Date of Award
Certificate of Advanced Study
Connecticut Literacy Specialist
Dr. Karen C. Waters
Researchers have affirmed a connection between students’ engagement in reading to their academic achievement. Struggling readers in particular are generally not engaged or motivated to read. While the construct of reading engagement is difficult to measure, a student’s motivation seems to be the driving force behind reading development. Additionally, today’s students are involved in and more motivated by the many different activities outside of school, which poses challenges for both teachers and parents. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of instructional techniques on student engagement in reading. To measure the academic progress of 21 fifth grade students over the course of a six-week intervention period, we considered two data points: the DRA2 and Serravallo’s (2014) Engagement Inventory. The engagement survey recorded students’ behaviors before, during, and after the intervention period, while the DRA2 measured reading achievement before and after the six weeks. Student behavior was coded to analyze the findings of the engagement surveys, which led to three major themes for increasing engagement: (1) the use of choice within the classroom such as seating, text, genre and assessments; (2) the use of authentic tasks to connect reading to the real world; and (3) collaboration with peers in literacy related tasks. An increase in students’ overall reading achievement affirmed the effectiveness of student choice, authentic tasks, and peer collaboration on student motivation. Additionally, the implementation of regular, ongoing opportunities to engage in student self-selection of text and collaborate with peers these themes resulted in a higher student self-efficacy in literacy.
Prusaczyk, B. (2018). Engaging the disengaged: Using every trick in the book. Unpublished Certificate of Advanced Study Thesis, Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, CT. Retrieved from http://digitalcommons.sacredheart.edu/lit/3
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