Term of Award

Fall 2005

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Curriculum Studies (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Department

Department of Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading

Committee Chair

Saundra Murray Nettles

Committee Member 1

Ming Fang He

Committee Member 2

John Weaver

Committee Member 3

Eric Brooks

Abstract

This inquiry examined the reading motivations of African American middle grade males and investigated why some African American males are more successful academically in reading than others. This investigative pathway traveled through the possible interconnected barriers relative to reading achievement and reading motivation using the research strategy of critical narrative inquiry and the theoretical lens of critical race theory. Simultaneously, this qualitative analysis investigated racial/ethnic identity as it relates to background, popular culture, and learning styles as motivational factors for engaging African American males in reading and the learning process. African American, middle-grade males guided this path of exploration in telling stories of their public school experiences and academic experiences in reading. Six African American males, two from each grade level of sixth grade, seventh grade, and eighth grade participated in this research study. The students attend Martin Luther King, Jr., Middle School, an inner city school in the Atlanta Public School System. The students completed a reading interest inventory, online learning styles assessment, and an interview. These young men met the following requirements: low social economic challenges (SEC) status as determined by free or reduced school lunch enrollemnt and the following characteristics: three students, one from each grade level (sixth-eighth) with Georgia Criterion Reference Competency Test (CRCT) scores in the 349 or higher range representing the 60th percentile or higher, and three students, one from each grade level (sixth-eighth) with scores in the lower range of 299 or less representing the 35th percentile or lower on the total reading test.

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