Capstone/Dissertation Title

Visual perception and the emergent reader: dancing with print

Term

2007

Capstone

Thesis

Degree Name

MAEd

Abstract

Educators and optometric clinicians have long been interested in the relationship between reading and vision. More recently work in this area has been done by cognitive psychologists. This capstone attempts to discover how understanding the role of visual perception in reading affects a teacher's perceptions and practices while working with struggling emergent readers in the context of Reading Recovery lessons. Background research, student observation, hypothesizing on student responses and extensive reflecting all play a part in this capstone. The work of reading expert, Marie Clay, was a major source of information. The study used a qualitative psychological case analysis of three struggling emergent readers and concludes that a sensitive teacher, with an understanding of visual perception, should observe and scaffold individual student's visual perception while teaching reading. The keys to doing this are good observation, early intervention, proper methods, correct pacing and persistent application of teaching strategies.

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