Document Type



Doctor of Education (EdD)


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor's Name

Thomas G. Reio, Jr.

First Advisor's Committee Title

Major Professor, Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, Professor, Adult Ed./HRD

Second Advisor's Name

Charles Bleiker

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Associate Professor, Early Childhood Education, Dept. of Teaching and Learning

Third Advisor's Name

Leonard B. Bliss

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Professor, Educational Statistics, Dept. of Leadership and Professional Studies

Fourth Advisor's Name

Lynne D. Miller

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Associate Chair, Associate Professor, Elementary/Reading Education, Dept. of Teaching and Learning


efferent reading, aesthetic reading, self-efficacy for American literature, reader response, quasi-experimental, Title I school, Hispanic high schoolers

Date of Defense



High-stakes testing and accountability have infiltrated the education system in the United States; the top priority for all teachers must be student progress on standardized tests. This has resulted in the predominance of reading for test-taking, (efferent reading), in the English, language arts, and reading classrooms. Authentic uses of print activities, like aesthetic reading, that encourage students to engage individually with a text, have been pushed aside.

During a 3-week time period, regular level, English 3/American literature students in a Title I magnet high school, participated in this quasi-experimental study (N = 62). It measured the effects of an intervention of reading American literature texts aesthetically and writing aesthetically-evoked reader responses on students’ self-efficacy beliefs regarding their comprehension of American literature. One trained teacher and the researcher participated in the study: student participants were pre- and post- tested using the Confidence in Reading American Literature Survey which examined their self-efficacy beliefs regarding their comprehension of American literature.

Several statistical analyses were performed. The results of the linear regression analyses partially supported a positive relationship between aesthetically-evoked reader responses and students’ self-efficacy beliefs regarding their comprehension of American literature. Additionally, the results of the 2 (sex) x 2 (treatment) ANCOVAs conducted to test group differences in self-efficacy beliefs regarding the comprehension of American literature between treatment and control groups indicated a main effect for treatment (but not sex; nor was there a significant sex x treatment interaction), suggesting the treatment was partially effective in increasing students’ self-efficacy beliefs. Seven of the twelve ANCOVAs indicated a statistically significant increase in the treatment group’s adjusted group mean self-efficacy belief scores as a result of being exposed to the intervention. In six of these seven analyses, increases in self-efficacy beliefs occurred in tasks that required three or more higher-order levels of thinking/learning. The results are discussed in terms of theoretical, empirical and practical significance. Future research is recommended to extend the intervention beyond the narrow confines of a Title I magnet school to settings where the intervention could be tested longitudinally, e. g., honors and gifted students, elementary and middle schools.





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