ERIC Number: ED372071
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1994
Reference Count: N/A
Whole Language Teachers as Pro-Actors: A Paradigm for Change.
Strachbein, Deanna L.; Riley, James D.
The essential theories underlying the whole language approach require individual teachers to examine their assumptions about teaching and learning and to undergo a major paradigmatic shift that requires a new set of assumptions. One of the principal tenets of whole language is that the classroom teacher becomes an autonomous professional. This study was conducted to examine teachers' perceptions of the change process. Kindergarten through grade 6 teachers (N=20), at various stages in their knowledge of whole language, were interviewed and observed to examine: (1) how learning about whole language changed their work with children; (2) those factors that influenced their thinking and practice; and (3) their changing perspectives about teaching and learning. Questionnaires provided demographic data. Responses were analyzed and organized into two categories: teacher perceptions of learning; and teacher perceptions of self. The paper provides selected responses to illustrate teachers' changing perspectives about their work with children, teaching itself, those factors that influence their efforts to make sense of the world of whole language, and the concomitant implications for teaching practice. One conclusion reached was that change is a process accomplished by individuals in a highly personal way; therefore, interactions between teachers and universities must be focused on individuals. (LL)
Descriptors: Attitude Change, Classroom Research, Context Effect, Educational Practices, Educational Principles, Educational Theories, Elementary Education, Elementary School Teachers, Inservice Teacher Education, Self Evaluation (Individuals), Teacher Attitudes, Teaching Methods, Whole Language Approach
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A