Capstone/Dissertation Title

How the use of culturally relevant literacy strategies affects student motivation

Term

2013

Capstone

Thesis

Degree Name

MAEd

Abstract

The research question addressed was, how can the use of culturally relevant literacy strategies affect student motivation? Culturally Relevant Pedagogy, defined primarily by Gloria Ladson-Billings and Geneva Gay, informed the decisions made in the design of the research. The author integrated the three culturally relevant literacy practices of choice, culturally relevant texts, and social interactions into literacy learning. Data was collected through the use of a survey, informal ethnographic interviews, and anecdotal notes from teacher observations. Qualitative analysis of the data caused the author to conclude that the culturally relevant strategies increased student engagement in independent reading, writing, and active participation in groups throughout the research period. The author also observed that students were more likely to share with others deeply personal, cultural connections to the learning, creating an environment conducive for increased motivation and engagement.

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