Verbal Protocols of Reading: The Nature of Constructively Responsive Reading

By Michael Pressley; Peter Afflerbach | Go to book overview

2
Methods Employed to Construct a Summary of Conscious Processes During Skilled Reading

Our general purpose when we began this book was to identify and describe exhaustively the many processes, including strategies and responses, that readers carry out consciously as they read. That is, what decisions can readers make when they read? What can they decide to do in order to come to terms with text? How do readers control the reading of text? Our most important assumption was that such processes are reflected by think-aloud protocols. We believed that the protocol analyses generated since the 1970s would have a depth and breadth to allow us to adequately chart diverse aspects of skilled reading.

The purpose of this chapter is to review the methods that were employed in this analysis and to detail the challenges in summarizing the active life of the reader as reflected in the think-alouds. We present as well a synopsis of how we dealt with those challenges. At the center of this analysis were the studies contributing data to it and thus, an appropriate starting point for this chapter on analysis is a review of the characteristics of the studies summarized here.


THE THINK-ALOUD RESEARCH LITERATURE

The first challenge was to assemble the relevant literature. Because both of us had published think-aloud analyses, we had many of the most relevant studies in our file drawers and thus, that was our starting point. We reviewed these studies, noting especially references to other think-aloud analyses and articles about think-aloud that were not in our files. The missing articles were retrieved.

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