The purpose of the study was to examine the knowledge, beliefs, and identities of reading teachers within the transition to teaching by exploring the connections between coursework, field placements, teaching contexts, and participants' conceptions of teaching reading. While there has been an increased focus on the transition to teaching, little is still known about the experiences of reading teachers as they move from the university classrooms to their own K-12 classrooms (Anders, Hoffman, & Duffy, 2000; Risko et al., 2008, Dillon et al., 2010).
The following questions guided this research: How do novice reading teachers conceptualize their knowledge and beliefs about the teaching of reading? (2) How do knowledge, beliefs, and identities of novice reading teachers change and continue to develop over time (e.g., within the first 4 years of teaching)? (3) How are novice reading teachers' knowledge and beliefs about teaching reading visible in their teaching practice? (4) How does teaching context influence the development of novice reading teachers' knowledge and beliefs about teaching reading, and their identities as teachers of reading? The study was conducted as a qualitative case study, and data sources included formal interviews, classroom observations, and a survey. Participants included 2 preservice teachers, 3 first-year teachers, and 2 third-/fourth-year teachers prepared at the same large, Midwestern Research University.
Analysis indicated that novice reading teachers benefit from clear links between theoretical grounding and instructional practice in actual classrooms. As well, the knowledge, beliefs, and identities of novice reading teachers continue to develop after completing teacher education programs, and strong leadership and mentors are necessary for supporting the continued professional development of new reading teachers. Therefore, a recommendation of this study is that teacher education programs work in concert with schools to provide carefully designed programs and field experiences. As well, schools have a responsibility to recognize and maintain a focus on the development of effective literacy practices for novice reading teachers in the powerful site of continued learning - the novice teacher's own classroom.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. September 2010. Major: Education, Curriculum and Instruction. Advisor: Dr. Deborah Dillon. 1 computer file (PDF); vi, 340 pages, appendices A-D.
Kelly, Catherine M..
The transition to teaching reading: knowledge, beliefs, and identities of novice teachers of reading..
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