It's not just the text: Transactions between content area teachers and struggling readers

2005 2005

Other formats: Order a copy

Abstract (summary)

This study examined the ways in which: (a) three middle school struggling readers transacted with the reading task demands of their content area classrooms and (b) three content area teachers transacted with these students in relation to these demands. The results suggest that the ways in which struggling readers transact with reading task demands is influenced by their surroundings, how they view themselves as readers, and how they want their peers and teachers to view them. The teachers in this study recognized that the participating students might need additional help in comprehending the text used in their classrooms. However, they believed that any problems students had with text could be salved by engaging in a set of specific behaviors (for example by applying comprehension strategies or asking for assistance). The teachers in this study did not recognize how additional factors influenced the ways students made decisions about text.

Each of the struggling readers recognized the behaviors that their teachers expected them to use to comprehend text. For the most part, the students rejected these behaviors and refused to use them. This happened even when the students understood when, how, and why they would want to apply a specific behavior in order to better comprehend text. The students explained that they understood these behaviors were but the extent to which they would use them was tied to how they wanted to be seen as a reader within the context of their classroom.

The findings from this study suggest several important things. First, teachers may need more help in thinking about how students' views on reading influence the decisions they make about text. Teachers cannot assume that if they provide quality instruction intended to increase comprehension of text that students will make use of these behaviors. Second, teachers need to develop an understanding of the world in which struggling readers reside in. This includes learning how they see themselves as readers and also understanding their fears and hopes about how others might see them.

Finally, more work needs to be done that examines how and why struggling readers do/do not make use of comprehension strategies. The results from this dissertation suggest that providing excellent instruction may not be enough to insure that the comprehension of struggling readers will improve. Future research should also consider how teachers can apply what they know about students' goals/motivations to strategy instruction.

Indexing (details)

Language arts;
Reading instruction
0279: Language arts
0535: Literacy
0535: Reading instruction
Identifier / keyword
Education; Content area teachers; Middle school; Struggling readers
It's not just the text: Transactions between content area teachers and struggling readers
Hall, Leigh A.
Number of pages
Publication year
Degree date
School code
DAI-A 66/04, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
9780542081538, 0542081539
Purcell-Gates, Victoria
Michigan State University
University location
United States -- Michigan
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Document type
Dissertation/thesis number
ProQuest document ID
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
Access the complete full text

You can get the full text of this document if it is part of your institution's ProQuest subscription.

Try one of the following:

  • Connect to ProQuest through your library network and search for the document from there.
  • Request the document from your library.
  • Go to the ProQuest login page and enter a ProQuest or My Research username / password.