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Kane-Mainier, Stephanie (2015) HOW THE GENRE AND WORK OF POETRY ARE REPRESENTED BY TENTH GRADE LITERATURE ANTHOLOGIES. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This research addresses gaps within the study of textbooks for secondary English language arts and within the study of poetry by examining the ways in which the work and genre of poetry are represented by the “big three” tenth grade literature anthologies. Drawing from Dewey (1910, 1938), Yoakam (1932), Doyle (1983), and conceptions of authentic tasks from Brown, Collins, and Duguid (1989), this study used the tasks and texts included in the anthologies to deconstruct the dominant discourses about what counts as poetry, who counts as poets, and what counts as the work of poetry. Employing document analysis, specifically both quantitative and qualitative content analysis, data collection and analysis were conducted in three phases. Phase one examined the space allotted to the genre of poetry. Phase two examined demographic characteristics of the included poems and poets (n=128), and phase three analyzed the included tasks (n=1763) for the genre of poetry and the included poems. The findings from this study suggest that though textbooks have increased in overall size to over 1200 pages, the space allotted to poetry is just one-tenth of those many pages, and poems themselves comprised only 4% of those pages and made-up one-fifth to one-third of all text selections, a 30% drop from previous studies. Included poems were more likely to have been written or published in the early 20th or middle 20th century and written by poets who were most likely between 61 and 80 years of age, deceased, male, white, or North American. They were also more likely to be a combination of these characteristics. The findings about the tasks suggest that textbooks represent the work within the genre in limited and limiting ways. With the overwhelming emphasis on closed questions or questions treated as closed - even if they are text-based - and tasks asking students to recall/paraphrase or analyze/interpret in narrowed ways, the indication to students and teachers seems to be that the work of poetry is to read a poem and answer recitation questions. The implications of these findings for teaching and learning, educational institutions, publishers, and future research are also discussed.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairPetrosky, Anthonytpetrosk@pitt.eduTPETROSK
Committee MemberBartholomae, Davidbarth@pitt.eduBARTH
Committee MemberKucan, Lindalkucan@pitt.eduLKUCAN
Committee MemberMihalakis, Vivianvivianm@pitt.eduVIVIANM
Date: 21 August 2015
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 13 May 2015
Approval Date: 21 August 2015
Submission Date: 31 July 2015
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 328
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Instruction and Learning
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Textbooks, Poetry, High School, Content Analysis, Academic Tasks, Curriculum Development
Date Deposited: 21 Aug 2015 14:02
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:29


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