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ERIC Number: ED251808
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Sep
Pages: 15
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Beginning Teachers: How Do They Make Decisions about Reading?
Combs, Martha
Sixteen first-year elementary school teachers participated in telephone interviews and classroom observations that focused on decision making processes before and during reading instruction. The most difficult aspect for the majority of teachers interviewed was explaining what influenced their decisions. The major decisions made prior to reading centered around grouping, techniques, materials, and pacing. Initial placement of students in reading groups was based on standardized reading test scores and recommendations made during the previous year, while the decision to rely heavily upon oral reading performance and phonics ability seemed to be a function of both the reading consultant's practices and the new teacher's own experience as a reader. Neither informal reading inventories nor training from methods courses were used in the placement. While concerned about flexibility in meeting individual needs of students, only about one quarter of the teachers routinely considered making reading group changes throughout the year. Teachers did not feel the pressure for pacing with children in high ability groups that they felt with those in low reading ability groups. Techniques for instruction centered on student motivation rather than on effective teaching strategies. Teachers seemed to feel a need to complete the lesson as planned or to wait until after instruction to formulate any new teaching plans. Such changes seemed related to the use of new materials to teach the same skill rather than a different approach. The results suggest that teacher educators should help prospective teachers view themselves as decision makers, and should use a planning process that encourages prospective teachers to consider alternative teaching strategies. (HTH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Reading and Language Arts Educators' Conference (1st, Kansas City, MO, September 26-28, 1984).