Metacognition strategies: A case study of two first-grade students using the Accelerated Literacy Learning Program

Jennifer Page-Mitchell Bailey

Abstract

This qualitative case study explores how two first grade students learned metacognition strategies during a one-on-one tutoring session. The theoretical framework of this study is based on Lev Vygotsky's theory of the Zone of Proximal Development (1962). The researcher used the Accelerated Literacy Learning (Short, Frye, Homan, and King, 1999) Program as the tutoring method. This program is based on the Reading Recovery Program. The premise of each of these programs relates to Vygotsky's theory in that each student receives scaffolding from the tutor researcher. As the student's ability increases the guidance of the tutor decreases until it is totally diminished and the student can read independently at a level appropriate for his grade level. Each student for this study was chosen using purposeful sampling. The classroom teacher chose two students who were struggling with reading. The researcher then used Marie Clay's (1993) Observation Survey to pre-assess each student. This pre-assessment qualified each student for the program. The researcher used participant observation, non-participant observation, unstructured and semi-structured interviews as means for data collection. Four months were spent in the first grade classroom observing, tutoring and interviewing each student, their mothers, and teachers. Lincoln and Guba's (1985) four criteria for verification of data were used. These criteria include credibility, transferability, dependability, and confirmability. Daily written lesson plans and observations became a major part of the data analysis process. Data analysis was an on-going process. As the research continued the researcher found that there was quite a difference between how each girl progressed through the program. One girl was very successful in the program and the other was not. At the end of the four-month period the researcher concluded that many factors contribute to a student's success or failure in the program.