Date of Conferral

2015

Degree

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

School

Education

Advisor

Joan Gipe

Abstract

Teachers struggle to address motivation and its impact on reading achievement and the continued desire to read, even with first-grade students. The theoretical framework for this study was based on Banduraâ??s social cognitive theory of self-efficacy, which pertains to how individuals feel and think about themselves and the way they self-motivate; it was also based on Skinnerâ??s operant theory, which maintains that a student can be motivated by positive reinforcement. A quasi-experimental design was used to examine the impact of 3 motivation conditions (intrinsic, extrinsic, or a combination of both) on the reading achievement and oral reading fluency of 66 first-grade students. The students in 3 intact classrooms were assigned as 3 different treatment groups, each representing a separate motivation condition. The dependent variables were reading achievement and oral reading fluency. Data were pretest and posttest scores on reading achievement and oral reading fluency measures. Students in 2 of the 3 groups graphed their oral reading fluency (words read correctly per minute), which supported the intrinsic motivation condition of goal setting. Similarly, students in 2 of the 3 groups received rewards, which defined the extrinsic motivation condition. After 8 weeks of treatment conditions, posttest scores were compared with pretest scores as a covariate. An analysis of covariance showed no statistically significant differences in reading achievement between the 3 motivation conditions. Further analysis revealed a statistically significant difference in oral reading fluency favoring the intrinsic motivation intervention group. The findings suggest that 8 weeks may not be sufficient for students to benefit directly from any specific motivation condition, but suggest that engaging students in goal setting may improve reading achievement and eventual literacy.

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