Dissertations, Theses and Capstone Projects

Date of Award

Spring 2012

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Teacher Leadership (Ed.D)


Teacher Leadership for Learning

First Advisor

Dr. Alice Terry

Second Advisor

Dr. Darren Crovitz

Third Advisor

Dr. Ugena Whitlock


New debates have been increasing about how technology is rewiring the infrastructure of the brain, especially among today’s teenagers who have grown up with computers. One of these debates concerns deep reading, a concept that stresses the brain’s need to concentrate undistracted on one thing at a time in order to maximally process and synthesize new material. One side argues that a computer with its dynamic interactions and multitasking demands robs teenagers of the ability to deep read and, as a consequence, disables the brain from properly developing and maturing. Another side argues that the very act of multitasking and interacting with a computer’s dynamics enables the brain to grow and mature in better ways than before. This qualitative case study closely examined the reading and study habits of four gifted readers, academically among the most successful in school, for two weeks. Findings show that each student practiced Three Common Cores of Control when they studied immediately prior to a test or project. All four students (1) needed to study in isolation in a Most Restrictive Study Environment, (2) needed absolute quiet or music to study in an Artificial Environment, and (3) needed to eliminate or sharply curtail all interaction with technology in a Retro Environment. This study found that deep reading was a part of each student’s success, and the implications are that each student must employ the Three Common Cores of Control to be the most successful. More research is needed in the area of deep reading to determine if the Three Common Cores of Control are prevalent among a greater number of gifted readers. In addition, deep reading practices or lack thereof need to be examined further with students of average ability or those with special needs.

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