Accounting for teacher effectiveness in reading instruction : demonstrating clear definite belief

Laurie, Brenda J.(Brenda Joyce) (1981) Accounting for teacher effectiveness in reading instruction : demonstrating clear definite belief. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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The purpose of the study was to determine the effects of a hypothesized causal chain whereby certain antecedents affect mediating variables with subsequent consequences. In particular, it was hypothesized that reading teachers who demonstrated the presence of a clear definite belief system on an instructional approach would have significantly higher classroom reading achievement than others who didn't. Clear belief or clear goals ought to lead to corresponding behavior in the classroom and clarity, efficiency and persuasiveness in instruction. The linking of these chains of events would be crucial in determining teacher effectiveness. Reading research has been characterized by inconclusive results in determining effectiveness of various methods and programs. This study attempted to link the "professional" teacher with these methods with the intention of proving that the combination makes a significant difference. -- The sample consisted of 36 randomly selected Grade 2 classrooms. The teachers were interviewed and questioned on their strategies of instruction and were observed in the classrooms for approximately 20 sessions over a period of one school year. Students were tested in reading at the beginning and end of that school year. -- Analysis of interview responses revealed that teachers varied in their beliefs on an instructional approach to reading. Further analysis of their consistency in belief and behavior and their performance ratings revealed that their beliefs also varied in strength and credibility. The majority of teachers did not have clear definite beliefs on an instructional approach to reading. However, tests of significant difference between the reading achievement means of consistent teachers and inconsistent teachers proved positive. Similarly did tests between "clear definite belief" teachers and those outside that group prove highly significant differences. ANOVA's revealed no differences in reading achievement could be accounted for by the instructional method or by the belief held when each of these factors operates independently. -- Multiple regression analysis was conducted on reading gain for the effects of the linear combination of variables hypothesized. Twenty-five to thirty-four percent of the variance in residualized reading gain was accounted for by each of the paths operating singly. -- Some problems existed in the analysis due to the inaccuracies arising from the use of forced choice interview questions. This prevented the establishment of positive causal connections between belief, behavior, performance rating and subsequent reading achievement. However, using consistency and positive performance ratings as conditions of clear definite belief enabled this study to overcome the initial problems.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 8617
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves [85]-90.
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 1981
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Reading (Primary); Teacher-student relationships; Interaction analysis in education

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