Parents' Perceptions of Boys' Low Reading Proficiency Rate: A Basic Qualitative Study

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Research over the past decade has shown a growing number of fourth- and fifth-grade boys struggled with reading and comprehending text. The escalating number of upper elementary learners struggled with reading and experienced a lack of motivation when reading proficiencies regressed. Although many studies provided literature concerning parental involvement of children’s early developmental grades, not enough information was found concerning parents’ perceptions of sons struggling with reading in upper elementary grades. This research study was conducted to address the gap in literature and increase awareness of learning from the viewpoints of parents of struggling readers. Theoretical lenses were applied to learning from parents’ perceptions centered on Vygotsky’s social constructivist learning theory and Mezirow’s transformational learning theory. The basic qualitative study explored questions to advance learning based on parental viewpoints of fourth- and fifth-grade sons struggling with reading two to three grades below proficiency. In addition, parents’ views on learning and implementing intervention reading activities at home were explored. Data were collected and triangulated from 15 purposefully selected parents of sons at risk for reading failure. Questionnaires, observational fieldnotes, and recorded interviews documented on a digital voice recorder, transcribed using Otter Voice Meeting Notes were used. NVivo software was used to analyze the data and uncovered themes and trends through the coding process. Key results of the study addressed parental concerns about reading. Parents exposed insights relating to boys’ low reading abilities and revealed confidence to conduct reading interventions for boys at home. Recommendations included parental participation in learning reading activities. Implications for positive social change framed the design into a local to global infrastructure toward educating parents.
at-risk readers, fourth and fifth grade boys, home intervention reading strategies, parents' perceptions and attitudes, Response to Intervention for reading, struggling reader