Term of Award

Summer 2008

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Curriculum Studies (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Department

Department of Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading

Committee Chair

John A. Weaver

Committee Member 1

William Reynolds

Committee Member 2

Daniel Chapman

Committee Member 3

Neal Saye

Abstract

In the traditional literature classroom, students are typically guided through literature discussions by their teacher, and then assessed on how well they can reiterate predetermined interpretations of what they have read. Within these literature discussions, classroom talk creates a power structure, with the teacher as owner of knowledge, and students as those lacking this knowledge. This study seeks to upset this power structure, by removing the guiding force of the teacher in literature discussions, as well as the assessments which follow. In a further effort to allow for a literature discussion which is genuinely for students, the genre of fairy tales will serve as the selected literature. The field of curriculum studies is concerned with recognizing contexts, and working to understand how these many contexts contribute to the education of children. Located within the field of literary criticism, interpretive communities have been selected as a methodology which recognizes a way of looking at students looking at literature through unique perspectives. By allowing students the opportunity to experience literature without the attached traditional activities imposed on them, it is the intent that a novel discourse will be created; one that recognizes and values the interpretation of the child.

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