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ERIC Number: ED526572
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 126
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1245-1598-4
The Use of Motivational Reading Practices in Middle Schools in Mississippi
Duncan, Sarah Parks
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The University of Mississippi
This study explored the topic of middle school students and their instructional reading environment. As students progress through school, there is a decrease in the amount of time spent reading for pleasure. Overall, students' attitudes toward reading and motivation to read decline as they get older due to a complex mix of factors including negative classroom experiences, increased activities, and lowered self-efficacy. However, a number of research-based strategies exist that teachers can use to promote reading in the middle grades: setting aside time for reading, offering choices, modeling reading, providing social interaction, and expanding definitions of text. The purpose of this study was to explore the use of such motivational reading practices in the middle schools in Mississippi. The sample comprised all 724 middle school teachers who taught reading or language arts in Mississippi. A three-part survey instrument designed by the researcher was distributed via email and asked teachers about their teaching methods and texts as well as their goals and perceived limitations in the classroom. The survey's response rate was 35% with 256 teachers participating. Data indicated that teachers were using many motivational methods alongside more traditional practices in their classrooms. State testing emerged as a significant influence on teachers with 98% of teachers using reading passages to prepare students for tests at least monthly, which made test-prep passages the most frequently used text in middle school classes. Student free-choice reading was the most frequently reported reading method, and whole-class discussion was the after-reading activity used most often. Traditional methods such as class reading of teacher-selected novels and textbook reading were regular activities in most classrooms, and the objective test or quiz was employed at least weekly by 73% of teachers. Almost half of the teachers surveyed cited student interest and appeal as a major influence on their instructional decisions. Time limitations were the most frequently noted limitation for teachers as they tried to reach the reading goals they set for their students. Because this study was limited to one state, a study on the national level is needed to determine what reading instruction is like in middle schools across the country. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Mississippi