ERIC Number: EJ786511
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-May
Reference Count: 0
The Social Construction of "Struggle": Influences of School Literacy Contexts, Curriculum, and Relationships
Triplett, Cheri F.
Journal of Literacy Research, v39 n1 p95-126 May 2007
In this study, social constructionism provided a theoretical framework for investigating how students' struggles with reading are socially constructed in school literacy contexts, curriculum, and relationships. The study also sought to discover how "struggling reader" is a socially constructed subjectivity or identity that begins in the early grades. Participants included 1st-, 2nd-, and 3rd-grade students who were identified for reading intervention at their school, 6 classroom teachers, 1 reading teacher, and 1 principal. Data, including field notes and semistructured interviews, were collected during a 4-month period. The findings detail the stark socioeconomic differences between the mainstream students and those identified as struggling readers. Moreover, teachers' responses to readers differed based on the contexts in which they were working, including the teacher education context and the testing/accountability context. I also describe how book talk helped to socially construct success for these young readers and conclude that book discussion can be a pedagogical pathway to a child's identity. In conclusion, I argue that school contexts, curriculum, and relationships can be created in which students do not experience struggle, thus challenging literacy educators to rethink the struggling reader label.
Descriptors: Reading Teachers, Reading Instruction, Early Intervention, Interviews, Longitudinal Studies, Social Psychology, Context Effect, Constructivism (Learning), Grade 1, Grade 2, Grade 3, Early Experience, Teacher Attitudes, Reading Difficulties
Lawrence Erlbaum. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site: http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/default.html
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 1; Grade 2; Grade 3
Authoring Institution: N/A