ERIC Number: ED348452
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Urban Teachers' Beliefs and Knowledge about Literacy Teaching and Learning: An Examination from Mechanistic and Contextualistic Perspectives.
Stevens, Dannelle D.; Palincsar, Annemarie Sullivan
This study describes what some urban teachers at one school believe and know about literacy teaching and learning, and relates what they believe and know to two contrasting viewpoints about the way students become literate (mechanism and contextualism). Quantitative and qualitative measures were used to create summaries of teacher beliefs and knowledge and construct a composite school-level picture of literacy teaching and learning across the following four dimensions: (1) context; (2) teacher instructional role; (3) student learner role; and (4) context. Seventeen full-time teachers (77 percent African Americans) from 1 medium-sized urban elementary school in a large midwestern city participated. The study's 3 phases included group administration of 2 written measures to the 17 teachers, a 1-hour individual interview with 13 teachers, and observation of and in-depth interviews with 2 focus teachers who represented the mechanistic or contextual perspective, respectively. Across the four dimensions, most of the teachers embrace a more mechanistic perspective on teaching and learning. However, they embrace several aspects of both the contextualist and mechanist perspectives. The context of a poverty-stricken urban neighborhood seems to have an overwhelming influence on what the teachers do in the classroom. Included are 42 references, 4 tables, and 3 figures outlining the 4 dimensions. (RLC)
Descriptors: Black Teachers, Context Effect, Educational Attitudes, Elementary Education, Elementary School Teachers, Knowledge Level, Learning Theories, Literacy Education, Low Income Groups, Public School Teachers, Social Influences, Student Role, Teacher Attitudes, Teacher Role, Teaching Methods, Urban Schools
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, CA, April 20-24, 1992). Paper is marginally legible due to small dark print.