ERIC Number: ED366946
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1994
Reference Count: N/A
A Response-Based Approach to Reading Literature. Report Series 6.7.
Langer, Judith A.
As teachers experiment with the many related types of response-centered approaches (including whole language and literature-based instruction), many are uncertain about the place of instruction in these paradigms and their role in it. For pedagogical purposes, it is unproductive to conceptualize the teaching and learning of reasoning in general terms. In fact, there are basic distinctions in the ways readers and writers orient themselves toward making sense when engaging in the activity for literary or discursive purposes. A 6-year study examined the new kinds of knowledge and strategies teachers rely on as their focus shifts from a primary concern with text content and "received" interpretations to ways in which their students contemplate, extend, reflect on, and defend and hone their own growing understandings. Some general guidelines for instruction and a framework of optional teaching strategies the teachers had internalized to replace their older options for literature instruction grew out of the project. In the collaborating classrooms from which these guidelines and strategies were derived, students were given room to work through their ideas in a variety of contexts (whole-class discussion, alone, small groups) and in a variety of activities (reading, writing, and speaking). In these instructional contexts which treat students as thinkers and provide them with the environment as well as the help to do this, even the most "at-risk" students can engage in thoughtful discussion about literature, develop rich and deep understandings, and enjoy it. Contains 34 references. (RS)
Descriptors: Classroom Environment, Critical Reading, Instructional Effectiveness, Reader Response, Secondary Education, Teacher Attitudes, Teacher Role, Teaching Methods, Writing Research
Literature Center, School of Education, University of Albany, 1400 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12222.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC. Office of Research.
Authoring Institution: National Research Center on Literature Teaching and Learning, Albany, NY.