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Elementary Children’s Aesthetic and Efferent Responses to Reading Information Books. Ray Doiron, Ph.D. University of Prince Edward Island Canada. The C.R.I.B. Project. A three-year study that examined: Elementary children’s independent reading choices.

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elementary children s aesthetic and efferent responses to reading information books

Elementary Children’s Aesthetic and Efferent Responses to Reading Information Books

Ray Doiron, Ph.D.

University of Prince Edward Island

Canada

the c r i b project
The C.R.I.B. Project
  • A three-year study that examined:
    • Elementary children’s independent reading choices.
    • Elementary children’s written responses to reading information books.
factors that warrant this study
Factors that Warrant this Study
  • Most previous research before literature-based programs.
  • Few Canadian studies in this area.
  • Trade book market has exploded with a wealth of information books.
  • Large population (1200) followed for three years.
  • Construct was examined within the literacy instruction context.
  • Variety of data-gathering tools used.
theoretical framework
Theoretical Framework
  • Bruner’s “Ways of Knowing”
    • Narrative/Paradigmatic
    • Each order experience, construct reality
    • Each requires different forms, different uses of language
    • Don’t reduce one to the other or favor one over the other.
    • Not two distinct world views but both make a complete picture
a dichotomy exists
A Dichotomy exists …
  • One for science – one for art
  • One for knowledge – one for understanding
  • One narrative – one exposition
  • Work of language – play of language
  • One for pleasurable reading – one for reading for information.
collapse the dichotomy
Collapse the Dichotomy
  • Focus on the source of the texts;
  • Focus on the aesthetic value of each, both in their form and in the process that led to their creation.
  • Both text forms can develop literacy skills and
  • Both text forms can motivate students to read.
the research focus
The Research Focus
  • Would elementary students generate written response to reading information books?
  • Would elementary students generate aesthetic and efferent responses?
rosenblatt as foundation
Rosenblatt as Foundation
  • Transactive nature of reading – two stances – aesthetic & efferent.
  • Reader may adopt either stance for either text type.
  • Forget the “either-or habit” where one text is for aesthetic - other for efferent.
  • Advises teachers to develop students’ ability to read either text from either stance (1991).
population and location
Population and Location
  • 1 urban school & 2 suburban/rural schools.
  • Grades 1thru 3 and grades 4 thru 6 followed for three years.
  • Teachers – use literature-based programs – commercially available and supplemented with their own materials and themes.
  • Well-developed school library programs with full-time teacher-librarian; also open book exchanges.
collecting written responses
Collecting Written Responses
  • Sets of 50+ pre-selected information books in classrooms for 3 weeks.
  • Book talk by researcher; books set up in display.
  • Children read books for independent reading and completed a written response.
  • Prompt: Write anything you want about the book you just read. (Many & Cox studies)
many cox studies
Many & Cox Studies
  • Grade five students written responses to reading fiction.
  • Aesthetic response – focus is on the “lived-through experience” of the reader who relates personnel feelings, ideas, emotions and story extensions.
  • Efferent response – focus is on an analysis of the text and tell little of what the reader experienced while reading.
  • Many & Cox – 2 efferent, 4 aesthetic categories plus many “mingled” responses.
analysis of written responses
Analysis of Written Responses
  • Over 1500 responses collected from grades 1-6.
  • Holistic framework used to comb responses and find similarities.
  • Ten categories of response emerged; 331 responses identified as ”mingled”
  • Two research assistants gave very high – inter-rater reliability.
  • 5 aesthetic and 5 efferent categories named and described.
  • Exemplars chosen for each of 10 categories.
distribution of responses
Distribution of Responses
  • After mingled pulled out – 1178 left.
  • Table 1: shows total number of responses by grade and gender.
  • Table 2: Response Categories by Grade and Gender
    • Not much variance by gender
  • Figure 1: Responses by Category & Grade
aesthetic responses to information books
Aesthetic Responses to Information Books
  • Cat. 1: It reminds me of …
  • Cat. 2: I wonder why …
  • Cat. 3: I didn’t know that …
  • Cat 4: I liked it when …
  • Cat. 5: Text triggered a personal narrative.
efferent responses to information books
Efferent Responses to Information Books
  • Cat. 6: Reader gives a “review” or recommendation for the book.
  • Cat. 7: Attraction to a special feature of the book.
  • Cat. 8: Simple retelling of things remembered – This book is about …
  • Cat. 9: Rates the difficulty of the reading level for them or for others.
  • Cat. 10: Simple like/dislike for the book – almost a non-response.
summary of results
Summary of Results
  • Elementary children can respond to information books from either an aesthetic or efferent stance.
  • Purpose set for the reading influences response (Rosenblatt).
  • Responses are as varied as when they read fiction
  • Analysis of written responses by gender showed no difference in response types or frequency of completing a response.
implications
Implications
  • Literacy educators need to “let” children read information books for other purposes that just fact-finding; i.e. pleasurable reading.
  • Residual data indicated these students were excited about being free to read information books during silent reading time.
  • Literacy educators need to teach students to read different texts for different purposes, i.e. information books have an aesthetic role in developing literacy.
  • Literacy educators need to help children develop a complete picture of the world by using both text types to represent the world.