Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Sharon deFur

Committee Member

Michael DePaolo


Adolescent literacy, or adolescents' ability to read, write, and communicate about the variety of texts they encounter in and out of school, has remained inordinately, and consistently, low for the past 20 years (NCES, 2010). Self-efficacy is a widely-used construct for measuring and predicting student achievement (Pajares, Johnson, & Usher, 2007; Phan, 2011; Schunk& Zimmerman, 2007). A differential level of literacy achievement is noted between certain student subgroups including students with and without disabilities (NCES, 2010).Students with disabilities are also included within other student subgroups that persistently underperform on literacy assessments (NCES, 2010) compounding school districts efforts to achieve Adequate Yearly Progress benchmarks set by the federal government (NCLB, 2001). Presently, a large portion of high school graduates do not meet entry-level literacy requirements for post-graduate employment nor are they prepared for the literacy demands of college (Mikulecky, Smith-Burke, Beatty, 2009; NGA, 2010). Participants in this study include a diverse group of adolescents in seventh, eighth, and ninth grade attending one middle school and one high school in an urban, public school in one mid-Atlantic state. Results of this study support the emergent research area of developmental processes and instructional methods; in particular, this research supports educators' explicit instruction of strategic learning, self-regulation, and application of metacognitive strategies. Implications for practitioners, instructional leaders, and future research are suggested.



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