Date of Award

Spring 5-16-2016

Level of Access Assigned by Author

Open-Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Literacy Education


V. Susan Bennet-Armistead

Second Committee Member

James Artesani

Third Committee Member

Adria Klein

Additional Committee Members

Kenneth Martin

Sid Mitchell


This is a phenomenological case study of four students with the purpose of investigating the Vygotskian concept of egocentric speech or the verbal self-coaching students use when problem solving. Data was collected across six weeks in a rural Maine district. Egocentric speech was revealed during all lesson components in the form of a statement, question, self-correction, or a short comment. Students used short examples of egocentric speech to confirm or disconfirm when problem solving. Additionally, students use egocentric speech while engaged in problem solving with different frequencies and in different lesson components. Student behaviors such as moving towards or appealing to the teacher for help at point of difficulty to attending to the task and working independently while engaged in egocentric speech appear to shift over time. The students’ ability to use egocentric speech while developing a self-regulation is examined.