One middle school's perceptions of a computer-assisted reading intervention program
In an effort to provide interventions for adolescent students identified as struggling, schools are turning increasingly toward computer-assisted reading intervention programs. This ethnographic case study describes the cultural perceptions of teachers, students, and administrators in relation to one computer-assisted reading intervention program, Achieve 3000 using second and third generation Activity Theory Models. The research questions are 1) Using the Activity Theory model, what are the cultural perspectives that exist between administrators, teachers, and students in one urban middle school related to a computer-based reading intervention program, and 2) in what ways do these cultural groups compare and contrast in perspectives in regards to a computer-based reading intervention program? The participants were four focal students, two teachers, and two administrators located in a school receiving Title 1 funds. Contradictions emerged within and among the three Activity Systems: strategy tools use by students differed from what was provided by the Achieve 3000 program and prompted by teachers; time constraints, along with difficulties with computer tools, characterized the tensions that existed between expected curriculum; and administrators found it necessary to modify the curriculum routines and expectations for teachers in an effort to provide intervention for large numbers of students on campus. In addition to providing texts at students' individual Lexile levels, teachers need to provide opportunities for social interactions, discussions, a wider text selection based on student interests, along with specific strategy instruction and support to increase students' ability to comprehend challenging texts.