Carol A. Leli

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Dorsch, Nina G.

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Teaching and Learning


Elementary school teachers--Illinois--Attitudes; Reading (Elementary)--Illinois--Public opinion


This study describes third-, fourth-, and fifth-grade teachers' perceptions of Self-Selected Reading (SSR) in chosen Illinois public schools that have achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) and those that are on academic warning, according to their performance on the Illinois School Report Card 2002. These schools were chosen in order to study how the implementation of SSR influenced the teachers' construction of professional practice. The purpose of this study was to obtain information from educators with firsthand experience using SSR in their classrooms. Three teachers from a school making AYP and three teachers from a school on academic warning in similar demographic contexts were interviewed. They were observed during SSR time in their classrooms and individually interviewed using identical questions. This study revealed that all teachers interviewed agreed that SSR benefited their students. They claimed that they have come to know their students in more depth and that if these students do not receive time for SSR in school on a regular basis, they may not read on their own at all. The teachers reported that the students over time had come to enjoy and participate in SSR with pleasure and that struggling students know that SSR is a time to read what they want and what they can read easily. Several of the teachers connected SSR to the curriculum by offering students books related to topics of study in content areas. The teachers described a need for financial support to aid their continuing task to develop a leveled reading classroom library and for staff development. The districts investigated were mandated to implement SSR in their reading programs and were challenged financially and administratively with expectations of accountability of their program. The findings of this study indicate a need for administrators and curriculum specialists to be aware of the needs of the teachers implementing SSR to support the teachers who perceive SSR as an important and valuable component of the reading program. Teacher preparation programs need to include strategies for implementing SSR in their courses of study so that teachers are prepared to put SSR into practice effectively.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [122]-127).


viii, 148 pages




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