Date of Award

1995

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Education

First Advisor

Earl H. Cheek, Jr

Abstract

Each interaction between teachers and students is a reflection of the theory that these professionals, sometimes unknowingly, posit about what should be occurring in their classrooms. The purpose of this study is to explore the differences between middle school language arts teachers' beliefs about how children actually read a text, and how these teachers translate these beliefs into classroom practices. The beliefs we hold about reading comprehension are essential to our understanding about how we should instruct and assess our students in our classes. Leu and Kinzer (1988) refer to two beliefs' frameworks of comprehension in reading, based on the assumption that effective reading teachers know what to do as well as why they choose a particular practice. These beliefs' instruments determined categories of the middle school reading teachers which suggested philosophical and instructional differences. I randomly selected teachers from the nine categories created by the responses from these two beliefs' instruments. Using three types of data; i.e., survey, interview, and classroom observations, common themes between participants' beliefs and practices emerged. The criteria of the unified language acquisition group consists of characteristics of both the mastery of specific skills and the integrated language acquisition category possibly explaining the numerous consistencies of this groups. Mastery of specific skills and integrated language acquisition participants displayed numerous inconsistencies in their stated beliefs and their demonstrated practices.

Pages

193

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