Understanding reading development : a phenomenological perspective
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionSkaftun, A. (2011) Understanding reading development : a phenomenological perspective. L1 Educational Studies in Language and Literature, 11, pp. 127-148
The starting point of this article is a challenge presented to the research community in recent reviews of reading research and practice (Alexander & Fox 2004, 2007; Fox & Alexander 2009). That challenge is twofold in that it argues for the need for a unifying theory of reading that not only entails an expansion of the concepts of “text” and “reading” but is also capable of accounting for reading develop-ment throughout life. The present article compares and contrasts Alexander’s own attempt at taking up this challenge – the Model of Domain Learning (MDL) – with a general model of skill development – the Skill Model – which is rooted in a phenomenological understanding of being-in-the-world. The MDL is based on concepts that are generally accepted in the dominant reading-research community, meaning that the choice of concepts and dimensions to be included in the model represents a characteristic cognitive bias despite its explicit rejection of traditional expertise research. The Skill Model is put forward as a meaningful and promising framework based on an alternative understanding of “expertise” and “expert performance” in general that might provide fruitful answers to this and other challenges of current reading research.