Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Curriculum and Instruction

First Committee Member

Maria J. Meyerson

Number of Pages



The primary purpose of this study was to explore and describe the culture of tutoring to determine if America Reads Challenge (ARC) tutors were able to provide elementary school tutees with scaffolded literacy learning experiences. Three main educational theories formed the framework for this study: sociocultural theory of cognitive development, scaffolding, and activity theory. Relevant research related to the efficacy of tutoring programs also was included. The overarching research design was an ethnographic methodology that included the collection of video tape, followed up with informal interviews to substantiate the findings with the two tutoring dyads; Subsequently, the data was analyzed, categorized, and described in a narrative format. Significant verbal interactions were placed on etic grids for more in-depth analysis. Similarities and differences across and within the tutoring dyads were identified and discussed; Eight literacy strategy domains were constructed and remained stable across the tutoring dyads. Both tutors demonstrated an ability to provide their tutees with scaffolded literacy learning experiences, increasing and decreasing the amount of instructional support as needed; Based on the findings, it is recommended that literacy tutors participate in thorough and ongoing training in the eight strategy domains identified in this study. Also, tutors need explicit instruction geared towards providing tutees with appropriately scaffolded learning experiences. While the findings of this study cannot be generalized to all situational contexts, other literacy tutoring programs may benefit from learning how university literacy tutors deliver instruction to needy students.


Ethnographic; Knowledge; Literacy; One; One-on-one; Scaffolding; Situation; Study; Tutoring

Controlled Subject

Curriculum planning; Education, Elementary; Language arts

File Format


File Size

4372.48 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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