School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


David Nelson


Curriculum and Instruction | Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Methods | Educational Psychology


The purpose of this quantitative casual-comparative research was to provide educators data pertaining to reading and the influence of classroom instructional setting on reading test scores. This study investigated if learning in a departmentalized instructional setting had a subsequent positive effect on fifth grade students’ reading achievement as measured by the 2015 Virginia Standards of Learning Assessment, as opposed to fifth grade students who were exposed to a traditional instructional setting. Data was collected from the accountability office of the selected school district. Fifth grade students in a departmentalized or traditional regular education classroom participated in this study. The convenience sampling of 737 students were from grade K-5, non-Title I elementary schools in the suburban area of the school district. An analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was conducted to determine if there was a statistically significant difference between mean reading scale scores of fifth grade students who were taught using different instructional settings while controlling for prior achievement. The statistical analysis of this study showed no significant difference in reading achievement scores between students taught in a traditional or departmentalized instructional setting. Therefore, recommendations for further research were provided.