Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Dr. Marge Maxwell (Chair), Dr. Jim Berger, Dr. Nedra Atwell, Dr. Robert Smith

Degree Program

Educational Leadership Doctoral Program

Degree Type

Doctor of Education


Many high school teachers are unaware of, or mistaken about, specific strategies and practices that actually motivate their students to read, and that what motivates one group of students may not motivate another. Although content-area instructors may not have been trained in teaching reading strategy and may feel as though teaching reading is not their job, it is an expectation that could largely be met by the implementation of motivational strategies.

This exploratory study utilized the expectancy theory of motivation and wasconducted to determine which strategies and practices would be most motivational for high school students to read. In a survey created by the researcher, student participants were identified as having high or low self-efficacy and high or low value of reading.Also included in the survey were 27 motivational strategies and practices garnered from previous studies and research among all age groups. Finally, an open-ended question was included to determine the most motivational strategy. Four student groups were identified (those with high and low self-efficacy as readers and those with high and low value for reading) to correspond to aspects of the expectancy theory of motivation, as were the most motivational strategies and practices for each group. Student responses were also compared to teacher responses to the same survey to determine how closely aligned the teachers were with their students in regard to motivation for reading.

Data from both qualitative and quantitative analyses demonstrated that in fact there were differences in motivation to read both between high school teachers and their students and among the four designated groups of students. Significant differences between the mean scores of teachers and students were revealed in 15 of the 27 motivational strategies and practices included in the study. Among the most revealing results was that teachers seem to have underestimated their students’ willingness to read. Significant differences among the means of students in four groups were revealed in an astounding 22 of the 27 strategies and practices listed on the survey, indicating that a onesize- fits-all approach to reading motivation is not effective.


Curriculum and Instruction | Education | Educational Administration and Supervision | Elementary and Middle and Secondary Education Administration | Higher Education Administration | Secondary Education and Teaching