Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Center for the Advancement of Education


Dr. S. McCord


This report describes an intervention implemented in order to achieve a change in students' attitudes toward reading. The efforts were put into action by the principal of a rural elementary school with an enrollment of 579 students in grades one through five. The principal was increasingly aware of the existence of students' negative attitudes toward reading as a result of his 17 years’ experience as a principal in four counties in Maryland and as a result of his successful implementation of reading programs which ranged from completely individualized to tri-basal. Initial evidence of the existence of a problem came from two instruments used to determine students' attitudes toward reading. Two elementary schools of similar size and with similar student populations were used as control groups. A literature-based, whole language approach to reading was used with emphasis placed on reading throughout the 1999-91 school year. As a result of this intervention, all students had improved their attitude toward reading by 75 percent; all students were reading in grade level materials; and all teachers were using more effective teaching strategies. The number of books available per classroom for each child to read had increased to 66, not including books in libraries and at home. The use of computerized reading and language programs: involvement of parents and significant others; and literature below grade level groups by the end of the 1990-91 school year. The stigma felt by the low ability students had disappeared.

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