ERIC Number: ED214149
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Mar
Reference Count: 0
The Social Construction of Reading Lessons: Insights into Social Reproduction.
Malmstad, Betty J.; And Others
An ethnographic study was conducted (1) to describe the interaction between students and teacher during reading lessons and the meanings these interactions have for both, and (2) to develop an understanding of how schooling contributes to the reproduction of social inequalities. The study involved daily observations of the ten third, fourth, and fifth grade upper middle class students enrolled in a five-week summer remedial reading program and their teacher. In addition, it involved informal interviews with the teacher and students and more formal interviews with the school's principal and the students' former teachers. The major conclusion of the study was that reading remediation did not occur to any great extent during the program. The observed lessons focused on language arts skills, with a heavy emphasis on written work with synonyms, antonyms, facts, and main ideas of a story. Little oral reading was observed. It appeared that remediation was not taking place because the students were deficient in many skills demanded by the tasks assigned them. They were asked to look up words they could not pronounce, to identify main characters and ideas in stories they could not read, and to read books beyond their reading levels. The study suggested that the teacher, who felt constrained by the need to cover skill areas listed by the students' former teachers, and the students, who felt they must do what the teacher assigned, and parents collaborated in socially constructing reading lessons doomed to failure. (FL)
Descriptors: Administrator Role, Case Studies, Classroom Communication, Classroom Techniques, Elementary Education, Ethnography, Interaction, Parent Role, Program Effectiveness, Reading Instruction, Reading Research, Remedial Reading, Social Background, Student Teacher Relationship, Summer Programs, Teacher Effectiveness, Teacher Role
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New York, NY, March 19-23, 1982).