Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Education


Educational Leadership PhD

First Advisor

James A. Tucker

Second Advisor

Matthew K. Burns

Third Advisor

Gary Gifford


As partial fulfillment of a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership, a retrospective, multi-element study was performed. The study compared the Incremental Rehearsal method (IR) and the Pocket Word method (PW) to each other and to Repeated Reading (within Instructional Level [RR-IL] by individually teaching words from the Dolch Word List to first-grade students. The effects of IR, PW, and RR-IL on the word retention, reading accuracy, words read per minute, passage retell, and aided comprehension of seven first-grade students were compared. The Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (4th edition) and the Dolch Word List were administered prior to intervention. The three conditions were administered at a rate of a single intervention every 24 hours (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday) in order to counterbalance the intervention effects. Word retention, reading accuracy, and words read per minute were assessed at 24 hours and 7 days after each condition. Reliability of the administration was assessed by a school psychologist. The findings demonstrate an increase in the total number of words retained from pre-measure to post-measure on the Dolch Word List for each individual student and across all students. A visual analysis of individual cumulative data showed an increase for each student, an increase for all students, and confirmed the differentiation of conditions between the IR and PW method from the RR-IL method. As such, positive effects were found for the IR and PW methods for word retention at 1 and 7 days for each student and across students. The IR method demonstrated differentiation from PW and RR-IL for words read correctly in text. Limitations, observations, and recommendations for further study are discussed.

Subject Area

Reading comprehension, Reading (Elementary), Word recognition, Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.