Date of Award

Spring 1992

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Education

First Advisor

Lynette Mohler

Second Advisor

Harry Smith

Third Advisor

Lois Fitzpatrick

Abstract

I first became aware of the benefits of reading aloud to students as a teacher’s aide in a high school resource room. There, on numerous occasions, I was amazed by the positive effects of oral presentation of literature. As students were introduced to the veritable treasure-store of human experience waiting to be discovered in literature, I saw reluctant readers once again find motivation to read. I saw minds and lives of those unable to read fluently for themselves enriched by what was read to them. I often saw moments of shared literary experience contribute to a sense of camaraderie, or provide a common background for discussion and further reading and/or writing.

Read-aloud seemed to be one of the few mediums that could be counted upon to elicit a whole-hearted investment of hard-to-capture attention. Conversely, I frequently observed that there seemed to be an attitude among some educators that read-aloud beyond the primary grades was a frivolous use of time. As one teacher who participated in the survey put it, "We look upon read-aloud as being too simple to be important."

However, it seemed logical to me that the benefits of reading aloud to students should carry beyond primary grades. The paper that follows is a result of my desire to examine both the research on oral presentation of literature, and the values and practices of teachers with regard to read-aloud, in an attempt to determine the values of and perceptions about reading to children.

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