Past research shows that feelings toward aesthetic reading, or reading for enjoyment, are down across the nation, even in those pursuing a degree in elementary education (Applegate & Applegate, 2004; National Endowment for the Arts , 2004). As reading rates drop, it becomes even more imperative that our future educators have a passion for reading, and are able to intrinsically motivate their students (McKool & Gespass, 2009; Nathanson, Pruslow & Levitt, 2008). The recommended practices for breaking the cycle of aliteracy are to deemphasize textbook driven lectures (Krashen, 1993; Nathanson et al., 2008; Sardo-Brown & Beeghly, 1996), enable text self-selection (Applegate & Applegate, 2004; 2014; Cardarelli, 1992; Krashen 1993; McKool & Gespass, 2009; Nathanson et al., 2008), include reflective journals (Nathanson et al., 2008), encourage open discussion (Applegate & Applegate, 2004; 2014; Krashen, 1993; McKool & Gespass, 2009; Nathanson et al., 2008; Sardo-Brown & Beeghly, 1996), provide opportunities to reflect on students' own personal views of literacy (Gomez, 2005), and incorporate "well-planned instructional experiences to allow students to experience what it feels like to be enthusiastic about reading" (Applegate & Applegate, 2004; Applegate et al., 2014; Gomez, 2005; Krashen, 1993; McKool & Gespass, 2009; Morrison, Jacobs, & Swinyard, 1999; Nathanson et al., 2008; Powell-Brown, 2003; Ruddell, 1995; Sardo-Brown & Beeghly, 1996). The intent of this thesis is to explore if a positive shift in the perceptions and motivations of pre-service elementary education teachers can occur through enrollment in a course on Literature for Children. Literature for Children, LAE 3414, is a required course for those pursuing a degree in elementary education at the University of Central Florida. The course's design follows the recommended practices for teaching a love of literature. This study tracked the perceptions and motivations of pre-service teachers enrolled in two class sections of this course over the fall 2014 semester, in order to see if a positive change in their feelings toward aesthetic reading occurred, and to what extent their enrollment in this course on Children's Literature affected this change. At the beginning of the semester, out of a total of 63 participants for the pre-survey, 68.3% reported that they felt enthusiastic toward reading, while 31.7% reported that they felt unenthusiastic. By the end of the course, out of 54 post-survey participants, 87% of participants reported that they felt enthusiastic toward reading, while 13% reported that they felt unenthusiastic. Both class sections surveyed experienced a positive shift in their perceptions and motivations toward aesthetic reading, as a result of enrollment and participation in this course.
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Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Education and Human Performance
Teaching, Learning, and Leadership
Dissertations, Academic -- Education; Education -- Dissertations, Academic
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Williams, Anne, "Exploring the Perceptions and Motivations of Pre-Service Elementary Teachers Towards Aesthetic Reading in an Undergraduate Course in Literature for Children" (2015). HIM 1990-2015. 606.