Keywords

reading instruction, reading interventions, reluctant readers, animal assisted therapy, registered therapy dogs

Abstract

This investigation studied the impact of registered therapy dogs assigned to students in order to improve reading skills. The purpose of this study was to determine if children assigned to registered therapy dogs improve significantly in reading achievement and related school performance such as attendance and discipline when compared to students of similar characteristics not assigned to registered therapy dogs. Specifically, the study used data to ascertain whether students assigned to registered therapy dogs improved their reading skills and if these students demonstrated more or less growth than students of similar characteristics not assigned to registered therapy dogs. This study analyzed data from the Canine Assisted Reading Education (C.A.R.E. to Read) program, data collected from the teacher responses to the C.A.R.E. to Read Teacher Questionnaire, and data provided by Brevard Public School District. Repeated measures analyses and descriptive statistics clearly revealed that students assigned to registered therapy dogs demonstrated more reading growth than their peers who were not assigned to registered therapy dogs. Additionally, students assigned to the registered therapy dogs had a more positive attitude toward schoolwork, were more willing to participate in classroom activities, were more successful with higher level thinking skills, and were more self-confident after being assigned to the registered therapy dogs. Recommendations were made to address teacher training concerning classroom environment, higher level thinking skills, and identifying hesitant and resistant learners. Recommendations also were made for additional research on other uses for registered therapy dogs in the educational setting.

Notes

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Graduation Date

2007

Semester

Spring

Advisor

Murray, Barbara

Degree

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

College

College of Education

Department

Educational Research, Technology and Leadership

Degree Program

Educational Leadership

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0001561

URL

http://purl.fcla.edu/fcla/etd/CFE0001561

Language

English

Release Date

May 2007

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)

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