Date of Award

5-2016

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

First Advisor

Doug Eury

Abstract

The Accelerated Reader (AR) program is a computerized reading management system developed in the early 1990s by Judi and Terry Paul. The AR program was developed as an extrinsic motivational tool to encourage children to read. Judi developed comprehension quizzes to accompany popular children’s books, while her husband created a computer program that would assign point values to each comprehension quiz. Students read a book, took the computerized comprehension quiz, and were awarded a certain number of points depending on the number of correct answers. During a national teacher conference, Judi Paul introduced her program to teachers. The demand for the AR program was overwhelming. Many districts purchased the program and began using it in classrooms. Today, the AR program is in over 75,000 classrooms. Teachers utilize the AR program as an extrinsic motivator to increase independent reading habits of students.

The study sought to determine (1) how students would describe the influence of AR on their current motivation to read for pleasure; (2) what, if any, discernable patterns and themes are evident in the self-reported perspectives of participants; and (3) are there variations within those patterns and themes based upon notable participant characteristics, including gender and years of participation in AR?

The results of this study indicated that the AR implementation practices of the sample district may have impacted students’ motivation to read for pleasure in high school. The researcher was not able to determine the influence of AR on high school students’ motivation to read for pleasure due to variables related to implementation of the program within the sample district.

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