Portraitures of field dependent children with reading disabilities: Colored overlays as an instructional intervention

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Virginia Tech

A portraiture study was conducted with four children enrolled in various grades of a rural Virginia elementary school. . Purposeful sampling was used as a selection tool, and all students were participants of the Title I program, unsuccessfully discontinued from the Reading Recovery program, and were tested as field dependent, a cognitive characteristic, using the Children's Embedded Figures Test created by Witkin, et al (1971).

These participants were observed within a classroom setting, a small group setting, and in a one-on-one setting. Interviews offered the opportunity to investigate the students' feelings and attitudes towards using the overlays. Field notes, unaided observations, participant observations were gathered, and interviews were conducted with the students, as well as with the reading specialist, the teachers, and the administrator of the school. Further data was gained from historical records from the school and evaluative tools used within the classroom, on a periodic basis.

Outcomes of this study focus on the process of using colored overlays with these participants, their self-efficacy their feelings about using the tool, how the faculty perceives this tool, and additional implications with regards to field dependence and colored overlays within the classroom.

tactile learning, field dependence, reading disabilities, Title I, colored overlays, Reading Recovery