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Title: The impact of home and community culture on the development of higher order reading skills
Author: Ford, Merryl
ISNI:       0000 0001 3474 1876
Awarding Body: University of Brighton
Current Institution: University of Brighton
Date of Award: 2007
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The study aims to consider the ways in which home and community cultures can and do impact on the development of reading skills; not just in the early years of learning to read, but throughout the secondary school years and indeed beyond. The introduction sets the scene, describing the current situation in secondary schools in general and my own in particular, and discussing how my own. experience of that situation brought me to the research question formulated. The study is therefore a response to a professional problem within my own school practice. An overview and analysis of literacy theories follows within the literature review, in which I discuss the ways in which aspects from a range of research studies underpin and/or illuminate the issues raised both prior and during this research project. Beginning with the broad UK context, this chapter then considers the work and theories of systemic functional linguistic researchers, that builds on the work of M.A.K. Halliday; of critical literacy proponents who have developed the seminal work of Pierre Bordieu; of ethnographic research from Shirley Brice Heath and other anthropologists, and on to New Literacy approaches and those of researchers from the social construction of literacy perspectives. These views are then traced back to work of the paedology movement and L.S. Vygotsky in particular, on mind, thought and language; links are made to Jerome Bruner's notion of Language Acquisition Support Systems and Language Acquisition Devices and how this approach has evolved to the social-political perspectives of researchers such as Macedo and Friere. The methodology chapter proVides the 'background story' to the project; the research paradigm and the research design. This is followed by a section on outcomes, which presents the qualitative data from pupil questionnaires and interviews, together with responses to the parents' questionnaires. Within these presentations a number of inferences and propositions are raised for consideration by the reader. These are discussed further in relation to the quantitative data extracted from the yg cohort SAT results. At this point the main findings and/or inferences are drawn out and defined, highlighting two major issues. The first of these was the distinct correlation between levels of achievement and attainment and the reading culture of the home, often regardless of data which indicated either higher or lower attainment than was actually achieved. The second, and less expected outcome was the impact of the reading of fiction by participants and their families. Where pupils out-performed their predicted levels, the data gained from interviews and questionnaires showed that both they and their families engaged with the reading of fiction on a regular basis, often across a range of genres. In the 'reflections' section, the aim is to offer suggestions for ways forward that can address the specific issues raised through the main findings of the project. These are not exhaustive, and relate to findings apparent in a particular school, but evidence considered throughout the literature review suggests very strongly that a similar profile will be found in the majority of high schools across the country. Finally, chapter five provides what is entitled 'A Reflexive Perspective'. Here, I describe the ways in which the process of moving through my professional doctoral studies has impacted on both my personal and professional development, in terms of my thinking, my understanding and my responses to the professional issues that arise within my work.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available