Date of Award

5-2001

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Department

Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Dr. Robin E. Umber

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine how requiring independent reading and culminating projects affects seventh graders' attitudes toward reading.

The study involved administering a survey to 96 seventh graders upon entry into the grade. They were then instructed to read a novel of their choice on their own time over a six-week period. When they finished reading, they completed a project of their choice from a list of 16 based on Gardner's first seven multiple intelligences to present to the class. This reading/project completion happened twice during the study. At the end of the second project presentation, students were given another survey and 7 students were then interviewed on a voluntary basis. This interview process furthered the researcher's understanding about the students' changes in reading attitudes (or lack of), whether or not the projects acted as external incentives to foster independent reading, and the impact the reading and project requirements made on seventh graders' motivation to read independently.

The findings demonstrated that activities based on Gardner's multiple intelligences are more motivating to seventh grade students than traditional activities are. Also, the amount of independent reading completed by seventh graders did not seem to increase simply because it was a class requirement.

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