Literacy Research Methodologies / Edition 1

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Balanced and authoritative, this volume brings together leading experts to present 13 methodologies widely used in literacy research. Following a consistent format, each chapter describes the methodology at hand, identifies the types of questions and claims for which it is well suited, delineates clear standards for quality, and presents one or more exemplary studies using the methodology. Guiding readers to choose wisely from available methodologies when designing their own research endeavors -- and to understand the contributions that each mode of inquiry can generate -- this is an essential text for graduate students in literacy. It is also an ideal resource for more experienced researchers seeking to build their skills for utilizing or evaluating particular approaches.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"The literacy field has been deeply divided, with no differences more profound, perhaps, than those emanating from our use of richly varied tools of inquiry. Duke and Mallette provide an excellent resource for making sense of this embarrassment of riches--because that’s what these methodological tools are--and for seeing how a commitment to the rigorous and appropriate use of research methods can both increase our understanding of literacy and create synergies across the varied ways of looking. This is a very useful volume, indeed."--Timothy Shanahan, PhD, College of Education, University of Illinois at Chicago

"This is an exceptional volume. At a time when the importance of research has never been greater, this book by two prominent young scholars will increase the rigor of work in our field. Every literacy researcher and every graduate student will discover new insights within these chapters. The book brings fresh perspectives to our work while staying grounded in longstanding epistemological traditions. This is a 'must read' for all scholars serious about improving the level of research in literacy education."--Donald J. Leu, Jr., PhD, Neag School of Education, University of Connecticut

"A testament to the multifaceted qualities of literacy, this volume magnificently exhibits a grand array of literacy research methods. From the neurobiological laboratory to the national survey, experts explain the 'hows' and 'whys' of inquiry into literacy. For researchers, this book stands as a fine compilation of tools of the trade. For students, this guide will be safe for the novice, challenging for the expert, and irreplaceable in graduate training."--John T. Guthrie, PhD, Department of Human Development, University of Maryland

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781593850593
  • Publisher: Guilford Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/6/2004
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 364
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Nell K. Duke, EdD, is Associate Professor of Teacher Education and Educational Psychology, and Co-Director of the Literacy Achievement Research Center ( at Michigan State University, East Lansing. Her research focuses on early literacy development, particularly among children living in poverty. Her specific areas of expertise include development of informational literacies in young children, comprehension development and instruction in early schooling, and issues of equity in literacy education. She has used a variety of research methodologies in her own work and teaches courses on research design. Dr. Duke has a strong interest in the preparation of educational researchers and has published and presented on this topic.

Marla H. Mallette, PhD, is Associate Professor of Literacy Education at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. Her research interests include literacy teacher education, literacy instruction and learning with students of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and the convergence of early literacy and technology. She is very interested in research methodologies and has used various methodologies in her own work. Dr. Mallette has also published and presented on literacy research methodologies and the preparation of literacy researchers.

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Read an Excerpt

Literacy Research Methodologies

The Guilford Press

Copyright © 2004 The Guilford Press
All right reserved.

ISBN: 1-59385-059-X

Chapter One


Marla H. Mallette Nell K. Duke

Methodology, as defined in Webster's dictionary, is "the science of method, or orderly arrangement; specifically, the branch of logic concerned with the application of the principles of reasoning to scientific and philosophical inquiry" (Anges, 1999, p. 906). Method, within that, is defined simply as "a way of doing anything" (Anges, 1999, p. 906). In the context of this volume, method is a way of doing literacy research. And our emphasis in this volume is on the plural, methods or methodologies. That is, there are many ways of doing literacy research.

We initially conceptualized this volume as including an exhaustive account of literacy research methodologies, but realized that it would be impossible to include every methodology and/or variation of methodology used. Thus, we include here only a partial set of literacy research methodologies currently being used in the field. The process of determining which methodologies to include began by brainstorming a list. The list was then reviewed by several colleagues who were asked to add methodologies that were noticeably missing and to reduce redundancy in methodologies already included.

Of course, methodologies do not always fall into mutually exclusive categories. Some research can be consideredmore than one type of research or may combine methodologies in various ways. For example, Ways with Words (Heath, 1983) can be considered both an ethnography and a case study and in this book is discussed in both chapters. Thus while we have attempted to minimize redundancy in constructing the table of contents and in the editorial process, we have done so with the knowledge that there has been and will continue to be both overlap among and combinations of methodologies used in literacy research.

The chapter authors in this volume have stellar reputations for use of the methodology they write about, with numerous publications of rigorous research using that methodology. Thus they are well accomplished as literacy researchers rather than solely as methodologists. This results in a volume markedly different from a general methods text. However, the authors often refer the reader to these types of texts. We hope readers will take these references seriously. By no means is the information in these chapters adequate to teach one "how to" conduct particular types of research. However, we believe the discussions within do provide meaningful information and perspective on each methodology addressed.

The chapters in this book strike a balance between maintaining each author's individual writing style and voice and achieving consistency across them. To achieve this consistency in core content, we asked authors to address the following questions:

1. What is this methodology (including a definition and description of the methodology and if possible some key history of the methodology in literacy)?

2. What kinds of questions and claims is this methodology appropriate for?

3. What are standards for quality in this methodology?

4. What is one or more exemplar of this methodology (in literacy) and what makes it so good?

We suggest readers approach each chapter with these four key questions in mind. We also strongly encourage readers to gather and read the exemplar or exemplars presented for each chapter. A listing of featured exemplars appears in two places: (1) at the end of this chapter, arranged by methodology, and (2) in the Appendix, arranged in alphabetical order.

In addition to the methodology chapters, the volume includes a chapter on the role of theory and epistemology in methodology (Dressman & McCarthey, Chapter 15). We view this as an important part of understanding literacy research. All research, whether explicitly stated or not, is grounded in epistemology, or one's view of what can and cannot be known and how. To understand a research methodology, we must situate the methodology in the epistemological tenets that ground it. The chapter authors also emphasize the need to recognize epistemological strengths and weaknesses of different methodologies. They remind us that just as all methodologies have something to contribute, they also have important limitations.

The final chapter in this volume looks across methodologies. Building on the foundation provided throughout the volume, we identify five core messages about methodology in literacy research:

Message 1: Many different research methodologies, in fact each research methodology discussed in this book and others, have valuable contributions to make to the study of literacy.

Message 2: Different types of research are for different types of questions and claims. The match of research methodology to research questions and resulting claims is essential.

Message 3: There are standards of quality for every type of research. There is better- and poorer-quality research of every methodology.

Message 4: Synergy across research methodologies is possible, powerful, and advisable.

Message 5: We must urgently and actively pursue synergy across research methodologies.

Our discussion of these messages is intended to underscore again the need for all of us to be knowledgeable about and informed by research of a broad range of research methodologies. This book, we hope, provides one tool for doing that.


Excerpted from Literacy Research Methodologies Copyright © 2004 by The Guilford Press. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction, Marla H. Mallette and Nell K. Duke
2. Case-Study Research, Diane M. Barone
3. Inferences from Correlational Data: Exploring Associations with Reading Experience,
Keith E. Stanovich and Anne E. Cunningham
4. Discourse Analysis: Conversation, Susan Florio-Ruane and Ernest Morrell
5. Discourse Analysis: Written Text, Susan R. Goldman and Jennifer Wiley
6. Ethnographic Research, Victoria Purcell-Gates
7. Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Design in Literacy Research, Frank R. Vellutino and Christopher Schatschneider
8. Connecting Research and Practice Using Formative and Design Experiments, David Reinking and Barbara A. Bradley
9. Doing Historical Research on Literacy, Norman A. Stahl and Douglas K. Hartman
10. Developing Affective Instrumentation for Use in Literacy Research, William A. Henk and Michael C. McKenna
11. Meta-Analysis in Reading Research, Adriana G. Bus and Marinus H. van IJzendoorn
12. Neuroimaging in Reading Research, Jack M. Fletcher, Panagiotis G. Simos, Andrew C. Papanicolaou, and Carolyn Denton
13. Survey Research, James F. Baumann and James J. Bason
14. Verbal Protocols of Reading, Michael Pressley and Katherine Hilden
15. Toward a Pragmatics of Epistemology, Methodology, and Other People's Theories in Literacy Research, Mark Dressman and Sarah J. McCarthey
16. Conclusion, Nell K. Duke and Marla H. Mallette
Appendix: Alphabetical Listing of the Exemplars
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