Take a Look it's in a Book: Supporting Student Learning Through Interdisciplinary, Community-Based, Experiential Learning




Fredman, Traci
Stephens, Buddy
Coneway, Betty

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Interdisciplinary academic experiences enrich students' understanding of complicated concepts. Community-based learning helps students connect academic information with activities occurring in their own communities. Experiential learning allows students to apply concepts taught in the classroom. This project combined interdisciplinary, community-based, and experiential learning to plan and execute a bookfair hosted by graduate students in speech-language pathology (SLP) and educational leadership (EDL). Graduate students from both programs learned about three components of early literacy (i.e., vocabulary, phonological awareness, and receptive language skills). Using books from the Dolly Parton Imagination Library (DPIL), the students were tasked with creating extension activities for families to practice early literacy skills at home with their children. Children at Opportunity School, a local preschool for children from at risk backgrounds, are enrolled in the DPIL and receive a developmentally appropriate book from the DPIL each month until they turn 5. The graduate students hosted a bookfair at Opportunity School and shared their extension activities for books these children receive through the DPIL. Students voluntarily completed a pre- and post-survey assessing their knowledge of early literacy skills and their experiences in the project. It is anticipated that graduate students will report increased understanding of the importance of early literacy skills, vocabulary, phonological awareness, and receptive language by completing the project. The students also shared their experiences with interdisciplinary learning and teamwork.


A survey was used as the data collection methodology. It is anticipated that students will report increased understanding of phonoloigcal awareness, vocabulary, and receptive language. It is anticipated that students will have a deeper understanding of these concepts from their interdisciplinary work. In addition, it is anticipated that students will identify strengths and suggestions to improve the project for future classes.


2023 Faculty and Student Research Poster Session and Research Fair, West Texas A&M University, Department of Education, Poster, Experiential learning, Interdisciplinary learning, Bookfair, Dolly Parton Imagination Library


Permalink for this item. Use this when sharing or citing this source.