Adolescent Male Literacy: An Examination of the Essences and Experiences in Rural Appalachia

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Cornelius, Robert Keith
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Middle Tennessee State University
This phenomenological study examines the lived experiences and personal perceptions of nine adolescent males aged 15 to 17 related to struggles, difficulties, and frustrations with literacy. Data was collected through in-depth personal interviews, focus group interviews, and periodic observations of participants at the study site. The data revealed that the young men assign a great degree of importance to the writing process and highly value the ability to construct writing artifacts in a cohesive and coherent manner. The participants reported how they believe important people within their social constructs form opinions about them based upon the quality of writing they produce. The study also found that participants value the connection of relevance to literature, especially the writing process. Furthermore, participants acknowledged how developing collegial relationships with instructors helps to improve overall self-efficacy where writing is concerned. As a result of the research, recommendations are offered to curriculum specialists and policymakers in the area pedagogical practices, curriculum structure, and the need to emphasize relevance and relationships as measures to improve writing ability.
Adolescent, Curriculum, Literacy, Perceptions, Struggle, Writing