ERIC Number: ED395424
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Feb-14
Report on Focus Groups: Research and Practice--Reading Instruction. ERIC/OSEP Special Project.
Blaunstein, Phyllis; And Others
This report summarizes results of three focus groups which examined teachers' ideas and attitudes about the utility of research on the practice of teaching reading to students with learning disabilities and about forms of communication that would make research information more useful. The focus groups were part of a larger project designed to improve the "translation" and dissemination of research utilizing a social marketing approach. The three groups were composed of either special educators, general educators, or both special and general educators. Groups discussed: instructional teaching strategies and problem solving; the use of research in developing and choosing instructional teaching strategies; specific attitudes and concerns about reading instruction, especially for students with learning disabilities; and information needs. Findings included: teachers tend to use research as either background information or as a source of possible classroom strategies to be evaluated in the light of experience, experimented with if promising, and discarded if unsuccessful; teachers prefer to learn from other teachers; and teachers distrust mandated instructional approaches (e.g., whole language). Implications for communication to teachers are: (1) teachers prefer to learn in social, interactive ways; (2) teachers need the verisimilitude and authenticity of knowing that a learning medium was researched and used by real teachers in real classrooms; (3) any form of communication by non-teachers to teachers will be more effective if the teachers are addressed/treated with the respect accorded to other professionals; (4) when communicating with teachers in writing, keep messages concise and readable; and (5) teachers are members of the general public, and can be persuaded by means of the same mass media strategies that are used to persuade the rest of us. (DB)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Special Education Programs (ED/OSERS), Washington, DC.; Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Disabilities and Gifted Education, Reston, VA. ERIC/OSEP Special Project on Interagency Information Dissemination.