Data Collection and Analysis

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Data Collection and Analysis

            To collect data the three students took pictures of religious institutions in the Birmingham-Hoover metro area. There were approximately sixty pictures taken of area church buildings, signs, and cornerstones that contained languages other than English. Theses pictures were then compiled onto this website to provide a resource for teachers to use in the classroom for environmental print examples.

            In order to categorize the photos in some way we used the framework provided in Growing Up Literate, by Denny Taylor and Catherine Dorsey-Gaines. These photos fall into several of the categories in their framework.

            On page 147 of this text, they describe Confirmational Reading. Confirmational reading is described as, “Reading to check or confirm facts or beliefs, often from archival materials stored and retrieved only on special occasions.” While this is not an archival material these buildings and the languages on them become a regular part of the community. These buildings are also very meaningful to the children who go there because this is where the children’s beliefs are confirmed. Some of these signs have quotes or religious writings that can also affirm beliefs.

            On page 125 of this text, they describe Instrumental Reading. Instrumental reading is described as, “Reading to gain information for meeting practical needs, dealing with public agencies, and scheduling daily life.” These signs often have times of worship and other practical information, like upcoming events that are needed to schedule their week. Also these signs tell other children, who are not members, about what the church is.

            On page 180 of this text, they describe Environmental Reading. Environmental reading is described as, “Reading the print in the environment.” This includes: “Signs of storefronts and businesses; road signs; billboards; graffiti; T-shirts and gum wrappers.” These signs on the churches are environmental print for all students. Some of the students may live very close to these religious centers and pass by them everyday, thus these signs would be very authentic and meaningful to them. Other students who do not live in close proximity may have driven by and seen them. Even if students have never seen these signs it would be wonderful to expose them to this in the classroom.