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ERIC Number: EJ776655
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 12
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0098-6291
A Christian Fundamentalist in a Reader-Response Class: Merging Transactions and Convictions
Shafer, Gregory
Teaching English in the Two-Year College, v34 n3 p320-331 Mar 2007
There is something very democratic and creative about reader-response criticism. In a reader-response classroom, students progress from passive to active reading, from discovering a text to creating one. Also, students progress from passive to active reading, from discovering a text to creating one. However, a problem emerges when the spirit and empowerment of a reader-response approach seems to be truncated or undermined by deeply entrenched beliefs--beliefs that seem to negate other aspects of the student's persona. In this article, the author relates how he once struggled to assist a student who seemed to be divorced from the dynamic reading experience that yields both personal and critical responses to a text. Danielle, the author's student, seemed unable to tap into the mosaic of ideas that constitute an empowered transaction with a text because of her religious heritage. Whether the discussion revolved around a woman's place in the home or the policy toward gay and lesbian marriage, Danielle appeared to rely on the perspective of her religious teachings and specifically the Bible in all of her opinions. The author relates how he was able to acknowledge Danielle's right to her religion while being successful in encouraging her to consider other perspectives toward her reading and writing as well.
National Council of Teachers of English. 1111 West Kenyon Road, Urbana, IL 61801-1096. Tel: 877-369-6283; Tel: 217-328-3870; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A