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Mapping the possibilities of reading: how readers make texts mean

Smith, V. (2004) Mapping the possibilities of reading: how readers make texts mean. In: British Psychological Society, Psychology of Education Section Annual Conference, 2004-11-05 - 2004-11-07. (Unpublished)

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How do readers make texts mean? What resources do they bring to new and challenging texts in an attempt to understand them? Based on data gathered through an ethnographic study of children in primary classrooms, and of teachers studying reading at Masters level, this paper presents a series of maps or models that attempt to show the pushes and pulls of thinking that the children and adults use in order to make meaning from text. The paper argues that when these maps are contrasted, implications for the way reading is taught in schools become apparent.