Reader response theory in a seventh-grade language arts classroom
AdvisorAnders, Patricia L.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractA seventh grade language arts class was observed to discover their responses to the literature they were reading. The classroom and instructional contexts that enhanced or limited these responses were examined, as well as the teacher's theoretical beliefs. Rosenblatt's transactional theory of reader response, especially the efferent and aesthetic aspects, guided this investigation. Findings included the importance of the teacher in the establishment of an environment that nurtures the aesthetic response as well as in the instruction she gives students immediately prior to or following reading. Many factors created an atmosphere enhancing aesthetic response in the observed class. The main difference in instructional context that determined either aesthetic or efferent response was whether students were given a specific assignment or not. Although a teacher may desire an efferent stance to fill certain "gaps" in knowledge before and after reading, it is suggested the gaps in schema be filled through student interaction, teacher discussion rather than questioning, and student inquiry.