mean scores between the two groups for each dependent variable. These data also were analyzed to determine if a significant interaction existed between the two levels of reading comprehension intervention instruction and students’ Learning-Style Processing Preference (global and analytic) with respect to each of the dependent variables.

It was determined that there was a non-significant main effect between group means of the experimental and the control group for reading comprehension and reader self-perception. Additionally, the results indicated no significant interaction between the two independent variables in relation to either of the dependent variables. Although the analyses indicated no significant differences, the mean scores for experimental students identified as having a global processing preference were higher than the experimental students identified as having an analytic processing preference for both cognitive and affective measures.