School of Education


Doctor of Education in Curriculum & Instruction (EdD)


Susan Quindag


Reading Culture, Reading Motivation, Middle School


Curriculum and Instruction | Education


The purpose of this applied study is to examine the problem of low reading performance among Kentucky middle school students by exploring the reading culture of Harrison Independent School with the aim of identifying positive practices that can be endorsed as viable solutions to the problem. The researcher reviews the existing research to define the components of a positive reading culture and provide evidence of the link between a school’s reading culture and the reading performance of its students. The ensuing study examines teachers’ perceptions of their roles in promoting independent reading, strategies used by ELA teachers to improve students’ motivations to read, and students’ motivation and reading practice at Harrison Independent School. Four instruments are used to collect data from both students and teachers. Information about students’ attitudes about reading, as well as their reading preferences and independent reading practices, are analyzed using two student surveys: Adolescent Motivations for School Reading (AMSR) and Reading Activity Inventory (RAI), respectively. Additionally, surveys administered to English Language Arts (ELA) and non-ELA teachers assess their perceived roles in promoting students’ independent reading. Interviews with reading teachers present successful strategies for encouraging independent reading among students and promoting a positive reading culture. Finally, a two-part approach to solve the problem of low reading scores among middle schools is presented along with implications for all stakeholders and recommendations for future research.