Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Reading Horizons


In classroom literature discussions, teachers orchestrate situations in which readers and texts come together. Approaches teachers use may differ in terms of the stance or purpose for reading encouraged. Rosenblatt (1978, 1985) describes two stances readers can take while reading literary works. An efferent stance indicates a reader's attention is focused on information to be retained after reading and can result in a study of the text. An aesthetic stance, on the other hand, occurs when the reader's attention is on the livedthrough experience of the story and the experiences, thoughts, feelings, images, and associations which are evoked. Rosenblatt (1978, 1983, 1986) contends that although the appropriate stance when reading literature is the aesthetic stance, most literature in schools is taught from an efferent approach. Research describing teaching approaches used in schools seems to support this contention (Sacks, 1987; Walmsley and Walp, 1989; Zarillo and Cox, 1992).


ScholarWorks at WMU © 2020

Many, J. E., Gerla, J. K., Wiseman, D. L., & Ellis, L. (1995). Transactional Criticism and Aesthetic Literary Experiences: Examining Complex Responses in Light of the Teacher's Purpose. Reading Horizons: A Journal of Literacy and Language Arts, 36 (2).

Included in

Education Commons



Tell us how this article helped you.