Describing the Reading Motivation of Four Second-Grade Students with Varying Abilities Kathy White Department of Teacher Education Master of Arts The purpose of this study was to describe the differences and similarities among four second-grade students with different abilities and different motivations in the development of their reading attitudes and motivations. A multi-case study design was used to describe the literacy profiles of the participants. Data relating to participants' attitudes, motivations, and values for reading were collected for six weeks from conversational interviews, student observations, parent interviews, student histories, and interviews with previous teachers. Four major results were found in the areas of attitudes, motivations, and values. First, the results for attitudes showed high-ability students were confident readers who were motivated to take a leadership role in collaborating about reading. Students with low abilities had poorer reading self-efficacy, blamed others for not being able to read, thought they were unlucky in reading, and lacked the confidence needed to collaborate with others about their reading. Second, results for assessing motivation were unpredictable and varied from student to student. High- and- low- ability students were motivated by both extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. A third result showed participants in the study whose families were more involved in supporting reading at home, regardless of the participants' reading abilities, had high self-esteem, had future goals for learning, and were more motivated to read than the student from the home without achievement related values. Fourth, reading motivation scales may not be accurate with early elementary students. Qualitative methods are a more accurate source of information about young children's motivations to read. Hoping to read, another aspect of motivation, is discussed.



College and Department

David O. McKay School of Education; Teacher Education



Date Submitted


Document Type





reading attitudes, reading motivations, reading values, motivation assessment