ERIC Number: ED373304
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
Children and Adults Reading Children's Literature: A Comparison of Responses.
Lehman, Barbara A.; Scharer, Patricia L.
A study examined similarities and differences between adults' and children's responses to the same children's book, and the role of discussion in shaping adults' perceptions about the book and their understanding of children's responses. Subjects, 129 students in five university children's literature classes, read and responded in writing to Patricia MacLachlan's "Sarah, Plain and Tall." Students collected verbal and/or written responses from 140 children in grades 3-8 as the child read or listened to the book. The college students then engaged in group discussion about the book and completed an open-ended questionnaire. Results indicated that: (1) initial responses by both children and adults were more reader-based rather than text-based; (2) children tended to take the book more at "face value" and read for enjoyment; (3) children identified more with the child characters; (4) boys were less enthusiastic than girls about the book; (5) by far the most responses from children related to the characters; (6) child readers made few comments about themes; and (7) children made comments demonstrating awareness of the author's crafting of the story. Results also indicated that class discussions were important for adult readers' responses to the book in eliciting more text-based responses; the nature of the discussion influenced adults' insights; and discussion was important to adults' understanding of the children's responses. Findings suggest that discussion is important to bring out readers' analytical stance. (Contains 15 references and a table listing coding categories.) (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Sarah Plain and Tall
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Reading Conference (43rd, Charleston, SC, December 1-4, 1993).