A description of the state of professional reading among the teachers of English in Newfoundland and an analysis of factors affecting such reading

Kinden, Scott (1975) A description of the state of professional reading among the teachers of English in Newfoundland and an analysis of factors affecting such reading. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

This study set out to answer two basic questions related to professional reading among teachers of English in Newfoundland. -- 1. How much professional reading do teachers of English in Newfoundland engage in and how familiar are they with some of the better known journals and books in English and in education generally? -- 2. What are the factors and conditions conducive to an English teacher's wide reading of professional literature and to a consequent high degree of familiarity with such literature? -- A sample of fifty teachers was selected from a population of approximately five hundred, the selection being made on a random, stratified basis. The random sample was stratified on the basis of community size, with teachers from small, medium, and large-sized communities being selected. -- These fifty teachers were then interviewed by the investigator, with the help of a detailed interview guide. -- The results related to the first major question of the study (i.e., how much professional reading do teachers of English in Newfoundland engage in, etc.?) were analysed and reported in a purely descriptive manner. It was found, generally, that teachers of English in Newfoundland were reading professional literature to a small degree, but certainly not to the extent desirable, given the value to the teacher of wide reading of professional material. It was further found that teachers of English in Newfoundland were not familiar to any significant degree with some of the better known journals and books in English and in education generally. -- Seventy per cent of the teachers cited their heavy workload and consequent lack of time as the major obstacle to their reading professional literature. Twenty per cent claimed that there was no professional material available to them in their schools. -- Fifty-four per cent of the teachers saw the English department head as the one responsible for providing the teacher with professional reading material. Forty-four per cent cited the individual teacher of English and forty per cent English personnel in the Department of Education. -- The results related to the second major question of the study (i.e., what are the factors and conditions conducive to an English teacher's wide reading of professional literature, etc.?) were analysed using two nonparametric tests, the Kruskal-Wallace Analysis of Variance by Ranks (A Rank Test for Two or More Independent Samples) and the Mann-Whitney U Test (A Rank Test for Two Independent Samples). With the use of these tests, a total of thirty-five independent variables, or factors, were looked at and their effect upon the teachers familiarity with professional literature determined. Because of this high number of variables, the findings under this second major question of the study are too copious for ready summary here. However, several of the findings are noted below. -- Among those factors found to have a significant bearing upon the teachers familiarity with professional literature were teaching experience; teachers' degree of satisfaction with their teaching performances; teachers' attitudes towards professional literature; teachers' assessments of the value of their university training; in those schools too small to have English departments, the influence of the principal on the teachers' reading; whether teachers were required to read for English department meetings; the degree of the teachers' liking for and commitment to English; the frequency with which teachers met regionally to discuss English. -- Other factors proved to have no significant bearing upon the teachers' familiarity with professional literature. These included size of school and community; age of the teachers; recency of the teachers' university training and the degree to which they had been made familiar with professional literature during their training; the average size of the teachers' classes; the number of outside-class responsibilities held by the teachers; whether a display space for professional literature was provided in the schools; whether the teachers saw their English programs as rigid or innovative; whether the teachers had done an English methods course. -- Among the implications drawn from these findings were that the attitudes of teachers of English in Newfoundland towards professional literature should be improved by all those with an interest in making the teaching of English in the province more effective and that those persons throughout the province responsible for the hiring and placement of teachers should carry out this responsibility with the utmost care and effort to see to it that properly trained teachers are assigned to teach English.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/7334
Item ID: 7334
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 135-137.
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 1975
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Teachers--Newfoundland and Labrador

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