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When reading gets Ruff : understanding the literacy experiences of children engaged in a canine-assisted reading program.

By Emily Callahan Perkins

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Category Theses
Abstract

The purpose of this qualitative study was to investigate how the interactions that take place between therapy dogs and children during literacy activities change children's attitudes towards reading in one urban charter school. The research drew on both the sociocultural approach to literacy theory and symbolic interactionism to gain insights about how therapy dogs can shape children's literacy practices, specifically reading. Data collection included a series of semi-structured interviews and participant observation. Data analysis and interpretive procedures followed a grounded theory approach aimed at understanding how participants make sense of the therapy dogs' influence on children's literacy practices. Findings supported the extant literature that acknowledges a correlation between therapy dogs and reading development. However, from this study we learn the interactions between therapy dogs and children during literacy activities promotes more than literacy learning; therapy dogs also provide children with emotional support, facilitate positive social interactions, and shape student behavior. Research implications reinforce the need for more innovative approaches to literacy education, specifically a need for programs that acknowledge being literate is more than having the ability to read and write.

Submitter

Mason N McLary

HABRI Central

Date 2017
Pages 188
Publisher University of Rochester
Location of Publication Rochester, New York
Department Education
Degree Philosophy
URL http://hdl.handle.net/1802/32738
Language English
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Tags
  1. Animal-assisted activities
  2. Animal-assisted therapies
  3. Animal roles
  4. Animals in culture
  5. Dogs
  6. Health
  7. Literacy
  8. Mammals
  9. Pets and companion animals
  10. Reading
  11. Reading assistance dogs
  12. Service animals
  13. Sociocultural Factors
  14. therapy
  15. therapy animals