The purpose of this study was to examine teachers' perceptions of commonly used instructional practices in reading, the use of literature circles, and student engagement at the middle school level. This study used a survey of teachers to collect data and the study design included descriptive and comparative components. It was descriptive in that it provided a picture of current perceptions of middle school language arts/reading teachers with respect to the use of literature circles. It was comparative in that it compared the backgrounds, practices, beliefs, and experiences of teachers who differed in terms of their use of literature circles in their classrooms.
A teacher on-line survey developed by the researcher used a Likert scale of agreement and disagreement to investigate teacher perceptions of student engagement with regard to certain reading practices, grouping of students for reading, and literature circle usage. Engagement was defined for this study as preparedness, willingness to discuss, share, and ask questions. Responses to survey statements were calculated into percentages and compared to analyze connections and participants' perceptions of literature circles. The findings of this study suggested that participants favor grouping students by interest for literature circle groups. Of the four instructional reading practices student-led was perceived as promoting student engagement in reading. Teachers responded with similar perceptions to students' willingness to discuss, share, and question which promoted student engagement. Results from this research may be useful to teachers in terms of differentiation strategies which might improve reading engagement in middle school students.
|Commitee:||Jordan, Joan, Wisenbaker, Joseph|
|Department:||School of Education|
|School Location:||United States -- Georgia|
|Source:||DAI-A 73/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Language arts, Middle School education, Literacy, Reading instruction|
|Keywords:||Differentiation, Literature circles, Middle school, Reading, Student engagement, Teacher perceptions|
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