UBC Graduate Research

An investigation into the implementation of Words their Way as a classroom word study program Dettling, Heather Marie


The purpose of my research is to survey teachers in my district about the usage and implementation of a word study program called Words Their Way (Bear, Invernizzi, Templeton & Johnston, 2008). Reviews of literature and previous research pertaining to spelling acquisition theories, word sorting, and teacher implementation of programs support the use of the program and help to explain why wide-spread implementation is not occurring. District literacy coaches anecdotally report that few teachers are implementing the program. My research questions are: What obstacles impede the implementation of Words Their Way (Bear et al, 2008) as a word study program in classrooms? What do teachers believe would support implementation to make it more successful? The major source of data was an online survey administered to elementary school teachers in one district who teach Language Arts in a classroom setting. I investigated their views on implementing, and their classroom experiences with, Words Their Way (Bear et al, 2008). Other data sources included a research journal and anecdotal field notes. In response to the research findings, staff in-service opportunities, in the form of classroom demonstrations, workshops and mentorship, were created and offered.

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