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ERIC Number: ED560474
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 392
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3033-9873-5
Going beyond DCAS: Exploring the Role of Motivation in Adolescent Literacy
Tanner, John W.
ProQuest LLC, D.Ed. Dissertation, University of Delaware
Though the students at Appoquinimink High School (AHS) earned the fifth highest scores on DCAS Reading (among traditional public high schools), I was skeptical regarding whether these results accurately represented our students' literacy proficiency. My classroom interactions suggested that students lacked motivation toward literacy. Specifically, they found the curriculum difficult to access, lacked a sense of control over their learning, and felt disconnected from the school's literacy values. On the whole, they did not seem to enjoy reading or writing in their free time and were averse to discussing their academic literate practices outside of class. Literacy achievement at Appoquinimink High School, high as it is, still falls below desired levels. Specifically, 22% of 10th graders scored below the standard on the spring 2012 reading DCAS. These are important data that, in my view, deserve attention. However, it is necessary to realize that, despite its central role as an indicator of achievement, the DCAS is unable for several reasons to paint a complete picture of students' literacy. In light of the role I came to feel motivation plays in helping students achieve, and with data from the DCAS and classroom observations suggesting that both achievement and motivation were weak at AHS, I set out to comprehend the research literature on literacy and motivation, to determine our students' perceptions toward reading and writing, and to discern whether our teachers were aware of the students' views. I found that students do not frequently receive opportunities to make choices about their learning and lack a sense of connection to the school's literacy values and practices, particularly with regard to the texts offered in the curriculum. Also, I observed that there is a significant difference between the attitudes and experiences of College Preparatory (CP) and Honors students. Additionally, I learned that teachers lack a clear understanding of their students' attitudes about, abilities with, and perceptions toward literacy but are eager to understand how to make their practices more engaging. Based on what I found, I modified my teaching to see if I could find improvements in my students' views so that I could provide solid leadership in the professional learning community (PLC) with which I have been working the last three years. I shared my findings with this ongoing PLC and facilitated a discussion regarding their implication(s) for our school. My leadership within the PLC has evolved, particularly in that my findings and analyses have enabled me to help cultivate a more collaborative, data-driven, and solution-oriented PLC model than originally existed. [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:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education; Grade 10
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Delaware