Accelrated Reader Program: What do Teachers Really Think

Amy Frances Smith, Karen Westberg, Anne Hejny


What do teachers really think about the Accelerated Reader program, a widely used supplemental, independent reading program in which their students read fiction and non-fiction books of their choice and take brief online comprehension quizzes about the books? The Accelerated Reader (AR) program was designed by Renaissance Learning Company to increase students’ motivation to read and students’ achievement in reading; however, a review of the literature reveals inconsistent findings about its outcomes. 

Very few studies have been conducted seeking teacher input as to whether the program to achieves its intended outcomes. The goal of this study is to survey teachers (Grades 3 – 8) who use AR as a curricular component of their literacy program. We sought to learn about how teachers use the program and perceive its effectiveness as well as how it impacts their students’ interest and achievement in reading. 

We gathered data using an online questionnaire from teachers in urban, rural, exurban and suburban school settings in both elementary and middle schools. Teachers were asked to respond to items based on a 4 –point scale from strongly disagree to strongly agree including an open-ended response section.

The respondents were primarily from suburban and exurban districts and they have been using the program between 1-15 years. Most of the teachers indicated their students enjoy the program and most teachers require their students to take the AR quizzes.

Results indicate most teachers believe that Accelerated Reader program motivates their students to read; however, they also recognize that AR is largely an accountability measure ensuring that their students read independently. Additionally, teachers recognize that AR measures comprehension at knowledge-recall level and is not an overall strong indicator of reading comprehension. Therefore, some teachers have made their own modifications to the program.

Full Text:




  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2017 International Journal of Higher Education

International Journal of Higher Education
ISSN 1927-6044 (Print) ISSN 1927-6052 (Online) Email:

Copyright © Sciedu Press

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the '' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.