The relationship between teachers' theoretical orientations to reading and their verbal feedback to students during oral reading
This study examined the link between theory and practice as evidenced in the relationship between teachers' beliefs and the decisions they make during instruction. It is embedded within research on teacher change during times of educational reform (Cuban, 1993; Darling-Hammond, 1997; Sarason, 1996) and in reading theory (Shannon, 1992). The specific role of belief in the change process is unclear (Guskey, 1986; Richardson, 1990). Beliefs were explored through the construct of theoretical orientation (blend of teachers' beliefs and knowledge) to reading. Decisions were observed through the verbal feedback teachers gave during oral reading instruction. The study was designed to triangulate data sources by including what teachers say, do, and intend (Pajares, 1992) regarding beliefs. The setting was six elementary schools in a suburban school district undergoing extensive change in its reading program. The subjects were 49 teachers and 6 students. During Phase I all teachers completed the Theoretical Orientation to Reading Profile (TORP; DeFord, 1985). Six second-grade teachers were randomly selected to participate in Phase II. Those teachers each audiotaped 10 one-on-one oral reading sessions with one student over a 5-week period. Informal and formal interviews provided additional data. Analysis included the Feedback to Oral Reading Miscue Analysis System (FORMAS; Hoffman, Gardner, & Clements, 1980) and coding of all non-miscue-based feedback. (A miscue is an oral reading error.) The TORP classifies teachers along a continuum based on their instructional focus in reading: phonics (emphasizing letters and sounds); skills (emphasizing words); and whole language (emphasizing phrases and sentences). In Phase I there were 7 phonics-oriented teachers and 42 skills-oriented teachers. In Phase II there were 3 phonics-oriented teachers and 3 skills-oriented teachers. The data suggest that the TORP score is inadequate in describing teachers' theoretical orientation. At the individual level there was no clear relationship between theoretical orientation and verbal feedback. When analyzed as a group the phonics teachers preferred to give sustaining feedback (offering clues) and the skills teachers preferred to give no feedback or graphophonic feedback. Phonics- and skills-oriented teachers seem to hold different views of oral reading. All six teachers expressed strong awareness of their theoretical orientations.
EDUCATION, READING (0535); EDUCATION, ELEMENTARY (0524); SPEECH COMMUNICATION (0459)
Kathleen A Swann,
"The relationship between teachers' theoretical orientations to reading and their verbal feedback to students during oral reading"
Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access).