Motivating adolescents to read can be a challenge, but motivating incarcerated adolescents to read may be even more of a challenge. Developing readers in residential facilities are often overlooked by traditional classroom teachers, but much can be learned from incarcerated youth and their motivation and engagement. Unfortunately, there is a shortage of research on effective instructional reading practices that motivate and engage incarcerated youth. The existing research primarily examines the impact of literacy on recidivism instead of strategies for motivating and engaging students who are incarcerated. Numerous studies exist that focus on motivation and engagement of reading in traditional classrooms, but these studies are limited when focused on students from the classrooms in juvenile residential centers. This qualitative study examines the influence of high-interest materials on the comprehension of incarcerated youth and the effect of student dispositions on reading engagement. While there was no obvious correlation between high-interest materials and student comprehension scores, the results of the study suggest that mentor/student rapport, vulnerability, high-interest materials, self-efficacy, and value placed on reading all factor into student motivation and engagement.
Weaver, Joanna C. and Mutti, Grace E.
"A Study of Incarcerated Youth: The Effect of Student Interest on Reading Comprehension and Engagement,"
Journal on Empowering Teaching Excellence: Vol. 5:
2, Article 6.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/jete/vol5/iss2/6
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