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Non-fiction in the primary school years: a study of some factors associated with success in helping children to read non-literary texts and to reflect on ideas and information which they encounter.

Mallett, M; (1994) Non-fiction in the primary school years: a study of some factors associated with success in helping children to read non-literary texts and to reflect on ideas and information which they encounter. Institute of Education, University of London Green open access

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Abstract

In this dissertation I argue the case for placing children's reading of non-fiction in the context of the whole language and learning programme. The emphasis is on supporting reflective reading rather than only on the acquisition of study skills. An action inquiry, involving a whole class of 9 year olds using non-fiction in the context of project work, is described and evaluated by the writer as teacher-researcher. The study is in three parts. Part 1 begins with a short analysis of the present state of affairs, then proceeds to an examination of different theoretical approaches to learning and particularly the role of language in learning. Out of this analysis four principles are suggested as a framework for learning and this general model underpins the planning of the practical example in Part 3. The study moves into Part 2 by offering a taxonomy of children's non-fiction texts. It is argued that while many children's books are 'transitional' and cannot easily be assigned to a particular kind of adult non-fiction, it is possible and helpful to recognise some broad categories. Part 3 examines evidence from surveys and classroom studies illuminating the major question - what is reading comprehension? Some problems involved in reading nonfiction are considered. The main study describes and evaluates a classroom example, the planning and carrying out of which aims to embody some of the pointers to good practice indicated in the whole work. While it is not possible to generalize from one example it is argued, following Bassey (1981), that the description and evaluation are 'relatable', that other practitioners will be able to relate to the challenges and partial solutions achieved. Finally, drawing on all parts of the study, a framework for reflective reading of non-fiction is set out in seven principles.

Type: Other
Title: Non-fiction in the primary school years: a study of some factors associated with success in helping children to read non-literary texts and to reflect on ideas and information which they encounter.
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Keywords: Reading education, Primary education, Nonfiction, Learning style, Reading habit, Comprehension, Readability
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Social Research Institute
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1566199
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