A qualitative study of curriculum in a developmental reading course at a community college

Celina Uranga Gomez, University of Texas at El Paso


This interpretive study examined the curriculum implemented in a developmental reading course at a community college. Approaching curriculum as a three layered construct, (Cohen, 1990; Hartell, 2012; Mendez, 2010; Page, 1991; Page, 1999), I described classroom lessons to understand how the formal curriculum was translated by students and teachers. This study offered a nuanced account of developmental education with a focus on classroom practice to garner a better understanding of how a developmental reading curriculum was enacted in daily classroom life. This study focused on questions of culture, meaning and context (Erickson, 1986); therefore, I employed a qualitative approach to my study. By studying the experiences and perspectives of those engaged in developmental reading, I also sought to learn about the particular version of a reading curriculum collectively produced and its import to the academic futures of underprepared college readers. Thus, my qualitative case study gives voice to a population of students and teachers rarely heard from in academic research studies. This study proposed to add to this body of knowledge so that educators may continue to improve instructional practices for underprepared college readers. My analysis showed that classroom lessons in Advanced College Reading focused on teaching reading as a set of discrete skills and on preparing students for the reading exit exam. Such lessons lacked depth, averted reading and were of little value to improving the literacy abilities of underprepared college students.

Subject Area

Community college education|Educational leadership|Literacy|Reading instruction

Recommended Citation

Gomez, Celina Uranga, "A qualitative study of curriculum in a developmental reading course at a community college" (2013). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI3565908.