Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

This text matters: Students' experiences with independent reading
by Zwillenberg, Jennifer Goulston, Ed.D., University of Pennsylvania, 2015, 262; 3746342
Abstract (Summary)

This study examined the engagements with and the impacts from the intersection of students and texts. Stemming from ethnographic methodology, I implemented a 10-month case study based in a sixth-grade classroom in an urban school with 24 participants. I approached this work with a sociocultural perspective on literacy, which stands in contrast to the deficit ideology often employed in discussion of the literacy of adolescent from low-income, urban areas. Data sources included fieldnotes, recordings, transcripts, and documents. The need for this work came from a lack of research on adolescent literacies broadly, and more specifically on young adolescent experiences with texts that they select. This research offers insight into students’ experiences with texts and how they see themselves as literate individuals. All of the students had complex reading identities that warranted examination in terms of their experiences with texts, their history with school-based literacy practices, and their own perceptions about reading. There were important concepts that this research found. First, the role of familiarity with texts is important for students as readers. Second, it is important for educators to ask students directly about their experiences with texts and literacy broadly. Third, not only are certain literacy practices such as selecting books and comprehending texts conceptualized differently by teachers and students, but these different perspectives have consequences for students in school. This research examines and reimagines the ways in which adolescent literacy is conceptualized in schools as a way to end practices that marginalize certain readers.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Gadsden, Vivian L.
Commitee: Harris, Violet J., Thomas, Ebony Elizabeth
School: University of Pennsylvania
Department: Reading, Writing, Literacy
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: DAI-A 77/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Language arts, Reading instruction
Keywords: Education, Independent reading, Literacy
Publication Number: 3746342
ISBN: 978-1-339-39663-7
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