Date of Award

12-2017

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Education

Major Professor

Richard Allington

Committee Members

Dorian McCoy, Anne McGill-Franzen, Stergios Botzakis

Abstract

The impetus for this study was to determine how Accelerated Reader influences the reading attitudes of fourth grade students of varied reading proficiencies who had been exposed to Accelerated Reader since kindergarten. Interested in students’ attitudes and motivation toward reading, I examined fourth grade students’ reading motivation among two award winning Blue Ribbon Schools in East Tennessee, one of which used Accelerated Reader as the pathway to literacy success while the other did not. Comparisons between the two schools were made in order to determine if there were differences in students’ attitudes and motivation toward reading. This explanatory mixed methods study incorporated both quantitative and qualitative research methods. Data were generated through the Motivation to Read Profile-Revised survey and semi-structured individual interviews. The quantitative results indicated that in relation to the overall MRP-R survey, there were no statistically significant differences between students who participate in Accelerated Reader and those who do not. There was not a statistical difference between the AR school and the school without AR regarding survey questions aligned to self-concept. There was a significant difference found on the subcategory of value of reading among the two schools. The AR school produced higher scores on the survey questions aligned to value of reading.

After the initial quantitative analysis was conducted, interview questions were formulated to delve more deeply into these findings. When incorporating Explanatory Sequential Models, the qualitative phase follows the quantitative analysis to more fully elucidate the narrative behind the numbers generated. The results obtained from these differing methods of research produced findings that were sometimes contradictory. These contradictions were discovered through the semi-structured interview questions that were intended to further explicate the quantitative findings.

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