Date of Award

Spring 5-12-2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Secondary Education - English (Ed.D)


Secondary and Middle Grades Education

Committee Chair/First Advisor

Dr. Camille Sutton-Fox

Second Advisor

Dr. Darren Crovitz

Third Advisor

Dr. Robert Montgomery


Researchers have long been documenting the decline in reading habits of Americans, particularly adolescents and young adults. Reading for pleasure has been declining for the last three decades. Young people claim that reading is boring and irrelevant to their fast-paced, largely digital lives. In the past two decades, the decline of reading has captured wide attention, but most of that attention has been focused on urban and suburban settings. A gap exists in the research when it comes to rural students and their reading habits. Using photo elicitation, I gained an understanding of reading identity as it relates to rural teenagers in Georgia. Specifically, I explored how they position themselves as readers and how they describe and interpret their reading lives.