Date of Award

2018

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

First Advisor

Sydney Brown

Abstract

A common practice in elementary schools is to allow students silent reading time during school. Experts agree this is best practice due to the benefits to students, especially in vocabulary development and reading stamina. As students age, however, this practice tends to decline in favor of activities that are meant to teach vocabulary in isolation and test preparation skills. In addition to these activities, English language arts classes typically read and study novels together as a class for the purpose of studying literary devices and literary analysis. Because of these practices, secondary students tend to read less, which in turn decreases reading stamina. In order to best prepare students for college, careers, and citizenry, adolescent students need increased literacy and stamina. Penny Kittle (2013), noted writer and reading expert, wrote Book Love: Developing Depth, Stamina, and Passion in Adolescent Readers, in which she described implementing a method of individualized instruction focused on a balanced approach of silent reading scaffolded by teacher conferencing (50%), mentor text study to improve writing skills (25%), and whole-class study of canonical texts (25%).

The researcher, an English language arts teacher at a suburban, low poverty high school in North Carolina, recognized stamina as a major issue with her students; therefore, she implemented Kittle’s (2013) protocol in an effort to address the problem. The researcher studied the implementation of the project, called the Book Love Initiative, using a mixed-methods action research design. A concurrent companion study at a rural, high poverty high school in South Carolina employed the same method to determine if the method has more far-reaching implications than if the research were only conducted at one site.

Both companion studies found student attitudes towards reading improved, reading volume and stamina increased, and the overall classroom environment improved.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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