Engaging in Appreciative Inquiry to Understand and Support Middle School Boys’ Motivation to Read

Amy Kaiser, Fordham University


The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of a collaborative inquiry group of middle school ELA teachers who were utilizing the Appreciative Inquiry (AI) framework to create a virtual library of e-books, examine students’ reading motivation data, and implement classroom practices intended to increase student reading value, motivation, and volume. This dissertation in practice used a mixed methods approach designed to understand: 1) how increasing students’ access to e-books would influence student reading motivation, volume, and performance, as well as influence teachers’ future use of e-books; 2) how examining students’ reading motivation data would influence teacher practice; and 3) how utilizing an AI framework would influence teacher morale. Methodology included administration of the Motivation for Reading Questionnaire (MRQ) (Wigfield & Guthrie, 1995), quantitative analysis of reading volume and reading performance data, as well as qualitative data coded from meeting notes and teacher interviews. Quantitative results suggested the classroom interventions increased student e-book checkouts in one school, but had no significant impact on reading value, motivation or performance. After the study, which was conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic, teachers reported a decrease in e-book usage as students regained access to their classroom libraries after a year of remote learning. Teachers reported that examining the MRQ data strengthened their understanding of the different constructs of reading motivation, leading them to increase classroom practices that foster intrinsic motivation. Teachers described the use of the AI Framework as an overwhelmingly positive experience that lifted their morale during a stressful year.

Subject Area

Educational leadership|Educational administration|Reading instruction|Middle School education

Recommended Citation

Kaiser, Amy, "Engaging in Appreciative Inquiry to Understand and Support Middle School Boys’ Motivation to Read" (2022). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI29170420.