Date of Award

8-1-2015

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Smith, Lynn

Abstract

The purpose of this dissertation research was to ascertain information from ninth-grade students about their perspective in reference to Response to Intervention (RTI) in their school and how it is impacting them as well as their perceived future implications on their education. In order to accomplish this overall objective, the following three research questions framed this study: 1. What are the perceptions of ninth-grade students concerning RTI? 2. What elements of RTI do they see as beneficial for them to progress to their sophomore year? 3. What are the RTI teachers doing to assist ninth-grade students to progress successfully to their sophomore year? A rural school in the Midwest was selected for this qualitative case study research. Document analysis of two websites, six papers, and student grades and test scores were used. Forty, ninth-grade students were surveyed, four students from this population were interviewed, and two core/RTI teachers were interviewed along with the building principal. Participants in the study self-selected pseudonyms for research anonymity purposes. The surveys were conducted in the ninth-grade English classes on one day, and interviews were conducted on separate days, face-to-face, and later transcribed for accuracy. There are three themes which emerged from the data: (1) students’ sense of accomplishment, (2) students’ sense of belonging, and (3) students’ sense of maturity. These findings describe students’ self-pronounced perceptions of their 8th hour RTI class and RTI’s effects on their learning. Based on this study’s findings, it is recommended that additional investigation into elements of RTI and student perceptions be conducted. Data collection and assimilation from one school year to the next and progress monitoring using norm-referenced tests need to be increasingly used in high schools. The schools should monitor RTI and student achievements and keep a record to improve their instruction. One way to screen the effects of RTI is to access students’ RTI perceptions and conduct longitudinal data collection and analysis from many school districts and populations.

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