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Title:Learning Through Literature: A Case Study of an Exemplary Teacher
Author(s):Hill, Susan Elizabeth
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Language and Literature
Abstract:This case study examined how an exemplary teacher structured literature experiences and how students in turn responded to this curriculum. Further questions developed as the case study progressed. They included; Is the literature curriculum dependent on the enthusiasm and idiosyncratic experience of the teacher? Can the literature curriculum be recreated in other classrooms? Is student motivation and interest dependent on a process of self-selection of books? Is book selection controlled by the teacher as her pedagogical concerns interact with student book choices both inside and outside the classroom? Is there a pattern of dominant social values apparent in the books selected? How can a teacher avoid using uniform program materials and still keep track of reading skills and student interest? Why would a teacher want to teach this way? Finally, what are some effects of the literature curriculum on individual students?
In order to pursue these questions the researcher spent over four months as a participant observer in a grade five and six classroom. The individual book conferences of four students who represented a wide range in ability and interest were tape recorded and transcribed. Literature group meetings with larger groups of students were recorded and transcribed. The teacher, students, parents and other members of the school district were interviewed. Photographs, document review, examination of books read and a questionnaire were used as methods of data collection.
The case study portrayed the literature curriculum in operation. Content analysis, as a means of exploring the teacher-student book conferences, revealed that the teacher focused on the broad categories of content, or recall of content; literary analysis of the book as an artifact; and a personal response of students to the book. A last category titled guidance and miscellaneous was also a common teacher-student focus. The literature groups questions set by the teacher were analyzed in a similar way. Care was taken to ensure that the analysis of the teacher-student focus was presented embedded in context of the busy classroom. The special qualities of the particular exemplary teacher of literature were discussed.
Issue Date:1983
Description:271 p.
Thesis (Educat.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1983.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8309955
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1983

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