Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

At-risk, urban seventh and eighth grade summer school students' perspectives on their reading practices and preferences
by Morton, Sylvia, Ph.D., State University of New York at Albany, 2008, 199; 3348179
Abstract (Summary)

This mixed method investigation explored the perspectives of urban seventh- and eighth- grade summer school students concerning their reading practices and preferences both in and out of school. Anchored in a sociocultural perspective, this study is framed with popular culture studies and a funds of knowledge perspective to understand the complexities involved in how urban middle school youth, with a history of academic failure, engage in reading. Specifically, this study explored the reading practices and preferences of these youth in and out of school, explored how their practices and perspectives were shaped by their daily interactions with peers and family, and how their practices and preferences differed by grade level and gender. By focusing on students' perspectives as captured in their own responses in survey and interview questions, this investigation found that while these academically struggling students expressed negative views about their reading practices and preferences, they demonstrated positive reading engagement in non-traditional texts outside of school. Most of these students had family members who modeled positive reading behaviors and who read books to them during childhood. However, most of these students were negative about reading. Peers also exerted a negative influence on these students' reading practices and preferences. Comparisons by grade and by gender revealed similarities between the groups, suggesting that struggling readers share common perspectives and problems related to reading. The results suggest that in order to get struggling students to engage positively in school reading, their out-of-school reading needs to be acknowledged and incorporated into the classroom curriculum.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Agee, Jane
School: State University of New York at Albany
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 70/02, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Secondary education, Literacy, Reading instruction
Keywords: At risk, Reading preferences, Summer school, Urban education
Publication Number: 3348179
ISBN: 9781109036947
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