Monday, July 16, 2007

Reading Research Quarterly. July/August/September 2007

Some ideas from Reading Research Quarterly (RRQ) for July/August/September 2007.

How has research changed from the 1990s to the 2000s?
From an emphasis on quantitative results to qualitative results. M Dressman. RRQ (Jul/Aug/Sept, 07), 332.

How did schools in impoverished areas of South Africa become successful?
They were safe, orderly and positive learning environments, guided by strong leaders, staffed by excellent teachers who had a shared sense of competence, pride and purpose. There were high levels of school and community involvement. Some issues were class size, the quality of replacement teachers, the future of their graduates and writing instruction. M Sailors, et al. RRQ (Jul/Aug/Sept, 07), p. 365.

What is the relationship between the author of a text and environment in which it is made?
Complex. J Rowsell & K Pahl. RRQ (Jul/Aug/Sept 07), 402.

Note: One of the reasons that research in education is not very helpful is the language in which it is reported. A good example is the following article in this issue of RRQ: "Sedimented identities in Texts: Instances of Practice." What does "sedimented identities" mean? According to the authors: "We suggest that children's identities can be instantiated within texts, a concept we call sedimented identities in texts." (J Rowsell and K Pahl, p. 388.)

Ever heard of a movement called "plain English"? Maybe the ideas in this issue of RRQ mean something to you. They mean very little to me. I don't know how many trees lost their lives to produce this issue, but I don't think it was a worthwhile sacrifice.

I'm changing the format of my reports from recent professional journals in English education to Q & A. Hope they are more readable. I find lots of good ideas in these journals. I define an "idea" as something to think about, meditate on, reflect on, raise questions about, infer from, try to apply. They are "starters." They start people to thinking. Normally, I don't comment on the ideas I report because Somewhere I read that ideas last; comments are quickly forgotten. Any comments I make will come at the end of my report where you do not have to read them. RayS.

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