I’m Getting There: The Reading Experiences of Ten Children at New Vision Primary School by Andrea Todd

In 2004, concern was raised by the Jamaican Government about the unsatisfactory performance in literacy by the students at the primary level and hence a taskforce was appointed to investigate the causes of this unsatisfactory performance. As a result of this investigation, several strategies have been implemented by the MOE. Educators and researchers have also reported this unsatisfactory performance. My research continues this tradition and adds to the investigation from a sociocultural perspective. The research seeks to describe the experiences that affect how ten children at the New Vision Primary see themselves as readers. The topic was explored and analysed using three units of analysis, using a longitudinal case study of the students of the New Vision Primary. Data was collected using mainly interviews, observation and documentary evidence provided by National Assessment tests results. Sociocultural and Cultural Studies theories were used to explain the students’ experiences and perceptions of themselves as readers. I used vignettes to weave the experiences of the students along with the other stakeholders in their home and school environments. The data showed how the participants created meaning through language and situated reading as a cultural act that cannot be separated from the students’ environment. The findings have implications for future research which examines the practice of literacy among the Jamaican youth.

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