Character Mirrors: Creating Identity - Text-to-Self, Text-to-Text, Text-to-Technology


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Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of DOCTOR of PHILOSOPHY in CURRICULUM & INSTRUCTION
The focus of this doctoral research study was to present a qualitative narrative on how curriculum design and the formation of literary awareness within the ELA classroom is an embedded process that occurs during reading comprehension, literary analysis, and the narrative construction process. The development of students into critical readers and writers is a complicated process of self-discovery, literary interpretation, and textual renderings that stem from traditional literary explication while merging student connections throughout the reading and writing process. The design of this study included a balanced curriculum for all students enrolled in the English IV course. The student population consisted of approximately 2,450 students with an ethnic distribution of 54.7% Hispanic, 37.2% White, 5.3% African American, 2.3% Asian/Pacific Islander, and 0.5% Native American. This site was used due to factors of accessibility to student participants. Student participants were randomly selected from 3 course sections of English IV. Proximity to student participants provided ample opportunity for curriculum design implementation, classroom observations and teacher field notes. The selection of two student participants was purposeful in that the narrative design was structured to present an in-depth look at how the curriculum design of "Character Mirrors" was integrated throughout reading and writing instruction. The integration of text-to-self, text-to-text, and text-to-technology applications during the process of reading, literary analysis, and narrative construction addressed (1) how curriculum design and content specific lesson design can contribute to literary awareness in both the reading and writing process, (2) how students make meaning during the reading process through the formation of literary awareness, (3) how students bridge literary awareness into the writing process in narrative construction, and (4) how students create narrative stories and literary analysis using a variety of mediums. Data was collected over the course of one academic year in one ELA English IV classroom in one South Texas High School. Data included teacher observations, student journals, student narrative artifacts, and student interviews. Data collected, reviewed, and interpreted were analyzed within the scope of narrative analysis methods. Analysis illustrated how students used and applied the lesson design of "Character Mirrors" throughout the reading and writing process maneuvering through literary texts in a way that supported individualized reading and writing instruction.
Educational Leadership, Curriculum & Instruction
College of Education and Human Development