Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Dissertation (UNI Access Only)


Reading (Elementary)--Remedial teaching; Middle school students--Education;


At-risk, young adolescent readers are identified as those who score below the 40th percentile on national assessments. Student voice, critical to comprehension, can be developed through discussions over critical articles. For this study, the Reading for Meaning strategy utilized individual opinions and seeking consensuses in small groups for readers at-risk. The study examined three pre-and post-assessments and included interviews with six participants in efforts to determine the participants’ perceptions toward reading and writing, the effectiveness of the Reading for Meaning strategy, and growth in achievement.

The study involved 17 students in four classes. Low participation of eighth graders informed the analysis methodology toward a qualitative descriptive study. The treatment groups were taught using the Reading for Meaning strategy, using a 12-step process to elicit consensus on four articles. The control groups spent equal time with the researcher addressing the same four articles without the 12-step process.

The sixth grade mean achievement gains showed mixed results when comparing the performance of the treatment group with the control group. All students across sixth and eighth grade groups reported better self-perceptions regarding writing. All but one of the students also reported better self-perceptions regarding their performance in reading. The interviews yielded the following results: At-risk readers disliked reading aloud, timed reading and tests, being embarrassed by their lack of reading skills, and are easily distracted. They reported some reading outside of school, but minimal amount of time. The readers at-risk would like to choose their own books and genres, and enjoyed receiving reading and behavioral incentives. Implications for teachers indicate the following: earlier interventions may be more effective, readers at-risk need to be given more opportunities to choose their own books and genres, and use of external incentives can promote more reading and better behavior.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Department of Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Jean Schneider

Second Advisor

Deborah Tidwell

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (ix, 176 pages)



File Format


Off-Campus Download