Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Instr and Curr Leadership


Secondary Education

Committee Chair

Jeffrey M. Byford

Committee Member

Sally Blake

Committee Member

Allen H. Seed

Committee Member

Duane M. Giannangelo


The purpose of the study was to explore high school English students' perspectives regarding the value associated with English and literature classes. The primary questions addressed in this study were focused on perceptions and atttitudes toward literature and real world value. The participants in this study were 15 high school seniors from a rural, public school and 15 high school seniors from an urban, private school. A phenonmenological study was designed to gather information on the following related questions:a)How does teaching style affect the perceptions that students have towards their English class?b)Do students see any real world value or application in their study of English at the high school level?c)What are the suggested changes that students would make to their English class?and d) From a student perspective, what is the most effective teaching method for the typical high school English or literature class?The study revealed two themes expressed by both private high school students and public high school students. These themes are:(1)Indirect methods of instruction including large amounts of discussion led to a positive view of English, and (2) Teacher interest and enthusiasm added utilitarian value to student views of their English classes. The study revealed onetheme that was unique to private high school students and their public school counterparts. While both private and public high school students indicated that their overall quality of life would suffer without the skills acquired in English class, public school students indicated a potential loss in future earnings if essential skills were not acquired throughout their English classroom experiences. These students stated that they were more likely to have lower paying jobs and salaries. Contrary to public school participants, private school students stated that the quality of their lives would suffer based on lack of college-related opportunities.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.