Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Teaching and Learning

First Committee Member

Cyndi Giorgis, Chair

Second Committee Member

Mary Elizabeth Spalding

Third Committee Member

Marilyn McKinney

Graduate Faculty Representative

Kyle Higgins

Number of Pages



This qualitative case study addressed a lack of research concerning literature discussions for students with learning disabilities in reading. Fourth and fifth grade students with reading disabilities participated in twice-weekly literature discussions, 30- to-60 minutes each, for 12 weeks. The students attended a Title I school and most were Hispanic males. Together, they read and discussed five postmodern picturebooks. The purpose of the study was to understand (a) reader responses to the illustrations, text, and postmodern features of the books, and (b) the individual reader’s response habits. Situated within a sociocultural frame, the theories guiding this study pertained to language development and learning, literacy instruction and reader response, and disability and disability studies. A cross-comparative approach was used to analyze data from transcripts, analytical memos, and researcher fieldnotes. Reader responses were complex and sophisticated. Findings called into question definitions of reading and what constitutes a learning disability in reading.


Book clubs (Discussion groups); Education; Elementary; Group reading; Hispanic; Language; Literature circles; Postmodern; Postmodernism (Literature); Reader response; Reading disability; School children; Social sciences; Students


Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Special Education and Teaching