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ERIC Number: ED474926
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Nov-7
Pages: 32
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
A Qualitative Study Describing the Meaning-Making Processes of College Freshmen as They Respond to Poetry.
Tompkins, Sandra L.
As study investigated the meaning-making processes of college freshmen as they interpreted and discussed poetry. Through the theory base of Reader-Response Theory and the New Rhetoric, students' individual construction of meaning and their social construction and negotiation of meaning, respectively, as they interpreted poems was studied. The qualitative research methods of participant observation was used: the collection of artifacts included student compositions, handwritten notes, and audiotaped discussions from small-group work; purposive sampling of these artifacts; questionnaires; and field notes. The researcher placed herself as a full participant observer, since she served as both professor and researcher in her own classroom. For each theory, the researcher identified and described categories of the meaning-making processes derived from the artifacts, and she used the constant comparative method for refining them. She used maximum variation sampling of the student compositions and the audiotaped discussions in selecting salient examples to demonstrate these meaning-making processes for both theories. By identifying descriptive categories to delineate the students' thinking processes both individually and communally, professors and researchers can observe how the participants constructed comprehensive interpretations by rethinking their initial responses, by negotiating their points of difference and points of agreement, and by incorporating into their own compositions their reactions to each other's views. Through these categories of meaning construction, educators can have more awareness of the possible thinking behaviors of students, that is, the different ways they relate to poetry and to each other in discourse communities. Contains 21 references and a table. An appendix contains student individual and communal responses to the poems. (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