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Title:Deeper Engagement: A Qualitative Study of Multicultural Fifth Graders' Involvement With Literature
Author(s):MacGregor, Nancy Andrea
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Bonnie Armbruster
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Elementary
Abstract:The purpose of this qualitative research was to explore at a deeper level the nature of children's engagement with and response to multicultural and dream literature in relation to the literature itself and the child's development during reading. The participants were four students in the researcher's ethnically diverse and scholastically heterogeneous fifth grade class; the school is located in a low socioeconomic area of a Midwestern community. Data were audiotapes of in-depth interviews with the participants, student response journals, audio- and videotapes of small literature group discussions, and audio- and videotapes of whole class literature discussions; data were collected over a six week period from April to June, 1999. What emerges from in depth analysis of the data is, that while engagement looked different for each child, the common element across cases was true growth of self through deep engagement with the literature; this was evident in the development of the children's responses to literature. The two children of color engaged at a mum level with text reflecting their lived experiences. Maximum engagement seemed to be characterized by an intense emotional and intellectual connection during which the children felt they were "in" the story. An unexpected finding was the unsuspected deeper levels of inner moral/ethical feeling and knowledge. These levels apparently remain stable over long periods of time and play a large role in the child's behavior in various contexts; they are intertwined with the way the child relates to the characters and substories in books (s)he is reading and the child's use of these in understanding and structuring his perceptions of the world around him/her. Results indicate the importance of individual choice in selecting literature as well as the importance of unstructured group discussion and interaction.
Issue Date:2001
Description:279 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2001.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3023132
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2001

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