Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A student-centered classroom for struggling readers transforms a teacher's identity and pedagogy
by Herman-Davis, Beth, Ed.D., Lewis and Clark College, 2011, 207; 3468739
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this study was to explore how critical pedagogy, culturally relevant curriculum, and student centered instruction impacted student engagement in reading for struggling high school readers, including first- and second-generation immigrants. The researcher/practitioner (r/p) chose to highlight Latinas in the study to understand the connection between reading engagement and culture. The study provided the r/p with opportunity to reflect on ways to include critical pedagogy to improve her practice. The r/p used action research and cycles of inquiry to reflect, diagnose, and plan reading instruction based on tenants of critical pedagogy. The data sources included student surveys and journals, student observations, and closing interviews. Themes related to student engagement, culturally relevant text and inclusion of student voice are presented, as well as the role of culture and identity in engaging struggling readers.

Important findings include the use of student voice in generating themes of interest, student selection of reading material, and supportive and inclusive learning environments. The use of literature circles as a structure to help students participate in discussions and engage in dialogue, critical thinking, and questioning are also discussed. The study advocates for teachers working with diverse populations to provide culturally relevant curriculum and caring environments for their students. This requires that teachers reposition themselves as learners in the classroom. Specific literacy strategies such as high interest text, inclusion of the primary language, critical reading, pop culture, and technology are used to assist struggling readers in improving their attitude and efficacy in reading.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Exposito, Sara
Commitee: Campbell, Kimberly, Richards, Susannah
School: Lewis and Clark College
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- Oregon
Source: DAI-A 72/11, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Pedagogy, Literacy, Reading instruction
Keywords: Critical pedagogy, Cultural competency, Culturally relevant, Freire, Immigrant, Latina students
Publication Number: 3468739
ISBN: 978-1-124-83532-7
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