(2) An Inquiry into Literacy Engagement Practices at a Rural, High-Poverty School

April F. Fleetwood
University of Florida

Much research on literacy of urban students of poverty exists; however, the limited studies of students of rural poverty has created a “hidden achievement gap” (Azano, 2015, p. 267) in the United States. Educators need studies that focus on marginalized students becoming proficient in literacy; furthermore, literacy engagement was a significant problem of practice at my rural, high-poverty school. My practitioner research question-How do I engage high school students in literacy at a rural, high-poverty school?-addressed this problem. My inquiry revealed that the following practices impacted students’ behavioral, emotional, and cognitive engagement (Fredricks & McColskey, 2012) in literacy:

  • accountability, built through routines and provisions, (teacher) investment in assignments, and collaborative groups and discussions;
  • building relationships, through praise, (student) sense of ownership, and open communication and student voice;
  • and seeking relevance to student interest through challenge, future preparation, humor and entertainment, and (student) choice.

Fleetwood, A. F. (2019). An inquiry into literacy engagement practices at a rural, high-poverty school. Florida Journal of Educational Research, 57(2), 18-26.

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