ERIC Number: ED355472
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
Teacher Epistemology and Practice: Enactments in the Elementary Language Arts Classroom.
Grisham, Dana L.
A study investigated how literature-based reading/language arts materials were being used in two "exemplary" third/fourth grade combination classes, the influence of teacher epistemology on classroom instruction, and whether teachers were enacting the whole language emphasis mandated by the state. One of the two participating teachers had over 20 years experience and the other had 3 years experience in a large southern California urban school district. Data sources included: classroom observations and videotapes of the language arts segments of the school day 2 days per week for 3 consecutive weeks; interviews with six students from each class; and reading and writing attitude measures. Results indicated that: (1) each teacher had coherent theories of how reading should be taught, and used theory to guide her practice; (2) both teachers appeared to be integrating the language arts as envisioned by California's English/Language Arts Framework, but the textbook was the preeminent authority; (3) fewer worksheets and workbook assignments were given, and more authentic skills-based assignments were generated, than has been shown to be the case in past studies; (4) both teachers felt free to construct curriculum for their students; (5) reading and writing attitudes of the students were generally positive; and (6) collaborative learning was common in both classes, but there was still much lecturing and recitation. Findings suggest that both of the teachers studied have epistemological stances that are far from a constructivist epistemology of teaching and militate against the tenets of whole language. Two teacher-generated figures representing their conceptions of classrooms, and a preliminary model of teacher epistemological stance are attached. (Contains 62 references.) (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California