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Sociocultural Theory of Reading. EDC565 Group Presentations Jen Morin Jackie Gingerella Tuesday, February 10, 2009. Principles of Sociocultural Theory of Reading .

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Sociocultural theory of reading l.jpg

SocioculturalTheory of Reading

EDC565 Group Presentations

Jen Morin

Jackie Gingerella

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


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Principles of SocioculturalTheoryof Reading

  • Literacy is a social practice of classrooms, communities, workplaces, places of worship, homes, and so forth. (Luke& Freebody, 1990)

  • The mind is social, cultural, and embedded in the world – it is always situated in specific sociocultural practices and experiences (Gee, 2000)

  • Knowledge would be present when students are socially engaged in discussion or collaborative learning activities (Gee, 2000)

    Reading (and writing and speaking) is not one thing but many.

    It is the ability to recognize situated meanings (meanings that are not

    too general and not too specific) that lie somewhere between

    the concrete (literal) and abstract (general) themes of a text.

    (Luke & Freebody, 1990; Gee, 2000)


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Aligning Sociocultural Theory of Reading With Historical Eras

Era: Sociocultural Learning (1986-1995)

Alexander & Fox, 2004

  • group orientations replace earlier view of individualistic learning

  • shared understanding of the many, rather than the private knowledge of one

  • social and cultural perspectives on literacy

  • learning as a sociocultural, collaborative experience

  • learner as a member of a learning community


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Conditions That Prompted ErasSociocultural Theory of Reading

  • Students did not benefit from explicit instruction designed to improve text-based learning

  • Vygotsky – students should be exposed to naturally occurring texts in natural settings – homes, classrooms, workplace

  • The learning process is more important than the outcome

  • It is through social interaction that students learn

    Alexander & Fox, 2004


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Leading Researchers of Sociocultural Research in Reading Eras

  • Barton & Hamilton 1998; Cazden, 1988; Cook-Gumperz, 1986; Gee, 1996; Heath, 1983; Kress, 1985; Scollon & Scollon, 1981; Street, 1984, 1995 (sociocultural literacystudies)

  • D’Andrade, 1995; D’Andrade & Strauss, 1992; Holland & Quinn, 1987; Shore, 1996; Strauss & Quinn, 1998 (cultural models theory)

  • James Paul Gee, 2000 (Discourse and Sociocultural Studies in Reading)

  • Hutchins, 1995; Lave, 1988, 1996; Lave & Wenger, 1991; Rogoff, 1990; Rogoff & Lave, 1984; Tharp & Gallimore, 1988 (situated cognition)

  • Luke & Freebody, 1990 (Four Resources Model)

  • Vygotsky, 1978, 1987 (sociohistorical psychology)

  • Alexander & Fox, 2004 (A Historical Perspective on Reading Research and Practice)


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How Does a Sociocultural Theory Inform Research in Reading? Eras

Resulting Principles

  • The ongoing movement was toward sophistication of the concept of knowledge – literacy involves a multitude of knowledge's.

  • The importance of schools being social institutions and centered around the interactions between students and teachers.

  • Knowledge is present when students are socially engaged in a discussion or collaborative learning activities.

  • Emphasis in placed on individuality of knowledge and the process of knowing.

  • Question about domains of students - “good at what?” or “poor at what?”


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Visual Sociocultural Theory ErasWorking Together = A+