The reading experience of young successful boy readers
Smith, Susannah June, 1966- (2004) The reading experience of young successful boy readers. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.
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Official URL: http://webcat.warwick.ac.uk/record=b1780512~S15
In this study, the reading experience of six young successful boy readers is examined
with a view to identifying ways in which the reading achievements of all boys might
be raised. Initially, the experiences and behaviours associated with young successful
readers are identified, including aspects from the home and the school, and those
characteristics from within children themselves. Next, literature on boys' reading is
examined, and this shows that there are many negative influences on the reading lives
of boys generally.
The reading experience of the six young successful boy readers is then investigated
through empirical work. The central approach adopted is multiple case study using
ethnographic tools. The six boys were reading fluently and for pleasure by the end of
their Reception year (aged 5 years) and were studied for a two year period.
Observation and research conversation were the main data collection methods
adopted; the boys' experience as young successful readers was examined by
observing them in their homes and schools, and by talking to them, their parents and
The results illustrate that the six young boys who are successful readers have a
masculine identity in which reading has a secure and positive place. They have
overcome the negative influences which frequently impact on the reading experience
of boys and have successfully integrated ways of being a boy and being a reader. The
boys' reading is highly developed at home by living in a 'reading family'. The boys
use their advanced achievement in reading to gain a high status position in the
classroom; their reading behaviour makes them popular and powerful with their peers.
Hence these boys make reading work for them and, subsequently, it is a desirable
feature of their developing masculine identity.
These results are reflected upon to identify ways in which the reading achievements of
all boys might be raised. I have suggested that schools might be encouraged to
develop their reading curriculum in a number of ways, including spending more time
reading extended texts for pleasure and using high status texts from boys' vernacular
reading in the formal reading curriculum. In addition, I argue that all boys might
benefit from examining the gender assumptions on which texts and their own reading
preferences are based.
|Item Type:||Thesis or Dissertation (PhD)|
|Subjects:||L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Boys -- Books and reading -- Case studies, Men -- Identity, Self-esteem in children, Reading (Primary)|
|Official Date:||September 2004|
|Institution:||University of Warwick|
|Theses Department:||Institute of Education|
|Supervisor(s)/Advisor:||Minns, Hilary ; Medwell, Jane, 1962-|
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