ERIC Number: ED405566
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997
Reference Count: N/A
Engaging "At-Risk" High School Students. Perspectives in Reading Research No. 12.
O'Brien, David G.; And Others
At-risk students' failure within the system and the failure of the system to stimulate and interest them leads to a cycle of disengagement: since they lack competence, these students avoid reading. The term "at-risk" is ambiguous because of the evolution of its meaning and the different loci of blame for how people "become at risk" or are "placed at risk." A literacy lab, replacing a traditional remedial reading program at Lafayette (Indiana) Jefferson High School, was based on 3 characteristics of innovative secondary literacy programs: (1) viewing students as unique individuals; (2) providing students with tasks that are challenging, interesting, and "do-able"; and (3) allowing students choice in topic and method of completing activities. Text-based activities are integrated with other media, including a variety of computer-based, multimedia activities. Academic history interviews of 10 students and 3 case studies provide insight about the students' current family and work lives, future aspirations, experiences in school, and the values and beliefs these individuals hold regarding life within and outside of school. All students in the Literacy Lab but one found the activities to be enjoyable and helpful in their development as readers and writers. Students especially liked the computer activities in which they could read and write stories. The Literacy Lab maintains students' engagement from day to day by capitalizing on their free choice and balancing their daily challenges and success by using technology tools typically reserved for high track, more privileged students. (Contains 41 references.) (RS)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Reading Research Center, Athens, GA.; National Reading Research Center, College Park, MD.