ERIC Number: ED393070
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Teacher Interpretations of Whole Language Instruction in Four Middle Grade Classrooms.
A study elaborated a profile of four northeastern Ohio middle-grade teachers who incorporated whole language instruction into their classrooms. The overarching question investigated was how middle grade teachers proceeded to configure whole language instruction in their classrooms. Teachers for the study were selected based on their use of and commitment to whole language. The teachers in the study were two fifth-grade teachers and two sixth-grade teachers. A variety of ethnographic data collection techniques were used: observation of each class for 7 weeks and the conducting of a structured interview and six semi-structured interviews with each teacher. Results showed that teacher beliefs about whole language were similar while interpretations and applications were diverse. In observations, three different interpretations appeared. The first of these, "cooperative learning," describes those teachers for whom group activities form the major component of the whole language approach. In these groups, students prepared and presented research projects, discussed self-selected readings, taught lessons through expert groups, and brainstormed to answer discussion questions. The second interpretation, "strategic teaching and learning," minimizes isolated skill instruction and teaches literacy across the curriculum. It models techniques for helping children to interact with a text, ways of figuring out new words, predicting outcomes, or skimming. The third interpretation, "thematic units," is organized around units on, say, "friendship", "Christmas", or "African-American history"; it requires whole-class or small-group reading of entire books or novels. (TB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Ohio (Northeast); Strategic Thinking; Teaching Research
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Reading Association (38th, San Antonio, TX, April 26-30, 1993).