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ERIC Number: ED410533
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Mar
Pages: 23
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Signs and Wonders: The Negotiation of Literacy in Community College Classrooms.
Worthen, Helena Harlow
A study examined the literacy practices in community colleges, comparing literacy practices in occupational/technical classrooms with those in academic/liberal arts classrooms. "Literacy" is taken to mean both reading and writing and to include texts that are non-verbal--graphic or symbolic. The study was carried out by 8 researchers observing over 250 classrooms and interviewing more than 300 instructors and administrators at 33 colleges in 11 states. Results indicated that less than 1% of occupational/technical classrooms attempted to teach verbal reading at all and, out of 250 classrooms, 102 (about 40%) displayed no explicit instruction in how to learn from texts related to the class and provided no social arrangements to enable students to draw upon each other's ability to learn from text. In 75% of classrooms (186), the power to determine what the text meant was claimed by the instructor and student interpretation of the text was not encouraged. A large minority of classrooms (l06) exhibited literacy practices in which students were taught explicitly what the codes in which the respective texts were embedded meant; 70% (74) also exhibited social arrangements enabling students to learn from each other. About a third of the classes observed were conducted in a way that suggested that instructors had not accommodated their expectation that students would be non-expert readers and writers in their classroom teaching strategy. Findings suggest that among the total distressed classes (62 out of 250), 36 out of 62 were found primarily among the 40% of classrooms receiving no explicit instruction in reading texts. (Contains 2 figures of data and 66 references.) (CR)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A