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Publication Date


Type of Culminating Activity

Dissertation - Boise State University Access Only

Degree Title

Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Instruction


Curriculum, Instruction, and Foundational Studies

Major Advisor

Lee Dubert, Ph.D.


This descriptive, cross-sectional study explores independent content and academic text reading on older adolescents’ reading proficiency, content knowledge acquisition, and reading attitudes. The study participants were 127 senior-level government students and three of their teachers. Study students were asked to read a variety of academic content texts for a period of 20 minutes, 2-3 times a week followed by a ten minute reading-response activity. Student free-choice reading included a wide array of trade books, biographies, and other texts in varying levels focused and aligned with lesson instruction in their American Government class. The study found little numerical change in mean scores pre- and post-testing for the reading proficiency and content knowledge measures. However student content reading attitudes exhibited certain numerical shifts post-survey that warrant further study, particularly in the areas of preferences for informational reading over narrative kinds of reading and student enjoyment and identification as readers.