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  • Dissertations of Note
  • Rachel Fordyce (bio) and Elizabeth Mayfield (bio)
Anderson, Cheri Louise. "Children's Interpretations of Illustrations and Written Language in Picture Books." Ph.D. diss. University of Arizona, 1998. 270 pp. DAI 59: 4085A.

Anderson's dissertation documents children's responses to picture books through language and art, using qualitative research methods. Her findings are organized within two major areas: meaning-making within a picture book and meaning-making within an artwork. Anderson concludes that the students' responses were "extremely sophisticated and showed that they were capable of complex understandings of art and literature."

Anderson, Diane Downer. "Casting Gender: The Constitution of Social Identities Through Literacy Practices Among Third and Fourth Graders." Ph.D. diss. University of Pennsylvania, 1998. 488 pp. DAI 59:4096A.

Anderson's study looks at the "social and academic worlds of third and fourth graders to ascertain how literary practices [are] used to constitute gendered social identities." She finds that children define gender variously: by naming and renaming characters, selves, and peers; intertextually, through genre structures, metaphors, anthropomorphism, and personification; through bodycasts such as clothing, voice, hair, and other physical characteristics; and through interactions, especially verbal interactions. Anderson supports understanding literacy as a continuous view of social, personal, and academic learning.

Ayala-Schueneman, Maria de Jesus. "A Study of Library Services Provided to Students in Bilingual Education Programs by Elementary School Library Media Centers in South Texas." Ed.D. diss. Texas A&M University at Kingsville, 1998. 137 pp. DAI 59:2308A.

Ayala-Schueneman surveyed librarians and media to determine whether the Bilingual Education Act of 1968, which stipulates that financial assistance will be provided to develop and carry out new and imaginative programs to meet the educational needs of limited-English-speaking children, has been completely implemented. In addition to problems with funding, her survey reveals problems with the number and quality of Spanish titles available, as well as a lack of cooperation between teachers and librarians.

Backman, Nelina Esther. "Evangelism Embarrassed: Christian Literature in a Post-Christian Culture." Ph.D. diss. Brown University, 1999. 282 pp. DAI 60:1570A.

Backman's dissertation explores the "rhetorical situation of the avowedly Christian literary artist in the post-Christian twentieth century" as it relates to the work of C. S. Lewis. She argues that Christian literary discourse, both in its articulation and in its reception, occupies a "crucial site of lay interpolation of what it means to be religious in a modern secular world" and illustrates how the "complex and changing boundaries of religion and culture are negotiated."

Blanchard, Walter Louis. "The Organizational Storyteller and the Social Construction of Meaning." Ph.D. diss. Fielding Institute, 1999. 225 pp. DAI 60:899A.

Blanchard identifies the role of organizational storytellers who facilitate and add to "the construction of meaning constituted by social experiences in organizations." Ten organizational storytellers were identified and interviewed, along with nine associates, to shed additional light on the role of the organizational storyteller. [End Page 281]

The interviews were analyzed using research methods influenced by ethnomethodology, social construction, and discourse analysis to illustrate how organizational storytellers account for their roles. He concludes that their credibility, as well as a large part of their sense of corporate identity, stems from the storytelling role "performed within a communal sense of meaning as negotiated between teller and listener."

Boettcher, Cynthia Ann Elizabeth King. "How and Why Gender-Conscious Teachers Select Female Literature for the Intermediate Grade Classrooms." Ph.D. diss. Texas A&M University, 1998. 223 pp. DAI 59:4347A.

Using a qualitative multicase research design, Boettcher discovered that gender-conscious teachers are aware of the differences between girls' and boys' experiences and their academic requirements, as well as the "gender and ethnic diversity of their students." The findings are influenced by studies of literature-based instruction, diversity in children's literature, adolescent girls, feminist theory and pedagogy, and teacher education and philosophy.

Bouzoukis, Carol Elaine. "Fairy Tales in the Treatment of Chronically Ill Children." Ph.D. diss. New York University, 1999. 383 pp. DAI 60:1833A.

Bouzoukis' study seeks to determine the effectiveness of dramatizing fairy tales for chronically ill children in order to reduce stress. Five patients participated in ten individual drama therapy sessions...


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