Declarations and Differences: Describing Elementary African American and Hispanic Boys' Motivation to Read


Paula Mason

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D)


Curriculum and Instruction

Date of Award

Spring 2014


The purpose of this mixed methods study was to describe the motivation to read of elementary African American and Hispanic boys and explore the possible differences in reading motivation using the constructs of self-perceptions as a reader and value of reading. Educational research has repeatedly shown that students from disadvantaged minority groups have poorer outcomes (Osburne, 1999). However, African American boys perform the lowest of all other ethnic groups in academic achievement. According to Center for Education Policy (2010), the African American subgroup had the lowest national median percentage for proficient in Reading and Math at fourth grade, eighth grade, and high school. In fourth grade reading, 58% of African Americans scored proficient compared to 83% for Asians, 64% for Latinos, 62% for Native Americans, 81% for Whites. Because of the inherent social and economic limitations associated with underachievement in reading, it was important to study the motivation to read of elementary African American and Hispanic boys. A total of 27 African American and 15 Hispanic boys in second through fourth grade completed the Motivation to Read profile to assess self-perception as a reader and value of reader. A sample of the population of African American and Hispanic boys participated in a one-on-one semi-structured interview with the researcher to further explore declarations and differences in thoughts about reading. Both descriptive and inferential statistics were used to summarize the quantitative results. Qualitative data were analyzed using the constant comparative method, which resulted in the identification of important themes related to elementary African American and Hispanic boys' motivation to read. The results showed that elementary African American and Hispanic boys had comparable mean scores on the Motivation to Read Profile. Both groups had similar self-concepts as readers and similar value of reading. Recommendations for classroom practice and policy are discussed.


David L. Brown

Subject Categories

Curriculum and Instruction | Education | Elementary Education