Author Information

Kristin Arnold


Nicaragua, the second poorest country in Latin America, has a population of approximately 5.8 million people that includes nearly 1.7 million school-age children and youth. According to UNESCO, Nicaragua has the highest dropout rate in Latin America with 52% of children leaving school without completing their primary education. As a result, 22% of Nicaragua’s population is illiterate. To gain a better understanding of the primary educational system in Nicaragua, I traveled to the fifth-largest city in Nicaragua with two other researchers and two mentors to observe primary school education in the country, concentrating on the nature of literacy instruction in a Nicaraguan primary school. This qualitative and naturalistic study examined the teaching and learning of literacy in a public Nicaraguan primary school setting. Multiple data collection methods were employed, including three weeks of participant observations, field notes, semi-structured teacher interviews, and the collection of school and teacher artifacts. These research methods were used to examine the scope and sequence of literacy instruction in Nicaragua, the nature of literacy instruction and learning in a Nicaraguan primary school, and the strategies and methods teachers in Nicaragua used for literacy instruction.

Note on the Author

Kristin Arnold is a graduating senior majoring in Elementary Education with a second major in Spanish. Her research for this project was conducted while abroad in Nicaragua in the summer of 2015 under the mentorship of Dr. Jennifer Manak (Elementary Education) and Dr. Ryan LaBrozzi (Global Languages and Literatures). This trip was made possible with funding from the Undergraduate Research Abroad Grant. This research was presented at the 2015 Summer Research Symposium at Bridgewater State University.

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