Narrowing the Literacy Gap: The Relationship Between Self-Selected Independent Reading and the Reading Motivations of Black and Hispanic Secondary Students-A Program Evaluation


Preston Woo

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D)


Educational Administration

Date of Award

Spring 2023


Reading is and continues to be on the decline in the U.S. Perhaps more startling to consider is the impact that low reading motivation levels may have on the persistent achievement gaps that pervade Black and Hispanic minorities. This research study aimed to elucidate the intersection of these two points and the implications of introducing choice in what students read as part of a literacy program. Overall, there is a considerable body of research that supports self-selected independent reading as an effective means to improving student reading motivation levels. Consequently, the purpose of this ex post facto quantitative research study using archival data was twofold: 1) to examine for differences in reading motivations of White, Hispanic, and Black 10th grade students between those who participate in a self-selected independent reading and those who do not 2) to examine whether two dimensions of Fidelity of Implementation (FOI; adherence and dosage) and ethnicity (White, Hispanic, and Black) can predict the reading motivations of 10th grade students. The results of this study revealed that among all ethnicities there was a significant decline in intrinsic, F(1, 81) = 53.33, p < .001, and extrinsic, F(1, 81) = 44.45, p < .001, reading motivation levels among the 84 student participants, overall; however, the program also revealed that dosage significantly predicted reading motivation,  = 0.17, t(79) = 2.47, p = .016, leading to the conclusion that the program suffered from low FOI as measured by dosage. The findings of this study can be utilized to help improve the utility of the program as well as our understanding of how to improve upon the academic achievement gaps pervasive across Black and Hispanic students.


Peter Williams

Subject Categories

Education | Language and Literacy Education