Date of Award

Spring 5-2008

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Education & Educational Psychology

First Advisor

Kathryn Campbell, PhD

Second Advisor

Michael Wilson, PhD

Third Advisor

Kristen Brooks, EdD


This study examined the effects of the Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) curriculum on reading achievement of students with various motivational levels. A 2X2 factorial design was used. The sample population consisted of 104 fourth grade students from an upper middle class school system in Connecticut. All students were administered a Motivation to Read Profile to measure their levels of motivation. Form S of the Gates-MacGinitie Reading Test served as a pretest to measure reading achievement prior to treatment. The pretest score was used as a covariate to control for initial reading levels. Both the experimental and the control groups received traditional reading instruction, but the experimental group’s instruction was supplemented with nine weeks of the Visual Thinking Strategies curriculum. A posttest using Form T of the Gates-MacGinitie Reading Test was administered to both groups after the instruction to measure reading achievement.

A two-way Analysis of Covariance was used to analyze the data. Results indicated that students who were instructed with Visual Thinking Strategies did not perform better than students instructed without it. Although students with low motivation did not perform significantly better when VTS was used as the instructional method, there was a significant main effect of motivation on the comprehension subtest for highly motivated students. The educational implications of these results are discussed.