Title page for ETD etd-0324103-105157

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Stringer, Angelle Rae
Author's Email Address astrin1@lsu.edu
URN etd-0324103-105157
Title The Impact of a Life-Application Learning Instructional Program on Struggling Readers at the Middle School Level
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Curriculum and Instruction
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Earl Cheek, Jr. Committee Chair
James Stockard Committee Member
James Wandersee Committee Member
R Ken Denny Committee Member
Sarah H. Pierce Dean's Representative
  • struggling readers
  • middle school
  • life skills
Date of Defense 2003-03-07
Availability unrestricted
This eight-week descriptive study examined the impact of the incorporation of a Life-Application Learning Methods Program on struggling middle school readers. Two questions were explored: 1) How did incorporating life–application learning into the middle school curriculum impact reading motivation?, and 2) How did incorporating life-application learning in the middle school curriculum impact the reading levels? Participants in the study were eight eighth-grade students considered to be struggling readers

Qualitative methods were used for this study utilizing responses from a survey, two inventories, student journals, and researcher observations. Data gathered suggested that students are more likely to become motivated and engaged readers when the subject matter directly relates to their lives and that students are more likely to invest in learning reading skills and strategies in order to pursue information they find relevant.

The Life-Application Learning Methods Program incorporated the skills outlined in the lesson plans of regular classroom teacher with current reading materials including, but not limited to, novels, magazines, newspapers, recipes, instruction booklets, job applications, and internet resources. Activities included oral reading, group activities, presentations, research, internet exploration, and creative writing.

Results of the descriptive study indicated that struggling readers involved in a Life-Application Learning Instructional Program demonstrated gains in both motivation and reading ability. A reexamination of the study identified the immediate usefulness and personal application as being the significant catalyst for becoming active readers.

The findings highlight the students’ desire to find meaning in their reading assignments. In addition, findings suggest that integrating multiple sources of reading materials invite greater student participation.

Implications resulting from these findings could be instrumental in improving student engagement in the classroom. By knowing and understanding what motivates student to learn, educators can provide instruction interesting to the students and in compliance with state mandated curriculum guides.

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