Y. van Rijk
- Maximizing meaning: reading informative texts in Developmental Education
B. van Oers
D. de Haan
- Award date
- 10 May 2017
- Number of pages
- Document type
- PhD thesis
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Research Institute of Child Development and Education (RICDE)
Developmental Education (DE) is an innovative educational approach in the Netherlands, based on Vygotskian learning theory. Meaningful learning is the keyword, and with respect to reading it is the teachers’ aim that students learn to read and understand texts in a way that is meaningful to them. This dissertation provided insight through a multiple case study in how teachers create a learning environment in which they maximize the meaning of reading informative texts by choosing texts that are related to sociocultural practices and that address students’ motives and emotion. Furthermore in this dissertation, the effectiveness of the innovative DE approach in the upper grades of primary education was evaluated through a pretest-posttest natural two group design study, including 570 students. The results showed that students learn to read and understand informative texts just as well in the DE approach, in which reading is aimed to be meaningful, as in a programmatic, textbook-based approach (PI). This conclusion may remove doubts in the educational field about the appropriateness of innovative educational concepts that do not program the learning process in a detailed manner with strict adherence to textbooks, especially where students from ethnic minorities and from low SES families are concerned. Interviews with 32 students showed, however, that the experience of meaningful reading instruction in DE did not clearly yield a specific type of readers compared to a programmatic reading instruction approach (PI).
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