Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Educational Administration and Supervision

First Advisor

Dr. Carol Lloyd


The purpose of this study was to encourage and examine seventh grade students' aesthetic responses to literature that focus on issues of power and oppression. Transactional theory and critical literacy combined in the forms of written response and literature discussions. Data were students' response log entries, transcripts of literature circle discussions, and notes from debriefing sessions. Results revealed 1) the majority of students' response log entries were written from the aesthetic stance; 2) students responded to oppressed characters' situations by supporting or encouraging acceptance, passive resistance, active resistance, or adult assistance; 3) students described oppressed characters as subjects (as opposed to objects) more frequently at the end of stories, once the characters began to resist their oppression; 3) students criticized oppressive institutions more than oppressive people; and 4)students' written responses after participating in literature circle discussions did not include reflection or extension of what was discussed in the group.


A Thesis Presented to the Department Education and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright 2004 Valerie Jean Groll