Date of Award

Spring 2016




Doctor of Education


Counseling, Foundations & Leadership


Nationwide, increased accountability measures require educational leaders to develop and implement instructional practices that expedite the narrowing of the achievement gap. Legislation in several states allows states to annex low-performing schools. With such pressure, school districts are looking to educational consultants to facilitate the transformation of reading instruction, thereby raising levels of academic achievement. A thorough vetting of these interventions, however, is necessary to determine if the potential benefits can be generalized to other populations. The purpose of this quantitative, causal-comparative study was to compare the reading achievement and reading motivation of two groups of African American males in an alternative high school. One group (n = 140) was enrolled in READ 180, while their peers (n = 141) were enrolled in culturally relevant literature classes. Scholastic Reading Inventory scores were used to compare changes in reading achievement. Scholastic Independent Reader surveys were used to compare changes in reading motivation between the two groups over the course of one academic year. A repeated-measures multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) was used to test the hypotheses. The two independent variables were (a) class with two levels (READ 180 and culturally relevant literature class), and (b) time with two levels (pre-intervention and post-intervention). The MANOVA assessed the effect of the independent variables on the linear combination of the dependent variables (achievement and motivation). Significant main effects and interactions were investigated. Students in READ 180 exhibited statistically significant growth in reading achievement and motivation. Similarly, students in culturally relevant literature classes vii also exhibited statistically significant growth in both reading achievement and motivation. While the changes in reading achievement and motivation were slightly higher for students who participated in culturally relevant literature classes, these differences were not statistically significant. The differences between groups at posttest were largely reflective of the differences that existed at pretest; it seems that differences between groups are more likely attributed to differences in the composition of the groups, rather than differences in the type of reading program. Both interventions had positive, statistically significant effects on the reading achievement and reading motivation of African American males in this study.

Nicolson, Clifton.pdf (58 kB)
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