Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Teaching & Learning


The purpose of this descriptive study was to investigate how children become engaged readers in a third grade classroom. The study focused on what a teacher did to encourage children to read and environmental factors in the classroom helped create readers. The study was holistic in nature, including profiles of three students (two females and one male) who were chosen because they read if given free time. Observations were used to find out how the children interacted, what reading opportunities they were given, and what a teacher does to cultivate engagement. Qualitative research methodology was used. The data were collected by observations, formal and informal teacher interviews, student interviews of three children, and classroom artifacts. Seven assertions emerged: (a) When a teacher genuinely loves reading and models this, it helps students to appreciate and value reading; (b) Students, who believe they are good readers, practice more at reading and the more they practice the more engaged they become in reading; (c) Students who knew and followed the classroom expectations were given the freedom to make decisions regarding the utilization of their free time; (d) Literature incorporated into all areas of the curriculum helps children to become engaged in reading; (e) Students who see a purpose for reading, inside and outside the classroom, are more apt to be engaged readers; (f) A structured classroom that has an atmosphere of community building, expectations, and respect is conducive to motivating children intrinsically; (g) External motivators may lead to internal motivators, and internal motivators may lead to engaged readers. The data illustrated four factors that externally motivated the children: instructional strategies, teacher characteristics, choice, and classroom/environmental factors. Five internal factors were discovered that motivated the three engaged readers: choice, curiosity, self-direction, self-expression, and efficacy. Through the course of this study, it became apparent that both the teacher and the classroom environment played a large part in helping children become motivated to read, which in turn may cause children to become engaged readers.

Included in

Psychology Commons