A Content Analysis of the Perceptions of Vocabulary Instruction by Early Grade Teachers

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D)


Supervision, Curriculum, and Instruction-Elementary Education

Date of Award

Spring 2022


It was still true that some children came to school with a smaller vocabulary than their peers (David, 2010, Duff & Brydon, 2020; Templin, 1957; White, Graves, & Slater, 1990). If students did not have enough word knowledge to access the correct meanings of the words they read in text, they failed to comprehend those texts and struggled to keep up with their peers that could. This was critical because the link between vocabulary and comprehension was very clear. If teachers did not do something to intervene when students were in the early grades, we saw that those children who knew lots of words, learned additional words quicker and subsequently, other children could continue to struggle (Stanovich, 1986). Consequently, some children would struggle even more once they entered the upper grades where they fell into what Chall and Jacobs (2003) referred to as the fourth-grade slump where students were transitioning from learning to read to reading to learn. Although the intellectual shortfalls in children from low income families could seem discouraging, the strategies available today were far more targeted and effective than ever before (Jenson, 2009). This content analysis aimed to communicate and understand the teaching methods, perceptions, and backgrounds of teachers of early grade students. Data were collected in the form of a survey to uncover themes and patterns as Connelly and Clandinin, (1990) stated “uncover the voices” of each of the teachers studied.


Tami Morton

Subject Categories

Curriculum and Instruction | Education | Educational Administration and Supervision | Elementary Education