© 2004

Missing the Meaning

The Development and Use of Print and Nonprint Text Materials in Diverse School Settings

  • Alan Peacock
  • Ailie Cleghorn

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxii
  2. What Do We Believe We are Doing with Text-Based and Other Learning Materials?

  3. Why do Learners have Problems with Text Materials?

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 73-73
    2. Alan Peacock, Ailie Cleghorn
      Pages 75-88
    3. Wayne Leahy, Graham Cooper, John Sweller
      Pages 89-103
    4. P. Karen Murphy, Theresa A. Holleran
      Pages 133-144
    5. Thomas Hardy
      Pages 145-159
  4. How Can Text and Other Learning Materials be Better Matched to the Preconceptions, Expectations, and Inclinations of Learners and Teachers?

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 179-179
    2. Alan Peacock, Ailie Cleghorn, Mirjamaija Mikkilä-Erdmann
      Pages 181-196
    3. Sharon Walpole, Laura Smolkin
      Pages 197-211

About this book


Missing the Meaning investigates recent evidence that school text materials are more problematic than previously imagined. Difficulties with language, illustrations, design and cultural mismatch are highlighted, and ways in which young students 'read' books and electronic materials in classrooms are compared through contributions from researchers across five continents. The book suggests new ways to develop and use text so that the materials are better matched to the diverse needs of teachers and students. The implications of this collection are wide, applying not only to teachers, but to teacher educators, educational publishers, software developers and policy makers.


children complex development education language learning literacy research school state teaching Web

Editors and affiliations

  • Alan Peacock
    • 1
  • Ailie Cleghorn
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Education and Lifelong LearningUniversity of ExeterUK
  2. 2.Department of EducationConcordia University in MontrealCanada

About the editors

ALAN PEACOCK is Reader in Primary Science Education at the University of Exeter, UK.

AILIE CLEGHORN is Director of the Educational Studies Masters Program at Concordia University, USA.

Bibliographic information


'This book is a rich and authoritative exploration of reading and learning in the context of primary science education. It takes the widest view of reading as the processing of text and non-text material whether teacher-made or published, computer-based as well as print-based. It reviews and extends what is known about the deficiencies of educational materials and provides reasons for the difficulties that learners have with these materials in terms of learning theory. I am sure that educators in all fields will find this book as absorbing as I have.' - Wynne Harlen, School of Education, University of Bristol

'The authors of this valuable collection of articles offer considerable insights and propose numerous possibilities for future generations of teachers to serve their classes just as effectively as I was served by one gifted teacher, one day, early in my life, when it mattered.' - Ted Wragg, School of Education, Exeter University

'Alan Peacock and Ailie Cleghorn's Missing the Meaning fills an important gap in the field. The authors have produced a highly readable work, which itself is an exemplar of good materials development that has been based on rigorous research practices.' - Dr. Christine Winberg, Peninsular Technikon, South Africa