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ERIC Number: ED449477
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Sep
Pages: 271
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Finding a (W)hole in the Text: A Case Study of Four Readers Reading.
Nance, Mary Moore
The purpose of the study was to examine: (1) which perspectives of Reader Response Theory were most applicable in this study; (2) which factors influenced reader responses; and (3) how readers' responses changed over time. The four participants for this case study were chosen from a subject pool of 10 initiate adult full-time divinity students in a theological seminary and college. Standardized testing, which was administered as a part of the school's orientation procedures, showed that these four students needed reading instruction in order to meet the academic demands of the college and seminary. Data collection, which provided a deep picture of the bounded system, included documents, interviews, and observation during a semester of instruction in the fall of 1999. Triangulation of data was secured from the syllabus, lesson plans, the researcher daily log, student questionnaires, initial written student responses, student journals, transcribed class discussions and individual discussion with students, and transcribed interviews with students as well as with assistants and others within the milieu. Assessment instruments for qualitative analysis included "Levels of Engagement" (Iser, 1978) (Labercane, Olafson, Hunsberger, Watt, et. al., Unpublished Manuscript), the "Efferent/Aesthetic Continuum" (Rosenblatt, 1978) (Cox and Many, 1992), and the "Levels of Personal Understanding" (Cox and Many, 1992). The textual and the experiential perspectives were both well employed. Students had a deep understanding of the text as well as a latitude of efferent/aesthetic response. Among factors which affected student response, initial fears disappeared with the development of social and cross cultural growth. Types of teacher questions and class discussion influenced student response, as did task type and text. Reflection, writing assignments, and reader interest provided thinking opportunities for students. Christian values, ethics, morals, and religious views, against a background of embedded loving concern for humankind and a deep faith, figured heavily in student responses. Students extended their reading stances, both efferent and aesthetic, across time. The two week period used for transactions with each text provided for a deeper understanding and growth across the efferent/aesthetic continuum. (Contains 19 figures, 144 references, and a 63-item list of texts used for student choices. Appendixes contain evaluation instruments, a literacy autobiography assignment, and five texts chosen for response analysis.) (Author/RS)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A