Date of Conferral







Peter Hoffman-Kipp


Middle-school male students currently face a disadvantage in reading comprehension compared to female students. Research suggests the problem is that more male students score below grade level in reading comprehension because they require more cognitive scaffolding. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of text-to-self reading instruction and to compare the comprehension achievement of male and female students in 6th-grade reading and language-arts classes using guided reading of text-to-self instruction and guided reading using novels. The foundation of this study was based on constructivist theories including Dewey's pragmatist philosophy, Piaget's developmental theory, and Vygotsky's theory of zone of proximal development. Research questions focused on differences in reading comprehension scores between male and female students, using guided reading with text-to-self reading connections, and using guided reading using novels. The study involved a quantitative methodology using a pretest--posttest, quasiexperimental design. Two-way factorial analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was used to compute the differences between the means of the experimental and control group students. The 2 independent variables were reading strategies and gender. The dependent variable was the 6th-grade WESTEST reading scores (converted to z--scores), and the covariate was the 5th-grade WESTEST reading scores (also converted to z-scores). Results indicated that 6th-grade male and female students in the text-to-self reading program had higher levels of reading comprehension, however only the females' gains were statistically significant suggesting that the problem of male literacy achievement is multifaceted. This study offers implications for positive social change by offering 1 strategy for parents, teachers, and policymakers to cognitively scaffold student reading comprehension while also offering a step toward better understanding male literacy underachievement.