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Education Research International
Volume 2012, Article ID 609271, 9 pages
Research Article

A Balanced Literacy Initiative for One Suburban School District in the United States

1Literacy Education, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66045, USA
2K-6 Curriculum and Assessment, Raymore-Peculiar School District, Peculiar, MO 64078, USA

Received 16 March 2012; Revised 4 June 2012; Accepted 20 June 2012

Academic Editor: Alex W. H. Chan

Copyright © 2012 Donita Shaw and Karen Hurst. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The purpose of this study was to investigate how the teachers employed by this suburban USA school district implemented balanced literacy instruction. The 111 teachers who taught grades K-6 completed surveys and were observed. Quantitative data from the surveys and observations were analyzed through descriptive statistics, nonparametric chi-square tests, and Pearson correlations. One open-ended survey question was analyzed qualitatively. Findings show that the majority of teachers had an acceptable understanding of balanced literacy. There were differences among teachers’ instruction on literacy components and structures across grades. Weak correlations among self-reported and observed practices were found. Implications are discussed as the data are being used for research-informed improvements in the district.