Improving Disadvantaged Adolescents’ Critical Reading Skills Using Direct Instruction
The University of Maryland McNair Scholars Undergraduate Research Journal, 2, (2010): 194-208.
The problem addressed in this research proposal is that students who are minority come from families with low socioeconomic status and attend urban-area high schools have a higher possibility of not developing critical reading skills that will help them succeed both in college and in prestigious careers. These students are more likely to fail because they often lack the support and resources that will increase their chances of academic success. Direct Instruction is a teaching method devised to close the achievement gap between disadvantaged and privileged students. This approach may help improve the critical reading skills of disadvantaged students. However, little empirical research exists on the use of Direct Instruction to improve such skills. The purpose of this proposed qualitative case study will be to determine how Direct Instruction can improve the critical reading skills of disadvantaged students. The study will consist of semi-structured interviews of four high school English teachers who work primarily with disadvantaged students at an urban-area high school. The study will involve examining the current practices used by high school English teachers who have improved the critical reading skills of their disadvantaged students. The study will also involve determining whether their practices align with components of Direct Instruction.