Annotated Bibliography of Resources for Educational Reform, Coherent Teaching Practice, and Improved Student Learning

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  • Rosenblatt, L. M. (1991). Literary theory. In J. Flood, J. M. Jensen, D. Lapp, & J. R. Squire (Eds.), Handbook of research on teaching the English language arts (pp. 57-62). New York: MacMillan.

Rosenblatt describes the origins of reader response theory, a theory that emphasizes the personal, social and individual needs and interests of the reader in the process of reading, rather than a preordained classical interpretation of the text. This theory is the integration of multiple reader response critical positions: reader-oriented, the reader's personality determines the reader interaction with a passive text; text-oriented, the text can be deconstructed to enhance meaning; reader-plus-text-oriented, the text sets a context for the reader while the reader also sets a context allowing for the reader to "concretize" the text personally. This approach to reading literature engages the reader into the text by drawing on his/her previous experiences and interests. It develops a collaborative relationship between the teacher and the student and the student and the text.

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