ERIC Number: ED431848
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-Apr
The Social and Ideological Construction of "Free-Choice Reading."
Students' book choices and discussions during independent reading were studied in a combined fifth/sixth grade classroom. The meanings students and the teacher gave to the practice of independent, "free-choice" reading were studied, and the influences that shaped students' choices of books were explored. Independent reading is actually social in very complicated ways, and "free choice," is terms of students choosing what they want to read, is actually not free of the need to establish particular social identities in relation to local and institutional discourses. Tensions emerged as children brought into the classroom cultural symbols and materials of the sort that teachers, and adults in general, do not feel comfortable in legitimating, such as violence, sex, and an acceptance of rigid gender roles. One of the most important roles a teacher can serve when he or she participates in literature discussions is to mediate the literature in critical ways to help students traverse popular culture and the official and unofficial discourses of the classroom. (Contains 36 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Montreal, Quebec, Canada, April 19-23, 1999).