Date of Award

8-17-2009

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Early Childhood Education

First Advisor

Diane Truscott - Chair

Second Advisor

Joyce Many

Third Advisor

Barbara Meyers

Fourth Advisor

Ramona Matthews

Fifth Advisor

Floretta Reid-Thornton

Abstract

Using a grounded theory approach to investigate the multidimensional reflections of two Reading Recovery teachers, this inquiry responds to calls for research on reflection and provides information for the field of education in understanding the nature of teachers’ reflections and how they inform teaching practices. Reading Recovery is a progressive intervention program which brings the lowest performing readers and writers to average levels of achievement in twelve to twenty weeks through daily, thirty minute one-on-one tutoring sessions that follow the same lesson pattern daily. Reading Recovery teachers are carefully trained to use reflection to design, implement, and observe children’s reading and writing practices to accelerate their reading and writing skills. To investigate the nature of participants’ reflections and how those reflections informed their teaching practices the data sources, collected over eight weeks, for each participant included field notes from seventeen observations, two semi-structured interview transcripts, thirty-six course documents, and two member checks transcripts. Open coding, memoing, and axial coding were used to examine all data sources. Further, each of the three dimensions of reflection, time, type, and context, were accounted for to fully explore participants’ reflections. Three interrelated major themes connected to the nature of Reading Recovery teachers’ reflectivity and practice were identified: (1) participants’ reflections are situated within the contextual framework of Reading Recovery and inform practices by serving as a roadmap to scaffold individualized instruction and examine personal philosophies of teaching and instructional assumptions; (2) Teacher identity as a reflective practitioner is a natural outcome participants and fosters the interconnectedness of practice and automaticity in their reflective practices; and (3) Systematic observations of the child during instruction focus on actions of the child and themselves as a teacher and serve as a trigger for reflection in a data-driven response sequence linking theory to practice. This study offers insight into how reflective practices of teachers of reading may be fostered through teacher education and into their own teacher development by linking their theoretical perspectives to their teaching practices.

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