The purpose of this case study was to investigate and describe Recognition & Response (R & R) practices, a model of early literacy Response to Intervention, utilized by multidisciplinary staff teams in a purposively selected, inclusion-based preschool program in Southern California. Investigated R & R practices included: (a) recognition of student needs through assessment, (b) collaborative problem-solving as a process to plan and evaluate next steps for students, and (c) response through a multi-tiered instructional approach. The researcher utilized a qualitative case study design. The single district preschool program selected is comprised of ten inclusion-based classrooms located on two elementary school sites. The four-year old classrooms within this program were purposively selected for this study. The researcher designed an interview protocol, an artifact review form, and a classroom observation tool. The findings of the study were synthesized into four overall conclusions. First, informal assessment is critical for providing intentional early literacy experiences to students. Second, informal problem solving between members of a multidisciplinary team is essential in planning an instructional response to support student early literacy needs. Third, a core literacy program that reflects agreed-upon literacy targets through thematic units and a range of learning formats across classroom is key to recognizing student early literacy needs. Fourth, the embedded use of multi-tiered instruction is a means of providing students with access to core literacy curriculum. One policy implication is related to the current funding model for public preschool programs. The restrictions can serve as obstacles for implementing the practices described in this study. Three practice implications include the development of leadership and vision for early childhood programs, investment in the professional learning of early childhood education teams, and the allocation of time for teachers and support staff to engage in critical conversations. Future studies that may benefit the early childhood profession include a longitudinal study of the program and a study of longevity of staff who serve on multidisciplinary teams. A third recommended area of study is to explore how, if at all, prompts support or hinder student independent use of learned skills in early childhood classrooms.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (EdD) -- Educational leadership, administration, and policy; Reading (Early childhood); Literacy programs; Early childhood education; Early childhood teachers

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Purrington, Linda;