Rethinking the reading-writing workshop: Tensions and negotiations between a Stephen King reader and her teacher

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Abstract

This study used grounded theory and other inductive research methods to explore what happens when engaged readers of popular fiction bring their out-of-school interests into a school-based reading-writing workshop. Previous studies of adolescents' participation in workshops have tended to focus on the structure's impact on disengaged or inexperienced readers. In contrast, this study explored the participation of students who already considered reading to be an important part of their lives. In particular, the interactions between Catherine, an llth grader with a passion for Stephen King, and her teacher are profiled. Results suggest that students who are engaged readers of popular fiction outside of school may come to the reading-writing workshop with a set of expectations that is different from their teacher's and from that of other students who do not read regularly for pleasure. Students who fit Catherine's profile may need certain kinds of scaffolding in order to expand their range as readers. They may also need their teachers to provide a clear articulation of the purposes for workshop, as well as to differentiate those purposes for students with varied experiences and interests. The study proposes a conception of reading-writing workshop that is consistent with assisted-performance (Tharp & Gallimore, 1988) perspectives on instruction and draws on scholarship that extends, elaborates, and critiques Rosenblatt's (1978,1983) transactional theory of reading.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-159
Number of pages25
JournalReading Research and Instruction
Volume39
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2000

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)

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