Date of Award

Fall 11-2011

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Education

First Advisor

Dr. Patricia Conner

Second Advisor

Dr. Sherry DeVore

Third Advisor

Dr. Terry Reid

Abstract

Although numerous studies have been conducted on reading aloud to elementary students, there is a need for additional research in reading aloud to middle school students. The main question is: are the benefits of reading aloud to elementary students comparable to middle school students? Reading aloud has proven to increase elementary students‘ comprehension, vocabulary, fluency, motivation, and encourage students‘ understanding of content matter. While reading aloud is a common practice among elementary teachers and students, the practice all but diminishes by middle school (Delo, 2008; Trelease, 2006). This mixed method study was conducted in three public school districts in Missouri to examine why teachers read-aloud to students and why students do or do not read independently. Seventh grade students were identified by Reading or Language Arts teachers as either enjoying independent reading or not enjoying independent reading. Then, students‘ reading scores were compared to interview responses regarding perceptions of reading aloud. Two teachers from each school district were interviewed regarding reasons for reading aloud and interview responses were analyzed. Teacher surveys were distributed among school districts, which provided quantitative data for the study. Qualitative results indicated when teachers read-aloud to students, comprehension and motivation were increased. Students reported enjoying reading more when teachers read-aloud to them, thus providing insights and recommendations for reading aloud and reasons for implementing practice. Quantitative data did not show a significant difference between students who enjoy reading and those same students‘ reading achievement scores; however, the mean of the two scores were worth noting as students who enjoy reading tended to score higher academically.

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