Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Curriculum and Instruction PhD

First Advisor

Paul S. Brantley

Second Advisor

Shirley A. Freed

Third Advisor

Jimmy Kijai


Problem. This research study sought to determine
(1) home educators' beliefs about reading,
(2) their reading instructional practices, and
(3) the consistency between parents' beliefs and practice.

Method. This study used multiple sources of data. Demographic information was collected from 78 active home educators in southwest Michigan. DeFord's (1985) Theoretical Orientation to Reading Profile (TORP) determined parents' theoretical orientation to reading. Nine parents were interviewed and observed teaching reading. The Moss (1980) Classroom Analysis of Teachers' Theoretical Orientation (CATTOR) was used to record parents' instructional practices in reading. Documents utilized during instruction were analyzed and placed in one or more of the three categories: phonics, skills, and whole language.

Results. The TORP indicated that 51 of the parents held the skills orientation; 27 held the phonics orientation; and no parent held a whole language orientation. Using the CATTOR to analyze the instructional practices of nine parent-teachers, it was found that 6 out of 9 had a phonics orientation. Two had a whole language orientation, and one had a skills orientation. Instructional practices, teaching materials, and theoretical orientations were consistent in six of the nine situations.

Conclusion. In this study the idea that theoretical orientation drives instruction was supported. It appears that knowledge, curriculum materials, and experience also play an important role in directing the course of reading instruction.

Subject Area

Individualized reading instruction, Home schooling, Reading--Parent participation


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