Fostering Intrinsic Motivation, Learning Goals and Fluid Beliefs of Intelligence Among Struggling Readers: An Intervention.
Abstract: Beginning in elementary school, those students who struggle to
acquire basic reading skills tend to demonstrate a stronger tendency towards task
avoidance. As a result of their avoidant behaviors, students' reading ability progresses at
a slower rate, which leads to further task evasion. The current study addressed task
avoidance among struggling readers by fostering intrinsic motiva... read moretion, learning goals, and
malleable beliefs of intelligence. Participants consisted of twenty four students (ages 7
to 10) who attended a summer program to address their weaknesses in reading. Students were
grouped by reading ability and assigned to either an intervention condition, that embedded
evidence-based motivational strategies into two specialized reading curricula, the RAVE-O
and Wilson Reading Programs, or a control condition that coupled the same reading curricula
with incentives. In order to facilitate intrinsic motivation and learning goals, strategies
were autonomy-supportive, illustrated the malleability of intelligence, emphasized the role
of effort, strategy-use, and errors in the learning process, offered personally meaningful
tasks, and in general, created a supportive community of learners. Outcome variables
included assessments of reading ability, self-reports of motivation, measures of goal
orientation, and classroom observations. Findings indicated that relative to the control
participants, intervention participants decreased their frequency of disruptive classroom
behaviors and task avoidance. These findings are discussed in light of related research,
suggesting that reading instruction that develops autonomous learners and fosters a
supportive learning community in addition to building skills results in the greatest
outcomes. Teachers' experiences implementing the intervention are also
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Tufts University, 2013.
Submitted to the Dept. of Child Development.
Advisor: Maryanne Wolf.
Committee: Martha Pott, Laurel Leslie, and Julianne Turner.
Keywords: Reading instruction, and Social psychology.read less