ERIC Number: ED374391
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
I Teach What I Know: An Examination of Teachers' Beliefs about Whole Language.
Tidwell, Deborah L.; Stele, Jeannie L.
Through an in-depth interview, a study investigated teachers' beliefs and understandings about language learning. Subjects were nine elementary school teachers from a suburban midwest school district where a whole language philosophy was beginning to become infused in the curriculum. Subjects were selected for participation based on the teachers' degree of involvement/experience in whole language instruction (MUCH, SOME, LITTLE) as determined by self report by the teacher, reports from administration, and documented training and participation in whole language. Interviews were transcribed and coded. Results indicated that: (1) the MUCH group talked about the teacher as facilitator, while the LITTLE group talked about the teacher as a director of the learning environment; (2) the MUCH group discussed instructional practices as embedded in the whole, where students as readers/writers became members of the literacy club; (3) the LITTLE group discussed instructional activities that often focused on the skills needed by students as determined by the teacher; (4) the LITTLE group saw themselves as second-hand diagnosticians, while the MUCH group viewed assessment as an interactive process where the teacher highlights the literacy development of the child; (5) the LITTLE group offered simplistic definitions of whole language, while the MUCH group included in their definition, terms such as ownership, making connections, and facilitating natural learning; and (6) the SOME group expressed diverse opinions on all aspects of whole language. Findings suggest that the beliefs of the teachers fell into a continuum that could be considered a gauge of their understanding and beliefs about whole language. (Contains 19 references.) (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A