Book choice : a descriptive multiple case study exploring the motivations and practices of secondary English teachers.
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Smith, Jess, 1990-
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The tension between ideal reading and ideal reader has affected English literature teachers throughout the history of American education. As contemporary teachers grapple with this tension, many turn to new, often unstudied, strategies to encourage students to read and to adopt an identity as a reader. This descriptive multiple case study describes the motivations and practices of secondary English teachers enacting one such strategy, book choice, through a New Literacy Studies lens. By viewing literacy as a social practice, I can examine book choice practices within their cultural contexts, comparing each classroom in its own unique truths. I interviewed each participant and reviewed lesson plans and accountability artifacts from each teacher participant. By using interviews and artifacts analyzed through an iterative process of deductive and inductive coding, I delve into the motivations, practices, successes, and challenges of each teacher in their own experience of book choice. The three teacher cases implement book choice in a variety of ways, many of which do not align with book choice as it is defined in the literature. Overwhelmingly, the teachers in this study apply accountability practices to their classroom culture alongside consistent reading time in and out of class, conferences with their students about reading, and a belief in the importance of having an identity of a reader and its impact on life-long success. The result is classrooms in which students and teachers spend time reading and discussing books, writing about books, and in some cases receiving incentives for reading books.