Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Wickens, Corrine M.

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Curriculum and Instruction (CI)


This study examined the self-efficacy and identity beliefs about literacy of 10 rural adolescent Title I Reading students. Sociocultural theory influenced by knowledge of self, culture, identity, and self-efficacy served as the theoretical framework for the study. The research employed a qualitative case study design using a photo-elicitation interview (PEI) technique. Participants were asked to bring 20 photos picturing literacy to the interviews. An interview guide provided basic questions, and probes and discussions focused on the participants’ photographs, which are included in the dissertation. The audio- and videotaped interviews and the researcher notes concerning the participants’ photographs were transcribed for analysis. A constant comparison technique was employed, while also making use of NVivo text analysis software to aid the chunking, coding, and categorizing of all collected data and reveal themes for the study. The findings are reported as compelling individual narratives, incorporating the 10 participants’ words and relevant photographs. Four major themes emerged from the data: rural consciousness and context, identity, self-efficacy, and adolescent literate identity. Key findings suggested a unique view of rural adolescent Title I Reading students’ perspectives represented in a novel theoretical model. Adolescent Title I Reading students are not unique to rural areas, but issues with access, distance, and availability limit the support these students receive. The findings and issues raised indicate several possible areas for future research and classroom practice, including exploring PEI as a tool for classroom teachers and researchers; the impact of teacher talk; identity and self-efficacy and their impact on reading motivation among rural students; the influence and effect of rurality on students; and out-of-school literacy practices to inform in-school literacy.


242 pages




Northern Illinois University

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