Perceptions of bibliotherapy: a survey of undergraduate students

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Camp, Randie
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Anne M. Foegen Linda S. Lind
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Curriculum and Instruction

Children and adolescents are faced with a growing number of life’s challenges. Oftentimes, it becomes the responsibility of teachers to assist students in coping with these frequently non-academic issues. Bibliotherapy is one instructional tool teachers can use to help children and adolescents cope with their diverse needs and life’s challenges. In the context of K-12 settings, bibliotherapy is a systematic process utilizing books to transform traditional reading into an instructional strategy to assist educators in meeting the needs of all students. For bibliotherapy to be effective, educators need knowledge of the recommended procedures and understanding of how to guide students through the bibliotherapeutic process. Additionally, educators need to feel confident in the interventions they are implementing with students.

The purpose of this survey design research study was to gain insight into the perceptions of 248 undergraduate students from a large mid-western university in regards to bibliotherapy implementation in K-12 classrooms. This thesis reviews current literature on bibliotherapy and teacher perceptions, presents perceptions of bibliotherapy held by 161 preservice teachers (PSTs) and 87 non-preservice teachers (non-PSTs), and offers insight into some of the factors and concerns influencing the perceptions of the undergraduate sample. Data were collected using a survey which contained demographic items, rating scales, and open-ended items to gather both quantitative and narrative data. Independent samples t-tests and descriptive statistics were performed to analyze quantitative data. Content analysis procedures guided the inductive coding and interpretative reporting of narrative data collected.

The results of the study indicate little significant difference between PSTs and non-PSTs in regards to current level of understanding and perceived acceptability of bibliotherapy implementation in K-12 classrooms. There was a statistically significant difference between groups in regards to perceived level of comfort of personal bibliotherapy implementation. Participants’ perceived level of comfort was found to be more heavily influenced by teacher-centered factors as opposed to student-centered factors. While five main concern themes emerged from participant responses, the most surprising concern of bibliotherapy expressed by the undergraduate students was the fear participants held in regards to receiving negative responses from parents, colleagues, and administrators.

Thu Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2015