A Place for Us: Striving Readers Design their Classroom

By Jeannine Hurst.

Published by The International Journal of the Book

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The study is the result of a qualitative collective case study of six “at risk” ninth grade students in a southwest Texas school district. The participants were placed in an intervention reading program upon the recommendation of teachers and administrators due to their performance on the state exam and lack of success in classroom assignments from the previous school year. The program was designed to assist students in reaching grade level in hopes that they would experience academic success in tenth grade. As a researcher, I functioned as an observer participant. The design of the reading room emerged at the end of a study that focused on how striving adolescent readers transacted with informational text. Participants were chosen by purposeful selection from a group of 115 students. All data was analyzed by constant comparison and the text was reported in thick description (Merriam, 1998). The research base was constructivism (Dewey, 1938), transaction with text (Rosenblatt, 1978, 1994) and peer interaction Vygotsky (1978). Information for this strand of the study reflects a composite of the six participants’ voices as they were expressed in taped individual interviews in response to the prompt: If you had all of the money that you could possibly need, how would you design a perfect reading room? Results indicated that the participants desired aesthetic classroom design, specific technology, a variety of text including authentic, pop culture, and research materials. Significant findings were that educators often overlook input from the students’ voices, a vital source of information and that striving adolescent students seldom experience the aesthetic side of reading.

Keywords: Adolescent Readers, Striving Readers, Reading Room, Reflections, At-Risk Readers, Struggling Readers

International Journal of the Book, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp.61-70. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 513.623KB).

Dr. Jeannine Hurst

Assistant Professor of Readiing, Curriculum and Instruction, School of Education, The University of Texas of the Permian Basin, Odessa, Texas, USA

Jeannine Hurst, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Reading at The University of Texas of the Permian Basin. She teaches both pre-service teachers in the School of Education and graduate students in the Reading Specialist program. Her teaching experience includes work as a paraprofessional and as a middle school teacher prior to her current work as a professor. Her research interests include research focused on struggling readers, mentoring, and English Language Learners.


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