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Title: Understanding children's perspectives of reading: implications for practice
Author: Davis, Pauline Suzanne
ISNI:       0000 0001 2417 7538
Awarding Body: University of Manchester : University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2000
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There is concern about underachievement in reading in Britain. The aim of this inquiry is to find insights into school life that can be used to develop thinking about practice relating to children who experience reading difficulties in mainstream primary schools. This inquiry investigates seven and eight year old children's perceptions of reading in case studies of three primary schools. The intake of two schools was predominantly, white British and working class; the intake of the third school was also white British but the children's parents were in clerical, semi-professional or professional employment. The research employs five methods for data collection: classroom observation, reading tests, structured/semi -structured interviews, story telling interviews and 'incidental data collection'. The power difference between adults and children, along with children's usually more limited linguistic repertoire, means that adhering to effective interviewing practice is especially important when interviewing children. The development of an interview procedure for use with primary school children based on children telling a story is reported. It is argued that the story-telling interview can be used beneficially with children who are poor readers. Children's perspectives of reading were found to be wide ranging. Factors that influenced their views were gender, the learning environment at home, self-image, the quality of the reading materials and the trust afforded children in their reading at school. Boys were found to be disadvantaged in reading development by constructions of masculinity that view reading as a feminine activity. Furthermore, a boy's self-identification as a non-reader or as a person who rarely reads voluntarily sometimes occurs at a younger age than has generally been reported. This is linked with social economic status and sociocultural influences. The concept of children's collective agency was introduced in relation to the shaping of school processes and practice. It is suggested that in certain circumstances, connected with social background, the characteristics of the group of children in a classroom can shape classroom practices and whole school practices.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available