Date of Award

Spring 2023

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Educational Studies

First Advisor

Suha Tamim

Second Advisor

Rebecca Lynn Morgan


This paper describes a problem of practice that arose from a lack of consistent, systematic phonics instruction within a small rural school with a large percentage of students not mastering skills in a way that builds the needed foundation for reading. To address this problem, action research was conducted through a mixed methods approach to determine the impact of multisensory Orton-Gillingham based reading instruction on a small population of students’ phonetic development and how this specific type of instruction affected their attitudes about reading. In an attempt to collect quantitative data, this study was guided by two research questions: How and to what extent does Orton-Gillingham based instruction impact phonetic development in students in first and second grade who are also in Tier 2 and Tier 3 RTI? It was also guided by one qualitative research question that sought to ascertain how Orton-Gillingham based instruction impacted those students’ attitudes about reading. The results of the study indicated an increase in students’ reading achievement and attitudes about reading when Orton-Gillingham based instruction is implemented consistently. An action plan, which is to continue to implement Phonics First through the next school year with my sample group, a new group of third graders, and in kindergarten through third grade classrooms was developed. Implications for further research are also discussed.


© 2023, Amanda M. Dixon