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ERIC Number: ED552610
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 370
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2679-6258-4
Epistemic Beliefs Underpinning Discourse within a Critical Literacy Intervention: A Multi-Case Study
Pennell, Colleen
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Cardinal Stritch University
Reading is a complex act mediated by cognitive and sociocultural constructs that include classroom discourse and personal epistemology. This study explored the epistemic beliefs underpinning the discourse of four third-grade, male struggling readers and sought to understand how these beliefs unfolded during the critical-analytic reading intervention, Philosophy for Children. This study addressed questions of how both reading comprehension and the epistemic beliefs underpinning discourse manifest themselves within a critical literacy intervention predicated on dialogic discourse, exploratory discussions, and accountable talk. Findings suggested that the boys' epistemic beliefs underpinning discourse were largely mediated by a cultural model of school but were nonetheless malleable and influenced by the critical literacy environment. Moreover, all four of the boys relied on a deep knowledge of popular culture that was recognized as a legitimate form of academic currency within the micro learning community and reconstituted to be a valuable form of cultural capital that bridged reading comprehension. Another key finding suggested that participants' epistemic beliefs underlying discourse were inextricably tied to issues of both identity and shared cultural models, which confounded the nature of text-based discussions. Lastly, the critical literacy platform served as socio-emotional practice for the four participants as the students processed feelings, worked through interpersonal relationships (both in and out of the intervention), and connected these ideas to text. These findings suggest that for some young readers, epistemic beliefs and identity exploration during text-based discussions can confound the nature of exploratory talk. In addition, theoretical models of personal epistemology underscored how participants' discourse beliefs were inextricably woven into broader sociocultural constructs. Likewise, the socio-constructivist and social constructionist models used in this study provided a rich framework to extend our understanding of how the cognitive act of reading is influenced by broader sociocultural contexts, including popular culture. Lastly, implications for pedagogy can be gleaned from these findings that suggest that intervention models for struggling readers should build upon the complex social and cognitive practices that students pursue outside of the school day. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 4; Intermediate Grades
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A