Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



This eight-week descriptive study examined the impact of the incorporation of a Life-Application Learning Methods Program on struggling middle school readers. Two questions were explored: 1) How did incorporating life–application learning into the middle school curriculum impact reading motivation?, and 2) How did incorporating life-application learning in the middle school curriculum impact the reading levels? Participants in the study were eight eighth-grade students considered to be struggling readers Qualitative methods were used for this study utilizing responses from a survey, two inventories, student journals, and researcher observations. Data gathered suggested that students are more likely to become motivated and engaged readers when the subject matter directly relates to their lives and that students are more likely to invest in learning reading skills and strategies in order to pursue information they find relevant. The Life-Application Learning Methods Program incorporated the skills outlined in the lesson plans of regular classroom teacher with current reading materials including, but not limited to, novels, magazines, newspapers, recipes, instruction booklets, job applications, and internet resources. Activities included oral reading, group activities, presentations, research, internet exploration, and creative writing. Results of the descriptive study indicated that struggling readers involved in a Life-Application Learning Instructional Program demonstrated gains in both motivation and reading ability. A reexamination of the study identified the immediate usefulness and personal application as being the significant catalyst for becoming active readers. The findings highlight the students’ desire to find meaning in their reading assignments. In addition, findings suggest that integrating multiple sources of reading materials invite greater student participation. Implications resulting from these findings could be instrumental in improving student engagement in the classroom. By knowing and understanding what motivates student to learn, educators can provide instruction interesting to the students and in compliance with state mandated curriculum guides.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Earl Cheek, Jr.



Included in

Education Commons