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Ninth-grade Students’ Negotiation Of Aesthetic, Efferent, And Critical Stances In Response To A Novel Set In Afghanistan

Description: This qualitative, action research study was guided by two primary research questions. First, how do students negotiate aesthetic, efferent, and critical stances when reading a novel set in Afghanistan? Second, how do aesthetic and efferent stances contribute to or hinder the adoption of a critical stance? A large body of research exists that examines student responses to literature, and much of that research is based on the transactional theory of reading. However, it remains unclear how critical literacy fits into this theory. This study describes how one group of high school students’ aesthetic and efferent responses to a novel set in Afghanistan supported their development of critical stances. Six students enrolled in a ninth-grade English course participated in this study. Data were collected for 13 weeks. Data included two individual interviews with each student, student writing assignments in the form of 6 assigned journal entries and 7 assigned essays, transcriptions of 12 class discussions, field notes, lesson plans, a teacher researcher journal, and research memos. Data were analyzed using the constant comparative method. Three major findings emerged from this study. First, class discussions provided a context for students to adopt stances that were not evident in their individual written responses to the novel, which were completed prior to the discussions. Second, the discussions provided scaffolding that helped several of the students adopt world-efferent and critical stances. Third, both the aesthetic and the efferent stances contributed to students’ adoption of critical stances.
Date: December 2011
Creator: Taliaferro, Cheryl