This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Effects of Modified Fluency-Oriented Reading Instruction on African American Boys’ Oral Reading Fluency and Attitudes toward Reading




Gaston-Thornton, Parichart

Type of Degree



Curriculum and Teaching


Reading achievement among boys has been a subject of interest in educational research for several years. Not until the 1990s did the issue of educating boys become nationally and internationally acknowledged as an existing problem, especially in the United States, Great Britain, and Australia (Epstein, Elwood, Hey, & Maw, 1998). According to the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES), recent standardized tests reveal that a gender divide in learning achievement is in reading (NCES, 2007). The primary objective of this study was to determine the effects of reading fluency instruction on African American males’ oral reading fluency and reading attitude scores and to find out if there were differences in effects of this instruction on African American males as compared to African American females. The sample consisted of 65 African American male and female students assigned to classrooms in Grades 2 through 7 enrolled at a parochial school located in a mid-size city in central Alabama. The sample population consisted of 34 males and 31 females. This study employed a quantitative, non-experimental research design. The key findings that emerged include the following: (1) The use of modified Fluency-Oriented Reading Instruction (m-FORI) resulted in statistically significant differences in pretest and posttest scores for oral reading fluency and reading attitude for African American males, (2) the within-subjects analysis revealed that there was a statistically significant difference in the pretest to posttest oral reading fluency scores for all subjects, (3) the between subjects statistical analysis showed that the use of m-FORI did not result in a statistically significant difference in the pretest to posttest oral reading fluency scores for males as compared to females, and (4) the between subjects analysis resulted in a statistically significant difference in reading attitude with females scoring higher than males in the sample. However, when examined closely, the results show that although females scored higher than males on the reading attitude pretest and posttest, males had slightly higher gains than females. Based on the findings, the researcher discussed the significance of research-supported reading instruction for African American males and its impact on reading achievement. While the study was limited to students in one parochial school, the findings and recommendations from this study provide teachers with information and procedures that can be used to develop oral reading fluency through instructional routines that are sensitive to African American males yet beneficial to all students regardless of race and gender.