Williams, T. (2018). The Effects of Accelerated Reader on 6th Grade At-Risk African American Males’ Motivation as It Relates to Foucault’s Power/Knowledge Theory.
This interpretive qualitative study explored the effectiveness of the computerized reading management software, Accelerated Reader, on a select group of at-risk sixth grade African American male students’ motivation to read as it relates to Michele Foucault’s power/knowledge theory. The data was collected from 16 Black adolescent male students and their four English language arts teachers. The study was guided by one overreaching research question, and four sub questions probed students’ self perception, motivations, teachers’ perceptions, and power knowledge relations and practices. Data collection occurred through the Adolescent Motivation to Read Profile survey, student interviews, a student focus group, teacher interviews, and students Accelerated Readerdata. The findings of the studied showed that AR did motivated the Black males to read a variety of texts for a variety of reasons. According to Foucault’s power/knowledge theory, AR seemingly motivated the participants to read through its implementation, classroom climate, and teacher influence. Other findings revealed that participants were motivated to read during AR because they valued choice in topics and in leveled-texts, they were influenced by family and friends, as well as other factors. The findings also demonstrate that overall the teachers in the study valued the use of AR in their classrooms.
Throughout the course of the data analysis four emerging themes were identified. The emerging themes were (a) teachers and principals’ roles or impacts, (b) positive views of AR, (c) students’ reading perceptions and preferences, (d) recommended AR changes. The research study was not without limitations and further research on the topic was recommended.
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