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ERIC Number: EJ1089042
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1079-0195
Investigating the Syllabus as a Defining Document
Bowers-Campbell, Joy
Journal of College Reading and Learning, v45 n2 p106-122 2015
The following study is part of a larger study exploring reading identity in students who were placed into a mandatory developmental reading class because of low scores on college placement exams. Sociocultural theories of learning framed the qualitative study. Although the larger study addressed two overarching questions related to reading identity (how students placed in the developmental education class described themselves as readers, and how students' in-school and out-of-school literacy practices affected their perceptions of themselves as readers), this smaller portion of the study examined the relationship between the course syllabus and students' perceptions of themselves as readers. I analyzed the data using document analysis and grounded theory methods. Data analysis revealed that the course syllabus often mirrored participants' notions that good readers have a specific set of "reading skills," such as a large vocabulary or the ability to quickly read and understand a text. The narrow definition of reading presented by the syllabus often dovetailed with participants' dual notions of themselves as struggling readers with school-sanctioned texts and successful readers with texts not valued by the institution. Therefore, given the widely publicized low success rates of developmental education courses, faculty teaching these courses should attend to students' identifications with reading as they design course documents. Course documents that reflect a wider view of reading practices potentially offer students inroads to recognizing reading strengths that can help them work through difficulties, thereby challenging negative and debilitating labels often associated with their mandated placement in developmental courses.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Georgia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A