ERIC Number: ED335679
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1990-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
"This Wooden Shack Place": The Logic of an Unconventional Reading. Occasional Paper No. 22.
Hull, Glynda; Rose, Mike
A case study examined the logic of a student's unconventional interpretation of a poem. The subject, an outgoing and well-spoken student from the lower-middle class enrolled in a remedial composition class at the University of California, offered an unconventional reading of a poem by a contemporary Japanese-American writer. Data consisted of recordings of teacher-student conferences concentrating on the interpretation of the poem, a stimulated-recall session, and a follow-up interview. A "conventional" reading of the poem was constructed by asking six readers socialized in American literature departments (two senior English majors, two graduate students, and two English professors) to interpret the lines in question. Results indicated that while the subject's interpretation of the physical environment of the poem (that the character does not live in the wooden shacks and that she is really not poor) differed from the "conventional" reading, his interpretation was coherent and logical. Results also indicated that teacher talk in the conference was often qualified, challenged, and interrupted and that teacher expectations were often unfulfilled. Findings suggest that the laudable goal of facilitating underprepared students' entry into the academic community is actually compromised by a conversational pattern that channels students like the subject discussed here into more "efficient" discourse. (Excerpts from the teacher-student conference are included.) (RS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Center for the Study of Writing, Berkeley, CA.; Center for the Study of Writing, Pittsburgh, PA.