ERIC Number: ED262393
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Learning within a Classroom Context: First Graders' Conceptions of Literacy.
Rasinski, Timothy V.; DeFord, Diane E.
A study was conducted to explore first grade students' conceptions of reading and writing, and how those conceptions may be associated with and influenced by the type of reading instruction they receive. The study was conducted in three separate classrooms, each based upon theoretically different models of literacy learning: (1) a content-centered mastery learning program; (2) a traditional, eclectic, basal reading approach; and (3) a child-centered literature approach. All children were interviewed individually concerning their conceptions of reading and writing. Children's reading achievement levels were also obtained from the teachers. Responses were rated according to the degree to which they were meaning-based or related to the deep structure aspects of language as opposed to the degree to which the responses were letter-sound based or related to surface structure. The results reflected the nature of the classrooms and the children's ability levels. Students' conceptions of reading and writing were highest or most meaning-based in the informal or literature-based classroom. The traditional or basal class students had the middle-level mean score, while mastery learning students had the lowest or most analytical score. When correlated with achievement level, the middle achievers had the lowest reading conception scores and the highest writing conception scores. Both reading and writing achievement scores for the informal classroom tended to decline from low achievers to high achievers. Results suggest that the type of instruction and the context for instruction significantly and quite powerfully affect the way that first grade children perceive literacy and literacy activities, and that this effect changes with the students' achievement level. (HTH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (New Orleans, LA, November 14-17, 1985).