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Title:The "lived-in" moment: the aesthetic potential of nonfiction literature in a third grade classroom
Author(s):Korson, Stacey Jannette
Director of Research:Möller, Karla J.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Möller, Karla J.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Bresler, Liora; Jenkins, Christine; McCarthey, Sarah
Department / Program:Curriculum and Instruction
Discipline:Curriculum and Instruction
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Nonfiction Literature
Abstract:Despite the fact that "emphasis on nonfiction literature in the development of literacy understandings, content knowledge, and literacy abilities is not new" (Möller, 2013, p. 59) at the university level, having been advocated by literacy scholars across all decades since the 1970s, research has documented across two decades that elementary students have received and continue to receive only minimal exposure to nonfiction texts in classrooms and schools (Duke, 2000; Jeong, Gaffney, & Choi, 2002; Ness, 2011; Pappas, 1991). Given the requirements in the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), which call for 50 percent of classroom reading to be nonfiction by fourth grade, there is a need to investigate how students respond to different formats of nonfiction literature. The dissertation investigates the selection and use of nonfiction literature in a third grade class as well as students' responses to different formats of nonfiction. This project explores the nonfiction literature selections of the teacher, the responses of the students, and the link between the two. In a four-month qualitative study of a third-grade teacher and five focal students I highlight the complex web that links the teacher's instruction with the evocation of an aesthetic response by the students. The main research questions that guided this study are: How and why do teachers select nonfiction literature for classroom use? In what ways are teachers including nonfiction literature in their classroom instruction? What do students notice and discuss about different formats of nonfiction literature? How do specific types/formats of nonfiction literature invite students to take and develop personally meaningful stances (aesthetic, efferent, mixed or shifting stances) when reading? Data sources for this study come from the perspective of a third-grade teacher through interviews and classroom literacy observations. In addition, this study presents the "lived-through" response of five focal students as I observed their response to reading nonfiction literature and engagement in literature discussion groups. Analysis of the data unravels a complex web of classroom practice, social reading context, and personal preference that shaped the responses that students evoked when reading nonfiction literature. In sum, this study demonstrates the potential for third grade students to evoke an aesthetic response when reading different formats of nonfiction literature.
Issue Date:2016-05-16
Rights Information:© 2016 Stacey Jannette Korson
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-11-10
Date Deposited:2016-08

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