Making their voices count: Using students’ perspectives to inform literacy instruction for striving middle grade readers with academic difficulties
The consequences of lack of reading and poor reading skills are problematic for all students, regardless of background; however, for middle grade striving readers with academic difficulties these problems can lead to lower self-efficacy and motivation to engage in literacy tasks. Using the perspectives of urban, middle grade special education students, this article seeks to demonstrate how teachers can use student interview feedback to differentiate instruction by aligning their voices with appropriate practices. Consistent with previous research, (Roe, 2009; Smith &Wilhelm, 2002), the data show that supportive contexts increase self-efficacy and interest in reading. These perspectives have the potential to provide teachers with better insight about the needs of striving middle grade readers and inform their instructional strategies and materials.