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- Authors, Protagonists, and Moral Decision Making in Contemporary Young Adult Realistic Fiction: a Content Analysis
- The purpose of this study was to investigate if there is a difference in the way male and female authors of contemporary realistic fiction for young adults portray decision making by their male or female protagonists. Questions asked in the study were: (1) Do female writers of contemporary young adult realistic fiction employ an ethic of justice or an ethic of care for male protagonists involved in moral decision making? (2) Do female writers of contemporary young adult realistic fiction employ an ethic of justice or an ethic of care for female protagonists involved in moral decision making? (3) Do male writers of contemporary young adult realistic fiction employ an ethic of justice or an ethic of care for male protagonists involved in moral decision making? and (4) Do male writers of contemporary young adult realistic fiction employ an ethic of justice or an ethic of care for female protagonists involved in moral decision making? Content analysis was used as the method of collecting data. The sample consisted of 194 novels written from 1989 to 1998, 53 of which contained a moral dilemma. A discussion of the novels included examples of moral dilemmas, alternative solutions, dilemma resolutions, and resolutions based upon care or justice. Analysis of the data revealed: (1) Female writers employ an ethic of care and an ethic of justice for male protagonists involved in moral decision making. (2) Female writers prefer an ethic of care for female protagonists involved in moral decision making. (3) Male writers prefer an ethic of justice for male protagonists involved in moral decision making. (4) Male writers prefer an ethic of justice for female protagonists involved in moral decision making.
- A Content Analysis of Children's Historical Fiction Written about World War II
- The purpose of this study was to investigate the evolution of children's historical fiction dealing with World War II in order to describe the changes that have occurred over the past 50 years. Two questions were asked in the study: (1) Has the characterization of protagonists portrayed in historical fiction about World War H evolved since 1943? and (2) Have the accounts of the events of World War H portrayed in historical fiction evolved since 1943? Content analysis was used as the method of collecting data. The sample consisted of 86 novels written from 1943 to 1993. Upon completing the reading and coding, the researcher discussed the categories and questions posed. As part of analysis, the discussion of the novels in each period was accompanied with an overview of trends in children's literature and events affecting society. The analysis led to the following conclusions: 1. Authors were impacted by changes in the social and political climate, as evidenced by the changes in the gender of the protagonists, an increase of violence, and the inclusion of women. 2. Novels written during the 1980s and 1990s were written with a stronger American perspective. 3. At the time that an increase of violence was seen in American society, descriptions of World War II events and protagonists' actions became more violent and more graphic. 4. Though the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki ended the war with Japan, an inadequacy still exists in the number of novels that provide readers with details related to the atomic bombs. Though much of World War II was fought in the Pacific Rim, a deficiency remains in the number of novels set in Pacific Rim countries. Recommendations for further research include performing a study that examines other genres, analyzing the changes observed in the portrayal of protagonists. A study could be conducted to analyze the author's ethnicity and relationship to the war and determine if differences exist.
- The Effects of Parenting Stress and Academic Self-Concept on Reading Ability in a Clinic Referral Sample
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This study investigated the relationships among the variables of parenting stress, academic self-concept, and reading ability. The purpose of this study was to determine whether parenting stress and academic self-concept contributed to the child's reading ability. Two hypotheses were investigated in an effort to accomplish this purpose. The subjects used in this study were forty-nine children and their primary caretakers referred to The Child and Family Resource Center, The University of North Texas, Denton, Texas, during the academic years of 1994 through 1999. Subjects ranged in age from seven to eighteen years of age. Academically, the subjects ranged from first graders through eleventh graders. All subjects lived in and attended schools in Denton County or neighboring counties. Parental employment ranged from unskilled laborers to medical doctors. The participating families included biological, step, adoptive, single, and divorced families. Abidin's Parenting Stress Index was used to measure parental stress experienced by the primary caretaker. The Intellectual and School Status cluster of the Piers-Harris Children's Self-Concept Scale was used to measure the child's academic self-concept and the Woodcock Reading Mastery Test-Revised provided a measure of the child's reading ability. Test scores were obtained following a review of The Child and Family Resource Center's documented files. Multiple regression statistics revealed no significant relationship between neither parenting stress and the child's reading ability nor the child's academic self-concept and reading ability. Standardized beta coefficients and bivariate correlation results indicated a relationship between academic self-concept and reading ability. Additional research is recommended for future research that encompasses a larger and more diverse sample.
- How Adult Readers Navigate Through Expository Text in a Hypermedia Environment to Construct Meaning
- Research methods from both the qualitative and quantitative paradigms were used to answer the question concerning how adult readers navigate through informational text embedded in a hypermedia environment to construct meaning.
- The Teaching of Children's Poetry: An Exploration of Instructional Practices in University Courses of Children's Literature, English, Language Arts, and Reading Education
- There are no studies which focus on the instructional practices employed in the teaching of children's poetry at the university level. This project aimed to describe the instructional practices utilized in the teaching of children's poetry at universities across the United States. Limited to the practices of the university professors and adjunct instructors who were members of the Children's Literature Assembly (CLA) of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) at the time of this study, this investigation attempted to ascertain the general perceptions of poetry held by these university professors and adjunct instructors, their in-class instructional practices, and the types of poetry assignments given. Additionally, this study revealed both the poets typically highlighted and the goals held by professors and instructors in courses of children's literature, English, language arts, library science, and reading education. A mixed-methods design provided the framework for the descriptive data gleaned from the Poetry Use Survey. Quantitative data analysis yielded descriptive statistical data (means, standard deviations, ranges, percentages). Qualitative data analysis (manual and computer-assisted techniques) yielded categories and frequencies of response. Major findings included respondents': (a) belief that the teaching of poetry was important, (b) general disagreement for single, "correct" interpretations of poetry and general agreement in support of multiple interpretations, (c) general disagreement whether current curricular demands have prevented or impaired their teaching of poetry, (e) high frequency of reading poetry out loud in class, (f) emphasis on inclusion of award-winning poets in assignments, (g) instructional emphasis on variety and breadth in the selection of poets highlighted in a particular course, (h) goals for inclusion of poetry centered on pedagogical issues (e.g., frequent use, appreciation of craft; writing models; thematic uses) in language arts and across content areas.