Abstract 408

The Impact of Choice: Exploring the Effectiveness of Choice as a Motivating Component within Reading Fluency Interventions

 Presentation:  Michèle Pellan Cheng, Sonja Saqui

Session C | 10:35 – 10:45 | Location: Room 310


Students who struggle with reading in elementary school will often enter high school with reading skills that are one to two grades lower than that of their peers (Morgan, Fuchs, Compton, Cordray & Fuchs, 2008). In addition to poor school achievement, individuals with reading difficulties often have lower self-esteem, increased anxiety and depression, increased social problems, and aggression and delinquent behaviour (Eissa, 2010). A potential explanation for these reading difficulties is the interaction of student motivation with reading abilities: decreased motivation can lead students to avoid reading practice, which leads to greater reading difficulties (Morgan et al., 2008). By increasing a student’s motivation, reading practice may also increase, and subsequently improve reading skills. According to self-determination theory, autonomy is one of the three fundamental needs that underlie people’s intrinsic motivation (Deci, 1971). Research has shown that choice can lead to many positive outcomes, and individuals are more likely to engage in an activity if they believe they have chosen it (Lewin, 1952). However, reading interventions have not yet fully utilized choice to improve student reading outcomes. To help expand the literature on this topic, a reading fluency intervention incorporating student choice of topic was administered to four participants through a delayed multiple baseline across students design. Results showed favourably for choice as a motivating factor, and all students improved in reading. The purpose of this presentation is three-fold: (1) to present the predominant literature on motivation; (2) to demonstrate the benefits of student choice of topic on reading fluency interventions; and (3) to discuss ways in which choice can be implemented within academic and classroom interventions.

Return to Presentation Schedule