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Title:Students as Literary Critics: The Interpretive Theories, Processes and Experiences of Ninth Grade Students
Author(s):Rogers, Teresa
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Pearson, David; Spiro, Rand J.
Department / Program:Education
Discipline:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:Ph.D.
Genre:Dissertation
Subject(s):Education, Language and Literature
Education, Educational Psychology
Abstract:The interpretive processes, "theories", and instructional experiences of ninth grade students were studied from several theoretical perspectives: schema theory; literary theory; and a sociolinguistic perspective on classroom learning.
Two intact ninth grade classes in a highly selective University-affiliated high school participated in the study; eight case study students volunteered to participate in extensive individual pre- and post-instructional interviews that included questionnaires, think-aloud protocols, and rankings of critical paragraphs. Parallel "written interviews" were completed by the whole class. Discussions led by the regular classroom teacher were observed and contrasted with discussions led by the researcher during the instructional unit in which interpretive authority was shared among the researcher and the students.
The interpretive community created during the researcher-led discussions was contrasted with the community created during the teacher-led discussions. Contrasts were based on an analysis of the video-tapes, student questionnaire responses and comments in a journal kept by the teacher journal. The analysis revealed differences between the two communities in terms of the social rules and the interpretive strategies that were supported.
In order to examine the case study students' interpretive processes and theories, the think-aloud protocols completed during the interviews were analyzed in terms of reasoning operations and literary inference sources. The students' rankings of critical paragraphs were also analyzed. Complete interviews of four of the students were then descriptively analyzed in order to study the complexity of the protocols and the relationship between individual student's theories and processes.
Students exhibited sophisticated reasoning operations and tended to be fairly textual in terms of their inferences and theoretical stances, reflecting the "New Critical" type instruction they typically receive. After the instructional unit, they relied less on structural inferences and tended to be gernerally more "intertextual" in their approach. An implication is that we need to pay more attention to the relationship between how we teach literature and what students learn about the interpretive process.
Issue Date:1988
Type:Text
Description:309 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1988.
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/69201
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8823234
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1988


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