Debrah L. Huffman

Reading by the book: An examination of reading pedagogy in introductory composition textbooks

Debrah L. Huffman

  • School: Purdue University (0183)
  • Degree: PhD
  • Date: 2007 pp: 206
  • Advisor: Weiser, Irwin
  • Source: DAI-A 68/10, Apr 2008
  • Subjects: Reading, Pedagogy, Introductory composition, Textbooks, Composition courses
  • ProQuest Document Number: 1421603181
  • ISBN: 9780549302889
  • UMI Number: AAT 3287217

Abstract:

    • The purpose of the present study was to investigate the teaching of reading in introductory composition textbooks, popular sources of writing pedagogy in undergraduate composition classrooms. Much research on complex reading skills remains to be done, especially regarding postsecondary education. The present study is designed to contribute to this research by exploring what kinds of reading skills are being taught and how students are being instructed to use these skills. The study examines features found in seven introductory composition textbooks representing six thematic approaches to composition instruction: reader, rhetoric, argument textbook, cultural studies textbook, writing-across-the-curriculum textbook, and reading-oriented textbook. Using quantitative and qualitative methodology, the study reports findings on an axis of reading instruction treatment that includes what the focus is regarding the reading treatment and what the manner is in which students are asked to treat the reading. The research uncovers four different foci being used in the textbooks: form, content, context, and process. It also uncovers nine different manners of instruction: imperative, explicative, directive, attentive, expressive, interpretive, evaluative, projective, and comparative used in either general reading instruction, which entails broad guidance in reading, or applied reading instruction, which entails instruction that pertains only to particular texts or “readings” in the textbooks. Most of the applied reading instruction is focused on content, while general reading instruction shows a more balanced representation between the four foci. Most reading instruction is directive in manner regarding general reading and interpretive in manner regarding applied reading. These results are discussed in terms of treatments within each textbook as well as comparison between the types of textbooks. Results are also discussed in terms of the scope of certain types of reading instruction to be found in introductory composition textbooks and how useful the study methodology is as a way of examining reading instruction in composition pedagogy.