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ERIC Number: ED410571
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997
Pages: 176
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Treasure from Our Trash: A Study of Unofficial, Vernacular Literacy among Six Graders.
Brown, Vicki A.
Unofficial, vernacular literacy of four diverse sixth-grade groups in a midwestern area was explored using naturalistic, direct observation in classrooms, informal interviews, and literacy survey. Research spanned the 1991-92 through the 1994-95 school years. The focus group, which was studied all 4 years of the research period, attended an inner-city "Chapter-One" school that served primarily low-income African American students. The 3 comparison groups were located within a 40 mile radius of the focus group: one group attended another inner-city "Chapter-One" school that served primarily low-income, White Appalachian children; another group was primarily made up of students of working class families, was 100% White, and attended a rural school; and another group attended a school in a primarily middle-class community, and was 95% White. Findings seem to reveal a great similarity in the use of unofficial, vernacular literacy, and general attitudes toward literacy among all four groups. Gender difference in students' literate communication, both in form and content, was common to all four groups. An ethnic difference was suggested when boys in the focus group were found to exhibit a heightened sensitivity to gendered material. In particular, the study provides evidence for generative creativity among some of society's weaker students, and argues that the texts created by students of the focal group indicate considerable untapped language ability and unrecognized literate skill. (Contains 68 references; appendixes contain data, survey instruments, field notes, and samples of students'"unofficial" writing and drawing.) (Author/RS)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A