Teenagers Reading

research for my PhD thesis

Archive for the ‘PhD’ Category

O happy day!

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When I was a kid, the old and the young read comic books, cowboy stories and magazines. These reading materials would make their way around the village, read by all of the interested members of one household and then passed on to the next. The Phantom was, of course, premium.
Noel Pearson (2009) “Radical Hope: Education and Equality in Australia” Quarterly Essay, no.35, p.37-8.

On Friday I submitted my thesis. Never thought that would happen :P I had a very fun celebratory weekend and now I can blog anytime I like. Sometime (early) next year I’ll hear whether the examiners liked it, but in the meantime I have three articles (at least) to write, from my thesis and other aspects of teenagers’ reading. Right now I have to write a job application. Sadly my idyllic thesis-free life of leisure may only last until the New Year, but I’ll be enjoying it!

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Written by ClareSnow

14 December 2009 at 2:28 pm

Posted in comics, PhD, thesis

Tagged with

The literature of comics

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She said it took different skills to interpret the interplay of words and pictures in graphic novels – skills that were important in today’s highly visual world.

“You’re actually reading the pictures at the same time that you’re reading the words, so if you’re not used to it that can be very difficult. It’s something you have to learn.”

The above is a quote from Perth’s daily newspaper The West Australian and it was supplied to reporter Bethany Hiatt during an interview with me :) Last week I was interviewed about graphic novels and my research by Education Editor Ms Hiatt. My brain is mush due to thesis, but I actually made some lucid comments that gave the impression my brain is not mush :P On Saturday the article was published [1]. Some of The West Australian’s articles are reprinted online, but comics just don’t cut it. You can only read it if you’re in Perth and you’re one of those people who read the paper. What newspapers already know (and are desperately grasping for ideas on how they can make money from the younger generation who don’t read papers) I have now worked out.

I felt almost famous being in the newspaper. Unfortunately my fame is only among those older people who read the paper. I’m not denigrating the older generation of newspaper readers and I’m not sure what the cut-off age is, but when I txtd my friends to tell them to look for me in the paper, their answers were along these lines:

  • Ignore me (it happens a lot due to most of what I txt being something totally random that I think is enormously funny but no one else does)
  • Tell me to save the article for when we next met up
  • Tell me he’d look at it at work on Monday

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by ClareSnow

25 November 2009 at 1:29 am

Real reading vs Literary reading

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I’ve just read Adolescents talk about reading: exploring resistance to and engagement with text by Anne Reeves (International Reading Association, 2004). I found it engaging and useful. Reeves describes her PhD research into teenagers’ views on reading, focusing on five case studies of high school students and their resistance to school reading. Reeves is a former teacher and her book is aimed at teachers, but librarians working with teenagers will benefit from her work.

Before my last post I’d read the following quote, but I couldn’t find it on the weekend (among all those post-it notes), but I just found it. Reeves is discussing popular fiction, particularly the romance fiction that high school student Rosa read voraciously. As I said in my post Real reading, some people think the whole format of graphic novels is inferior to ordinary text books in the same way that popular (genre) fiction is disparaged as not “literary.” Reeves says,

When the reading an adolescent loves is outside the realm of respectable literature, teachers are taught that their job is to move students away from their chosen genres and into the fold of “something better” as quickly as possible. Teachers are given the responsibility for making the young person a more mature reader and thinker who can look upon popular fiction critically and understand why it is “inferior.” (p. 155)

Reeves doesn’t agree with this view, and discusses how teachers can incorporate popular and more literary works into the curriculum to ensure teenagers aren’t alienated by books they don’t enjoy or understand and thus ensure reading does not become a chore to be avoided. This idea can be transferred to teacher librarians, part of whose job is to ensure young people encounter a variety of genres and formats in their reading, without making judgments on supposed “quality.”

Reference

Reeves, A. R. (2004) Adolescents talk about reading: exploring resistance to and engagement with text. Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

Written by ClareSnow

18 March 2008 at 12:30 pm

RAILS 3 seminar

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I presented a paper at RAILS 3: Research Applications in Information and Library Studies held in Perth, Australia, 23 September 2006. I discussed my research methods and some preliminary results of my survey of Australian public libraries.

Abstract

Graphic novels are trade paperback or hardcover books consisting of work in comic-book form. They include book-length stories, collections of stories and works of non-fiction. This does not include collections of comic strips such as Garfield or Peanuts. They are a format and as such include many different genres.

Graphic novels are becoming more prevalent and popular among teenagers and are thus being collected by public and school libraries. There are numerous reasons for the current popularity of graphic novels. Young people today are much more attuned to visual means of communication, as they have grown up with television and computers. Teachers are using graphic novels to develop visual literacy, an important skill for success in today’s visual world. Both librarians and teachers are advocating graphic novels to encourage recreational reading, levels of which decrease as children become teenagers. Graphic novels are increasingly reviewed in library and general review sources, and in some sources are treated as just another aspect of contemporary writing.

The above reasons contributed to my desire to investigate graphic novel collections in public libraries, what teenagers think of graphic novels and whether they read them. In my paper I will discuss the three methods I am using to collect data on public library collections of graphic novels and teenagers’ views on graphic novels.

A postal survey of public libraries in Australia was conducted to determine whether public libraries have graphic novel collections and how these collections are selected, acquired, catalogued, housed and promoted. Focus groups with teenagers will be conducted to uncover what they think of graphic novels and whether they read them. Public librarians who have graphic novel collections in their library will be interviewed to determine their thoughts on their collections and the format in general. I will also discuss the preliminary results from the survey of public libraries.

Written by ClareSnow

26 September 2006 at 10:45 am

Candidacy

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My candidacy application has been accepted.

Research Proposal

Teenagers have been found to be reluctant to read in their leisure time, the importance of recreational reading necessitates methods to encourage teenagers to read. One format that has been discussed as a possibility to engage teenagers in reading is the graphic novel.

The objective of this research is to investigate the inclusion of graphic novels in library collections and whether this format encourages teenagers to use libraries and read in their free time. Graphic novel collections in Australian public libraries were investigated through a survey of Australia-wide Young Peoples’ Services (YPS) librarians. Interviews with Western Australian public and school librarians provided further insight into their library’s graphic novel collections and the librarians’ perceptions of the graphic novel format and graphic novel use by teenagers. Teenagers’ views on public libraries, their levels of recreational reading and thoughts on the graphic novel format were determined through focus groups. The difficulties in finding teenagers to participate in the research was overcome by selecting participants from local high schools, accessible through the researcher’s network of contacts.

Written by ClareSnow

10 October 2005 at 4:04 pm

Posted in candidacy, PhD, research

Research started

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I commenced my PhD research project at Curtin University of Technology.

Research Proposal

Teenagers have been found to be reluctant to read in their leisure time, the importance of recreational reading necessitates methods to encourage teenagers to read. One format that has been discussed as a possibility to engage teenagers in reading is the graphic novel.

The objective of this research is to investigate the inclusion of graphic novels in library collections and whether this format encourages teenagers to use libraries and read in their free time. Graphic novel collections in Australian public libraries were investigated through a survey of Australia-wide Young Peoples’ Services (YPS) librarians. Interviews with Western Australian public and school librarians provided further insight into their library’s graphic novel collections and the librarians’ perceptions of the graphic novel format and graphic novel use by teenagers. Teenagers’ views on public libraries, their levels of recreational reading and thoughts on the graphic novel format were determined through focus groups. The difficulties in finding teenagers to participate in the research was overcome by selecting participants from local high schools, accessible through the researcher’s network of contacts.

Written by ClareSnow

28 February 2005 at 9:33 am

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