Title page for ETD etd-0127103-211254

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Cramer, Neva Virginia
Author's Email Address ncrame1@lsu.edu
URN etd-0127103-211254
Title Literacy as a Performing Art: A Phenomenological Study of Oral Dramatic Reading
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Curriculum and Instruction
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Earl H. Cheek, Jr Committee Chair
Charles Teddlie Committee Member
James Stockard Committee Member
James Wandersee Committee Member
Michael Tick Committee Member
  • education
  • drama
  • phenomenology
  • literacy
  • reading
Date of Defense 2002-11-08
Availability unrestricted
Based on semiotic, aesthetic response, reader response, and drama in education theories, this phenomenological study seeks to describe the literary experience of text through oral interpretation for middle to high SES, fourth and eighth grade students as compared to Low SES fourth and eighth grade students. Using the research methodology of Moustakas (1994) and data analysis of Teddlie (2000), this study proposes to describe and understand the relation of literary understanding and oral dramatic expression implicit in the descriptive paralinguistic and chronemic patternizations of the oral rendition of text and describe the act of reading as phenomenology.

Descriptions of the perceptions and reading experiences of Low Socioeconomic Status (SES) and Middle-High SES dramatic readers was obtained through multiple interviews and recorded readings. Rich descriptions were used as the basis for a reflective structural analysis. Ultimately, the goal was to determine the effect of the voice of interpretation on the perception of the reader and to determine the benefit of dramatization as a tool for comprehension across varied educational and experiential backgrounds.

Results reflected an across the board positive correlation between students' perceptions of reading as a significant and meaningful learning experience and students' use of dramatic interpretation through the indices of the voice. For oral dramatic readers, the purpose for reading was the process, not just the product.

Dramatic readers see reading as something composed that must be performed. They are able to perform the "story" much like a musical score, backing for patterns, beats, and rhythms. Literacy then is a performing art, by definition a form of aesthetic response that is autobiographical in essence, constructivist in nature, and a highly personal "phenomenon."

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