Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Specialist in Education (Ed.S.)



First Advisor

Dr. Lisa Kelly-Vance

Second Advisor

Dr. Hans Langner

Third Advisor

Dr. Tom Lorsbach


Controversy over how to teach reading centers around phonics and whole language and whether phonics should be taught in isolation. Previous studies have compared the two methods rather than combinations of both, and have utilized standardized tests that have questionable usefulness. This study proposed that curriculum based measurement is a more accurate measurement. Reading probes were administered to 38 students in nongraded classrooms. Both classrooms incorporated phonics into whole language curriculums; however, only one classroom used the Spalding method of phonics instruction. A pretest, posttest design was utilized, and gain scores were compared using a t-test. Results indicated a significant difference in fluency gain. The hypothesis that the classroom integrating the Spalding method would exhibit greater fluency gain was supported.


An Ed.S. Field Project Presented to the Department of Psychology and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Education Specialist University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright Ellen M. Loper September, 1997