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A Philosophical Study of the Holistic Paradigm with Heuristic Implications for Written Language

Description: The problem of this study was to investigate the philosophical assumptions underlying the holistic paradigm. These underlying philosophical assumptions include beliefs about the nature of being (ontology), goals (axiology), and knowledge (epistemology). The interdependence of these assumptions, as well as how they translate into different research processes, is noted in this study.
Date: December 1993
Creator: Campbell, Carol L. (Carol Louise)
Partner: UNT Libraries

How Computer Use Functions as an Aspect of Literacy Development : A Qualitative Description of a Second-grade Classroom

Description: In this study, the researcher investigated how computer use functions as an aspect of literacy development within a second-grade classroom. The researcher sought to gather data to help define the role that computer use plays in the literacy development of elementary school students by concentrating on how computers are actually used in the classroom being studied, and by looking for relationships revealed by students' and teacher's beliefs about computer use in the classroom.
Date: December 1993
Creator: Kostelnik, Joyce L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Comparison of Pre- and Posttraining Verbal Interaction of Caregivers and Children During Story Time

Description: The purpose of this descriptive study was to create a read-aloud instructional program which could be used in teaching caregivers to promote quality verbal interaction among participants during story time. Prior to and subsequent to instruction, selected high-school students participating in a vocational-technical child development program were audio- and videotaped as they read stories aloud to children. All tapes were transcribed in full. Using the storybook Reading Analysis System (Teale, Martinez, & Glass, in press), dialogue was categorized into form, type of information, focus, instructional intent, and importance categories.
Date: August 1987
Creator: Drescher, Juanita Frost
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Content Analysis of Reading Software Commercially Available for Pre-K to 3rd Grade Children.

Description: The purpose of this qualitative study was to investigate the content and characteristics of the currently available commercial reading software for Pre-K through third grade children. The design of the study was a content analysis. Based on the evaluation rubric established by the researcher, ten commercial reading software were selected to be analyzed. By reviewing and transcribing, the data were obtained, and then coded, categorized, and interpreted. The findings from the analysis revealed that all reading software programs offered exercised for practicing basic phonics skills; the alphabetic principle, letter-sound association, word knowledge, sentence building, and reading comprehension. Depending on the software developers, phonics-based practice was presented in two ways; separate skill-based practice emphasis and storybook-reading emphasis. All software programs utilized drill-and-practice, direct instruction and mastery learning methods and utilized gaming strategies to motivate and engage the learners. Multimedia technology was used to make the software more appealing. All reading software programs were developed on the perspectives that view learning to read as the continuum of a child's oral language development and background experience about words. It is recommended that parents and teachers review and select the software based on reliable information sources, use the software as supplementary practice based on the learning objectives identified and individual student needs.
Date: May 2002
Creator: Nakjan, Sutat
Partner: UNT Libraries

Effects of Teaching Reading Through Discussion of Text Structures.

Description: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of teaching reading through discussion of text structures on students' reading comprehension. The design of the study was a Pretest-Posttest Control-Group Design. One hundred twenty-six sophomore and senior Thai college students majoring in English and attending afternoon English classes participated in the 10-week study and were randomly assigned to an experimental group and a control group. The experimental group received reading instruction in the characteristics of narrative and expository text structures and how to discuss the details of story by applying knowledge of text structures. The control group, on the other hand, read each story silently by themselves and answered comprehension questions. The posttest means of the two groups were compared, and a t test was used to test the significance difference of the means. The results did not reveal any differences between the means. The short time of the intervention may be a crucial factor that made the two strategies yield the same effects. However, the survey responses showed the participants liked reading through discussion of text structures more than reading by themselves.
Date: December 2001
Creator: Piyanukool, Surachai
Partner: UNT Libraries

Questions Used by Teachers with Skilled and Less Skilled Readers

Description: This study described the way teachers used questions with skilled and less skilled readers during reading instruction. The cognitive level and functions of questions were analyzed based on data collected through direct observation within the natural environment of the classroom. In addition, the patterns of questioning which included wait-time and sequencing of questions were identified and reported. Twenty sixth grade teachers randomly selected from a metropolitan school district were observed while instructing skilled readers and less skilled readers. Data collected during non-participatory observation of reading instruction through audiotape recordings, a low-inference observation instrument, and field notes were analyzed using the chisquare statistic, log-linear analysis, and descriptive statistics. Each question/response/response loop which occurred during the eighty observations was analyzed as to the cognitive level and function of the question, designation and wait-time of the student's response, the appropriateness, type, and length of the student's response, and the content of the teacher's response. Within the limitations of this study, the following conclusions have been formulated. 1. Teachers use different cognitive levels of questions for particular functions as dictated by the specific needs and characteristics of the students in the skill level. 2. Although teachers ask the majority of questions at the cognitive-memory and convergent levels rather than the higher divergent and evaluative levels among both skilled and less skilled readers, the primary function is that of extending. It appears that teachers use questions as a way of encouraging student participation during reading instruction. 3. Among both skilled and less skilled readers, teachers practice a fast pace approach to questioning, waiting an average of one to two seconds for a response. 4. Paths of sequence for question/response/response loops are similar for both skilled and less skilled reading groups. The function of extending typically followed focusing and clarifying, demonstrating the teacher's apparent effort to ...
Date: August 1986
Creator: Loring, Ruth M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Critical Thinking, Reading, and Writing: Developing a Schema for Expository Text Through Direct Instruction in Analysis of Text Structure

Description: The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of a direct instruction model as a means of enhancing secondary students' schema for expository text. Subjects were seventh- and tenth-grade students in regular reading and English classes in an suburban school district. Students were pre- and posttested on four measures: attitude toward expository text, independent reading comprehension and recall from expository text, organization of information from expository text in notetaking, and expository writing. A nested analysis of covariance procedure was used for data analysis to account for teacher effects and group non-equivalence. The study was conducted over a six-week period in the spring semester. A model of direct instruction in analysis of expository text structure was developed by the researcher, using sample text passages similar to those encountered by seventh- and tenth-grade students in content area reading. Treatment group teachers were provided with lesson plans and materials and were given instruction in the model; comparison group classes were given no particular instructional treatment other than that normally conducted during this period.
Date: August 1986
Creator: Hickerson, Benny L. (Benny Louise)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Stress as a Factor in Primary Schoolchildren's Reading Difficulties: Some Implications for Remedial Reading

Description: Stress is being linked increasingly to physiological, psychological, sociological, and educational problems. However, scant attention has been given to stress in recent reading research. This study investigated referral and evaluation statements and diagnostic data from parents, teachers, reading specialists, and counselors regarding signs of stress and potential stressors as factors in the reading difficulties of seventy-seven primary schoolchildren referred for evaluation at the pupil Appraisal Center (PAC) at North Texas State University between 1977 and 1984. Qualitative methods, specifically situational analysis, were employed to obtain a holistic view of each subject's reading difficulties. The researcher collected data from documented files at PAC. Data analysis via a categorical coding system produced thirty-nine stress related categories, organized under broad headings of family and school environment, readiness for reading/ learning, general stress reactions, and responses to stress when reading/learning becomes a problem.
Date: December 1985
Creator: Swain, Claudia Jones
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Symptoms of Childhood Depression as Factors in Children's Reading Difficulties

Description: The purpose of this study was to investigate symptoms of childhood depression as factors in elementary school age children's reading difficulties. Subjects for study included children who evidenced symptoms of depression from among those referred to the Pupil Appraisal Center (PAC) at North Texas State University for reading difficulties between October, 1983, and April, 1985. The Weinberg Affective Scale (WAS), a screening device for childhood depression, was used to identify the subjects for this study. Using document analysis as the research approach, the researcher examined, recorded, and categorized referral and evaluation statements made by parents, teachers, counselors, and reading specialists the subjects1 PAC files that described symptoms of childhood depression. Also analyzed were diagnostic test data from the evaluation reports of PAC counselors and reading specialists.
Date: December 1985
Creator: Werner, Patrice Holden
Partner: UNT Libraries

Who is Helping Our Children? Development of a Model for the Training of Tutors for America Reads

Description: The purpose of this research study was to examine the effectiveness of training for college work study students who participated in an America Reads program, which was designed to help at-risk children struggling with reading. Two groups participated in this research study. One group of college tutors had minimal training in reading strategies at the beginning of the study and the other group of college tutors had continuous training and feedback throughout the study. The research study sought to answer the following questions: 1) Will training for college student tutors in the area of reading, more specifically in the strategies and skills, help improve their comprehension and vocabulary? And 2) Will training for college student tutors in the area of reading, more specifically in strategies and skills, significantly improve the comprehension and vocabulary scores of the children being tutored? This was a quasi-experimental research design, used to examine the effectiveness of training college students participating in the America Reads program. The tutors were pre-and post-tested, measuring both their vocabulary and comprehension knowledge at the beginning and the end of the study. The children being tutored were also pre- and post-tested, measuring both their vocabulary and comprehension knowledge at the beginning and the end of the study. The statistical analysis for this design was the analysis of covariance (ANCOVA). The ANCOVA was used to handle the main threat to the internal validity of this research design, due to the fact that the tutors for the control and experimental group were not selected randomly. The tutors and the children were randomly assigned to two groups. The control group of tutors received minimal training (11 hours) and the experimental group received the same minimal training with extra (21 hours) weekly training added. The study began in October 1999 and ended in December 1999. ...
Date: August 2000
Creator: Coleman, Janet E.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Nature of the Impact of a Reading Tutoring Program on Participating Students in the Classroom: A Qualitative Study

Description: The purpose of this qualitative multi-case study was to explore the nature of the impact that a tutoring program, which featured preservice teachers as tutors, had on participating fifth grade at-risk students’ literacy behaviors in the classroom.The researcher served in the role of passive participant observer during the scheduled language arts period three days per week in the participating students’ classroom for a period of twenty-three weeks. Field notes were made in the classroom and coded, and audio tapes were recorded and transcribed of the tutoring sessions. Formal and informal interviews with the teacher, tutors, and participating students were conducted, transcribed, and coded. Lesson plans and reflections developed and written by the tutors were gathered and coded. Observations indicated that there were four types of reading required on a daily basis in the classroom. Assigned readings made by the teacher included narrative and expository texts. Pleasure readings were materials chosen by the students, but at certain times were teacher initiated and at other times, student initiated. The four types of reading found in the classroom were mirrored by the tutoring sessions. Students observed in the classroom could be divided into two types and four categories. Those with positive attitudes were called eager readers. Eager readers were made up of good readers and struggling readers, who lacked some of the reading skills possessed by good readers. Reluctant readers were the second type and had either ambiguous or explicitly negative attitudes toward reading. The type of reader, together with the type of reading required, determined the success of the tutoring sessions. The results of the data analysis show that student motivation toward reading was a key factor in determining the success of the tutoring program. Two of the three student participants in the study reported learning skills in the tutoring program that ...
Date: August 2000
Creator: Arrowood, Dana R.
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Study of Vocabulary Instruction with Fourth Grade Students Participating in an Individualized Reading Program

Description: he purpose of this study was to determine the effects of one approach to vocabulary instruction on the reading and writing vocabulary of fourth grade students in an individualized reading program. The vocabulary instructional approach used student-selected vocabulary words as well as instruction in vocabulary strategies such as context clues, structural analysis, and definition strategies. The twelve week study exposed one fourth grade classroom to vocabulary instruction in a Reading Workshop setting. Major components of the program were mini-lessons, which often involved vocabulary strategies, the silent reading of self-selected books, one-on-one researcher/student interactions, and the self-selection of vocabulary words. The research design is descriptive in nature and used both qualitative and quantitative research methods. Qualitative data included student interviews, teacher interviews, student writing samples, and field note observations. Quantitative data included vocabulary test scores from two groups of students, Group A and Group B. Group A participated in the self-selected vocabulary approach and received vocabulary instruction from the researcher acting as participant observer. Group B received some vocabulary instruction from their classroom teacher, but did not participate in the same program. The test was constructed weekly from a class (Group A) generated list of ten words. Results from vocabulary tests indicate that the vocabulary instruction was effective in helping Group A learn vocabulary. Multiple exposures to words as well as use of vocabulary words in context influenced student performance on tests. Results from qualitative data indicate that students attend to vocabulary words in their print environment. In addition, students used vocabulary words in expressive language, including writing and speaking. The results of this study support opportunities for wide reading, implementation of a variety of vocabulary strategies, repeated exposures to vocabulary words, and opportunities for student choice of vocabulary, as ways to enhance vocabulary learning.
Date: May 2000
Creator: Pilgrim, Jodi L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Identity Issues in Asian-American Children's and Adolescent Literature (1999-2007)

Description: Published research suggests that literature should transmit ethnic and societal values as well as reassure one's own confidence and self-respect. This study provides a model for examining Asian-American children's and adolescent literature critically from the perspective of identity issues. It examines fifteen award-winning Asian-American children's and adolescent titles written by writers of that culture and published in the United States from 1999 to 2007, with a focus on Chinese (Taiwanese) American, Korean American, and Japanese American books. As published studies indicate, self, social, and ethnic identities are significantly intertwined. Hence, a content analysis was conducted based on these three major groups of categories. The findings of the study demonstrate that even though the selected books cover all three aspects of the identity issues to a certain degree, a considerably greater number of depictions of ethnic identities are made over those of internal identities and social identities. Moreover, less than half of the main characters assume an active role in improving the difficult situation. Two major voids regarding the presentation of social identities are successful social integration and positive social interactions. Recommendations for teaching, writing, illustrating, publishing, and future research are suggested, including publishing more Asian-American books which present an optimistic outlook on life, active conflict-resolving behaviors, and a balance of gender among individuals with whom the main character interacts.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Liu, Yi-chen
Partner: UNT Libraries

Examining the Nature of Interactions which Facilitate Learning and Impact Reading Achievement During a Reading Apprenticeship: A Case Study of At-risk Adolescent Readers

Description: The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore the interactions that take place during a reading apprenticeship which facilitate the learning of reading strategies by adolescent students who are at the middle school level and are still at-risk for reading failure and to investigate how a reading apprenticeship affects reading achievement in the areas of fluency, vocabulary development, comprehension, and the self-perception of the reader. The case study was descriptive and interpretive in nature, and examined two students, each of whom was part of a one-to-one reading apprenticeship. The researcher served as participant observer in both cases and was the teacher in each of the one-to-one reading apprenticeships. The primary data set was qualitative in nature, and elements of quantitative data were also considered. Sessions included pretesting and posttesting using the Classroom Assessment of Reading Processes (Swearingen & Allen, 1997), reading from narrative or expository books, working with words, writing, and dialoguing about the reading. Reading strategies were directly taught, modeled, and reinforced by the teacher/researcher with the goal of the students internalizing the strategies and improving their reading in the areas of fluency, vocabulary development, and comprehension, as well as improving their attitudes toward reading and their self-perception about their reading ability. This study described a reading apprenticeship which positively impacted reading achievement for two students in the areas of fluency, comprehension, and vocabulary development, as well as influencing their motivation for reading and their self-perceptions as readers. The environment of the reading apprenticeship, the dialogue that occurred throughout the reading apprenticeship, and strategy instruction, modeling, and reinforcement were found to be factors and interactions which facilitated learning during this intervention.
Date: December 1999
Creator: Arthur, Mary L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Young Adult Literature and Censorship: A Content Analysis of Seventy-Eight Young Adult Books

Description: The purpose of this study was to analyze a representative seventy-eight current young adult books to determine the extent to which they contain items which are objectionable to would-be censors. Seventy-eight books were identified which fit the criteria of popularity and literary quality. Content analysis was selected as the quantitative method of research. Each of the seventy-eight young adult books was analyzed for the six categories which were established through prior research. The six categories include profanity, sex, violence, parent conflict, drugs, and condoned bad behavior. These categories were tallied each time they occurred in the books. Reliability was assured with a rating of .98 by a committee of six professionals. The data reveal that profanity occurred more times in the seventy-eight books than the other five categories with a total of 5,616. The category of drugs was noted 4,171 times. References to sex followed in number with 3,174. The categories which occurred the least were violence with 1,849 occurrences and condoned bad behavior with only 489 occurrences. By applying a frequency index formula to determine the number of objections in each book in relation to the number of pages, a comparison among the books could be made. The analysis, synthesis, and interpretation of the data led to several conclusions. Local school systems should establish and follow procedures for book selection and removal. The interests of young adults are met by the presentation of a variety of ideas and realistic plots and settings. The books, even with objectionable items, are chosen by teachers and students to read; therefore, they should be accessible in secondary school libraries as they provide valuable reading experiences for young adults. This study established that young adult literature serves an important function in providing quality reading material of interest to teenagers. These reading experiences help broaden ...
Date: December 1986
Creator: Horton, Nancy Spence
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Exploratory Study of the Relationship Between Curiosity and Print Awareness of Four-Year-Old Children

Description: This study has five chapters, organized in the following manner: (1) Chapter I contains the introduction, statement of the problem, purpose of the study, questions, significance of the study, and definition of terms; (2) Chapter II is a review of the literature; (3) Chapter III is a description of subjects and tests and procedures for treating the data; (4) Chapter IV contains the statistical technique of the analysis and the findings related to the questions, and (5) Chapter V consists of the summary, findings, conclusions, and recommendations. The problem of the study was to explore the relationship between curiosity and print awareness among four-year-old children. Subjects participating in the study were 71 four-year-old children from six licensed child care and preschool settings located in different geographical sections of a north central Texas city. The study included thirty-four girls and thirty-seven boys. Instruments used to collect the data were Kreitler, Zigler, and Kreitler's battery of curiosity tasks and Goodman's Signs of the Environment and Book Handling Knowledge tasks. Canonical I correlation analyses do not yield a significant relationship between variables of curiosity and print awareness. An alternate Pearson Product Moment correlation yielded some specific pairwise correlations between certain curiosity variables and print awareness. Results, although not statistically significant, were used as trend indicators to identify areas worthy of further investigation. On the basis of the findings, it was concluded that the possibility of a degree of correlation between specific curiosity variables and levels of print awareness suggests the need for further research in this area. In the print awareness tasks, it was concluded that the more context available to children the greater their ability to respond appropriately to print. Knowledge of print in the environment was more advanced than knowledge of print in books for some of the children in the ...
Date: December 1988
Creator: Estrada, Anita
Partner: UNT Libraries

"I Like the Name but Not the Soup!": An Ethnographic Study of the Metalinguistic Sentience of Young Gifted Children, Its Reflection of Their Cognitive Ability and its Relationship to Their Literacy Acquisition and Literacy Learning

Description: Metalinguistic sentience refers to the conscious or unconscious apprehension of, sensitivity to, and attention to language as something with form and function that can be manipulated. This includes, but is not restricted to, conscious or unconscious apprehension of, sensitivity to, and attention to the following aspects of language and literacy: pragmatics, syntactics, semantics, phonology, orthography, morphology, figurative, metalanguage, print "carries" meaning, print conventions, book conventions, text conventions, referent/label arbitrariness, purposes of literacy, and abilities. These aspects of language and literacy are part of a morphological model developed by the author for classifying the evidence provided by children of their metalinguistic sentience. The two other faces of the model, displayed as a cube, depict (1) Literacy Acguisition and Literacy Learning and (2) four Prompt States: Self-, Child-, Adult-, Text. This ethnographic study of nine verbally gifted kindergarten and first grade children was conducted with a three-fold purpose: to explore whether young verbally gifted children's metalinguistic sentience coincided with their cognitive ability, to explore whether young verbally gifted children's metalinguistic sentience influenced their literacy acquisition and literacy learning, and to explore whether young verbally gifted children's literacy acquisition and literacy learning enhanced their metalinguistic sentience. The study took place during a full school year, while the author was a participant observer in the informants' classrooms. The evidence from the research indicated that the nine verbally gifted children who served as the informants for the study had a lower threshold for metalinguistic sentience than did their agemates. This lower threshold allowed them to acquire and learn literacy more easily and more efficiently.
Date: August 1988
Creator: McIntosh, Margaret E.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Home Literacy Environment and Experiences: A Description of Asian American Homes and Recommended Intervention

Description: The purpose of this study was to describe the home literacy environments and literacy experiences of a select group of Asian American children, and to recommend an intervention program based on the findings. The target population was the families which sent their children to a Saturday Asian language and culture school while sending them to public schools during the week, because of their expressed interest in literacy and the probability of their being the group to most likely benefit from intervention. The Home Literacy Environment and Literacy Experiences survey was initially sent out and results tallied and quantified. Upon placing the returned surveys into groups of "high," "middle," and "low" home literacy environment and literacy experiences, a sample of five "high" and five "low" families was selected for further study. Home visits, interviews, field notes, collection of artifacts and other methods of data collection provided a clearer picture of the state of the home literacy environment and literacy experiences of the families studied. Families rated as having "high" home literacy environment and experiences were found to have a larger number of literacy-related materials and higher frequency of literacy-related activities. Bilingualism and education were perceived as being important. The families also exhibited a strong interest in music and music lessons. Parents expressed a desire for two two-hour training sessions which would be held at the Saturday school location while their child attended classes there. It would be ideally held in the native language of the parents by a speaker from the native country. The parents preferred workshops with actual practice and examples which could be seen, accompanied by reading materials. Topics in which parents expressed interest include, in descending order: (a) 'selection of books for and with their child, (b) how to encourage their child to read, (c) how to discuss ...
Date: August 1988
Creator: Lewis, Junko Yokota
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Tagmemic Analysis of Coherence in the Writing of Descriptive Texts by College Students

Description: For this study an attempt was made to bridge the disciplines of linguistics and composition in order to examine factors contributing to textual coherence. Pairs of descriptive texts written by fifty college students were examined in order to identify the factors which differentiate quality and topic. Students were asked to compose a descriptive paragraph on the topic of fall. They were then encouraged to use their five senses, given leaves, and asked to compose a paragraph describing the leaves. The pairs of texts thus elicited were evaluated for preference by readers. The ANOVA revealed a significant difference (p=.001) between the two topics with fall texts preferred over the more specific leaves texts. Results suggest that encouraging students to use their five senses does not improve their writing. It may be more important to move through various levels of abstraction than to merely focus on sensory detail. The texts were also scored holistically by two trained evaluators. Results of this grading were used to choose five high- and five low-coherence texts on each of the two topics. These 20 texts were then analyzed in terms of the tagmemic referential hierarchy. A MANOVA was done to examine the dependent variables of Slot (location in time or space), Role (purpose or reason), and Cohesion (sociocultural context) in relation to quality and topic for these texts. Slot was found to be significant for both quality (p=.025) and topic (p=.004). Role was significant only for quality (p=.001). Cohesion was nonsignificant for either quality or topic. These results suggest that students should: (a) be encouraged to locate their texts in time and space in order to develop an adequate context for readers; (b) be encouraged to include purposes and reasons for the statements they make; and (c) be encouraged, where appropriate, to include a focus on ...
Date: August 1988
Creator: Kent, Carolyn E. (Carolyn Elizabeth)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Student Attitudes Toward Reading Following Computer-Assisted Reading Instruction

Description: The problem investigated in this study was whether students who received computer-assisted reading instruction would display positive attitudes toward reading six or more months after the instruction was completed. A Likert attitude scale was administered to thirteen pre-adolescent and adolescent subjects to assess their attitudes toward reading six or more months after they had received computer-assisted instruction (CAI). In addition, a questionnaire was administered to the subjects' parents to determine their perception of the subjects' attitudes toward reading. Data obtained from the Likert scale indicated that the subjects' attitudes toward reading were neutral. An analysis of responses to the parent questionnaire revealed that the students' attitudes toward school-related reading were positive as a result of CAI. This study concluded that CAI had no apparent positive impact on the subjects' attitudes toward recreational reading.
Date: December 1981
Creator: McGinnis, J. Roddy (John Roddy)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Home-based family literacy practices of an Hispanic family: A case study of activities, functions, and the interface with school-based literacy expectations.

Description: This study examined the home-based family literacy practices of one Hispanic family, especially focusing on the parents' memories of home-based and school-based literacy activities, current home-based literacy activities and functions, and the interface of home-based family literacy practices and school-based literacy expectations. Ethnographic data offered insight into the understanding that literacy acquisition begins in the home and is dependent and reflective of literacy experiences that are sociocultural based. These home-based family literacy activities and functions are broad in scope and are valuable forms of literacy. However, these activities of marginalized families are often regarded as unimportant and/or unrelated to school-based literacy expectations, and therefore inferior. In response to this perceived mismatch between home-based family literacy activities and school-based literacy expectations, educators approached families from a deficit perspective. This deficit assumption created a sense of devalue on the part of the parents, who assisted their children by culturally and socially relevant means. To meet the school-based literacy expectations familial relationships were jeopardized as the pressure, frustration, and guilt from educators can result in emotional and physical abuse from mother to her children.
Date: August 2006
Creator: Page, Jim Larkin
Partner: UNT Libraries

Teacher Decision-Making: Cultural Mediation in Two High School English Language Arts Classrooms

Description: Although studies have addressed high school English language arts (ELA) instruction, little is known about the decision-making process of ELA teachers. How do teachers decide between the resources and instructional strategies at their disposal? This study focused on two monolingual teachers who were in different schools and grades. They were teaching mainstream students or English Language Learners. Both employed an approach to writing instruction that emphasized cultural mediation. Two questions guided this study: How does the enactment of culturally mediated writing instruction (CMWI) in a mainstream classroom compare to the enactment in an ESL classroom? What is the nature of teacher decision-making in these high school classrooms during English language arts instruction? Data were collected and analyzed using qualitative methodologies. The findings suggest that one teacher, who was familiar with CMWI’s principles and practices and saw students as partners, focused her decisions on engagement and participation. The other teacher deliberately embedded CMWI as an instructional stance. Her decisions focused on empathy, caring and meaningful connections. These teachers enacted CMWI in different ways to meet their students’ needs. They embraced the students’ cultural resources, used and built on their linguistic knowledge, expanded thinking strategies to make difficult information comprehensible, provided authentic learning opportunities, used formative assessments as instructional guides, and delivered just-in-time academic and non-academic support.
Date: August 2011
Creator: Araujo, Juan José
Partner: UNT Libraries

Critical Literacy Practices, Social Action Projects, and the Reader Who Struggles in School

Description: This study, conducted at an urban public school, explored the engagements of five, fourth grade, African American students who struggled with reading in school as they participated in critical literacy practices and social action projects with the assumption that critical analysis of written texts and concrete social actions were necessary for student empowerment. Using Discourse Analysis within a microethnographic framework, participants’ responses were analyzed. Early in the study, participants were hesitant to join in critical conversations about race. Over time, as participants deepened their critical literacy engagements, they divulged lived racism both in their private and public worlds. Specifically, the participants described the tensions and transgressions they experienced as minorities from civil rights curriculum, teachers and other students. The findings revealed instead of text based analyses, critical literacy practices transformed into the participants’ critical analysis of racism they experienced in their various worlds (home, school, and the larger, outside world) through language (not text). Similarly, the pre-conceived idea of social action projects changed from the creation of concrete products or actions into discussions in which mainstream discourse was interrupted. Tacit and overt understandings about race, identity and power suggested that the participants assumed multiple and contradictory identities (such as “victim of racism” and “racially prejudiced”) that both empowered and oppressed others in the social action group. Implications for critical literacy practices include that empowering and liberating pedagogy through ‘risky conversations’ is difficult, transitory and radical within the context of school.
Date: December 2011
Creator: Bauer, Courtney Marie
Partner: UNT Libraries