ERIC Number: ED390045
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Oct
Reader Response Criticism in Children's Literature. Occasional Papers, 15.
Since the 1950s, literary study has experienced a major paradigm shift. M. H. Abrams' notion that the author, reader, and the signified world are arranged like satellites around a stable text has been succeeded by one that acknowledges the reader to be a central determinant in any "reading" of a text. Five themes related to reader response criticism and its pedagogical applications have emerged lately. First, in the area of how the reader responds to literature, the teacher-researcher has been the principal player because it is the teacher who is in the best position to observe the process. There are a range of materials available dealing with several categories of response, i.e., response to fictional narrative, response to poetry. Second, the issue of how children develop in their reading, one of the most frequently raided, has been approached in four main ways: personal reminiscences of bookish childhoods; the growth of the child's sense of story in relation to Piagetian stages of development; the development of literacy; and deductions drawn from surveys of children's reading interests and habits. Third, scholars have begun to hypothesize about how readers differ in their reading practices. Fourth, reader response inquiries have been conducted in three areas concerning children's concepts and social attitudes: (1) multicultural and feminist studies; (2) whole cultural studies; and (3) cross cultural studies. Fifth, studies that closely examine particular texts while drawing on particular theorists are rare. (Contains 129 references.) (TB)
Publication Type: Reports - General; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Southampton Univ. (England). Centre for Language Education.
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (Great Britain)