Making it Matter Through the Power of Inquiry

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Contribution to Books

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Given all the findings about how boys underachieve in all areas of literacy (see Smith and Wilhelm 2002 for a review), and how little the boys we studied read, we were surprised to find in our "Reading Don't Fix No Chevys" study that all of our young male informants (from sixth through twelfth grade) engaged intensely and with great enjoyment in all kinds of literate activity. What motivated that activity were the conditions of flow experiences articulated by Csikszentmihayli (1990). When the conditions of flow were present, the boys embraced literated activities. When the conditions were absent (as was the case in most of their school-based activities), the boys rejected literate activity.

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