Essay on Middle School Children Not Reading at Grade Level

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George Washington University
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Reading forms an integral part of the learning process from the elementary school, to middle school and even at the tertiary level. However, interest in reading at the middle school for children between the ages of 11 to 12 years has greatly dwindled, which can be attributed to lack of motivation and the limited opportunities to pursue interesting study and learning choices (Aram et al., 2013). Children at such age brackets rarely understand the reasons for reading, and especially when it is to gain knowledge and the necessary skills to transit to the next levels of study. Hence, out such a situation in middle schools, this research shall focus on establishing the reasons associated with growing disinterest in reading and reading culture amongst children.

For the facilitation of this research, the study of the deteriorating reading culture and state in middle school shall focus on the Mulberry Middle School in Florida, which is one of the highly populated middle schools in the region. The school enjoys an important factor on gender distribution with a record of equal percentages of both girls and boys. Additionally, the school has a great number of students of Caucasian origin with the other ethnic groups represented in smaller proportions. Therefore, for conducting the study, the organization presents a great gender and ethnic composition for achieving an informed qualitative analysis (Taylor et al., 2015). The stakeholders in the research will range from the teachers to the respective students in order to acquire information from the different perspectives of recipient and producers of knowledge.

Statement of a Problem

Reading forms a tenet for the growth of childrens skills and aptitude in addition to the ability to develop critical thinking and approach to various learning concepts. As the first set of skill acquired in the course of learning, reading prepares the foundation for the later acquisition of other abilities such as analytical and calculative skills on part of the children (Loiuck et al., 2016). Therefore, a declining interest in reading poses a great challenge to the academic progress and development of the children. Hence, a research into the factors contributing to the disinterest in the reading would offer a basis for laying strategies to mitigate the situation.

Purpose of the Research

The necessity and aim of study is to establish ground for the declining interest in reading amongst middle school students. To generate the required findings necessary for drawing conclusions and inferences, the Mulberry Middle School was identified as the center of the study due to its large population of student and the associated gender balance amongst the pupils (Blevins, 2017). To generate diversified opinions, the incorporation of the different stakeholders in the education sector ranging from the teachers and the parents to the students is additionally, important. A correlation analysis of the variables shall be used to establish the cause of the decline in interest in reading within the population. Upon drawing conclusions based on the acquired finding, recommendations to reverse the situations shall be presented.

Research Question

To further the research into the key findings, the following shall be presented to the identified subjects; what are the causes of the reducing interest in reading among pupils in grades 6-8 in the middle schools?

Definition of Terms

Reading is the cognitive ability to understand and gain meanings from texts and other written works (Kendeou et al., 2014).


Based on the fact that research incorporates acquisition and finding peoples opinions and ideas on the reasons for the disinterest in reading amongst the sixth to eighth grade pupils in Mulberry Middle School, use of qualitative approach o gathering the necessary data would be applied (Taylor et al., 2015). The research will therefore, offer an analysis of the current situation in middle schools in addition to providing recommendations to improve the problem. The qualitative approach shall provide the opportunity to observe and acquire the most reliable data about the subjects. The interviews conducted shall also provide a chance to monitor the interrelationships between the answers presented by the different subjects (Louick et al., 2016). Hence, a comprehensive research encompassing the listed aspects of the study can thereafter be undertaken

Design of the Study

To achieve the aims of the study, undertaking of personalized interviews with the specific stakeholders would be necessary to acquire first-hand information from the respondents. The study is designed to apply principles of observation of the current situation amongst middle schools and generating conclusions and measures to reverse the problem from recurring or advancing into the future.


The Mulberry Middle School in Florida, which is one of the highly populated middle schools in the region, is the area of focus for the research. The school is populous and also features diverse performance. Hence, it is ideal for the analysis of correlation between performance and external factors.


The students from grade 6-8 shall be ideal for this research since they have amassed a better understanding of their interests in the learning process and can easily identify the various causes of their diminishing interest in reading. Additionally, the teachers and the respective parents shall also be incorporated into the research due to their close association and interactions with the students.


Additionally, use of short formats of questionnaires to the children which are easily understandable would be ideal in gauging their position with regard to the declining interest in reading (Taylor et al., 2015).

Data Collection and Analysis

Of major interest and forming the fundamental variable in the research shall be the decline in the reading culture amongst pupils in middle schools with a specification for the 6th to the 8th grade levels. This variable is operationalized as reading hours and an abstract expression of interest represented on a Likert scale. The interest is expressed as a nominal variable while the hours spent reading are an interval variable.

A correlation analysis of the variables shall be conducted to establish any causality. After collecting sample information on interest levels, data on the situation of the study sample will be run through a correlation analysis to establish if there are factors that have significant contribution to the decline in interest.

Summary of the Proposal

The aforementioned approach to the research shall act as a guideline indicating the various processes to undertake to accomplish the aims of the study. The overall aim of the use of the listed procedures would be the establishing of the reasons for decline in reading amongst pupils in the middle schools.


Aram, D., Fine, Y., &Ziv, M. (2013). Enhancing parentchild shared book reading interactions: Promoting references to the book's plot and socio-cognitive themes. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 28(1), 111-122.

Blevins, W. (2017). Teaching phonics & word study in the intermediate grades. Teaching Strategies.

Kendeou, P., Broek, P., Helder, A., &Karlsson, J. (2014). A cognitive view of reading comprehension: Implications for reading difficulties. Learning disabilities research & practice, 29(1), 10-16.

Louick, R., Leider, C. M., Daley, S. G., Proctor, C. P., & Gardner, G. L. (2016). Motivation for reading among struggling middle school readers: A mixed methods study. Learning and Individual Differences, 49, 260-269.

Taylor, S. J., Bogdan, R., &DeVault, M. (2015). Introduction to qualitative research methods: A guidebook and resource. John Wiley & Sons.

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