School of Education


Doctor of Philosophy in Education (PhD)


Tony Ryff


dysgraphia, teacher perceptions, early childhood




The purpose of this phenomenological qualitative study was to examine the lived experiences of early childhood teachers who are seeking to recognize the warning signs of dysgraphia in young children. The learning disorder known as dysgraphia affects written expression and can affect a student’s academic development, achievements, and self-efficacy. The study was conducted via Zoom at two Oklahoma public schools and one Texas public school. The 12 participants were active early childhood teachers who individually expressed their knowledge and perceptions on the recognition of dysgraphia through a written letter, an interview, and a focus group. One central research question guided the study: What are the lived experiences and perceptions of early childhood teachers of their training in recognizing dysgraphia in young children? The research focused on students with dysgraphia, the knowledge of dysgraphia warning signs, and the students’ and teachers’ self-efficacy concerning the recognition process of dysgraphia in their natural setting. The theoretical framework that guided this research came from Bandura’s social learning theory and Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory. Hermeneutic, phenomenological data studied the lived experiences, revealed important themes within the phenomenon, and assessed the researched content by reflecting the parts and the whole for a holistic understanding of the data. Four major themes emerged from the data analysis: (a) dysgraphia definition, (b) warning signs, (c) accommodations and modifications, and (d) college preparation. The interpretation of the study’s findings, the limitations of the study, and future research recommendations were examined.

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