ERIC Number: ED022756
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1964
Reference Count: 0
The Responses of Adolescents While Reading Four Short Stories.
Squire, James R.
A method of studying the responses of adolescents to literature was devised and utilized in analyzing the reactions of 52 ninth- and 10th-grade students to four short stories. Each story was divided into six sections and the students' verbal responses were recorded after reading each section. The resulting data indicated that, of the seven response categories, students gave more interpretational reactions than summaries or responses involving literary judgment, self-involvement, personal associations, or prescriptive judgments. Although individual interpretations were generally unrelated to intelligence or reading ability and response patterns were highly individualized, a correspondence was noted between socioeconomic status and response patterns, and a strong positive relationship was found between responses of literary judgment and those of self-involvement. Six sources of difficulty in literary interpretation were identified: failure to grasp the meaning, irrelevant associations, reliance on stock responses, "happiness binding," critical predispositions, and a search for certainty. The information and techniques of this project can be applied to further research and to methods of teaching to correct revealed weaknesses. (The stories selected were "All the Years of Her Life" by Morley Callaghan, "Prelude" by Lucile Vaughan Payne, "Reverdy" by Jessamyn West, and "The Man in the Shadow" by Richard Washburn Child.) (LH)
Descriptors: Adolescents, English Instruction, Interpretive Reading, Interpretive Skills, Literary Criticism, Literary Discrimination, Literature, Oral Interpretation, Reading Skills, Research Design, Short Stories, Social Background, Student Reaction, Values
National Council of Teachers of English, 508 South Sixth Street, Champaign, Ill. 61820 (Stock No. 15806, HC $1.50).
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Council of Teachers of English, Champaign, IL.