Jason DoumaFollow




School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Gregg Mowen

Primary Subject Area

Education, General; Education, Educational Psychology; Education, Secondary; Education, Sociology of; Education, Reading; Education, Curriculum and Instruction


attitudes, literacy instruction, motivation, perceptions, self-efficacy, teacher influence


Curriculum and Instruction | Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Psychology | Liberal Studies


The purpose of this phenomenological study was to investigate the perceptions that male at-risk sixth, seventh and eighth grade students' possess toward reading at a small rural public school district in Michigan. Male at-risk students was generally defined as students below grade level in reading based on their STAR reading assessment. Male students may have developed certain perceptions toward reading based their continual struggle with reading and teacher practices, such as grouping strategies, throughout their academic lifetime. To discover the essence of male at-risk sixth, seventh and eighth grade students' perceptions data collection was gathered through surveys, interviews and explanations of drawings created by participants depicting what reading felt like to them. Data was analyzed following procedures prescribed by Clarke Moustakas' transcendental phenomenological analysis procedures utilizing coding and reflection on numerous occasions. Five themes emerged from data analysis. The five themes were motivating factors, developmental appropriateness of teacher practices, relationships with teachers, self-efficacy and peer pressure. One finding of this study was the change in attitude participants had towards reading as they progressed from sixth to eighth grade. The older students had a more negative perception to reading than both sixth and seventh grade participants. Seventh grade participants also had more negative perceptions than sixth grade participants. Participants felt that literacy instruction diminished after fifth grade.