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Reading for Life: Three Studies of Swedish Students’ Literacy Development
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)Alternative title
Läsa för livet : Tre studier av svenska barns läsutveckling (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this thesis is to explore school classes with a higher level of achievement in reading than could be expected, with regard to socio-economic background factors and language background. What do those classes practice? Which attitudes towards reading and schooling do those children and their teachers display? The teacher and the classroom environment are in particular focus. The thesis is based on three studies. Firstly, over-achieving and underachieving grade three-classes in reading are compared in a large-scale statistical study. Reading tests, student questionnaires and teacher questionnaires provided data. The results indicate that a positive classroom climate, frequent voluntary reading, the use of authentic literature and many years of teaching experience characterise the over-achieving classes. In a second study eight over-achieving classes, in the same data material were in focus. The schools were located in a low-income, low-education multicultural suburban area. In-depth interviews were performed with adults active in those classes at the time of the data collection. The joint analyses of quantitative and qualitative data indicate that teachers’ ways of relating to their students is important as the Deficit Discourse is replaced by future oriented pedagogy with features such as aesthetic activities, dynamic assessment, strong raming, abundant reading of fiction and a lot of writing. In a third smaller, qualitative study five young university students, former students in one of the targeted classes in the second study, were interviewed in-depth about their school experiences and their Future Time Perspective. The informants emphasize the importance of being acknowledged in school, reading competency and knowledge of oral and written Swedish as factors for success.

Abstract [sv]

Syftet med avhandlingen är att utforska de faktorer som bidrar till att vissa skolklasser presterar på högre nivåer i läsning än vad man skulle kunna förvänta med hänsyn till socioekonomiska bakgrundsfaktorer och språkbakgrund. Hur arbetar dessa klasser? Vilka uppfattningar och attityder visavi läsning och skola kännetecknar dessa barn och deras lärare? Framför allt fokuseras läraren och undervisningen. Avhandlingen baserar sig på tre studier. I en första storskalig statistisk studie jämförs över- och underpresterande klasser i läsning i skolår tre. Lästester, lärarenkäter och elevenkäter låg till grund för analyserna. Resultaten indikerar ett positivt klassrumsklimat, höga frekvenser av fritidsläsning, autentisk litteratur i undervisningen samt lärares långa yrkeserfarenhet som karaktäristika. I en andra uppföljande studie, fokuserades åtta överpresterande klasser i samma datamaterial, i ett multikulturellt förortsområde med låga utbildnings- och inkomstnivåer. I denna studie djupintervjuades även vuxna som varit aktiva i de överpresterande klasserna under tiden för datainsamlingen. De samlade analyserna av kvalitativa och kvantitativa data indikerar att lärares förhållningssätt intar en nyckelroll, då ett brist-synsätt ersatts av framtidsorienterad pedagogik, med inslag som estetisk verksamhet, dynamisk utvärdering, fasta strukturer, riklig läsning av skönlitteratur och eget skrivande. I en tredje, mindre, kvalitativ studie djupintervjuas tidigare elever från en av de undersökta klasserna, nu unga vuxna i början av sin akademiska karriär, om sin skolgång och sitt framtidsperspektiv. Informanterna betonar värdet av att få lyckas, att bli sedd och uppskattad för den man är, samt hemtamhet med litteratur och svenska språket i tal och skrift som framgångsfaktorer.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press , 2010. , 103 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Behavioural Science, ISSN 1654-2029 ; 149
Keyword [en]
Literacy, fiction, second language learning, the deficit discourse, scaffolding
Keyword [sv]
Läsning, skönlitteratur, andraspråksinlärning, bristdiskurs, stöttning
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-53456ISBN: 978-91-7393-455-8 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-53456DiVA: diva2:288893
Public defence
2010-01-28, 101, hus I, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 13:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2010-01-22 Created: 2010-01-22 Last updated: 2010-01-22Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Differences between over- and under-achieving classes in reading: teacher, classroom, andstudent characteristics
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Differences between over- and under-achieving classes in reading: teacher, classroom, andstudent characteristics
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Since earlier research indicates a substantial linkage between SES and language background on the one hand and reading achievement on the other hand, in particular at school level, the focus in the first study was to explore factors influencing reading achievement beyond SES and language background (Scarborough, 1998).

The initial study had two aims. The first aim was to identify classes which were performing at higher and lower levels in reading than those which would be expected with regard to the students’ socio-economic and language background. The second aim was to find student, teacher, teaching and classroom characteristics which could be linked to classes over-achieving in reading.

Keyword
Reading comprehension, Over-achievement in reading, Classroom climate, Teacher characteristics
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-53450 (URN)
Available from: 2010-01-22 Created: 2010-01-22 Last updated: 2010-01-22
2. Using inclusion, high demands and high expectations to resist the deficit syndrome: a study of eight Grade three classes overachieving in reading
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Using inclusion, high demands and high expectations to resist the deficit syndrome: a study of eight Grade three classes overachieving in reading
2009 (English)In: Literacy, ISSN 1741-4350, E-ISSN 1741-4369, Vol. 43, no 1, 43-49 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The main objective of this study was to explore how teachers and classroom factors contribute to students' successful literacy learning. Eight Grade three classes, achieving at higher levels than expected with regard to socio-economic background and language factors, were identified in a multicultural Stockholm district and statistically described. In-depth interviews were performed to add the teachers' voices in order to get fuller descriptions of classroom life about literature-based work and the creation of an inclusive classroom climate. The teachers' narratives illustrate how resistance to the deficit syndrome and avoidance of colour blindness were enacted in the classrooms and contributed to create positive conditions for literacy learning. The results indicated inclusion, high demands and high expectations as key concepts depicting these classrooms. The findings are discussed in relation to Vygotsky's theories, Bernstein's code theory, and critical language theory.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Wily, 2009
Keyword
Literacy learning, teacher expectations, deficit syndrome, colour blindness
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-53452 (URN)10.1111/j.1741-4369.2009.00503.x (DOI)
Available from: 2010-01-22 Created: 2010-01-22 Last updated: 2017-12-12
3. Reading, schooling and future time perspective: a small-scale study of five academically successful young Swedes
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Reading, schooling and future time perspective: a small-scale study of five academically successful young Swedes
2009 (English)In: International Journal of Learning, ISSN 1447-9494, E-ISSN 1447-9540, Vol. 16, no 1, 235-248 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

My research project will be briefly described. Evidence-based research describing over-achieving classes in reading was performed in a first large-scale study of the grade 3 classes in Stockholm. Standardized reading comprehension tests, student and teacher questionnaires were employed. The meagre results of this first study will be compared with those of a second, more focused, mixed methods follow-up study on eight multi-cultural classes, overachieving in reading, where the teachers view of literacy as participating in a social, cultural practice, was enacted within the realms of a book flood programme. In the present study five in-depth interviews were carried out with academically very successful young multicultural adults to explore how they viewed their school trajectories and their present situation. The informants validate the results of the second study and also indicate that these students have developed a very strong Future Time Perspective. They also indicate that the future-oriented pedagogy they met with as children, has influenced their attitudes towards school and a future academic career, apart from giving them strategies and tools for further learning. The theoretical frame of reference employs FTP-research, the enlarged concept of literacy as described in new Literacy Studies, and Vygotsky's theories on learning, together with the results of the second study. Implications for practitioners and implications for researchers in terms of a more extensive use of both qualitative and quantitative methods in researching literacy will be discussed.

Keyword
Future Time Perspective, Future-oriented Pedagogy, Second Language Acquisition, Second Language Teaching
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-53453 (URN)
Available from: 2010-01-22 Created: 2010-01-22 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved

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