An investigation of the Accelerated Reader program in one small school district: Students', teachers', and administrators' perceptions
W. Quinn White, The Ohio State University, United States
The Ohio State University . Awarded
This qualitative study explored the perceptions of students, teachers, and principals from one small school district regarding the Accelerated Reader program (AR). Specifically, the study sought to document and analyze: (1) how the elementary schools implemented AR in grades four through six; (2) how the three groups of stakeholders perceived this implementation; (3) how stakeholders perceive that AR has affected the students' reading experiences; and, (4) how the stakeholders currently perceive the AR program as a whole and how these perceptions might have changed over time.
The subjects of the study were a selected group of twenty elementary students, fourteen teachers, and five principals. To gather descriptive data, sixth-grade students were interviewed as a part of five focus groups representing each elementary school; fourth- through sixth-grade teachers were interviewed and each of their classrooms was observed during an AR session; and principals from each elementary school were also interviewed.
Findings of the study reveal that AR is implemented in a variety of ways throughout the grade levels and throughout the schools within this district. The study documented inconsistencies in perceptions of grading, conferencing, and the use of incentives to motivate students. Findings also suggest that teachers desire additional training to run the program more effectively in their classrooms. Data analysis revealed that AR is an isolated event in most of the classrooms with little integration of other literacy activities, and that students' perceptions differ from teachers and principals in areas of motivation and choice. In addition, it was found that all three stakeholders did perceive that AR has influenced students' reading experiences, although the perceptions of influence differed between groups. These data provide important findings that can benefit districts considering the adoption of the Accelerated Reader program in the future.
White, W.Q. An investigation of the Accelerated Reader program in one small school district: Students', teachers', and administrators' perceptions. Ph.D. thesis, The Ohio State University.
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