ERIC Number: ED436509
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-Nov-19
Theory as Espoused and Practiced by a High School English Teacher: Staying with the Tried and True.
Irvin, Teresa S.
This study examined the relationship between theory and practice from the viewpoint of the high school English classroom. The study occurred in a small parochial high school with a college preparatory focus. The teacher under observation was a 14-year veteran of the school. The study examined educational practices through world views, called cognitive interests. Data collection involved: an interview with the teacher regarding her educational background, teaching experience, beliefs about teaching and learning, and metaphors to describe her work; observation of her classes; examination of documents (e.g., course syllabus, assignment sheets, and progress reports); and data from the Butler's Cognitive Interest Inventory. Data analysis indicated a significant difference between the teacher's espoused theory and her practice. She professed a practical interest, believing that her main role was as facilitator, but she used terms that indicated a preference for showing and directing rather than facilitating. Her teaching of composition was the greatest indicator of the gap between espoused theory and practice, with students discouraged from deviating from the model she provided. Students showed frustration during the composition class. The school and parents provided the teacher with much positive reinforcement for her technical approach in the classroom. An interview transcript and course materials are appended. (SM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Mid-South Educational Research Association (Point Clear, AL, November 17-19, 1999).