Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Postmodern picturebooks, gender, and reading difficulties: A phenomenological exploration of one boy's experiences
by Hamilton, Diane M., Ph.D., State University of New York at Albany, 2016, 167; 10140937
Abstract (Summary)

The study presented in this dissertation emerged from a theoretical connection noted in the literature between the potential of postmodern picturebooks to affect change, the ways in which boys are socialized into literacy practices, and the problem of male disengagement from literacy. As such, this study adds a new voice to the extant literature on postmodern picturebooks and that of gender and literacy. This study is an initial exploration at the intersection between these two areas of inquiry focused on the experiences of one boy who self-identifies as disinclined toward reading, a boy whose history of reading difficulties throughout elementary school contributed to compelling insights.

A phenomenological approach was designed for this initial exploration to ensure a rich and comprehensive description of this boy’s experiences to share in order to open and expand our understanding of the reading experience of individual boys and the role postmodern picturebooks might be able to play in disrupting the problem of male disengagement. This phenomenological exploration focused on three focal phenomena—the boy’s experience of reading, his experience of reading traditional picture books, and his experience of reading postmodern picturebooks. Through examination of data collected during a book sort, think-aloud readings, and interviews with the participant and members of his family, along with historical data from school records and tutoring records, descriptive interpretations of each of the three focal phenomena were constructed then discussed in relation to each other and to theoretical connections noted above.

The experience of reading of the focal participant in this study is illuminating, pointing to not only gender influences but also pervasive influences from a concerted focus on learning to read proficiently. Differences between the experience of reading traditional picture books and the experience of reading postmodern picturebooks are evident for this boy. Subtle shifts in reading behavior were noted by the end of data collection suggesting that experiencing postmodern picturebooks with a focus on think-aloud commentary may have provoked a shift in his perspective about what it means to read.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Scanlon, Donna M.
Commitee: Walmsley, Sean, Wissman, Kelly
School: State University of New York at Albany
Department: Reading Literacy Teaching and Learning
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 78/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Literacy, Reading instruction
Keywords: Boys, Concept of reading, Disengagement, Phenomenology, Postmodern picturebooks, Reading difficulties
Publication Number: 10140937
ISBN: 978-1-339-96332-7
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