Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Philosophy (Ph.D)


Education Specialties

First Advisor

Evan Ortlieb

Second Advisor

Kyle Cook

Third Advisor

Olivia Stewart


Universal screeners are mandated in many states, but the impact of the use of screeners and pragmatic instructional programs are not well connected. The purpose of this mixed methods study addressed a significant need for understanding how to connect screening instruments to instructional designs that support a preventative approach to literacy instruction. Additionally, this study aimed to uncover teachers’ perceptions about the affordances and challenges of screeners to create a multitiered system of supports for reading instruction in an inclusive kindergarten setting. Encompassing a pragmatic research paradigm this study was framed by cognitive behavioral theory revealing a multiple cognitive deficit model of dyslexia. This study utilized a mixed methods explanatory sequential design. The participants included one class of kindergarten students and one kindergarten teacher in a west coast suburban parochial school. Data collection included scores on the PALS literacy screener and KTEA-3 dyslexia screener and a semi-structured teacher interview. A Pearson r correlation coefficient was used to analyze the quantitative data. A significant correlation was noted between constructs within and between the PALS and KTEA-3 screeners. Letter naming facility, letter sound understanding and concept of word all presented as important constructs. A generic coding method was used to analyze the qualitative data and then the quantitative and qualitative data were integrated. Results from this research offer the potential to guide future research in practical models for inclusive literacy instruction aligned to multi-tiered system of supports within the kindergarten classroom setting.