Date of Award

Winter 2-17-2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Executive Ed.D. in Education Leadership Management and Policy


Education Leadership, Management and Policy


Martin Finkelstein, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jan Furman, Ed.D.

Committee Member

Bruce Storm, Ed.D.


Dyslexia, reading instruction, brain science in reading, multisensory phonics-based instruction, Orton-Gillingham, how children learn to read, brain imaging


This case study focused on the experiences of teachers who utilized a reading program, Wilson Fundations®, to teach phonics-based instruction to primary age children at an urban elementary school. Face-to-face interviews and a review of preliminary data verified for this community of educators that the phonics-based program was leading to significant improvements in reading for their students.

Based on brain imaging and significant intervention research, children with reading difficulties do benefit greatly from multisensory phonics-based instruction. Although the research is clear, children in the United States continue to struggle with reading. The National Association of Educational Progress (NAEP) results reveal that approximately 1/3 of the nation’s children are proficient readers. Phonics-based instruction developed by two brilliant minds, Orton-Gillingham, has paved the way for children with dyslexia and other reading difficulties.

The educators who participated in this case study unanimously verified that the phonics-based reading program had a sustainable impact on student reading ability.