Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ded)


Professional Studies in Education

First Advisor

George R. Bieger, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Anne D. Creany, D.Ed.

Third Advisor

Kelli R. Paquette, Ed.D.


Students who have the ability of working through text, while at the same time comprehending what they read, increase the likelihood of school success and lifelong learning (Johnson, 2006). In primary grades, teachers understand that students are learning how to read and in intermediate grades, students are reading to learn new knowledge about a particular content area (Jacobs, 2006). Students who have mastered and internalized reading strategies may comprehend the content (Schoenbach et al., 1999), whereas, students who have not mastered and internalized reading strategies may struggle with decoding text and comprehending text content (Guthrie & Davis, 2003). Students require a continuation of reading instruction in order to be strategic readers and learners. This study examined metacognitive reading awareness and usage of fifth-grade students from a rural school district in Northwestern Pennsylvania. Students voluntarily participated by completing the Metacognitive Strategy Index (MSI). The MSI was evaluated to determine where fifth-grade students are in their development of metacognitive usage. Further, the study focused on how students' awareness and usage of metacognitive strategies correlated with their academic achievement on the PSSA reading test. Of the participants, 7% were interviewed to gain further insight into students' awareness and use of metacognitive strategies. Students' MSI responses along with interview data were correlated with PSSA reading achievement. Data were analyzed using SPSS. Study participants' frequency of data collected from the MSI revealed no significance in their perception of reading comprehension strategy use. Additional data analysis correlated MSI data with PSSA reading total score and level of proficiency. The data indicate there is a significant relationship between background knowledge and PSSA total reading score. In a review of the qualitative data obtained through interviews, study participants having a higher level of proficiency as determined by PSSA scores tended to give more detailed responses, indicating that they were using more metacognitive reading comprehension strategies. Recommendations address promoting literacy curriculum focusing on metacognitive reading strategies versus literacy instruction mainly focusing on knowledge and skills, and examining current teacher knowledge of metacognitive reading strategy instruction.