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Rethinking learning to read: the challenge from children educated at home

Pattison, Harriet (2014)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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This research positions itself as an historical and cultural event taking place at a particular time and in a particular form for reasons which span the political, philosophical and personal. Its subject matter is the claim of some home educating parents that their children learn to read without being taught. Rather than treating such children as exceptions to an established educational norm, this thesis rethinks learning to read through parent’s understandings of literacy learning based on meanings assigned to key concepts such as ‘child’, ‘teaching’ and ‘reading’ and on the rhizomatic structure which relates these concepts to each other and to political, ideological and epistemological understandings. This alternative perspective creates a space; physical, temporal and theoretical, in which different interpretations of learning, such as those invited by complexity theory, become open to consideration. In doing this the technological view that reading is achieved through a series of enabling inputs conducted in a particular socio-cultural environment is challenged on both philosophical and empirical grounds. However, this exploration is in turn, directed and restricted by the epistemological assumptions underpinning the PhD as the objectification of intellectual excellence. This thesis considers these restrictions and the contribution research can make given them.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Smith, Susannah and Peim, Nick (1952-)
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
Department:School of Education
Subjects:L Education (General)
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:5051
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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