ERIC Number: ED361650
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993
Reference Count: N/A
Approaches toward Meaning in Low- and High-Rated Readers. Report Series 2.20.
Langer, Judith A.
To better understand the nature of students' approaches to literary understanding, a study compared the meaning-making approaches of traditionally judged above and below average readers. In all, 144 protocols were analyzed from 24 students (12 seventh graders and 12 eleventh graders, half in each class judged as above and half as below average performers). Think-aloud tape recordings were transcribed and analyzed. Findings suggest a similarity in better and poorer readers' overall approaches toward meaning. They seemed to move from a search for initial ideas into a meaning-development mode at similar points in their reading. However, the quality of their envisionments differed markedly, and the difference seemed to be influenced by their differing expectations about the kinds of understandings they would gain from each kind of reading experience. From early on, the better readers set a primary purpose for reading (to engage in a literary experience or to gain discursive understanding), and these expectations guided the kinds of information they sought and the meanings they developed. In contrast, the poorer readers seemed less aware of the different representations that were appropriate for each particular type of reading. While poorer readers arrived at discrete local meanings, there was no overriding end toward which they were building, leading them to create more fragmented envisionments from which they were more easily dislodged. (Seven tables of data are included; 64 references are attached.) (Author/RS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Research Center on Literature Teaching and Learning, Albany, NY.