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Negotiating the real and the ideal : four elementary teachers and the influences on their literacy teaching

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Negotiating the real and the ideal : four elementary teachers and the influences on their literacy teaching
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Wegmann, Susan Jayne Goforth
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Classrooms ( jstor )
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Language teachers ( jstor )
Learning ( jstor )
Literacy ( jstor )
Reading instruction ( jstor )
Standardized tests ( jstor )
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Teachers ( jstor )
Writing instruction ( jstor )
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Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Florida, 2001.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 224-237).
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Printout.
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Vita.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Susan Jayne Goforth Wegmann.

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NEGOTIATING THE REAL AND THE IDEAL:
FOUR ELEMENTARY TEACHERS AND THE INFLUENCES ON
THEIR LITERACY TEACHING










By

SUSAN JAYNE GOFORTH WEGMANN















A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

2001


























Copyright 2001

by

Susan Jayne Goforth Wegmann













ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS


I would first like to thank my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, who is my

life. I am thankful for His presence and Comfort as He lives His life through

mine. It is because of Him that "I live and move and have my being."

I would also like to thank Dr. Jane Townsend, my advisor, who pushed me

to synthesize, asked the hard questions, and helped me become a better

teacher by modeling the magic that happens when we encourage students to

wonder. From my first breath as a doctoral student to my last efforts finishing my

dissertation, Dr. T saw fit to guide me with gentle reminders of our mutual love

for teaching and learning. I learned a great deal in her classes and even more in

her office, the scene of many discussions about children, learning, teaching, and

"the big picture." I am grateful for her sincerity, humor, and guidance.

I would also like to thank the other members of my committee. Dr. Ginger

Weade supported my first attempts as a researcher and kindly guided my

thinking with insightful questions. She mentored me when I was a fledgling

graduate student and often reminded me of that school is a cultural place, worthy

of our attention.

Dr. Barbara Pace has also been a guide, a friend, and a fellow teacher. I

appreciated her open-door policy during my beginning stages of course work.




iii








She gave me the gift of time, when I am sure she was busy with her own

research efforts.

Dr. Robert Sherman helped me understand how my love of teaching could

be translated into an investigation of teaching practices. He encouraged me to

think deeply about teaching in order to understand it.

Dr. Ben Nelms also shared his valuable time with me, helping me

acclimate myself to the world of higher education. I appreciate his thoughtful

questions and genuine interest in my well-being.

I would also like to thank my dear family, without whom I would have

never have been successful: my husband, Steve, for encouraging my dreams

and being a servant-leader in our home; my children, Lauren and Chris, for

providing happy distractions and helping me focus on the truly important things in

life such as soccer, cheer leading, band, Veggie Tales, and peanut butter and

jelly sandwiches; my Mom and Dad, for always encouraging me and ever

listening to my struggles and victories; my three brothers and families for loving

me, teasing me, and reminding me I am their little sister; and finally, my church

family at First Baptist Belleview, for lifting me up in prayer and grounding me in

the knowledge that Christ is our all in all.












iv













TABLE OF CONTENTS


pace
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................................... ................... iii

ABSTRACT ................................................................................................. vii

CHAPTERS

1 INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND ........................................... 1

Statement of the Problem............................... ............................. 6
Purpose of the Study......................................................................... 6
Research Questions............................... ..................................... 7
Scope and Significance of the Study.............................................. 8


2 REVIEW OF LITERATURE............................................................. 10

O ve rview ........................................................................................... 10
Theories of Teaching........................................................................ 11
Classroom Enactments..................................................................... 28
Teachers' Perceptions of Influences on Literacy Events ............... 39
O ve rview ........................................................................................... 4 9

3 METHOD................................................................... ...................... 51

P ilot S tudy......................................................................................... 52
S etting.................................................................................... 54
Particip nts....................................................................................... 58
Data Cdllection............................................................................. 60
Data Analysis Procedures....................................... ................... 66
Definitions of Terms.............................................. ..................... 73

4 IDEAL CONCEPTIONS ............................................................. 77

Spectator and Participant Stances .......................................... .... 78
Introduction to the Teachers................................................ ............ 82
Summary of the Four Teachers.................................................. 88
Ideal Literacy Conceptions......................................................... 89

v








5 ENACTED LITERACY LESSONS............ .............. ............ 107

Spectator, Participant and Pretender Events.................................... 107
Overview of Teachers' Ideal and Enacted Conceptions................... 154

6 INFLUENCES ON THE LITERACY CURRICULUM.......................... 158

Standardized Tests.................................. ........................................ 160
Students' Interests ........................................................................... 167
Internal Influences............................................................................. 170
Sum m ary of Influences...................................................................... 172

7 CO NCLUSIO N ................................................................................. 175

Summary of the Results................................................................... 175
Stances and Events in the Classroom............................................. 177
Sources of Influence................. ................................. 182
Lim itations of the Results................................................................. 186
Implications for Educational Practice............................................... 188
Implications and Questions for Future Research.............................. 205

APPENDICES

A QUESTIONS FOR INTERVIEWS.................................................. 215
B SAMPLE TRANSCRIPT................................................................... 217
C SAMPLE EXCERPT OF TEACHER INTERVIEW .......................... 219
D SAMPLE EXCERPT OF STUDENT INTERVIEW........................... 221
E SAMPLE EXCERPT OF FIELD NOTES .......................................... 223

R EFER ENC ES ...................................................................................... 224

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.......................................................................... 238















vi













Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

NEGOTIATING THE REAL AND THE IDEAL:
FOUR ELEMENTARY TEACHERS AND THE INFLUENCES ON THEIR
LITERACY TEACHING

By

Susan Jayne Goforth Wegmann

August 2001


Chair: Jane S. Townsend
Major Department: School of Teaching and Learning

This study investigated teachers' personal notions of ideal literacy learning

opportunities, the actual literacy activities teachers implemented, and the

influences behind any differences between their ideal and enacted curricula.

The purpose of the study was to clarify concepts, to examine teachers'

underlying assumptions about literacy, to describe and analyze teachers' ideal

and real literacy curricula, and to analyze the enacted literacy curriculum.

The qualitative design of the study enabled a description of four

elementary teachers' ideal conceptions of literacy learning along with a

description of their enacted literacy lessons. The teachers were each

interviewed three times and were observed while enacting two complete literacy

learning cycles. Three students from each classroom were also interviewed.

The data sources included verbatim transcripts of teacher and student


vii








interviews, transcripts of selected classroom interactions, curricular materials,

and student and teacher artifacts that were generated during classroom

observations. Close examination of oral classroom interactions showed

spectator, participant, and pretender events that occurred in each classroom, as

a result of the particular stance of teachers and students.

This study focused on curricula, roles of teachers and students, and

assessment. Results showed that the enacted curricula was shaped by

influences, such as the pressure to produce high standardized test scores, an

urging to use the lessons in the basal reading teachers' edition, and the

necessity to cover state-produced lists of standards. It includes important

implications for literacy teaching and teacher preparation programs such as the

following:

* Teachers need to resist the pressure to rely heavily on the DRA for literacy
lessons.
* Teachers need to support oral classroom interactions that call on varying
roles for teachers and students, such as those found in participant events.
* Teachers need to explore the sources of influences they feel and then
discern whether or not the sources are supporting literacy development as a
to-and-fro transaction, based on meaning-making.
* Teacher educators need to assign activities that call for active participation on
the part of preservice teachers so that they can engage in the kinds of
learning that they can one day implement.












viii













CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND

Educators, parents, and administrators expect elementary-aged students

to attain a certain level of literacy. Most educational experts also agree that

literacy acquisition in elementary school is foundational. However, debates

revolve around definitions of literacy, methods of literacy instruction, and

assessment of literacy ability (Aaron, Chall, Durkin, Goodman, & Strickland,

1990; Bogdan & Eppert, 1996; Didsbury, 1994; Flippo, 1999a; Langer, 1984;

Resnick & Resnick, 1977; Street, 1984, 1999).

Some say literacy is the ability to read and write, to make sense of, and to

compose written language. Literacy attainment, though, may be more complex

because the processes of reading and writing overlap, yet differ (Calfee, 1998;

Morrow, Wilkinson, & Smith, 1994; Roen, 1992; Rosenblatt, 1978/1994; F.

Smith, 1988). Reading and writing are influenced by a stance or orientation

toward the text, that may change during reading or writing; prior experiences;

background knowledge; and present experiences and feelings. The relationship

between reading and writing is so strong that learning about one supports

learning about the other (Tierney & Shanahan, 1991) and integrating reading and

writing increases learning of both processes (Morrow et al., 1994).

Reading, writing, and speaking are complexly organized chains of

utterances, or meaningful units of communication (Bakhtin, 1986). The units are


1





2

never passive; they are always in answer to, and in anticipation of, a question

and they are always purposeful. Readers and writers ultimately select their own

purposes or choices for reading and writing, that determine their stance, the

position from which they approach a literacy event. Informed by background

knowledge and prior experiences, a person's stance affects the nature of the

literacy event by determining how a reader or writer organizes responses and

how s/he builds meanings. In school settings teachers may try to impose a

particular stance for reading or writing on their students, potentially increasing or

diminishing the quality of literacy lessons. A person's stance, which may change

during the course of the event, is part of the internal processes of reading and

writing and may be resistant to outside influence. Teachers may or may not be

successful when trying to impose a particular stance. But research provides

evidence that teachers influence students' interpretations of text by encouraging

a particular stance, that also influences the quality of literacy learning.

Different possible stances, individual background knowledge and

experiences, and students who switch stances make it likely that there are as

many different transactions (Rosenblatt, 1978/1994) with texts as there are

students in a classroom. These variables make literacy much more than reading

and writing: simply put, developing literate abilities is a complicated endeavor.

In an effort to embody the complexity of reading and writing, and for the

purposes of this study, literacy may be defined as the state of being able to

participate fully in a to-and-fro interplay between person and text that results in a

coherent understanding. This interplay between person and text may occur





3

when a person is reading, writing, listening, or speaking. Moreover, text can

signify the printed word or the oral (and/or possibly nonverbal) interactions of two

or more people. Being literate is being able to do the following, though not

necessarily in a linear manner: assume an appropriate stance toward a text;

understand, interpret, or live through the text; and/ or create a new text. As a

result, students in an elementary classroom may be doing many things

simultaneously, while participating in literacy learning. Consequently, studying

the enacted literacy curriculum (the activities and language used during reading

and writing lessons provided by teachers, undertaken by students, and able to

be observed by researchers) is a complicated endeavor.

To investigate the enacted literacy curriculum in classrooms, it is helpful to

view literacy opportunities through the lens of the purposeful, social nature of

literacy and language that Bakhtin (1986), Bruner (1986), and Vygotsky (1978)

characterized. Oral classroom interactions manifest the social nature of literacy

learning and may support or constrain literacy development. Interactions can be

analyzed according to the purposes of speech, in two broad categories of

participant and spectator stances. A participant stance is one in which teachers

and students actively try to complete actions, explore possibilities, or build

connections between their personal lives and texts. A spectator stance, on the

other hand, is one in which teachers and students focus on the text at hand as

outside observers. (See Chapters 3 and 4 for a further discussion and definition

of these two stances.)





4

Moreover, literacy learning events, which can include oral interactions and

transactions with printed texts, make up the enacted literacy curriculum.

Students' literacy abilities do not necessarily develop when teachers provide

literacy learning instruction, but teachers influence the quality of literacy events

by providing opportunities for students to construct and interact with texts and

new knowledge. As with any other learning event, students construct knowledge

based on their prior knowledge, emotional state, and personal linguistic-

experiential reservoir (Rosenblatt, 1988), among other factors. Because literacy

development is not assured when teachers provide opportunities, teachers may

struggle to help all students become literate.

I investigated this struggle, or maneuvering between what teachers

believe will help students learn best (their personal notions of ideal literacy

learning opportunities) and the actual literacy activities they implement (the

enacted curriculum). Unfortunately, researchers have documented a

tremendous difference among how teachers think students become literate; the

teaching methods they use; and what researchers, administrators, and peers

encourage them to do (Engel, 1990; Goodman, 1986).

In a recent pilot study, I found disjunctions between what five teachers

thought were ideal literacy lessons and their enacted curricula. For example, a

fourth-grade teacher, Ms. Price (all names are pseudonyms) reported that she

would like to "sit down with them and say, 'Okay, we're just going to enjoy the

day, and sit here, and I'm just going to work with you and I'm going to read,' and

we're going to work through things." This remark suggests that her ideal literacy





5

learning curriculum includes large amounts of time with students in order to help

them understand reading and writing activities. Her comment also implied that

the actual literacy curriculum in her classroom was different from her ideal

literacy curriculum. I verified this difference during a day-long observation in her

classroom. When I asked Ms. Watson, another fourth-grade teacher in the pilot

study, to describe an ideal classroom arrangement, we had the following

interaction:

SW: How would your room look different if you could change it?

Ms. Watson: You probably wouldn't have a formal classroom setting.
You'd have to come up with some way to--like a stage
area. Let children be creative, and come up with their own plays,
so they could perform.

SW: Why would that be good?

Ms. Watson: Because it would include all their skills. I mean, they'd
have to be able to read, they'd have to be able to write, they could
use their creative writing for [the standardized writing test], they
could actually incorporate math into it... So you could just
incorporate it--integrate it throughout the curriculum.

Ms. Watson seemed to agree with the idea of integrated language arts

instruction that builds on close relationships among reading, writing, speaking,

and listening; and purposefully integrates literacy concepts into every subject

(Morrow et al., 1994). From this interchange, she seemed to agree with Bruner

(1986), Vygotsky (1978), and others who believe that learning should be focused

on the child and should be purposeful, so that children can make or construct

their own meaning. Ms. Watson's ideal conceptions of literacy integrated all of

the content areas, and offered students choices about what they would do. Yet,





6

when I observed her classroom practices she used a predetermined, skills-

oriented, basal reading program in which there was little student choice and no

integration of subject matter. Ms. Watson, whose ideals and enacted

conceptions were similar to those of the five other teachers in the pilot study,

seemed to conceptualize better ways to teach but did not put them into action.

Statement of the Problem

Many teachers believe they know the best ways of providing opportunities

for literacy development, yet often they do not enact them. The problem for this

study is that teachers' ideal literacy learning opportunities are typically

transformed before they are implemented; teachers may then enact less than

ideal literacy instruction. Unfortunately, two results of this problem are that

instructional opportunities may constrain students, rather than support their

attempts to develop literately, and hence, students may not learn what they need

to know in order to become literate adults.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study was as follows:

* To clarify concepts (such as "literacy" and "participant stance").
* To examine teachers' underlying assumptions about literacy teaching and
learning (through examining their ideal and real literacy curricula).
* To describe and analyze reasons for the possible differences between their
ideal and real curricula.
* To identify practical applications of teachers' assumptions and theories in the
enacted literacy curriculum.

Hence, the focus is on four teachers' perceptions of various issues surrounding

literacy teaching and learning.





7

Although teachers' perspectives are central to understanding classroom

learning (Mulcahy-Ernt & Stewart, 1994), many research studies do not

emphasize teachers' perceptions of the move from ideal to real curricula (Street,

1999; Wharton-McDonald, Pressley, & Hampston, 1998). Instead, most studies

evaluate literacy learning by analyzing the enacted curriculum, students' learning

processes, or predetermined outcomes of learning. Teachers' perspectives

typically have been omitted from systematic analysis. Wharton-McDonald and

colleagues (1998) argue that we can learn from professionals in any field by

studying their "privileged understanding of what they do" (p. 103). For this

reason, I decided to study teachers' perceptions or "privileged understandings" of

literacy teaching and learning. In short, this study seeks to enlarge our

understanding of teachers' perceptions of ideal literacy learning, their enacted

literacy curriculum, and the influences that transform their ideal into their enacted

curricula.

Research Questions

After reflecting on the research concerning literacy teaching and learning,

interviewing five elementary teachers about their ideal conceptions of literacy

instruction, and observing five teachers' enacted literacy curricula in a pilot study,

I wondered why there were noticeable differences between real and ideal literacy

curricula. I wondered about possible sources of influence that altered teachers'

ideal literacy curriculum before it was implemented. I also wondered about

elementary teachers' perceptions of the nature of literacy teaching and learning

and the sources of influence they had to deal with daily.





8

The following questions emerged to guide my investigation:

1. What are selected teachers' ideal conceptions of literacy and literacy learning?
2. How do teachers enact literacy lessons and how do their enactments relate to
their ideal conceptions of literacy teaching and learning?
3. What are teachers' perceptions of the forces that influence their enacted
literacy curriculum?

The first question allowed me to investigate teachers' personal ideal

conceptions of literacy learning. The second question compelled me to observe

literacy teaching in action and to compare teachers' personal conceptions of

literacy with their enacted literacy lessons. The third question focused on

teachers' perspectives of various influences on literacy instruction and how these

influences sculpted classroom interactions, instruction, and learning. This

question allowed me to explore possible reasons why differences existed

between teachers' ideal and real literacy lessons.

Scope and Significance of the Study

No universal ideal curriculum exists for any subject area. On the contrary,

each teacher described a unique personal vision of an ideal literacy curriculum

that was influenced by the teacher's personality, prior experiences, available

resources, and other such issues. Although a universal ideal curriculum does

not exist for literacy learning, I compared individual teachers' ideal literacy

curricula to their own enacted curriculum. By comparing and describing their real

and ideal literacy curricula, I encouraged these teachers to reflect on their ideal

literacy lessons in order to come closer to enacting them. This reflection is

significant for current educational practice because often teachers are not

encouraged to reflect on their own ideal conceptions; rather, they are





9

encouraged to use other people's ideal conceptions of reading and writing

curricula. In addition, oral interactions within the classroom may be interpreted

as supporting or constraining ideal enactments. To assume and encourage a

participant stance toward texts, in which language is used to build connections

and support inquiry (Lindfors, 1999), is to provide a platform for both teachers

and students to interact with texts in meaningful ways. This study is significant

because in it I reveal four teachers' personal perspectives about literacy teaching

and learning, the influences they experienced that transformed their ideal

conceptions, and the types of classroom interactions that may have supported or

constrained struggling students during literacy instruction.













CHAPTER 2
DISCUSSION OF RELATED LITERATURE

Overview

Literacy experts do not agree on a single "ideal" theory of literacy

development (Resnick & Resnick, 1977). However, teachers create personal

conceptions of literacy instruction that are somewhat connected to their beliefs

about teaching (Clark & Peterson, 1986). The present study is a description and

analysis of selected elementary school teachers' literacy curricula, including their

idealized conceptions of reading and writing instruction, their enacted literacy

curriculum, and their perspectives on the forces that influence and alter their

enacted literacy curriculum. In order to survey the literature from the field that is

relevant to this study, I review the work of literacy experts from whom teachers

may find a basis for their ideal and enacted conceptions of literacy. I also review

the work of experts who have analyzed various sources of influence that

potentially shape literacy instruction in classrooms. Three areas provide a

foundation for this inquiry. One Theories of Teaching, explores current

pedagogical issues in literacy instruction. The second, Classroom Enactments,

shows that research on classroom discourse analysis can shed light on the

enacted curricula. The third, Teachers' Perceptions About Literacy, describes

the forces that may influence teachers' conceptions of ideal and real literacy

curricula.


10








Theories of Teaching

Frequently, principals, researchers, and teachers praise one instructional

method as an ideal way to teach literacy. Numerous methodologies and

philosophies are touted each year as the way to teach (Chall & Jacobs, 1996;

Routman, 1994). But, apparently, no one method can successfully teach every

child in every circumstance. If teachers read current research about teaching

and learning, which of the many methods, if any, will they use?

One way to organize a discussion of the multitude of methods of literacy

instruction can be based on the stance, or orientation, of the individual teacher or

learner. James Britton (1993) described two stances that readers may assume

while reading: participant and spectator. I borrowed these terms to describe the

stances of students and teachers in light of various theories of teaching. (In

Chapter 4 I use these terms to describe the classroom interactions that occurred

during my observations.)

A spectator stance describes students and teachers who view text from

the outside, similar to a spectator at a sporting event. Teachers who design

lessons around a spectator stance often enact a teacher-centered curriculum

with limited opportunities for students to use language for various purposes.

During a spectator stance, teachers and students typically make use of Mehan's

(1979a) Initiate Reply Evaluate (IRE) pattern in class discussions. Within this

pattern, teachers typically initiate a topic (by asking a question), students

typically reply to the teachers' question, and the teacher evaluates the student's

response. In other words, a spectator stance limits both teachers' and students'





12

roles. For example, the role of the teacher within a spectator stance is ordinarily

to ask students questions about a text, to evaluate students' replies, and to

initiate new topics. Students' roles are limited to responding to teachers'

questions. Moreover, a spectator stance is not necessarily determined by the

topic of the lesson. For instance, a spectator stance may be assumed while

discussing a story plot if the discussion focuses on teacher-directed, discrete

questions; especially if students are not encouraged to inquire about their own

interests.

However, teachers and students could also assume a participant stance

while discussing the plot of the story. A participant stance is characterized by

learners using language for various purposes in order to "get things done"

(Britton, 1993, p. 101). If the teacher assumed and encouraged a participant

stance, a discussion of a story plot would look quite different from a spectator

stance. For example, in a participant stance, the teacher would allow various

topics to emerge during the class discussion, encourage students to express

their opinions, value multiple perspectives, and/or prompt students to express

their own personal inquiry and wondering (Townsend, 1991). In other words,

teachers who encourage a participant stance create opportunities for learners to

interact with texts in order to actively construct knowledge. Students who

assume a participant stance have varied, complementary roles. For example,

students may express their opinions about various topics, connect a new topic

with a personal experience, clarify their own ideas with the help of the teacher or

other students, and/or share their personal inquiries. Students and teachers who





13

assume participant stances in literacy lessons tend to use their language in

various ways and for various purposes, similar to an athlete at a sporting event

who is actively engaged in the event.

The stance that teachers encourage, whether participant or spectator, is

determined, in part, by the instructional methods the teacher chooses to use.

While it is beyond the scope of this study to review all teaching methodologies, I

have chosen two popular teaching approaches that exemplify each stance. The

spectator stance is represented by the Directed Reading Activity (DRA) and

Direct Instruction (DI). The participant stance is represented by integrated

language arts instruction and literature-based instruction. Next is a description of

each method, a discussion of pertinent research studies, and a look at how

experts rate the effectiveness of each.

Spectator Stance

The Directed Reading Activity (DRA) and Direct Instruction (DI) are

currently used in most elementary classrooms in the United States (Karolides,

1992; 1997). They both involve students assuming a spectator stance toward

reading and writing, yet the nature of instruction is distinct in each.

Directed reading activity

The instructional pattern found in most basal reading books is the most

common form of elementary school literacy instruction. According to most

studies, 75% to 90% of elementary teachers use the lessons within basals as

their major form of literacy instruction (Baumann & Heubach, 1996; Chall &

Squire, 1996; Hoffman et al., 1998). Lesson topics in most contemporary basals





14

contemporary basals include subjects that have been traditionally called reading

(lessons on reprinted stories covering various themes and genres); writing

(lessons on various genres and styles); and English grammar (lessons on verbs,

nouns, pronouns, and so forth).

Since the 1940s, basals have undergone a metamorphosis (Koskinen,

McCartney, & Hoffman, 1995). In the early 1940s, basals were written by

scientific behaviorists who sought to present words and letters systematically

through vocabulary-controlled stories. This method was characterized by Betts

(1946, reported in Tierney, Readence, & Dishner, 1990) as having five common

steps through which reading lessons progress:

* Readiness for reading. Teachers introduced students to new concepts or

vocabulary words.

* Guided silent reading. Teachers asked students to read through a portion of

the story.

* Word recognition skills and comprehension checks of silent reading.

Teachers discussed skills such as finding the main idea of a paragraph or

predicting what may happen during the next portion of text. Teachers also

informally assessed students' comprehension of the portion of the story

they read silently.

* Silent or oral re-reading for a new purpose. Students re-read the story, either

individually or aloud with the entire class.

* Differentiated follow-up activities. Teachers discussed reading skills,

especially ones that students had not yet mastered.





15

According to Tierney et al. (1990) the DRA framework is still the basis for most

basals in use today, though most contemporary basals have added writing and

English grammar components.

In general, researchers found that the basals did not supply teachers with

lessons that encouraged students to respond to literary text aesthetically, (or

savoring the reading experience while living through the event), nor did they

provide practice with complex written texts (Barr & Sadaw, 1989; Baumann,

Hooten, & White, 1999; Miller & Blumenfield, 1993). Instead, these researchers

found that basal reading books used an implicit method in which teachers would

point out patterns in vocabulary words or encourage students to focus on the

intent of a character, without directly providing answers. In one study, Miller and

Blumenfield (1993) analyzed two widely-used basal series in Grades 1 through 5.

They analyzed the main idea and cause/effect tasks that were suggested in the

two basal series. They found that the basals included supplemental materials,

manuals, and activity ideas, and did not offer suggestions for teaching how to

understand complex texts. They determined that the reading selections and the

practice opportunities in the basal reading books were not conducive to helping

students transfer reading skills to complex texts in other subjects. They also

concluded that teachers who were concerned with developing students'

comprehension of complex texts would have to considerably modify the

suggestions for instruction found in basal reading books.

Similarly, Karolides (1997) found that teachers who exclusively used the

questions found in basals typically overlooked aesthetic aspects of literacy





16

transactions. He maintained that textbook questions influenced teachers and

students to assume a predominately efferent stance (Rosenblatt, 1938/1983)

when reading, or reading to retain information for a later use. To guard against a

solely efferent stance toward literature, Probst (1992) suggested that teachers

modify the basal suggestions by broadening the range of students' written

responses to the stories in order to "enable them to realize their own potential for

understanding and shaping themselves and their worlds" (p. 126).

Baumann and Heubach (1996) explicitly studied teachers' modifications of

basal reading books. The researchers investigated Shannon's (1987) earlier

claim that basal reading books and materials "deskill," or limit teachers' decision-

making about, control of, and responsibility for their enacted literacy curricula.

Baumann and Heubach asked teachers to respond to 26 Likert and open-ended

questions concerning how teachers enacted the suggestions in their basal

reading books. In this self-report study, the authors concluded that the more

than 550 teachers who responded to the survey were not "deskilled" by basal

use. On the contrary, Baumann and Heubach described the teachers as

"discriminating consumers who view basal readers as just one instructional tool

available to them as they plan literacy lessons" (p. 522).

In sum, researchers have characterized the DRA found in basals as

encouraging a spectator stance that limits students' interactions with print, peers,

and teachers. Generally, experts advocate modifying DRA lesson plans to

include various responses to texts and to provide opportunities for analysis and

synthesis of ideas and concepts. Moreover, some researchers maintain that





17

basal reading books "de-skill" teachers, making teachers dependent on the DRA

for their enacted reading and writing curriculum. On the whole, experts

investigating the DRA approach contend that teachers need to become

"discriminating consumers" of basal reading book suggestions.

Direct instruction

A second method common in elementary classrooms that encourages a

spectator stance is Direct Instruction, or DI. Direct Instruction refers to "the

practice of deliberately demonstrating and bringing to learners' conscious

awareness those covert and invisible processes, understandings, knowledge,

and skills over which they need to get control if they are to become effective

readers" (Cambourne, 1999, p. 126). In the 1950s, teachers became more

directive and explicit in drilling students in part because "Johnny" could not read

(Flesch, 1955) due to the poor quality of basal textbooks. Later, Hirsch (1987)

also condemned the implicit instruction found in the DRA of basal reading books

and advocated teaching students directly from a predetermined list of skills.

Based on schema theories of memory and reading, he maintained that students

must be able to marshal a list of concepts from their background knowledge in

order to become literate Americans. Hirsch contended that "every citizen needs

to have immediately at hand a critical mass of specific information in order to

possess that skill of skills which is literacy" (Hirsch, 1987, p. 144). One method

that Flesch and later Hirsch suggested was the Direct Instruction of literacy skills.

In 1967, a 28-year longitudinal study began that ultimately proposed DI as

the most effective way to develop literacy skills (Berieter, 1981; Grossen, 1996).





18

Project Follow Through, part of President Johnson's War on Poverty, cost nearly

one billion dollars and involved over 20,000 students in kindergarten through

grade three. Its goal was to determine the best teaching methods with which to

"follow through" the Head Start pre-kindergarten program. Nine wide-ranging

teaching methods from DI to the Open Classroom Model were implemented in

139 communities all over the United States. Each school chose a particular

method to implement, and teachers received training in how to implement the

method. During the study, teachers also received ongoing support. All students

in the same school were taught using the same type of instructional method.

Teachers pre-tested students at the beginning of kindergarten and at the end of

their third-grade year to compare three aspects of teaching and learning: Basic

Skills, Cognitive Skills, and Affect. Based on the test results, the Direct

Instruction System for Teaching Arithmetic and Reading, (DISTAR), was

reported to be the most effective method of instruction (Grossen, 1996). The

DISTAR method consisted of pre-programmed questions and verbal student

answers in small-group settings that helped to teach reading skills based on

phonics and the alphabetic system. According to Becker, Engelmann, and

Thomas (1975), students who received DISTAR instruction performed

significantly better on the tests Project Follow Through researchers designed.

Since 1965 and the beginning of Project Follow Through, DISTAR has

evolved into Direct Instruction (Engelmann, 1968), Explicit Instruction (Chall,

1999), and Intentional Teaching (Slavin, 2000), among other methods.





19

According to Slavin (2000) these approaches to teaching share the following

seven steps:

1. State learning objective and orient students to the lesson-the teacher
explicitly verbalizes the intent of the lesson.
2. Review prerequisites-the teacher attempts to access and build on students'
background knowledge, especially in vocabulary and comprehension lessons.
3. Present new material-teachers explicitly state academic concepts giving
examples and non-examples.
4. Conduct learning probes--teachers assess whether or not students grasp
the concepts in the lesson and quickly correct students' misunderstandings.
5. Provide independent practice--teachers provide ample time for individual
work (or "seat work"), without teachers' input.
6. Assess performance and provide feedback-teachers evaluate students'
understanding of the concepts formally (using quizzes, tests, etc.) and offer
explicit feedback
7. Provide distributed practice and review-teachers design practice to
accommodate individual students' weaknesses. Teachers also review at the
end of the lesson, in order to further evaluate students' understandings.


Direct Instruction is an approach to teaching in which goal-oriented

lessons are carefully structured by the teacher who encourages students to

attend only to the lesson at hand. At the heart of DI classroom discourse is a

spectator stance in which teachers mainly ask pre-determined questions about

specific topics. In addition, students typically answer teacher-generated

questions and are not encouraged to vary their stance. Yet, numerous studies

conclude that DI is the most effective way to teach reading and writing in

elementary schools (i.e., Becker et al., 1975; Engelmann, 1968; Foorman, 1995;

Foorman, Fletcher, Francis, & Schatschneider, 1998; Meyer, Gerstein, & Gutkin,

1983; O'Connor, Notari-Syverson, & Vadasy, 1998).

The pre-programmed questions and verbal student answers inherent in DI

exemplify the spectator stance. But, DI is not accepted without controversy (e.g.,





20

Taylor, 1998; Thelen, 1999). Like the DRA, DI provides limited possibilities for

students to explore topics of interest or express their own opinions, thereby

limiting students' potential for literacy growth. Teachers who assume and

encourage DI lessons mostly initiate topics of discussion and evaluate students'

answers, unlike teachers who assume and encourage a participant stance.

Participant Stance

The participant stance is firmly grounded in a whole language philosophy

that emphasizes student participation and meaning-making. To whole language

advocates, literacy is the constructing, understanding, and communicating of

meaning. Teachers who adhere to this philosophy generally reject the notion of

reducing reading and writing to isolated subcomponents that should be taught in

succession, as DI and DRA proponents maintain. Rather, whole language

advocates suggest creating classroom environments in which the use and

meaning of language are emphasized.

Whole-Language does not support reading and writing curriculum that is
overly structured or constrained by attempts to sequence a hierarchy of
reading and writing experiences. The use of controlled vocabulary aimed
at giving students control of a predetermined set of words is seen as
being artificial, meaningless, and misdirected. Likewise, the isolation of
skills and the tendency to teach skills to mastery are seen as
inappropriate. (Tierney et al., 1990, p. 27)

In part, whole language stems from the works of John Dewey and the

ideas on which he based the Progressive movement. Dewey (1997) suggested

that "under existing conditions far too much of the stimulus and control proceeds

from the teacher, because of neglect of the idea of the school as a form of social

life" (Dewey, 1997, p. 19). His comments discredit the prevailing IRE patterns





21

within the spectator stance because most of the "stimulus and control" originates

from the teacher and school discourse is not seen as a "form of social life." He

goes on to say that "language is the device for communication" and not simply

the expression of thought (p. 21). Dewey advocated teachers listening for their

students' interests, using students' interests as catalysts for lessons, and building

on students' ideas and expressions, in other words assuming a participant

stance.

More recently, Goodman (1986) maintained that whole language

instruction is meaning-centered with a focus on students' language use.

Goodman and Goodman (1986) asserted the following principles for reading and

writing in a whole language classroom:

1. Readers construct meaning during reading. They use prior learning
and experience to make sense of the texts.
2. Readers predict, select, confirm, and self-correct as they seek to
make sense of print.
3. Writers include enough information and detail so what they write will
be comprehensible to their readers.
4. Three language systems interact in written language: the
graphophonic (sound and letter patterns), the syntactic (sentence
patterns), and the semantic (meanings). They can't be isolated for
instruction without creating non-language abstractions. All three
systems operate in a pragmatic context, the practical situation in
which the reading and writing is taking place.
5. Comprehension of meaning is always the goal of readers.
6. Expression of meaning is always what writers are trying to achieve.
7. Writers and readers are strongly limited by what they already know,
writers in composing, readers in comprehending. (p. 38-39)

The whole language philosophy is characterized by student-selected

learning, hence it advocates giving students choices about what they will read,

write, and learn (Atwell, 1991, 1987; Berthoff, 1981; Bruner, 1986; Calkins, 1983;





22

Townsend & Fu, 1998; Goodman, 1986; Graves, 1994; Moffett, 1983; F. Smith,

1988).

In the 1960s Goodman (1965) studied 100 first-, second-, and third-

graders by focusing on their reading mistakes, or miscues. Contrary to popular

notions at that time, he found that the better readers used context more heavily

then less able readers. The better readers he studied depended on the other

words within the text, the previous paragraphs, and picture clues to help

formulate their interpretation of print. These readers produced meaning-based

"mistakes." For example, if a picture of a duck was beside a paragraph about a

dog, better readers tended to say the word "duck" in place of the word "dog,"

apparently to make the picture fit with the story. Because of Goodman's

findings, researchers began to study how context affects learning and students'

desires to make sense of texts. This emphasis on meaning evolved over time

into what is known today as the whole language movement.

Whole language teachers and researchers are those who attend to whole,

meaningful texts instead of isolated discrete parts of texts. They also integrate

reading, writing, speaking, and listening into each aspect of literacy learning. In

addition, whole language teachers encourage and maintain a participant stance

toward texts. They use classroom discourse as a scaffold for learning by

sampling students' questions, opinions, and interests.

Several teaching methods have evolved from whole language ideas.

Because of the contextually bound and personally meaningful nature of whole

language, it is nearly impossible to list the progression of specific methods that





23

embrace the whole language philosophy, as I did during the description of DI and

the DRA. It is possible, however, to describe two approaches to learning that

incorporate whole language principles and a participant stance: integrated

language arts and literature-based instruction.

Integrated language arts instruction

One instructional method that exemplifies a participant stance is

integrated language arts instruction. Integrated language arts instruction is

characterized by student participation and meaning-making in literacy

transactions across the curriculum (Alvermann, 1994; Glazer, 1994; Mulcahy-

Ernt & Stewart, 1994; M. W. Smith, 1994). Integrated language arts instruction

builds on a close relationship among reading, writing, speaking, and listening by

purposefully integrating literacy activities into every subject of the school day

(Morrow et al., 1994; Pearson, 1994). Experts who propose integrated language

arts instruction maintain that learning should be meaning-oriented, child-

centered, functional, and purposeful for children since children construct the

meaning of texts (Becker & Riel, 1999; Bruner,1986; F. Smith, 1977; Wells,

1986). A primary goal of the integrated language arts approach is to develop

motivated students who read and write across the curriculum for academic

pursuits and for pleasure.

A recent study compared participant and spectator stances by

investigating integrated language arts instruction and DI. Sacks and

Mergendoller (1997) studied two classes of kindergartners who were at-risk of

dropping out of school at some later point in their lives. In one, an integrated





24

language arts classroom, the teacher encouraged students to assume a

participant stance and self-select the order and content of their own learning. In

the other classroom, the teacher encouraged students to assume a spectator

stance by implementing a DI methodology that focused on teacher-determined,

isolated skills and a limited oral discourse. The authors found that the

kindergartners in the integrated language arts classroom were more interested in

school and showed greater improvement on early reading achievement scores

than did the kindergartners in the DI classroom.

In contrast, O'Connor et al. (1998) argued that a spectator stance and DI

had a long-term positive effect on at-risk kindergartners. O'Connor et al.

observed kindergartners in a DI phonics-oriented classroom. The researchers

followed the same students in the next academic year to evaluate their retention

of phonics concepts. They found that students retained most of the prior

phonics knowledge the second year.

In the O'Connor et al. study, a spectator stance and DI were praised; in

the Sacks and Mergendoller study, a participant stance and integrated language

arts were praised. Although they both studied literacy development, subtly, yet

fundamentally, the two studies differed. The Sacks and Mergendoller study

relied on classroom observation plus an early reading inventory to measure

students' successes with literacy development. In contrast, O'Connor et al.

measured students' retention of skills by administering an objective test that

included only discreet phonics skills. The limited nature of the evaluations

O'Connor et al. administered may not describe the complete literacy picture for





25

these students. It may also indulge in a kind of circular reasoning: we train

students to exploit certain behaviors and when they do, we make assumptions

about their learning that are not warranted by the measures employed. What

comprised the long-term positive effect that O'Connor et al., found? Did discreet

phonics skills or actual literacy development characterize this effect? If literacy

development and being able to participate in a reading/writing transaction is the

target, then attention to meaning and student-selected learning, such as found in

an integrated language arts approach, may well be ideal (Sacks & Mergendoller,

1997). Not only are studies such as these two indicative of complex

disagreements in the research community, they also illustrate the confusion that

teachers face when deciding how and what to teach.

Literature-based instruction

Another approach in which teachers and students assume a participant

stance is literature-based instruction. In its purest form, "children read books,

explore language used for a purpose, and actively participate in the reading

process" (Goforth, 1998, p. 391) that uses "real" books. Using constructivist

principles, literature-based instruction emphasizes meaning and student choice.

Teachers who support literature-based instruction advocate giving students

opportunities to read and write in response to quality children's literature.

Literature-based instruction is also known as Literature Circles (Short, Harste, &

Burke, 1996), Book Clubs (Raphael & McMahon, 1994), and Literature

Discussion Groups (Routman, 1994). Furthermore, Authors' Circles (Villaume &

Brabham, 2001) is a writing program developed from literature-based instruction





26

in which students use a writing workshop approach (Calkins, 1994) to discuss

their own writing.

In studies focusing on the use of literature in elementary classrooms,

researchers reported increases in positive student attitudes toward reading

(Sacks & Mergandoller, 1997; Thames & Reeves, 1994), meaningful student

responses to literature (Hickman, 1981; Many & Wiseman, 1992), and effective

reading comprehension strategies (Baumann et al., 1999), among other

improvements. After surveying 396 students, Bottomley, Truscott, Marinak,

Henk, and Melnick (1999) found that those students who received predominately

literature-based instruction enjoyed literature more and perceived themselves as

more competent readers and writers than those students who received basal

instruction only. In other words, students who were encouraged to assume a

participant stance through literature-based instruction benefited more than those

who were instructed from the basal reader and who assumed a spectator stance.

Nevertheless, to say that all students who are part of a literature-based

classroom automatically assume a participant stance is an overstatement and an

oversimplification. Some researchers maintain that students' and teachers'

stances should be a mixture of participant and spectator. Price (1998) described

a first-grade teacher who incorporated DI into her literature-based reading

curriculum. Over the course of four years, Price observed this teacher explicitly

teaching "strategic lessons," or DI within a literature context (p. 21). In a holistic

context using children's literature as a base, this particular teacher attended to

the alphabetic code, which she defined as knowledge of letters, sounds,





27

patterned digraphs, and predictable letter combinations. Price reported that

students who were taught in this manner successfully switched stances and

benefited from the various methods in which they were taught. McNinch and

Gruber (1996), Morrow et al. (1994), and M. W. Smith (1994) agree that a

balanced approach combining DI and literature-based instruction is an effective

method for literacy teaching.

Researchers, such as Price, do not agree that there is a fixed chasm

between the DRA approach and an integrated approach to teaching. Flippo

(1999b), for example, argued that the so-called "reading wars" and contentions

among experts in reading and writing were not as divisive as they appeared in

the media. Flippo analyzed 11 experts' notions about literacy instruction, asking

them to create lists similar to Frank Smith's (1973) "Twelve easy ways to make

learning to read difficult." The 11 experts held three philosophical positions: four

from a more DI perspective (those who maintained that teachers should

encourage a spectator stance), three from a more whole language perspective

(those who maintained that teachers should encourage a participant stance),

and three from an integrated perspective. Flippo concluded that these eleven

experts agreed in principal on a majority of pedagogical aspects. "Practices that

experts believe 'would facilitate learning to read' focus on combining reading and

writing, as well as talking about and sharing books and making all language

instruction purposeful and meaningful to children" (p. 27). In short, Flippo's

conclusions imply that these experts would agree that a participant stance, in

which teachers and students remain open to various perspectives, embrace





28

differing opinions, and actively use language for diverse purposes, is beneficial

for literacy instruction.

Overview

If classroom teachers investigate contemporary theories of teaching and

learning, they will be faced with differing opinions about students' stances and

the most effective literacy curricula. Researchers who support a spectator

stance claim that students learn best when teachers follow a predetermined

sequence of discrete literacy skills. In contrast, researchers who support a

participant stance claim that literacy learning should focus on meaning-making

and student participation. Still others maintain that a balanced approach (or a

combination of stances) is the best way to address literacy teaching and

learning.

There is no universally agreed upon method to effectively teach for

literacy development. We can, however, observe the enacted literacy curriculum

for clues leading to what actually occurs during literacy lessons and how some

enacted methods are more effective than others. It is appropriate, then, to turn

to research on oral classroom interactions in order to determine what kinds of

literacy activities are enacted and how students and teachers use language as a

tool for learning.

Classroom Enactments

"To a great extent, the language used by teachers and students in

classrooms determines what is learned and how learning takes place" (Wilkinson

& Silliman, 2000, p. 338). Language is used for varying purposes, in varying





29

contexts, and with varying ease (Cook-Gumperz & Gumperz, 1982; Halliday,

1975; Wilkinson, 1982). Because of this variability, studying language in

classrooms can be a complicated endeavor. Teachers create a classroom

atmosphere and set a tone for classroom interactions (Aulls, 1998). To describe

student expression, nonverbal and written communication, and the rich contexts

of classroom interactions, some researchers have used the ethnographic

techniques of sociolinguistic research (i. e., Cazden. 1988; Heath, 1983; Mehan,

1979a). These researchers focused on similarities and differences in children's

ways of talking and making sense. Weade and Green (1989) maintained that:

To make such explorations possible, an ethnographer will often make
permanent records (e.g., audio-tapes, videotapes) to supplement field
notes. These records permit in-depth analysis of (1) how events are
accomplished and information communicated, (2) factors that support
and/or constrain participation, access, and learning, and (3) social and
cognitive norms and expectations for participation. In addition, the
ethnographer may use participant interviewing and document analysis to
obtain the fullest picture possible of daily life, its demands and routines,
and to triangulate data. From this data, the ethnographer develops "a"
(not "the") grammar of the event. (p. 21)

One way to look closely at a "grammar of the event" is through analyzing the

nature of oral classroom interactions.

Researchers have described classroom interactions for several decades.

In order to study language in use in the late 1960's, Flanders developed the

Classroom Interaction Analysis (CIA) coding system (1970). This was one of the

first instruments that targeted teacher/student interactions in classrooms. Each

utterance, or group of words spoken for a particular purpose, was coded during a

classroom observation to determine a particular function for speaking. At the





30

end of a given observation period, researchers tallied the results and, using the

tallies, could describe the most frequent use of language in that particular

lesson. While this offered a systematic way of analyzing oral language, critics

maintained that CIA coding limited possible categories of student expression,

ignored both nonverbal and written communication, and often disregarded rich

contextual cues (Gee, 1991; Mehan, Hertweck, Combs, & Flynn, 1982).

Bellack, Kliebard, Hyman, and Smith (1966) found that the most

predominate type of teacher/student interaction was characterized by teachers

asking factual questions, students answering questions, and teachers evaluating

students' answers. The "rules of the language game of teaching" (p. 237) that

Bellack et al. described involve

one person called a teacher and one or more persons called pupils. The
object of the game in the classrooms observed is to carry on a discourse
about a subject matter, and the ostensible payoff of the game is
measured in terms of the amount of learning displayed by the pupils after
a given period of play..... The person playing the role of teacher follows
one set of rules; a person playing the role of pupil follows a somewhat
different set of rules... In fact, the basic rule is that if one is to play the
game at all, he will consistently follow the rules specified for his role. (p.
237)

Hoetker and Ahlbrand (1969) later clarified the "rules" and labeled the

most common form of student/teacher interaction "recitation," or teacher-

centered interaction. During recitation, students frequently answered their

teachers' questions but had few other reasons or opportunities for speaking.

Recitation is commonly found when teachers assume and encourage a spectator

stance.





31

Also in the 1960s researchers began to realize that young children were

capable of abstracting systems of rules that they could use to generate their own

language, a shift from the behaviorist claim that children simply memorized and

repeated words they had heard previously (Lindfors, 1991; Pinnell & Jaggar,

1991). Because of this shift away from a behavioristic study of early language

development, researchers began to observe children in natural settings, such as

classrooms, to better understand language-in-use in particular contexts. My

understanding of the participant stance has been informed by this research

because a participant stance frequently occurs when children are talking and

learning in a natural setting (Heath, 1983; Kutz, 1997; Wells, 1986). Interaction

among children or between children and teachers who assume a participant

stance is characterized by learners relying on a more knowledgeable other in

what Vygotsky (1978) called a Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD). Talk in the

ZPD uses moves inherent in a participant stance because children may wonder,

connect new topics with personal experiences, express opinions, and/or clarify

their own opinions.

Language use within a participant stance is supported by communicative

competence, or building an intuitive knowledge of appropriate interactions in

various contexts (Hymes, 1974; Lindfors, 1991). Communicative competence is

nurtured through real-world interactions for authentic purposes. Hymes

suggested that speakers need to have more than grammatical competence, or a

mechanical knowledge of how language works. He, along with more

contemporary researchers, proposed that proficient speakers need to know how





32

language is used by a speech community to accomplish their purposes for

speaking (Kutz, 1997; Pinnell & Jaggar, 1991). Proficient speakers display

communicative competence while making sense within their speech

communities. Most researchers agree that communicative competence is

learned unconsciously, implicitly, and in various contexts (Kutz, 1997; Lindfors,

1991; Strickland & Feeley, 1991). Hence, Pinnell and Jaggar (1991) maintain

that the purpose of instruction should be to

help students develop a repertoire of strategies (forms) for different
functions of language that would enable them to select a particular
strategy in a given context, to communicate using that strategy, to
evaluate the effectiveness of that strategy and modify it, if necessary, and
to do so while simultaneously engaged in social dialogue. (pp. 697-698)

Research on early language acquisition has shown that children learn how

language is used while they are using language for real purposes within social

situations (Cazden, 1988; Lindfors, 1991; Mehan, 1979a; Pinnell & Jaggar, 1991;

Snow, 1977), not while studying discrete, isolated parts of language. In other

words, children acquire language "over time, unconsciously, through participation

in meaningful interactions with the people around them" (Kutz, 1997, p. 226).

Researchers of communicative competence who encourage teachers to provide

an interactive classroom environment most often study language in naturalistic

settings.

Research on language use in natural settings suggests that any portion of

talk can serve many purposes (Aulls, 1998; Cazden, 1988; Halliday, 1975;

Mehan, 1979a; Townsend, 1991). For Halliday (1975), who studied the oral

language of his preschool child, language use was based on seven functions:





33

1. An instrumental function to satisfy basic needs.
2. A reaulatorv function to influence the behavior of others.
3. An interactional function to mediate relationships with others.
4. A personal function to express self.
5. A heuristic function to explore the environment.
6. An imaginative function to pretend and imagine other possibilities.
7. An informative function to inform others.

These functions are a starting point, but Halliday's list does not include all of the

potential moves that a proficient speaker might use during a participant stance.

For example, Halliday did not include students and teachers expressing curiosity

about a topic, a fairly common move in a participant stance. Strickland and

Feeley (1991) built on Halliday's list of functions and contended that students

need opportunities to use a full range of language functions in their learning

environments. They argued that "if schools are to foster children's language

development, children need opportunities to use their language resources and to

build on them. Yet studies suggest that the restrictive environment of the school

is not conducive to language development" (p. 290). In short, recitation is a

prominent pattern of oral discourse in today's schools, reflecting a restrictive

environment for student and teacher expression (Brown, 1991; Cazden, 1988;

Galda, 1990; Gallas et al., 1996).

Mehan (1979a) described three parts to the pattern of recitation: Initiate,

Reply, and Evaluate (IRE). He believed that the IRE pattern contained two

adjacency pairs, or utterances that include an obligation to respond, such as

when a phone rings and a person feels compelled to answer. Mehan considered

the Initiation and Reply as one adjacency pair. For example, a typical classroom

Initiation is a teacher question ("What is 3 + 3, Sam?") that motivates the





34

responder to ReDly ("six"). The second adjacency pair consists of the first pair

coupled with an Evaluative response ("Good."). Mehan explained that much

classroom discourse reflects an IRE pattern, with these two adjacency pairs. He

raised questions about teachers employing an IRE pattern, especially when they

have one specific reply in mind (Mehan, 1979b). He claimed that the students'

display of knowledge may be limited by the structure of the IRE pattern. This is

the same limitation by which a spectator stance is constrained. Teachers who

advocate a spectator stance typically use an IRE pattern while initiating topics

and evaluating students' answers. Likewise, students who assume a spectator

stance typically answer teacher-generated questions and do not use their

language for a broad range of purposes. In other words, Mehan would agree

with the claim that a spectator stance following an IRE pattern, constrains

students' opportunities for expressing a full range of language functions and

thereby limits potential learning possibilities.

Bloome, Puro, and Theoduro (1988) described the recitation pattern as

part of a larger context of classroom lessons, the procedural display. They

viewed lessons as "cultural events that are accomplished through the

cooperative display by teachers and students to each other of a set of

interactional procedures that can be counted (interpreted) as doing a lesson by

teachers, students, and members of the community" (p. 266). In their study of

"doing lessons" in a seventh-grade social studies class and an eighth-grade

literature class, Bloome et al. described procedural display similar to a spectator

stance because "getting through the lesson is taken as equivalent to substantive





35

engagement with academic content" (p. 287). According to Bloome et al.,

procedural display does not emphasize engagement with content, in part

because of the limited possibilities for speaking. As Brell (1990) concluded,

without engagement in the content, learning is potentially less meaningful and

less likely to be transferred to other contexts. The study completed by Bloome et

al. described negative effects of limiting the possibilities for engaging with texts

during a spectator stance in procedural display.

Brown (1991) reported that recitation, which includes a spectator stance,

is so pervasive in schools that teachers and students think of recitation as a

natural way to speak during classroom interactions. He described the frustration

of teachers who tried to facilitate genuine discussions using a participant stance

as an alternative to an IRE pattern. They did not realize that they were breaking

all of the "rules" of discourse that are so common to school (i.e., a spectator

stance and the IRE pattern within procedural displays). Instead of enabling

discussions, the teachers he studied apparently confused students who were

trying to follow the rules of the school language game by maintaining a spectator

stance with an IRE pattern. The teachers in Brown's study grew frustrated, chose

to stop trying to facilitate discussions, and returned to a spectator stance and

recitation. He maintained that language in most schools describes the process

of teaching something, rather than expressing or reflecting on something. In his

"literacy of thoughtfulness" (p. xiii) Brown concurred with Halliday (1975), Mehan

(1979a), and Bloome et al. (1988), and advocated encouraging a discourse that

included uncertainty, disagreement, important questions, ambiguity, and curiosity





36

(all of which emerge from a participant stance) in order to prompt students to

synthesize and evaluate various texts and to give students opportunities to use a

full range of functions for speaking about, and engaging with, texts.

For nearly a decade, Heath (1983) studied the discourse patterns of

elementary students, both at school and in three home language communities.

She found that in some cases students' home language was vastly different from

their school language. At school, recitation and a spectator stance was

predominate, while at home various other language patterns prevailed, including

a participant stance that did not include recitation. This difference caused a lack

of continuity between language use at home and school. In addition, the

difference created problems for students and teachers during classroom

interactions. Not only were the language "rules" of school (Bellack et al., 1966)

unclear to "non-mainstream" students, Heath found that not knowing the rules (in

other words, not being communicatively competent within the school community)

limited students' participation as active constructors of language. Heath

recommended that teachers investigate the language used in their students'

homes and understand that students may or may not clearly understand a

mainstream use of language. She, along with other researchers (see Delpit,

1988; Friere, 1993; Moll, 1990), suggested that students, especially those whose

first language is not the mainstream language, would benefit from explicit

teaching of the language rules of those in authority, so that students could

become active participants of society at large. In other words, these researchers

claim that the IRE interaction pattern in schools may hinder those students





37

whose home language is vastly different from the language of those in power

(Delpit, 1988).

However, not all researchers have focused on the limited classroom

discourses characterized by recitation. A small number of researchers have

described classrooms that reflect social-constructivist principles where teachers

and students engage meaningfully with texts and each other, assuming a

participant stance (e.g., Dillon, 1994; Donaldson,1978; Paley, 1997; Townsend,

1991). For example, Townsend (1991) investigated oral interactions during

several literary studies in a high school English classroom. She described how

one teacher supported genuine class discussions, or "a give and take of ideas

among all the participants, the presentation of multiple perspectives, and the

opening of possibilities with no requirement for closure" (Townsend, 1993, p. 5).

Townsend found that both teachers and students used language for a

wide range of purposes, including initiating topics for discussion, wondering

about a topic, inviting reflection, and expressing opinions. She described these

purposes by identifying 19 overlapping categories of language functions, which

revealed that their classroom interactions were characterized by a deep level of

engagement with the literary topic. "Although the teacher and students in this

study may be unusual, they clearly demonstrated active, sense-making

capacities at work in their interactions with one another" (Townsend, 1991, p.

116). Townsend found that a teacher can successfully enact literary lessons

without assuming a spectator stance or using a recitation pattern.

Summary





38

In sum, an analysis of classroom interactions, and the underlying concept

of communicative competence (Hymes, 1974), is vitally important when trying to

understand literacy instruction in classrooms (Alverman et al., 1990; Cazden,

1988; Gee, 1991). Research on classroom discourse has maintained that typical

interactions are characterized by a spectator stance and:

1. Follow a systematic set of rules (Bellack et al., 1966; Delpit, 1988; Heath,
1983) called the recitation (Brown, 1991; Hoetker & Ahlbrand, 1969).
2. Have a limited number of functions, or purposes for speaking (Halliday,
1975).
3. Are characterized by an IRE pattern (Mehan, 1979a, 1979b).
4. Fit into a cultural construct of a lesson, called a procedural display
(Bloome et al., 1988) which may or may not engage students in lessons.

Although the previous list describes most classroom interactions, there

are some notable exceptions (Dillon, 1994; Townsend, 1991) in which teachers

and students assume a participant stance by engaging in genuine discussions,

assuming a tentative stance, and displaying a variety of functions for speaking.

If, as the research in this section has shown, the recitation encourages a

spectator stance that limits the range of functions for speaking, and results in a

surface-only engagement with texts, why is recitation and a spectator stance the

most predominant style of classroom interaction? What forces act on teachers

to retain the recitation during classroom discussions? Because teachers provide

opportunities for classroom interactions, what are their perspectives on the

influences they experience? The next section describes both internal and

external influences on classroom enactments, curriculum, and literacy events.





39

Teachers' Perceptions of Influences on Literacy Events

Researchers have studied teacher planning extensively (see Borko,

Livingston, & Shavelson, 1990 for a review of teacher planning research) and

teachers' thought processes (see Clark & Peterson, 1986 for a review of

research on teachers' thinking). However, teachers' perceptions of literacy

events have received much less attention (Wharton-McDonald et al., 1998).

Even fewer studies have investigated teachers' perceptions of the sources of

influence on their literacy teaching. In order to describe teachers' perceptions of

these influences, I will describe the research that deals with internal and external

sources of influence that may persuade teachers to enact literacy events. When

planning and implementing literacy lessons, teachers may be influenced

internally by forces such as their own beliefs (stemming from their own

preparation as an educator, experiences as teachers and learners, etc.) and their

stances toward texts (whether participant or spectator). Teachers may be

influenced externally by other people (parents, administrators, peers, society,

committees, politicians, previous teachers) and materials (standards, tests,

teachers' editions). The curriculum is realized after the teacher mediates both

internal and external sources of influence. The teacher may make a decision

about lesson implementation based, at least in part, on these influences. The

next section will focus on several internal and external sources of influence

through which teachers must maneuver in order to enact literacy curricula.

Because I am interested in teachers' perceptions of various sources of

influence, I did not focus on research concerning possible differences between





40

teachers' professed beliefs (the beliefs they verbalized when interviewed) and

their attributed beliefs (those beliefs that observers ascribe as belonging to a

teacher, based on their behavior as they enact a lesson) (e. g., Schoenfeld,

1998). The research that follows relies on both professed beliefs and attributed

beliefs, as do most of my results in Chapter 4.

Internal Sources of Influence

Clark and Peterson (1986) described the complex work of a teacher as

one whose "daily task is to understand and interpret the rapid flow of social

events in a classroom" (p. 281). This interpretation necessarily involves

expertise in academic knowledge and beliefs, or "a view of an ideal or alternative

state that contrasts with reality and provides a means of summarizing goals and

paths" (Calderhead, 1996, p. 719). Calderhead reasoned that "because of the

complex and multidimensional nature of classroom life, knowledge alone would

be inadequate in making sense of classroom situations and prioritizing problems

to be tackled and actions to be undertaken" (p. 719). Things such as

pedagogical knowledge, previous experience, and state of mind may internally

influence teachers, but teachers' beliefs are a large part of the internal sources

of influence.

Teachers' beliefs

It is commonly assumed that teachers enact what they believe, though

experts do not agree on this issue. Teachers may enact lessons that are based

on their personal beliefs about teaching. For example, if a teacher assumes and

encourages a spectator stance while enacting a lesson on an isolated reading





41

skill, this probably reflects the teacher's belief that isolated skill practice is

beneficial to learners. (As a subsequent section will show, there is no simple

relationship between the enacted curricula and teachers' beliefs. In other words,

sometimes teachers are compelled to enact literacy lessons that do not reflect

their personal beliefs about teaching.)

Teachers' beliefs are apparent in the enacted curricula. Some studies

indicate that teachers implement literacy curricula that closely reflect their

personal beliefs about teaching (Allington, 1991; Clark & Peterson, 1986; Fang,

1996; Lehman, Freeman, & Allen, 1994; Thomas & Barksdale-Ladd, 1997).

From the field of reading research, when studying fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-

graders, Richardson, Anders, Tidwell, and Lloyd (1991) found that classroom

practice consistently reflected teachers' beliefs. They concluded that the

teachers who used a skills-based method of reading instruction personally

believed that isolated skills practice was important. On the other hand, teachers

who used literature-based instruction believed that reading and writing

development occurred most logically when using literature. These findings were

later supported by Lehman et al. (1994) who studied 19 K-2 teachers. Analyzing

the results of a survey to ascertain the teachers' beliefs about teaching and a

questionnaire to gather information about their enacted curricula, Lehman et al.

found that teachers implemented what they believed.

In another study that found a direct relationship between teachers' beliefs

and their enacted curricula, or the activities that teachers plan and students

undertake, Thomas and Barksdale-Ladd (1997) interviewed students and





42

teachers from two kindergarten classrooms about literacy. This study differs

from the others in that it sampled students' conceptions of literacy and compared

them to their teachers' beliefs about literacy. Thomas and Barksdale-Ladd found

that students' conceptions of literacy closely reflected their teachers' conceptions

of literacy. Thomas and Barksdale-Ladd concluded that students internalized

their teachers' beliefs about literacy learning by participating in the enacted

literacy curriculum. In other words, teachers' beliefs influenced how students

made sense of literacy activities by influencing the enacted curricula. These

findings concurred with Richardson et al. (1991) and Lehman et al. (1994) who

found that teachers' enacted curricula typically reflected their personal beliefs

about teaching and learning.

Teachers' beliefs may not be apparent in the enacted curricula. However,

other studies have suggested that teachers' beliefs are not always directly

enacted, nor are teachers' perceptions of classroom events always easy to

interpret. Some studies found a correlation between teachers' beliefs and their

enacted literacy curricula, yet most maintained that the enacted curricula is

swayed by an eclectic mixture of teachers' beliefs and external influences (Davis,

Konopak, & Readence, 1993; Duffy & Anderson, 1984). Ridley (1990) found that

when teachers make a change in either beliefs or practices, one may not reflect

the other for a period of time. Other researchers have found discrepancies

between what teachers say and what they enact. This discrepancy complicates

a simple connection between teachers' beliefs and their enacted curricula

(Alverman et al., 1990; Davis et al., 1993; Duffy & Anderson, 1994). Lenski,





43

Wham, and Griffey (1998) maintain that teaching and teachers' beliefs have

complicated roots in social interaction. "Since teaching practices are socially and

contextually mediated, teachers are deeply influenced by their prior experiences

as students, their professional education, and their personal beliefs about

effective teaching" (p. 218). Duffy and Anderson (1984) found that the

connection between teachers' beliefs and instruction is "governed by a complex

set of contextual factors" (p. 97) such as students' ability levels, instructional

stance of the teacher (which they described as content-centered and pupil-

centered), and "numerous constraints and pressures" (p. 103). So teachers'

beliefs can be, but are not necessarily, visible in their instructional plans and

practices.

Although beliefs do not have to be visible to be acted upon or to influence

thinking, those beliefs that are visible are more likely to influence action and

thought. One reason why teachers' personal beliefs may not be acted upon is

that teachers may not ever fully clarify what they believe, even to themselves.

This can produce confusing internal messages about important issues in

teaching. For example, Miller (1990) documented six educators' struggles to

become teacher-researchers and to clarify their own beliefs about teaching.

Over a period of three years, these teachers met weekly to discuss the research

they carried out individually. Only after consistently meeting for one year were

these teachers able to describe their personal beliefs about teaching. Often

teachers cannot easily "create the kind of space where dialogue can take place

and freedom can appear" (p. 1). These spaces are apparently necessary and





44

important for reflection and awareness of personal beliefs. So, one reason why

teachers may not enact curricula that is close to their personal beliefs about

teaching is that they may not take the time or have the resources available (such

as study groups or college classes) to fully clarify their beliefs.

In sum, teachers' personal beliefs about teaching impact their enacted

curricula, though the degree of the impact and the nature of the beliefs may be

difficult to assess. Researchers generally agree that teachers put curricula into

place that in some way agrees with their personal beliefs about teaching.

External Sources of Influence

Along with internal teachers' beliefs, external sources also may influence

teachers' enactments of literacy events. Among other things, external sources

may take the form of other people or materials on which teachers feel compelled

to base their literacy curriculum (Allington & Walmsley, 1996; Flippo, 1999a). No

investigation of external sources would be complete without a discussion of the

current political climate and the growing pressure on teachers to prepare

students for standardized tests. A thorough discussion of the politics that cause

external pressures on teaching is beyond the scope of this study. Nevertheless,

a political issue that influences the enacted curricula in elementary schools is the

widespread and increasing use of standards and subsequent standardized

testing.

In the mid 1990s, a national committee appointed by then-President Bill

Clinton devised a set of national standards called Goals 2000. The standards

listed benchmarks and behavioral objectives that all students needed to meet in





45

order to be promoted to the next school grade. After the Goals 2000 were

determined, each state was compelled to put curricula into place that would

teach students directly from the standards. One result of Goals 2000 was that

individual states distributed the national standards to local school districts and

insisted that all school districts had to implement the standards. Soon after,

most individual school districts presented teachers with lists of standards based

on the national benchmarks and behavioral objectives.

Some teachers, writers, and researchers were glad to have a specific plan

of action toward which teachers and students could move each year (Foorman et

al., 1998). Local districts hired people to write curriculum guides and teach

workshops geared toward implementing the national standards in local

classrooms. Local school districts around the nation spent several million dollars

training and informing teachers about ways to implement the standards.

However, other teachers, writers, and researchers warily approached

Goals 2000 standards and subsequent lists from state and local districts

(Allington & Walmsley, 1996; Ohanian, 1999). They worried about diverse

students who were outside of the mainstream, because teachers often used non-

traditional teaching methods to help them develop literacy abilities. Ohanian

(1999) claimed that teachers using non-traditional methods could not easily

teach traditional standards. For example, those teachers who use a Direct

Instruction approach would easily be able to translate the standards into the

classroom. Students have little input in the content of DI lessons, so teachers

can easily implement lessons that use standards as the content. Conversely,





46

those teachers who base instruction on students' input would have a difficult time

teaching through all of the standards in a given year. Similarly, Allington and

Walmsley (1996) argued that external sources of influence, such as standards or

mandated instructional methodologies, could not significantly improve classroom

instruction unless teachers were involved in relevant decision-making processes,

more than merely receiving the list of standards at the beginning of the year and

being expected to cover them.

Another external influence that most teachers feel is pressure to prepare

students for standardized tests, which typically are used to determine whether

students have learned the standards. Standardized testing often is referred to

as "high-stakes" because students' test results are highly publicized and can

mean less money for schools, loss of jobs, and/or lower prestige during

subsequent years. High-stakes standardized testing can greatly influence the

teaching of reading and writing in elementary schools. In a recent article,

Popham (1997) reported that principals considered standardized test results

more important than teachers' own perspectives when considering the retention

or placement of children. Popham reported that many districts place heavy

emphasis on standardized test scores in order to evaluate teacher effectiveness.

Because of such high-stakes testing, many teachers change their literacy

curricula in order to train students for taking the test (Harman, 2000). As a

result, higher test scores give the appearance that instructors are using effective

instructional methods when actually they may be using methods that "fit with our

views of industry rather than nurturing human potential" (Tierney, 1998, p. 389).





47

To describe the current testing climate and to help classroom teachers

deal with testing, several teacher/researchers have written books that support an

eclectic philosophy of teaching, or one that covers standards, yet attempts to

balance the classroom content with non-standard material (i.e., Calkins,

Montgomery, Santman, & Falk, 1999; Flippo, 1999b; Garcia, 1994). Calkins et

al. (1999) described the journey of one group of classroom teachers, principals,

and researchers who decided to "deal" with the standards and tests. They

described the testing pressure in one district.

The pressure to achieve high test scores often leads to curricular
mandates that intrude on the professionalism and decision-making
powers of teachers. In one large, urban school district, a district office
testing expert dissected the previous year's reading test and identified
ninety-eight discrete reading skills, including onomatopoeia, linking verbs,
and compound words. Every school in the district was flooded with
packets of ditto sheets on each of these ninety-eight skills. Every child of
testing age received a separate packet of ditto sheets on each and every
skill. The edict went out. Each child was to be taught, tested, and if
necessary retaught in each skill area. No one questioned why an expert
on testing (not on reading) had been given the power to design the
reading curriculum for thousands of classrooms. No one asked whether
what children truly needed was more drill on these decontextualized skills.
Instead, the edict was clear: Every day, every district teacher was to
teach one of the ninety-eight skills. The skill-of-the-day was to be
displayed on chart paper on the wall of every classroom. District office
staff members monitored this work with periodic surprise classroom spot
checks during which they selected one child in each room to read aloud
and define each skill on the chart. (p. 4)

After describing the often desperate attempts to raise standardized tests

scores, such as in the district described above,. Calkins et al. suggested that

teachers prepare students for taking the tests. Calkins et al. reasoned that if

students score well on the tests, their teachers will be in a much stronger

position to criticize the test. Calkins and her colleagues also contended that





48

teachers need to be part of any committee that makes testing decisions or

mandates curricular changes because of a test. Calkins et al. outlined critical

aspects of the tests that every teacher should address, while suggesting that

preparing students for the tests should entail "short, powerful bursts at just the

right times" rather than test preparation "leak[ing] out all over the curriculum,

spoiling everything" (p. 8). For test preparation, the authors suggested that

we need to teach children about this new and rather bizarre genre. We
need to teach them to read for new purposes, in a new context, with new
strategies. We need to draw on all that we know and believe about
teaching in general and teaching reading, so that our children will learn
the skills they need to do their best on standardized reading tests. (p. 70)

Although books such as the one by Calkins et al. have been written in

order to proffer an eclectic balanced approach to dealing with standardized

testing pressure, some deny that testing needs to be "dealt with" and embrace

the objective nature of standardized tests. For example, Bracey (2000) found

that because standardized tests "objectively" measured a predetermined set of

reading skills, teachers and principals considered them much more reliable than

performance-based measures, such as portfolios which are not objectively

assessed. He concluded that "it is not likely that we will reduce our reliance on

testing any time soon" (p. 50). Schmocker (2000) reasoned that schools and

districts use standardized tests because "they provide data and a results

orientation that are essential to improvement. In many cases, they promote not

poorer practice, but a common instructional focus and an abandonment of

ineffective practices" (p. 63).





49

One potential problem with relying heavily on standardized testing,

though, is the limited content of what the tests actually measure (Baresic &

Gilman, 2001; Brown, 1991; Bracey, 2000; Graves, 2000). Brown (1991)

described an exemplary school district in Toronto, Canada in which students did

not use standardized tests to measure teacher and student effectiveness.

Instead teachers focused on developing students' reasoning abilities and higher

order thinking skills. One Toronto administrator admitted having trouble

measuring reasoning abilities and critical thinking skills, yet he said that he would

rather struggle with measuring these aspects of literacy than settle for a

standardized test that would only measure isolated and limited reading and

writing skills. As Graves (2000) put it,

short-paragraph responses or filled-in bubbles on timed standardized
assessments may identify the quick thinkers-the students who are
prepared for the mental equivalent of the 50-yard sprint. But we need to
rethink how teachers can use time to bring life into the curriculum, engage
their students, and let students move inside their subjects to become the
informed learners so necessary in the 21st century. (p. 22)

Overview

The best methods to facilitate literacy acquisition are not easily surmised

from research. Therefore, it is no surprise that teachers' conceptions of ideal

literacy curricula are varied and may not be directly translated into practice.

Teachers navigate between idealized conceptions of literacy learning and the

forces that influence their enacted curricula. Internal notions of ideal literacy

curriculum may never be fully realized and acted upon. Added to this, external





50

pressures may influence teachers to enact preparatory testing practice or other

mandated curricula in place of their ideal literacy conceptions.

From this literature review, several themes emerged that are relevant to

the current study:

1. Taken as a whole, research on literacy teaching is not clear about the value
of one method over another.
2. Teachers' selection of curriculum will determine the stance assumed by the
teacher and students.
3. Most elementary teachers use basal reading books as the foundation of
their literacy curricula.
4. Basal reading books do not typically support interpretation of more complex
texts, nor do they provide many opportunities for aesthetic responses to
texts.
5. Direct Instruction and Directed Reading Activity both encourage teachers to
create literacy lessons based on a spectator stance.
6. Integrated language arts and literature-based instruction encourage
teachers to create literacy lessons using a participant stance.
7. Given the social nature of literacy learning, in order to understand the literacy
opportunities that teachers provide we must investigate classroom
interactions.
8. Recitation, characterized by a spectator stance and students speaking only
for the purpose of answering teacher-generated questions, is prevalent in
contemporary elementary school classrooms.
9. Recitation, procedural display, and the IRE pattern limit the possibilities for
teachers' and students' expression.
10. Both internal and external sources influence how teachers enact their
literacy lessons.













CHAPTER 3
METHOD

This study uses a participant observation approach (Spradley, 1980) that

is naturalistic (Lincoln & Guba, 1985) and interpretive (Erickson, 1986). In order

to present a full and thorough knowledge of the ideal and real conceptions of

literacy of these particular teachers, I employed a case study approach of the

bounded system found in four elementary teachers' classrooms (Stake, 1985).

This case study is characterized by an attention to context, natural settings, a

holistic view of the phenomena, and social-cultural patterns of experience, as

Sherman and Webb (1997) suggest that all qualitative research needs to

include. Seven main data sources provide the foundation for the study: findings

from a pilot study; observational field notes; transcripts of classroom interactions;

artifacts of students' literacy learning (written documents that students completed

as a result of literacy learning opportunities I observed-graded and non-graded);

teachers' writings (lesson plans, anecdotal notes for assessment, and so forth);

interview transcripts (both teachers' and students' interviews); and textual

sources such as teachers' editions of text books, standardized testing practice

material, state and local curricular guides, and any other written material that

teachers referred to as having importance in the daily workings of the classroom.





51





52

Pilot Study

During the winter of 1999-2000, I conducted a pilot study in order to

develop a prototype for a dissertation study, refine an interview protocol, define a

sampling focus, and assess the usefulness of various data sources. To this end,

I discovered valuable information that was important for me to consider before

starting my dissertation study. Following is a brief description of the pilot study

and three findings that informed this dissertation study.

Description of the Pilot Study

I began the pilot study by consulting with principals, assistant principals,

and curriculum coordinators from three different elementary schools to ascertain

which third- through fifth-grade teachers in their schools were "interested in

literacy and were doing great things in literacy instruction." I asked each one of

the principals to nominate two "exemplary" literacy teachers. I chose not to

define what I meant by "exemplary" so that they would not nominate only those

teachers who fit my conceptions. The administrators introduced me to two

teachers in each school, six teachers in grades three through five, although one

teacher did not participate because of illness. In all, for the pilot study I observed

and interviewed two third-grade teachers, two fourth-grade teachers, and one

fifth-grade teacher.

After obtaining my university's human subjects review board approval and

appropriate county office documentation, I began observing and interviewing the

teachers. During the observations, I took field notes on a laptop computer while

describing literacy events (Anderson, Teale, & Estrada, 1980), or "any action





53

sequence, involving one or more persons, in which the production and/or

comprehension of print plays a role" (p. 59). I observed in each classroom for

one entire school day. During a 45 minute interview with each teacher, I

gathered information about teachers' definitions of literacy and their enacted

literacy curricula. I wanted to find a range of ways in which teachers approached

literacy instruction. My central question for this pilot study was, "How do

teachers define and teach literacy?"

Findings from the Pilot Study

Shortly after each observation and interview was completed, I edited the

field notes, transcribed the interviews, and began reading through the data,

looking for patterns within and among the interviews and observations. Four

relevant findings follow:

1. All five teachers reported that they think literacy instruction is an
important part of their job.
"Everything we teach comes back to literacy, because everything
comes back to words."
"We're in literacy all day long!"

"Literacy, to me, involves basically all subject areas. It's across the
curriculum, it's integrated ... It has to be integrated because you have
to read in math, you have to be able to write in math, and it's the same
with science and social studies."
2. The enacted literacy curriculum varied from teacher to teacher, even
though they all were nominated as "exemplary" and used similar instructional
materials.

Although three of the five teachers used the basal reading book as a
foundation for literacy instruction, they created different experiences by
adding to or subtracting from what the basal suggested:

One teacher encouraged the fourth-grade students to role play
the action from the story.





54

One teacher asked engaging questions about the story and a
lively discussion ensued among the third-grade students.

One teacher used the pre-written suggestions from the book to
review skills with her fourth-grade students.

The other two teachers used materials other than the basal reading
book:
One teacher based literacy instruction on a theme centered
around the novel A Kid in King Arthur's Court.

One teacher created learning centers in which the third-grade
students read about science concepts while summarizing
information as a group. The students rotated through five learning
centers during my observation time.

3. Other teachers influenced the enacted curricula.

One teacher mentioned feeling overwhelmed by the suggestions that her
peers gave for literacy learning.

Another teacher mentioned that she felt the need to tell other teachers
how to enact literacy learning opportunities that were effective for her.

4. All four teachers described an ideal curricula that differed, sometimes greatly,
from the enacted curricula I observed.

These findings lead me to the following questions for the dissertation

study:

1. What are selected teachers' ideal conceptions of literacy and literacy
learning?
2. How do teachers enact literacy lessons and how do their enactments
relate to their ideal conceptions of literacy teaching and learning?
3. What forces influence teachers' ideal and real literacy curriculum?

Setting

I chose to observe two different schools and four teachers in order to

sample a range of teachers' conceptions of literacy and various perspectives on

literacy learning. I observed four fourth-grade classrooms in two public





55

elementary schools in a rural county in the southeastern part of the United

States. I chose only four teachers to study because I wanted to thoroughly

investigate each participant and to spend sufficient time in each classroom to

learn about the teachers' enacted curriculum and their ideal conceptions of

literacy. I also wanted to record interactions in the classrooms to further

describe what actually happened in each classroom, something I could not have

done effectively had I observed in numerous classrooms.

Fourth grade is the first time that students take a standardized writing test

in the southeastern state in which I observed. Because of this writing test,

fourth-grade teachers in this region often feel intense pressure to create reading

and writing instruction that will prepare students for the test. Often this pressure

causes teachers to modify their literacy curricula. In this particular district,

teachers' lessons at standardized testing time are relatively similar because they

are mandated to complete a workbook designed to prepare students for the test.

If I had observed these teachers immediately preceding the test I would have

been able to observe only a narrowly and externally conceived discourse and

enacted curriculum in each classroom. Traditionally, standardized testing takes

place in February or March. One result of the testing is that teachers provide

intense test preparation from October through January, or the second and third

nine-week periods. Teachers spend hours each week preparing students to

answer the particular type of questions on the standardized tests, using

professionally designed workbooks or worksheets. So the first and last nine

weeks of the school year were opportune times to observe teachers enacting





56

literacy opportunities in ways that made sense to them personally. I was told

during the pilot study that teachers and students look forward to the last nine

weeks in fourth grade because they can create engaging and meaningful literacy

lessons (possibly closer to their ideal literacy curricula) once the tests are over

and the pressure of testing is removed. Because test-taking has become such a

powerful influence on public discourse about schooling, I chose to observe

fourth-grade teachers because I suspected that they would have to deal with the

external testing influence even during the first and last nine weeks of the school

year. I also wanted to see how they would negotiate between their ideal notions

of literacy instruction and the real pressures that most teachers must, at some

point, face. I began observing and interviewing (both teachers and students)

during the last nine-week's period of the 1999-2000 school year, after the

standardized tests were completed. I also conducted further classroom

observations and teacher interviews during the first nine weeks of the 2000-2001

school year.

Rolling Hills Elementary (a pseudonym, as are all of the following

teachers', students', and schools' names) was in a rural setting with little racial

diversity (nearly all of its students were White) and relatively low parental

education levels. Of the 960 students during the 1999-2000 school year, 73%

participated in the free-lunch program. The kindergarten through second-grade

teachers in Rolling Hills were recently trained to implement a tightly controlled

reading program that targeted "at-risk" students in an effort to increase both the

students' reading levels and their standardized test scores. According to their





57

assistant principal, the reading program afforded teachers a systematic way to

teach all children in their preferred learning style (e.g., auditory, kinesthetic,

visual). The third- through fifth-grade teachers were free to design their own

reading curricula based on basal readers or class sets of novels as long as they

followed state curricular standards.

In contrast, Madison Elementary was an urban/suburban school with more

racial/ethnic diversity. The parents' educational levels varied widely. Some had

not graduated from high school; others had earned advanced graduate degrees.

Approximately 25% of the students were African American, 30% were Hispanic,

and the remaining 45% were White. During the 1999-2000 school year, 64% of

the 770 students in the school participated in the federally funded free lunch

program. The principal at Madison declared 1999-2000 to be the "Year of

Literacy," so administrators, teachers, and students actively focused on literacy

development. For example, the principal worked to increase standardized test

scores by conducting weekly "Principal's Club" meetings in which she met with

various students about writing for the standardized test. I was told numerous

times about a $64,000 gift the school received from the state during the 1999 -

2000 school year. The money was given to the school because the students in

fourth-grade scored higher than those from the previous year in two out of three

possible areas on the standardized test. In the same way as the Rolling Hills

Elementary teachers, Madison Elementary's fourth- and fifth-grade teachers had

some creative freedom to implement literacy curricula. In fact, the fourth-grade

teachers voted to buy a literature-based reading curriculum to replace the basal





58

reader for the 2000 2001 school year. The funding for this new program was

delayed by the county office, so the new reading program had not been

implemented until after I collected data in the fall of 2000 at Madison. Also in a

way similar to the teachers at Rolling Hills, the kindergarten through second-

grade teachers at Madison were trained recently to implement a skills-oriented,

strictly-controlled reading program. In the program, students were drilled in

phonics and isolated reading skills, including finding the main idea of a

paragraph, generating topic sentences, memorizing vocabulary words, and so

on. Most of the fourth-grade students I observed had not gone through a

program of this type when they were in the lower grades.

Participants

My overarching goal was to describe a range of ideal and enacted literacy

conceptions. To do so, although I had observed Ms. Price during a day-long

observation period in the aforementioned pilot study, I included her in the

dissertation study because she was one of only a few fourth-grade teachers in

the county who used literature, and not the basal reader exclusively, to provide

literacy learning opportunities for her students. I anticipated that Ms. Price's

interview answers would represent one end of a range of teachers' literacy

methods because she used various texts for teaching. I chose another teacher,

Ms. Martin, who was nominated as an exemplary teacher for the pilot study, but

was unable to take part in it, because of illness. I chose the other two

participants, Ms. Vaskey and Ms. Donaldson (who were considered "average"

teachers by their principal) based on their grade level and their willingness to





59

allow me to interview them and observe their literacy instruction. I expected

them to represent a more traditional approach to literacy learning in fourth-grade

classrooms because I noticed before the study that they most often used basal

reading books to teach reading and writing. I ended up with four teachers whom

I thought would represent a range of ideal and real literacy conceptions-two so-

called "exemplary" teachers and two so-called "average" teachers. After gaining

permission from my university's human subject board, I spoke with all four

teachers who agreed to allow me to observe and interview them. I obtained

signed consent forms from students' parents or guardians in two classes for

each teacher, that totaled 240 students in all. (Fifteen parents or guardians of

the 240 students did not allow me to interview their children.) I also met with and

obtained written permission from both principals and gained oral permission from

two county office supervisors.

Ms. Price

The principal at Rolling Hills Elementary School described Ms. Price, aged

50, as an exemplary literacy teacher. She was voted Teacher of the Year during

the 1999 2000 school year and ultimately chosen as one of the top five

teachers in the county. At the time of the study, Ms. Price had taught 13 years in

all, spending the last seven years at Rolling Hills Elementary School. Each year

20 to 25 parents requested that Ms. Price be their child's teacher.

Ms. Martin

The other so-called "exemplary" teacher in this study, Ms. Martin, also had

taught 13 years--the last 11 years at Madison Elementary School. She also had





60

been previously voted by her peers as Teacher of the Year for her school.

Typically five to ten parents requested that their children be in her class each

year. Ms. Martin was in her late 30s.

Ms. Vaskev

Ms. Vaskey, who was in her eighth year of teaching, had taught at Rolling

Hills Elementary her entire professional career. Nine years before the study

began, she was an intern in Ms. Martin's room while attending night school and

working as a full-time teacher's assistant. She was in her early 50s at the time of

the study.

Ms. Donaldson

The fourth teacher, Ms. Donaldson, was the youngest and least

experienced teacher in the study. At the time of the study she was in her mid-

twenties and had taught in fourth-grade at Rolling Hills Elementary for four years.

The principal at Rolling Hills hired her after an internship there with a second-

grade teacher.

Data Collection

I collected data by conducting a series of interviews with each of the four

teachers (three times each for 13 hours and 230 transcribed pages) and 12

students (three from each class for 6 hours and 108 pages of transcripts);

observing and taking field notes and transcribing selected classroom interactions

from the daily, 90-minute language arts block (for 50 days, 153 hours and 482

pages of transcripts); collecting student and teacher artifacts (26 pages of lesson

plans and 338 pages of student work papers); and reading the teacher's editions





61

of text books (500+ pages examined), curricular guides (40 pages), and

standardized testing materials (539 pages). I conducted three formal and

numerous informal interviews with each teacher. To answer the research

question, "How do these teachers enact their conceptions of literacy and literacy

learning?," I observed the four teachers enacting their literacy curriculum. I

observed two complete literacy learning "chunks," or series of reading and

writing lessons that were grouped together by common basal stories or pieces of

literature. Using the term "chunk" is a better way to refer to this phenomenon

than "lesson" or "story" because most meaningful literacy learning occurs over

time, not just during one or two lessons.

Classroom Observations

The term "chunk" captured my intent to observe a purposive sampling of

lessons that occurred over several days or weeks, what Stake (1985) called a

bounded instance. "Chunk" also describes a self-contained grouping of lessons

that appeared in some way to fit with one another. In each case, I asked the

teachers to define a chunk of learning and to determine how long I should

observe in their rooms to experience the whole chunk. I observed as many days

as necessary to complete two literacy learning chunks per teacher. For Ms.

Price, one of the two exemplary teachers, the first chunk lasted 8 days and the

second chunk lasted five days. For Ms. Miller, the first chunk lasted 12 days and

the second chunk lasted five days. For the other two teachers, both chunks

lasted five days. I spent a total of 50 mornings, over 153 hours, observing

literacy teaching and learning in the four fourth-grade classrooms.





62

Because I was trying to capture a sense of the typical literacy learning

opportunities in the classes I observed, it was important to me that my presence

in the room did not affect the usual class proceedings. All four teachers said that

the students seemed to act the same way whether or not I was in the room. The

teachers did admit that they spent more time in planning the language arts

activities for the week because I would be in the room, but as Ms. Donaldson

said, "The main thing is still the main thing. We are still teaching and the kids

are still being kids!" To check on this matter, on two occasions, with two different

teachers, I left the classrooms early. With the teachers' permission, in both

cases I left the tape recorder running and listened to the tapes the next day.

Both classes seemed to proceed in the same manner when I was not present in

the room as they did when I was present.

Teacher Interviews

Two to three days after the beginning of each observation chunk, I

conducted student and teacher interviews. I conducted 12 formal student

interviews (three students from each class during the spring term) and 12 formal

teacher interviews (three interviews for each teacher), along with numerous

informal teacher and student interviews. During the interviews, I decided to

create a conversational tone because I felt the participants would respond to my

questions more readily and honestly.

In the first teacher interview, my overarching goal was to discern each

teachers' ideal conceptions about reading and writing because there is no

universal "ideal" literacy curriculum. I wanted to answer the first research





63

question, "What are teachers' ideal conceptions of literacy and literacy learning?"

Questions I asked during the first interview are listed in Appendix A.

After the initial interview, for each teacher I generated a list of 15-20

critical points that seemed to me to describe their ideal literacy conceptions. In

the second formal interview my goal was to verify what I interpreted as each

teacher's ideal conceptions of teaching reading and writing. I conducted a

member check (Lincoln & Guba, 1985), asking each teacher to further clarify her

ideal curriculum, orally accepting, rejecting, or modifying the critical points. I

presented these critical issues to each teacher orally and in conversation form so

that I could change the order of issues as they made sense in the conversation.

For example, Ms. Price mentioned student choice of reading and writing

materials, low numbers of students in each class, and a whole language

philosophy as important aspects of her ideal reading and writing curriculum.

During the first half of the second interview, I presented each of these issues to

her, and she verified that they were indeed important aspects of her ideal

reading and writing curriculum. She also expanded and defined what she meant

by each concept.

During the last half of the second interview, my goal was to characterize

the teachers' perceptions of their enacted literacy curricula. I focused on the

research question, "How do these teachers enact their conceptions of literacy

and literacy learning?" This interview took place at the end of one school year so

I asked each teacher to describe a typical chunk of literacy lessons that year in





64

order to determine a context for the lessons I would subsequently observe. (See

Appendix A for the second interview questions.)

Over the summer, after observing one literacy learning chunk for each

teacher and analyzing their previous responses, I compared the teachers'

enacted curricula with their ideal curricula as revealed in the first two set of

teacher interviews. I noted any differences between the ideal curricula they

described in the first two interviews and the enacted curricula I observed in their

classrooms. During the third interview I asked the teachers about these

differences and to assess the influences of external forces as one way to answer

the research question, "What influences these teachers' ideal and enacted

literacy curriculum?" My goal during this interview was to ascertain the teachers'

perspectives about why there may be differences between their ideal and real

curriculum. I also wanted them to tell me about any internal or external forces

they felt while teaching. (See Appendix A for a list of the questions I posed

during the third teacher interview.)

Student Interviews

During the spring semester of 2000, I asked each teacher to divide the

students whose parents had agreed to let me interview them into three groups

based on the teachers' perceptions of high, middle, and low performers. Then

the teacher and I chose one student from each group to interview based on the

teachers' opinion of which students would talk freely about their experiences. I

interviewed three students from each class about their reading and writing

classes during the current school year especially focusing on the literacy chunks





65

I observed. I was curious about the literacy events they remembered and what

they chose to discuss. I expected them to disclose which literacy lessons were

salient to them. Talking with students about these salient opportunities enabled

me to envision past literacy events that were important to them. Also, asking

students to reflect on past literacy experiences revealed a context of literacy

learning within each classroom. I read an assent form and gained oral consent

from each student before we began. (See Appendix A for a complete list of

questions I asked each student.)

Then, for three of the classes, I conducted group interviews with the same

high, middle, and lower performing students that I had interviewed previously. I

did this because the students hesitated to talk when they met with me

individually. In fact, the first nine students mostly nodded or shook their heads

and spoke so softly that the microphone did not clearly pick up their answers. I

interviewed the students from each of the first three classes together in hopes

that they would speak freely in a group setting about their literacy learning for

that year. The students did talk more openly during the group interviews, in

which I asked the same basic questions as in the individual interviews. However,

because the three students from Ms. Martin's class were relatively talkative, I did

not conduct a group interview with them.

Other Sources of Data

Other sources of data included collections of student artifacts, or students'

written documents completed as a result of the literacy learning opportunities I

observed. These sources helped me more fully describe the enacted literacy





66

curriculum of the four teachers and served as descriptive evidence that the

participating teachers provided certain types of learning opportunities. In the

pilot study, when I interviewed five teachers about ideal literacy learning, all of

them mentioned teachers' editions, curricular guides, and/or standardized tests

as influencing their ideal literacy curricula. The pilot study teachers also

described the pressures they felt to design literacy lessons modeled after

teachers' editions, curricular guides, and test formats. For these reasons, I

closely analyzed any teachers' editions, curricular guides, and practice materials

for standardized tests that the teachers used both during my observations and

throughout the entire fourth-grade school year.

Data Analysis Procedures

In keeping with educational ethnographic research, I used the constant

comparative method of analysis (Glaser & Strauss, 1967; Hutchinson, 1988;

Spradley, 1980). To begin analysis I transcribed audio-tapes of the teacher and

student interviews and selected classroom interactions. As Mischler (1991)

noted, deciding how to represent the spoken word on paper, or transcription, is

often the first step in analysis. Each word of selected interaction was

transcribed. I included the speakers' names, the words they spoke, and the

nonverbal behavior I noted while in the classroom. I relied on transcripts of the

first two sets of teachers' interviews to describe their ideal curricula. I also used

transcripts of teachers' interviews to bring out potential sources of influence. In

order to verify the enacted curriculum that the teachers described in their





67

interviews I relied on transcripts of student interviews, samples of student

artifacts, teachers' editions, and my field notes.

Ideal Literacy Curricula

To ascertain each teacher's ideal conceptions of literacy teaching and

learning, I focused on the first two sets of teacher interviews. I "coded" the

transcriptions (Spradley, 1980), that is, looked for patterns, themes, and

relationships within and among the classrooms. Several main categories

emerged from this activity. I noticed that all four teachers mentioned their

curriculum, which included the printed texts they used as a foundation for their

literacy lessons; various teacher and student roles in the classroom; and issues

related to assessment. These three aspects formed the foundation of my

analysis of their ideal curriculum. (See Chapter 4 for the results of this analysis.)

I also organized my description of each teachers' enacted curriculum around

these same three categories.

Enacted Literacy Curricula

To understand each teachers' enacted curriculum I relied on field notes,

audio-taped and transcribed selections from literacy lessons, and student

interviews. During my observations I focused on what the students generally

were doing in relation to the text and the literacy assignment because at any

point in a literacy chunk, students could be doing quite different things, activities

which give clues to learners' orientation to a text. I analyzed classroom

interactions in order to more fully describe the enacted curricula in relation to

teachers' and students' moves, or purposes for speaking.






68

Seeking disconfirming evidence (Lincoln & Guba, 1985), I also noticed

atypical students' responses, or those interactions, expressions, or movements

that were different from the norm for that particular class. In addition, I analyzed

any student artifacts that were created during my observation times in order to

understand what students were being asked to do during the enacted curriculum.

I also read any teachers' editions or professional materials from which teachers

created their lesson plans. The combination of oral discourse analysis, field

notes, students' responses to reading and writing, students' artifacts, and

teachers' editions and materials revealed complex, changing, and purposeful

learning chunks.

Selected Interactions

Numerous opportunities for literacy learning potentially occur throughout

the entire school day; however, it was beyond the scope of this study to observe

and analyze all literacy learning opportunities. In order to focus data collection, I

transcribed and analyzed only selected classroom interactions that related to

reading or writing transactions.

Borrowing from studies of classroom discourse (Bellack et al., 1966), I

proceeded to analyze the participants' "moves," or what participants were doing

with their language in these selected classroom interactions. I did not analyze

each word spoken in the classrooms. Rather, I chose the interactions if they

revolved around a literary text, whether the text was oral or printed. For

example, if the beginning point of a classroom activity was reading, I explored

how teachers encouraged students to assume stances toward texts, transact





69

with texts, and respond in some manner. Similarly, if the beginning point was

writing, I described the writers as they were assuming stances, writing or talking

about concepts, and receiving some sort of feedback about their writing if the

teacher had designed feedback. I approximated the stance of readers and

writers using their behaviors and words as clues. The internal nature of reading

and writing made ascertaining the exact stance of readers and writers a difficult

task. Nevertheless, I described the prevalent reading and writing transactions

and the approximate stances of participants that took place during my

observations by coding participants' moves during their oral discourse. In this

way, I focused on teachers' directions, students' verbal/nonverbal expressions,

students' responses to texts, students' artifacts, and any other sources of

information that characterized reading or writing transactions.

Similar to what Mehan (1979a) and Cazden (1988) report, I found the

Initiate Reply Evaluate (or IRE) pattern prevalent in all four classrooms. I did not

simply code each IRE pattern I saw, however. Instead, I coded students' and

teachers' moves by finding patterns in utterances and labeling them, such as

"tries to initiate a topic for discussion" and "tries to invite reflection" (Townsend,

1993). I then grouped the moves into three broad categories that I labeled

spectator, participant, and pretender events (Townsend, personal

communication, 2001).

During a spectator event teachers and students used language as outside

observers of the text, whether written or oral. There were limited opportunities

for students to speak in spectator events and teachers directed each aspect of





70

the event. On the other hand, during a participant event, teachers and students

used language actively, in order to do something such as complete an action,

speculate about a proposition, or inquire about personally relevant information.

There were many opportunities for students and teachers to communicate

various moves in the participant event. In a curious mixture of spectator and

participant stances, I also discovered a pretender event in which teachers

apparently framed a spectator event but "pretended" they were enacting a

participant event. On the surface, a pretender event looked like a participant

event, but taking a holistic view of the event revealed the teachers' spectator

stance and the limited role that students could play in such events.

I was able to describe particular episodes and characterize what both

teachers and students were doing during literacy lessons. The moves that

originated from the interaction transcripts became further evidence of the

enacted literacy curriculum. (See Chapter 4, Results, for more details.)

I categorized spectator, participant, and pretender events in oral

classroom interactions in order to describe the enacted literacy curriculum. I

discovered that there were relatively few purposes for speaking within spectator

events. Instead of simply verifying the commonplace IRE pattern, with its limited

set of moves and purposes for speaking, I focused my analysis on the participant

events. (To do so, I had to assume intention. I did not, however, ascertain

whether or not the participants' purposes were achieved, nor did I gauge the

effect of the turns of speaking on other participants.) Chapter 4 will describe the

various moves as one way to characterize an enacted literacy curriculum.





71

Sources of Influence on the Literacy Curricula

While reading through the first two teachers' interviews, I noted nine

possible sources of influence on their reading and writing curricula. This list

included county and state standards, standardized testing, student interests,

personal beliefs about teaching, the teachers' sense of what needs to be done,

other people, teachers' editions, professional materials, and forces over which

teachers have no control. As a "member check" (Lincoln & Guba, 1985, p. 314)

during the last interview I asked the teachers to place the nine sources in order,

according to the ones they felt the most influenced by, and to verify that these

sources shaped their literacy instruction. I also asked them to verify that there

were no other potential influences.

To more fully describe the nine sources of influence, I noted any

discrepancies between the teachers' ideal and enacted conceptions of literacy

learning. When I asked the teachers about any differences, they typically

responded by describing a source of influence more fully. In this way, the

teachers themselves gave detailed descriptions of the various sources of

influence.

Summary

To summarize, I analyzed classroom observations, teacher and student

interviews, teacher and student artifacts, materials that teachers read, and

selected classroom interactions in order to describe the four teachers' real and

ideal literacy curricula and the sources of influence on their literacy curricula. To

understand their ideal curricula, I used the first and second set of teacher






72

interviews. To describe their enacted curricula, I analyzed the selected

classroom interactions, observation field notes, students' interviews, and the third

set of teacher interviews. To interpret various sources of influence on their

curricula, I focused on the three sets of teacher interviews and any discrepancies

I noticed between their ideal and enacted curricula.

Appropriateness of the Method

Participant observation (Spradley, 1980) and analyzing participants'

moves during classroom interactions were appropriate for this study because

they aided my understanding of the complex data I collected in several ways.

First, participant observation permitted me to investigate each teacher's

interviews in light of the enactments I observed. My observations enabled me to

individually and simultaneously analyze all four teachers' ideal and enacted

curricula. In other words, being a participant observer helped me to understand

each part of the data by understanding the other parts. Analyzing participants'

moves served to clarify the prevailing patterns of classroom discourse. Through

this analysis I was able to interpret and categorize 247 classroom events and

identify supports or constraints to literacy instruction. Most importantly, using

these methods enabled me to study teachers' perceptions and classroom

enactments inductively without generating hypotheses a priori or predetermining

relevant variables. The ideal and enacted curricula varied among the teachers,

but I was able to integrate the data into a cohesive description of each teacher

and to describe similar patterns among the teachers.





73

Definitions of Terms

The following terms will be used in this study:

An aesthetic stance is a readiness to respond to a printed literary text

characterized by what the reader is living through, guided by the text, during the

reading event. For example, an aesthetic stance is assumed by a reader who

savors the words of a poem with his attention on the present event of reading the

poem, not on remembering portions of the poem for a test at a later time.

Curricular pressures are those external pressures that influence the

teachers' enacted curricula and the skills and concepts teachers must cover

during the course of a school year. Some examples are county-level curricular

guides, teachers' editions, and state or local standards.

Direct Instruction, or DI, is an approach to teaching in which goal-oriented

lessons are carefully structured by the teacher and follow these seven steps:

* State learning objectives and orient students to lesson.
* Review prerequisites.
* Present new material.
* Conduct learning probes.
* Provide independent practice.
* Assess performance and provide feedback.
* Provide distributed practice and review.


Students and teachers typically assume a spectator stance while participating in

a DI lesson.

An efferent stance is a readiness to respond to printed text characterized

by focusing on remembering concepts, ideas, and actions after the text has been





74

read. For example, reading a medicine bottle in order to learn how to take the

medicine correctly requires an efferent stance.

The enacted curricula is part of the actual, or real, curricula provided by

teachers, undertaken by students, and able to be observed by researchers.

High-stakes testing pressures are external pressures that teachers may

experience that are related to standardized test preparation or other measures

by which teachers or schools are rewarded or punished according to student

performance.

Ideal refers to a phenomena that is completely satisfactory or highly

desirable.

An Integrated language arts curriculum occurs when a teacher blends as

many subjects as possible into a cohesive, meaningful whole. The topic for

integration typically emerges from a literary piece or basal reading story.

A linguistic-experiential reservoir (Rosenblatt, 1988) is a collection of past

experiences, past emotional states, prior readings of texts, previous experiences

with readings, present states, present preoccupations, and so on. Linguistic-

experiential reservoirs shape current reading.

Literacy is the state of being able to participate fully in a to-and-fro

interplay between a person and text that results in a coherent understanding.

Recursive in nature, being literate is being able to assume an appropriate stance

toward a text, to interpret the text or lived-through experience of a text, and/ or to

create a new text.





75

A literacy learning opportunity is a classroom event that affords students

an occasion for literacy development and may or may not result in students'

actual literacy learning.

A literacy learning chunk is a series of literacy lessons that are grouped

together by a common piece of literature or basal reading story. The length of

the chunk varies from class to class. Some teachers create chunks that last one

week or less, while others create chunks lasting several weeks.

Literature-based Instruction occurs when teachers base reading lessons

on a piece of literature instead of a basal reading story.

A participant stance is characterized by people using language to

complete an action, to explore possibilities, or to inquire about personally

relevant information. Numerous moves are possible in a participant stance, such

as "expressing an opinion," "wondering," "connecting a personal experience with

a topic," or "encouraging elaboration of a topic."

A spectator stance is characterized by people using language to answer

explicit questions or to discuss the literal plot of a text. There are limited

possibilities for speaking, including moves such as "asking a predetermined

question," "showing knowledge" or "evaluating responses."

A stance is a readiness to respond in a certain way.

A text may be the printed word(s), or the oral and/or nonverbal interaction

between or among two or more people.

A literacy transaction takes place between a person and a text, whether

the text is written, oral, or nonverbal. "Transaction designates an ongoing





76

process in which the elements or factors are, one might say, aspects of a total

situation, each conditioned by and conditioning the other" (Rosenblatt, 1978, p.

17). In a recursive fashion, a transaction occurs when a reader assumes a

stance, interprets a text, and responds to the text either during or after reading,

writing, or talking.













CHAPTER 4
IDEAL CONCEPTIONS

The purpose of this study was to explore 4 fourth-grade teachers'

perspectives on teaching literacy by relating their ideal conceptions of literacy

learning to their enacted curriculum. Using teacher and student interviews,

classroom observations, and verbatim transcripts of selected classroom

interactions, I analyzed each teachers' ideal and real literacy learning

opportunities and characterized the influences they felt on their literacy curricula.

This chapter presents the results of the first two interviews of each teacher and

focuses on the first research question "What are four selected teachers' ideal

conceptions of literacy and literacy learning?" Its purpose is to describe the ideal

literacy conceptions of each teacher and provide a basis for understanding the

differences between their ideal and real literacy curricula.

Although a rich, thick description of each teacher is my intent, a complete

analysis of all areas of literacy implementation was beyond the scope of this

study. For example, I did not gather data on teacher planning or on any

inservice instruction that took place during the study. I did, however, analyze

each teacher's ideal and enacted literacy curricula by using three aspects of

literacy learning: curriculum, roles of the teacher and the student, and

assessment. These three categories were developed during a preliminary

analysis of the teachers' responses after the first round of interviews and


77





78

observations because they stood out as important aspects of literacy learning for

the four participants. During the last round of observations and the third set of

teacher interviews, I conducted a "member check" (Lincoln & Guba, 1985, pp.

314-315) to confirm and correct various categories and influences that emerged

from the first phase of analysis. I explicitly asked the teachers about each

category in order to understand the teachers' perspectives more clearly.

Spectator and Participant Stances

In order to describe the enacted curricula I have employed two concepts

that need to be explained at the outset. As I have described it, literacy is a to-

and-fro interplay between person and text. This interplay between a reader,

speaker, or writer and a text shapes the literary interpretation (Rosenblatt, 1994).

In a reading or writing transaction, a person's stance, or readiness to respond in

a certain way will also shape the experience. In other words, a learner's stance

toward a text will determine the nature of an engagement, or the degree to which

the learner's interest is sustained. As Langer (1995) and others have suggested,

a higher level of engagement with a literary text deepens the understanding of

the text. For this study, I describe the nature of students' engagement with texts

(literary, verbal, or nonverbal) by describing the nature of the interactions

surrounding selected literacy lessons. How individual teachers approach

literature (their stance toward literature) plays a large role in determining how

students will respond to texts (Galda, 1990; Hickman, 1981; Rosenblatt, 1994).

My definition of text (which includes, but is not limited to, oral and nonverbal





79

transactions of two or more people) supports experts' findings on stance in the

classroom.

I have employed the terms "participant" and "spectator" to characterize

classroom interactions, although these stances were originally characterized by

Britton (1993) to describe responses to reading and talking. As I use it in this

study, a spectator stance is characterized by a person interacting with a text as

an outside observer, similar to a spectator at a sporting event. I use the term

"participant" for times when students used language when they felt the need" to

act and decide (Britton, 1993, p. 105) and in order "to get things done" (Britton,

1993, p. 101). Within the "enacted" section, I will further describe both stances

as ways of understanding the nature of students' engagement with texts.

The second concept that needs clarification is my use of the term "event."

In the enacted section I have grouped together the classroom interactions that

had a logical beginning and ending as one way to understand a "grammar"

(Weade & Greene, 1989) of the lesson. I characterized an event as a series of

utterances by two or more speakers that ended when the subject matter

changed or the class made a transition to another content area. The events that

I identified are based on teachers' and students' stances while speaking, as I

could construe them. For my purposes in this chapter, I have used the two

terms, participant and spectator, as labels for the events that occurred during the

observed lessons.

During a "spectator event," teachers and students assumed a spectator

stance and used their language accordingly. The interaction pattern of a typical





80

spectator event was Mehan's (1979a) Initiate Reply Evaluate (IRE) interaction

pattern in which the teacher initiated a question, a student responded, and the

teacher evaluated the student's response. For example, in the following excerpt

from a spectator event Ms. Vaskey asked students to make general statements

about a list of words she wrote on the board from a novel they were about to

read orally:

[Note: In this and all transcripts that follow, "XXX" signifies
unidentifiable speech and ".. ." signifies words omitted for clarity. All
names are pseudonyms.]

[The teacher has drawn the students' attention to five words on the
board: 1. bewilderment, 2. miracle, 3. wondrous, 4. miraculous,
5. wonders.]

1. Ms. Vaskey: Pick out two and tell me how they are alike. Tawny.

2. Tawny: Two and four are spelled the same

[Ms. Vaskey writes "2 and 4 are spelled the same" on the board.]

3. Ms. Vaskey: What is the same about two and four that is spelled the
same? Lauren?

4. Lauren: Ummm. "m-i-r-a-c" is the same.

5. Ms. Vaskey: OK. Anything else that you see, either one of them?
[nods to David]

6. David: They talk about miracles.

7. Ms. Vaskey: [to David] Which ones talk about miracles? What
numbers?

8. David: Two and four.

9. Ms. Vaskey: Two and four? OK. [writes "2 & 4 talk about miracles" on
board]





81

This excerpt includes typical characteristics of a spectator event: an IRE

interaction pattern and students and teacher reflecting on language or being

"free to contemplate without the pressure of immediate action" (Galda, 1990). In

turns 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9, Ms. Vaskey asked a question and called on a student. In

turns 2, 4, 6, and 8, the students answered her questions.

On the other hand, during a "participant event" students and teachers

used language as participants in order to do something, such as complete an

action, explore a possibility, or seek out personally relevant information. For

example, in an interaction about the story James and the Giant Peach, in which

a young boy must contend with wicked aunts, Ms. Price's students shared

personal reflections from their journals:

1. Chris: If I were James I would have run away to the closest house
and ask for them to help or if I could stay with them.

2. Ms. Price: So you would have gone to somebody else's house for
help. How many of you either chose to tell somebody or ask for
help?

[Ten students raise their hands.]

3. Ms. Price: ... Ronnie?

4. Ronnie: If I were James, I would wait until they were asleep, and I
would climb out the window and go to the neighbors then and tell
the police.

5. Ms. Price: Okay, so you wouldn't call the police, you'd go! [laughs]
Good idea.

The students in this excerpt did not comment on the text as outsiders, as

they would have done in a spectator event. Rather, in turns 1 and 4 they

assumed the role of the main character and suggested possibilities for action, as





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if they were participating in the story line. In turn 2, Ms. Price asked a question

that had multiple possibilities for answers. Students gave their opinions, first as

a group (turn 3), then individually (turn 5 and after). The students and teacher in

this excerpt actively used oral language to understand the text, to invite multiple

perspectives into the conversation, and to express their own opinions.

Introduction to the Teachers

The four teachers shared similar characteristics. They all had spent their

entire careers teaching in elementary schools in the southeast portion of the

United States. All four were females, and three of the four taught in the same

school. Although they shared certain qualities, each teacher was distinct.

Ms. Martin

At the time of the study, Ms. Martin had taught in the same elementary

school in grades two, three, and four in a small town of approximately 12,000

people, where she had been born and raised. She graduated from a nearby

state university and returned home to teach. She was 38 years old and had

been teaching at the suburban Madison Elementary School for 14 years, the last

two years in fourth-grade. Her principal nominated her as one of two

"exemplary" literacy teachers in the school. She was isolated from the other

three teachers in the study who taught at another nearby elementary school.

Her soft-spoken, happy demeanor created a quiet, pleasant atmosphere in her

classroom. According to the principal, 60-70% of Ms. Martin's students each

year were placed in her room because of parent requests. Ms. Martin

maintained a good reputation among students' parents and guardians, as





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evidenced by the high number of parent requests and frequent parent volunteers

in her room. She regularly attended her students' extracurricular activities, such

as soccer games, cheer-leading competitions, and musical performances. She

said she did this because she enjoyed being part of her students' personal lives.

Ms. Martin saw literacy as being able to read and write. She described

her definition of literacy in the first interview:

Um, literacy, I think of the ability to read well and comprehend what you're
reading. And also be able to write, you know, respond to a reading.
Mostly when I do think of literacy, that's what I think of, reading.

This teacher also associated literacy ability with the likelihood of students'

successes in school. "I've seen what it takes to fit in, and be successful is to be

able to read, and I just associate that with being literate and having literacy." In

interview three, Ms. Martin repeated that success in high school depends on

literacy abilities developed in elementary school. She added that there was a

window of time in elementary school in which teachers could help students learn

to read and write, but in upper grades "they may not ever get a teacher that's

going to help them to catch up." Ms. Martin's definition of literacy, then, included

being able to read and write so that students could progress successfully through

school. When I asked her to explain the purposes of literacy in her classroom,

she said, "to gain the knowledge of whatever we are doing."

Ms. Price

The second teacher, Ms. Price, was in her late 40s and had been in her

present position for four years. She earned a bachelor's degree from a large

state university and before coming to her present position had taught in grades





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two and five. The principal at Rolling Hills Elementary nominated her as one of

two "exemplary" teachers in the school. At the time of the study, she had taught

for 12 years in this rural school. Ms. Price had taken extra inservice training in

second-language acquisition principles. Consequently, the administration

typically placed English as a Second Language (ESOL) students in Ms. Price's

room. According to an office assistant, the principal placed all of the other

students in her room because of parents' requests. Ms. Price's colleagues

selected her to represent the school in the 1999-2000 Teacher of the Year

contest, and she finished among the top five teachers in the county. Her

talkative classroom had a lively, jovial atmosphere that stemmed from her

energetic personality.

Ms. Price described eight interrelated ideas about literacy:

Well, I guess most people think of literacy as being able to read at some
level. But I think it goes a lot farther than that. I think literacy is
being able to read, then that automatically leads to all those things that go
with it. The grammar so you'll understand what you're reading, vocabulary
and the different comprehension skills. And it leads to spelling. It leads
right away to writing, because if there was nothing written, there would be
nothing to read.

So it goes to all of those, but it goes beyond that. It goes into some
creativity, particularly when you get into writing. Also when you're reading,
to be creative in your thinking. It goes to problem solving and logic,
because to understand what an author is saying is sometimes like a
puzzle, and you have to try to figure out what they mean and where
they're going and why they're doing it.

So, I think it's a much broader and more encompassing subject
than simply "Do they know enough phonics to be able to call words?"
Which is, I think, what a lot of people would say literacy is.





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Ms. Price's personal definition of literacy built upon a base of reading and

writing, but extended and refined a "reading and writing" explanation. She

based the first six aspects of her literacy definition on skills that may be easily

evaluated on a standardized test. However, the last two aspects of her definition

broadened to include creativity and problem solving, two higher-order thinking

skills (Bloome, 1975) that are often hard to assess. Clearly, Ms. Price

understood literacy as a complex phenomenon. She also acknowledged that

other educators might define literacy as simply "Do they know enough phonics to

be able to call words?" She admitted that they might argue with her broad

definition of literacy.

According to Ms. Price, the purpose of literacy instruction in fourth-grade

was to learn and grow as a person. She revealed that, to her, literacy learning

"opens the door for everything." She also reported that she was convinced that

her teaching performance could greatly affect her students' future lives.

Ms. Vaskev

At the time of the study, Ms. Vaskey, one of the teachers nominated as

"average" by her principal, had been teaching for seven years. She graduated

from a small, private college in the southeast and felt prepared for her first

teaching position only because she worked as a teacher's assistant for eight

years before graduating from college. "I had the experience of having teachers

around me that I could observe and work with.... [So] working and subbing and

doing a lot of things" prepared Ms. Vaskey for her teaching career. She also

credited Ms. Martin, one of the so-called "exemplary" teachers in the study who





86

taught at a nearby school, for helping her learn about teaching, because she

served as an intern in Ms. Martin's classroom before graduating from college.

Ms. Vaskey's quiet classroom at the rural Rolling Hills Elementary seemed to be

run with military-like precision. From my field notes on the third day of my

observations is my notation about the atmosphere in her room:

It's almost eerie how quiet the students work in this room. At first, I
wondered if my presence here was the cause of the stillness. Now that
I've been in the room three days, I think that Ms. Vaskey has "trained" the
students to be so quiet.

Even so, the class erupted in laughter at times, as a result of Ms. Vaskey's rare

but humorous wit.

Ms. Vaskey's definition of literacy was based on comprehending printed

text. She said, "literacy is reading and understanding what you read." She went

on to say that if students do not love reading, "you have to have someone to get

you interested in the love of reading. Just reading itself and delving into the

characters and why they are the way they are."

Ms. Vaskey's purpose for reading and writing in her fourth-grade

classroom closely related to real-world tasks that students may have to

accomplish outside of the classroom.

I relate writing to business; I relate writing to home. I think it's important
that they understand a story and be able to write about the characters,
write about the setting, and the actions, and comparing and contrasting
the different stories of a particular unit--seeing how the characters react..
.. I tell them that expository writing would be convincing your parents that
you want that Nintendo game.





87

Ms. Donaldson

The fourth teacher in this study, Ms. Donaldson, had taught only three

years at the time of the study. She both interned and accepted her first teaching

position at rural Rolling Hills Elementary School. Her principal nominated her as

an "average" literacy teacher. She admitted that managing students' behavior

was the most challenging part of learning to teach, because "you have to learn

when you get in here what works for you." The atmosphere in her room clearly

showed her attention to classroom management. Her students were compliant,

and on the rare occasions that they did not follow the class rules, Ms. Donaldson

quickly reprimanded them.

Ms. Donaldson said that literacy was

everything all combined. The reading, writing, and language all combined,
because you're going to have to have language skills to write; you're going
to have to have the writing skills to be able to read. The writing--the
reading skills to be able to write. So, I think it has to be everything all
combined together.

In her integrated definition of literacy, Ms. Donaldson implied that reading

and writing are interconnected and inform or support one another. She went on

to say that "the kids that are low readers are low writers," elaborating her

conceptions of the link between reading and writing even further.

According to Ms. Donaldson, the purpose of literacy instruction in fourth-

grade classrooms was to develop students' writing abilities for the future.

"They're going to have to succeed in life. They're going to have to write when

they go for a job interview, or to get into college they're going to have to be able

to write." She also said that reading is important because "there's no place you





88

can get by without reading." She described the importance of practice and said

"That's the deep down purpose-to get better at it so you can succeed."

Summary of the Four Teachers

In sum, all four teachers connected literacy with future successes or

failures. Although they basically agreed on the purposes for literacy instruction,

all four had slightly different definitions of literacy. (See Table 4-1) Ms. Martin

Table 4-1: A Comparison of Four Teachers' Definitions and Purposes
of Literacy
Teacher Definition of Literacy Purpose of Literacy
Ms. Martin being able to read, to gain knowledge of
comprehend, and respond concepts in school
to a reading
being able to write

Ms. Price being able to read, know to learn and grow as a
about grammar, person
comprehend what is read,
spell words correctly, write,
use creativity, solve
problems, and use logic

Ms. Vaskey being able to read and to succeed outside of school
understand what is read

Ms. Donaldson being able to read, write, to develop students' writing
and use language skills abilities for the future


defined literacy as being able to read and write, while Ms. Donaldson described

the interconnected nature of reading and writing. Ms. Vaskey focused on

reading and comprehending written text, while Ms. Price described literacy as a

set of eight complex ideas--being able to read, understanding or knowing

grammar, developing vocabulary, using comprehension skills, spelling words

correctly, writing clearly, showing creativity, thinking creatively, and using





89

appropriate problem solving and logic abilities. Ms. Donaldson and Ms. Price

both characterized literacy as integrating several abilities into a coherent grasp of

text. On the other hand, Ms. Martin and Ms. Vaskey simplified the definition of

literacy and based it on reading. While all four teachers gave somewhat distinct

definitions of literacy, three of the teachers-Ms. Martin, Ms. Vaskey, and Ms.

Donaldson--had similar individual ideal conceptions of literacy. Ms. Price's ideals

differed from the rest.

Ideal Literacy Conceptions

To answer the question, "What are four selected teachers' ideal

conceptions of literacy and literacy learning," I relied on the responses from the

first two sets of teacher interviews. During the first round of interviews, I asked

each teacher to describe her ideal conceptions of literacy learning. In the

second interview my goal was to verify their ideal conceptions from a list of

critical issues I derived from the first set of interviews.

After repeated, close scrutiny of the transcripts from these interviews,

three aspects of literacy learning emerged that all four teachers addressed and

that seemed central to their views: curriculum, the roles of teachers and students

in the classroom, and assessment. This section will address these aspects of

the four teachers' ideal conceptions of literacy.

Ideal Curriculum

All four teachers agreed that "real" literature should be used in elementary

classrooms. What they did not agree on was the role that literature should play





90

in the ideal literacy curriculum and the organization of an ideal literacy

classroom.

For example, Ms. Martin, a so-called "exemplary" teacher who was the

only teacher in the study at Madison Elementary, aligned herself with an

integrated, literature-based curriculum when she said, "instead of the basal

reader where they're reading short, little, partial, part of the story, the pieces of

stories, they actually feel accomplishment by reading a book." She went on to

say that

I think the children get an idea that they don't like to read because of what
we give them in the basal. And if they get the joy of learning from being
able to read a book that maybe they're interested in ... they're going to
want to read more, which is half the battle.

Further, she said that teachers should organize class time so that they could

meet with students individually and in groups according to their abilities. She

said that this organization could help lower-performing students raise their

reading levels.

Ms. Price, the other so-called "exemplary" teacher, also stated that

literature was the foundation for her ideal reading and writing curriculum.

However, she described literature-based instruction in which

everything comes back to one.... You are actually working on one
theme, but actually you are moving in a lot of--there's a lot of little circles
going around it, but they all come back to the one theme. So, you have
your main idea and all your little details sticking out from it.

Like Ms. Martin, Ms. Price also based her ideal literacy curriculum on

students' interests, saying, "if they are not interested in it, it doesn't make any

difference how well suited it is to their level. If they are not interested and it





91

doesn't attract them, then they are not going to read it." Instead of skill groups,

as Ms. Martin suggested, Ms. Price said that ideally "you would divide your class

into interest groups and choose books and let them each go in their own

direction." She said that during a class reading in an ideal literacy lesson, they

might "just stop and talk about something or notice something." She said that

"little things that hit you probably have more to do with literacy" than lessons on

isolated literacy skills. The two so-called "exemplary" teachers, Ms. Martin and

Ms. Price, both described a central role for literature in their ideal literacy

curriculum. However, Ms. Martin emphasized using skill groups to raise

students' reading levels, and Ms. Price emphasized grouping students according

to their interests.

In contrast, Ms. Vaskey and Ms. Donaldson, the two so-called "average"

teachers in the study, said that they would make use of the basal reading book

as the primary source of literacy instruction, using literature as enrichment.

Initially, Ms. Vaskey said that she would "get away from the textbook and really

get into more of the novels." Yet, when I asked her to describe an ideal literacy

lesson, she said that she would use the basal reading book because it is

supposedly easier because the teacher's book has the things that map
out everything. It has the comprehension questions, it has the skills that
go with the book, instead of me having to generate them.

Within her ideal literacy curriculum, Ms. Vaskey said that small class sizes

(no more than 25 students) would enable teachers to spend time with each

student individually in order to help them if they are "struggling with a different

concept."





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Similarly, Ms. Donaldson, the least experienced teacher, said that she

would "build on those skills these kids don't have... and get them really solid

and then move on. And I think that you have to have that foundation of the

nouns and verbs before you can do anything else." Her ideal classroom setup

would include learning centers in which students could practice literacy skills.

She also said that an ideal classroom organization would pair higher-performing

students with lower-performing students. "That way, if the lower kids can't find

the answer they have someone there to go to and say, 'Where is this answer at?'

Help me find it."

Summary of ideal curriculum

The two so-called "average" teachers said that the basal reading book

curriculum was ideal for literacy instruction, while the other two teachers

maintained that a literature-based curriculum was an ideal foundation. They also

differed on the organization of an ideal literacy classroom. Ms. Martin, Ms.

Vaskey, and Ms. Donaldson believed that ability-grouping was best for literacy

development, but Ms. Price considered interest-grouping ideal.

Ideal Teacher and Student Roles

Ms. Martin and Ms. Price, the two so-called "exemplary" teachers, both

said that the ideal role of a literacy teacher was to integrate as many subjects as

possible in order to build on students' interests. Ms. Martin said the best efforts

of a literacy teacher are spent

taking a novel and letting your child read from the novel, tying everything
into that, um, that subject. And just working from there. Whatever it may
be. Whether it be math or social studies or health or science, go from that




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NEGOTIATING THE REAL AND THE IDEAL: FOUR ELEMENTARY TEACHERS AND THE INFLUENCES ON THEIR LITERACY TEACHING By SUSAN JAYNE GOFORTH WEGMANN A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2001

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Copyright 2001 by Susan Jayne Goforth Wegmann

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would first like to thank my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, who is my life. I am thankful for His presence and Comfort as He lives His life through mine. It is because of Him that "I live and move and have my being." I would also like to thank Dr. Jane Townsend, my advisor, who pushed me to synthesize, asked the hard questions, and helped me become a better teacher by modeling the magic that happens when we encourage students to wonder. From my first breath as a doctoral student to my last efforts finishing my dissertation, Dr. T saw fit to guide me with gentle reminders of our mutual love for teaching and learning. I learned a great deal in her classes and even more in her office, the scene of many discussions about children, learning, teaching, and "the big picture." I am grateful for her sincerity, humor, and guidance. I would also like to thank the other members of my committee. Dr. Ginger Weade supported my first attempts as a researcher and kindly guided my thinking with insightful questions. She mentored me when I was a fledgling graduate student and often reminded me of that school is a cultural place, worthy of our attention. Dr. Barbara Pace has also been a guide, a friend, and a fellow teacher. appreciated her open-door policy during my beginning stages of course work. iii

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She gave me the gift of time, when I am sure she was busy with her own research efforts. Dr. Robert Sherman helped me understand how my love of teaching could be translated into an investigation of teaching practices. He encouraged me to think deeply about teaching in order to understand it. Dr Ben Nelms also shared his valuable time with me, helping me acclimate myself to the world of higher education. I appreciate his thoughtful questions and genuine interest in my well-being. I would also like to thank my dear family, without whom I would have never have been successful: my husband, Steve, for encouraging my dreams and being a servant-leader in our home; my children, Lauren and Chris for ,, providing happy distractions and helping me focus on the truly important things in life such as soccer, cheer leading, band, Veggie Tales, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches; my Mom and Dad, for always encouraging me and ever listening to my struggles and victories; my three brothers and families for loving me, teasing me, and reminding me I am their little sister; and finally, my church family at First Baptist Belleview, for lifting me up in prayer and grounding me in the knowledge that Christ is our all in all. iv

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TABLE OF CONTENTS ACKNOWLEDGMENTS .................... ...... ................ ..... .............................. iii ABSTRACT .. ................ ..................... .. ....................................................... vii CHAPTERS 1 INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND ........... ........................... ...... 1 Statement of the Problem........................... ................. ..................... 6 Purpose of the Study........ ................ ........... .... ................................. 6 Research Questions................... ................................... ................... 7 Scope and Significance of the Study....................... ...... ......... ........... 8 2 REVIEW OF LITERATURE................................ .............................. 10 Overview......................... ........................... ... ... ............ .. ................. 10 Theories of Teaching........................................................................ 11 Classroom Enactments.................................................................... 28 Teachers' Perceptions of Influences on Literacy Events.................. 39 Overview .. ; ..... : .................. : ............................................................... 49 3 METHOD ....... : ..................................... .. ............................................ 51 Pilot Study........................................ .................. .. ............................ 52 Setting......................... .................................................................... 54 Particip~nts.......... ..... .. ......................................... .. . . . . . .. . . . . . . 58 Data Collection........... .. ......... ........................ ...... .......................... 60 Data Analysis Procedures....... .. ..... .... .. .. ........................................... 66 Definitions of Terms..... ................. ............................... .. ................. 73 4 IDEAL CONCEPTIONS ..... ...... ............ ............ ............... ................. 77 Spectator and Participant Stances . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78 Introduction to the Teachers. ...... ................. .. ................................... 82 Summary of the Four Teachers.... .. ................................................... 88 Ideal Literacy Conceptions........................................................... ..... 89 V

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5 ENACTED LITERACY LESSONS ................... ............ ...... ... ..... ..... 107 Spectator, Participant and Pretender Events ..................... ...... .. .. .. .. 107 Overview of Teachers' Ideal and Enacted Conceptions .................... 154 6 INFLUENCES ON THE LITERACY CURRICULUM ... ..... ................ 158 Standardized Tests ... ..... .......... .......... .......... .... ..... .. .... .. .. .. .. ...... 160 Students' Interests .... . . ........ ........ . ............ .. .. .. . ...... ................ 167 Internal Influences ...................... .. .... ......... .......... ............. ...... .. ..... 170 Summary of Influences . ..................... .............. ...... ... .. ..................... 172 7 CONCLUSION .. ... .... ........ .......... .......... .... .. .. ........................... 175 Summary of the Results... .............. ........ ................... .............. .... 175 Stances and Events in the Classroom . .......... ......................... ... ... 177 Sources of Influence .. ... .......... ... .. .... ... .................. ...... ............... 182 Limitations of the Results ........... ..... .............. ............ ................... 186 Implications for Educational Practice.... .... ........ . ...... ............ ...... 188 Implications and Questions for Future Research . ............................ 205 APPENDICES A QUESTIONS FOR INTERVIEWS... .... ......... . ...... ............. .......... 215 B SAMPLE TRANSCRIPT .............................................. .... ............... 217 C SAMPLE EXCERPT OF TEACHER INTERVIEW ............ ....... . .... 219 D SAMPLE EXCERPT OF STUDENT INTERVIEW ....... .. ..... ............. 221 E SAMPLE EXCERPT OF FIELD NOTES ...... ..... .. .................... ... ..... 223 REFERENCES ..... ..... ........... .... ........... .......... ....................................... 224 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ............. .... ... ......................................... ... ......... 238 vi

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Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy NEGOTIATING THE REAL AND THE IDEAL: FOUR ELEMENTARY TEACHERS AND THE INFLUENCES ON THEIR LITERACY TEACHING Chair: Jane S. Townsend By Susan Jayne Goforth Wegmann August 2001 Major Department: School of Teaching and Learning This study investigated teachers' personal notions of ideal literacy learning opportunities, the actual literacy activities teachers implemented, and the influences behind any differences between their ideal and enacted curricula. The purpose of the study was to clarify concepts, to examine teachers' underlying assumptions about literacy, to describe and analyze teachers' ideal and real literacy curricula, and to analyze the enacted literacy curriculum. The qualitative design of the study enabled a description of four elementary teachers' ideal conceptions of literacy learning along with a description of their enacted literacy lessons. The teachers were each interviewed three times and were observed while enacting two complete literacy learning cycles. Three students from each classroom were also interviewed. The data sources included verbatim transcripts of teacher and student vii

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interviews, transcripts of selected classroom interactions, curricular materials, and student and teacher artifacts that were generated during classroom observations. Close examination of oral classroom interactions showed spectator, participant, and pretender events that occurred in each classroom, as a result of the particular stance of teachers and students. This study focused on curricula, roles of teachers and students, and assessment. Results showed that the enacted curricula was shaped by influences, such as the pressure to produce high standardized test scores, an urging to use the lessons in the basal reading teachers' edition, and the necessity to cover state-produced lists of standards. It includes important implications for literacy teaching and teacher preparation programs such as the following: Teachers need to resist the pressure to rely heavily on the DRA for literacy lessons. Teachers need to support oral classroom interactions that call on varying roles for teachers and students, such as those found in participant events. Teachers need to explore the sources of influences they feel and then discern whether or not the sources are supporting literacy development as a to-and-fro transaction, based on meaning-making. Teacher educators need to assign activities that call for active participation on the part of preservice teachers so that they can engage in the kinds of learning that they can one day implement. viii

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CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND Educators, parents, and administrators expect elementary-aged students to attain a certain level of literacy Most educational experts also agree that literacy acquisition in elementary school is foundational. However, debates revolve around definitions of literacy, methods of literacy instruction, and assessment of literacy ability (Aaron, Chall, Durkin, Goodman, & Strickland, 1990; Bogdan & Eppert, 1996; Didsbury, 1994; Flippo, 1999a; Langer, 1984; Resnick & Resnick, 1977; Street, 1984, 1999) Some say literacy is the ability to read and write, to make sense of, and to compose written language. Literacy attainment, though, may be more complex because the processes of reading and writing overlap, yet differ (Calfee, 1998; Morrow, Wilkinson, & Smith, 1994; Roen, 1992; Rosenblatt, 1978/1994; F. Smith, 1988). Reading and writing are influenced by a stance or orientation toward the text, that may change during reading or writing; prior experiences; background knowledge; and present experiences and feelings. The relationship between reading and writing is so strong that learning about one supports learning about the other (Tierney & Shanahan, 1991) and integrating reading and writing increases learning of both processes (Morrow et al., 1994). Reading writing, and speaking are complexly organized chains of utterances, or meaningful units of communication (Bakhtin, 1986). The units are 1

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never passive; they are always in answer to, and in anticipation of, a question and they are always purposeful. Readers and writers ultimately select their own purposes or choices for reading and writing, that determine their stance, the 2 position from which they approach a literacy event. Informed by background knowledge and prior experiences, a person's stance affects the nature of the literacy event by determining how a reader or writer organizes responses and hows/he builds meanings. In school settings teachers may try to impose a particular stance for reading or writing on their students, potentially increasing or diminishing the quality of literacy lessons. A person's stance, which may change during the course of the event, is part of the internal processes of reading and writing and may be resistant to outside influence. Teachers may or may not be successful when trying to impose a particular stance. But research provides evidence that teachers influence students' interpretations of text by encouraging a particular stance, that also influences the quality of literacy learning. Different possible stances, individual background knowledge and experiences, and students who switch stances make it likely that there are as many different transactions (Rosenblatt, 1978/1994) with texts as there are students in a classroom. These variables make literacy much more than reading and writing: simply put, developing literate abilities is a complicated endeavor. In an effort to embody the complexity of reading and writing, and for the purposes of this study, literacy may be defined as the state of being able to participate fully in a to-and-fro interplay between person and text that results in a coherent understanding. This interplay between person and text may occur

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3 when a person is reading, writing, listening, or speaking. Moreover, text can signify the printed word or the oral (and/or possibly nonverbal) interactions of two or more people. Being literate is being able to do the following, though not necessarily in a linear manner: assume an appropriate stance toward a text; understand, interpret, or live through the text; and/ or create a new text As a result, students in an elementary classroom may be doing many things simultaneously, while participating in literacy learning. Consequently, studying the enacted literacy curriculum (the activities and language used during reading and writing lessons provided by teachers, undertaken by students, and able to be observed by researchers) is a complicated endeavor. To investigate the enacted literacy curriculum in classrooms, it is helpful to view literacy opportunities through the lens of the purposeful, social nature of literacy and language that Bakhtin (1986), Bruner (1986), and Vygotsky (1978) characterized. Oral classroom interactions manifest the social nature of literacy learning and may support or constrain literacy development. Interactions can be analyzed according to the purposes of speech, in two broad categories of participant and spectator stances. A participant stance is one in which teachers and students actively try to complete actions, explore possibilities, or build connections between their personal lives and texts. A spectator stance, on the other hand, is one in which teachers and students focus on the text at hand as outside observers. (See Chapters 3 and 4 for a further discussion and definition of these two stances.)

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4 Moreover, literacy learning events, which can include oral interactions and transactions with printed texts, make up the enacted literacy curriculum. Students' literacy abilities do not necessarily develop when teachers provide literacy learning instruction, but teachers influence the quality of literacy events by providing opportunities for students to construct and interact with texts and new knowledge. As with any other learning event, students construct knowledge based on their prior knowledge, emotional state, and personal linguistic experiential reservoir (Rosenblatt, 1988), among other factors. Because literacy development is not assured when teachers provide opportunities, teachers may struggle to help all students become literate. I investigated this struggle, or maneuvering between what teachers believe will help students learn best (their personal notions of ideal literacy learning opportunities) and the actual literacy activities they implement (the enacted curriculum). Unfortunately, researchers have documented a tremendous difference among how teachers think students become literate; the teaching methods they use; and what researchers, administrators, and peers encourage them to do (Engel, 1990; Goodman, 1986). In a recent pilot study, I found disjunctions between what five teachers thought were ideal literacy lessons and their enacted curricula. For example, a fourth-grade teacher, Ms. Price (all names are pseudonyms) reported that she would like to "sit down with them and say, 'Okay, we're just going to enjoy the day, and sit here, and I'm just going to work with you and I'm going to read,' and we're going to work through things." This remark suggests that her ideal literacy

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5 learning curriculum includes large amounts of time with students in order to help them understand reading and writing activities. Her comment also implied that the actual literacy curriculum in her classroom was different from her ideal literacy curriculum. I verified this difference during a day-long observation in her classroom. When I asked Ms. Watson, another fourth-grade teacher in the pilot study, to describe an ideal classroom arrangement, we had the following interaction: SW: How would your room look different if you could change it? Ms. Watson: You probably wouldn't have a formal classroom setting. You'd have to come up with some way to--like a stage area. Let children be creative, and come up with their own plays, so they could perform. SW: Why would that be good? Ms. Watson: Because it would include all their skills. I mean, they'd have to be able to read, they'd have to be able to write, they could use their creative writing for [the standardized writing test], they could actually incorporate math into it ... So you could just incorporate it--integrate it throughout the curriculum. Ms. Watson seemed to agree with the idea of integrated language arts instruction that builds on close relationships among reading, writing, speaking, and listening; and purposefully integrates literacy concepts into every subject (Morrow et al., 1994). From this interchange, she seemed to agree with Bruner (1986), Vygotsky (1978), and others who believe that learning should be focused on the child and should be purposeful, so that children can make or construct their own meaning. Ms. Watson's ideal conceptions of literacy integrated all of the content areas, and offered students choices about what they would do. Yet,

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when I observed her classroom practices she used a predetermined, skills oriented, basal reading program in which there was little student choice and no integration of subject matter. Ms. Watson, whose ideals and enacted conceptions were similar to those of the five other teachers in the pilot study, seemed to conceptualize better ways to teach but did not put them into action. Statement of the Problem 6 Many teachers believe they know the best ways of providing opportunities for literacy development, yet often they do not enact them The problem for this study is that teachers' ideal literacy learning opportunities are typically transformed before they are implemented; teachers may then enact less than ideal literacy instruction. Unfortunately, two results of this problem are that instructional opportunities may constrain students, rather than support their attempts to develop literately, and hence, students may not learn what they need to know in order to become literate adults. Purpose of the Study The purpose of this study was as follows: To clarify concepts (such as "literacy" and "participant stance"). To examine teachers' underlying assumptions about literacy teaching and learning (through examining their ideal and real literacy curricula). To describe and analyze reasons for the possible differences between their ideal and real curricula. To identify practical applications of teachers' assumptions and theories in the enacted literacy curriculum. Hence, the focus is on four teachers' perceptions of various issues surrounding literacy teaching and learning.

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7 Although teachers' perspectives are central to understanding classroom learning (Mulcahy-Ernt & Stewart, 1994), many research studies do not emphasize teachers' perceptions of the move from ideal to real curricula (Street, 1999; Wharton-McDonald, Pressley, & Hampston, 1998). Instead, most studies evaluate literacy learning by analyzing the enacted curriculum, students' learning processes, or predetermined outcomes of learning. Teachers' perspectives typically have been omitted from systematic analysis. Wharton-McDonald and colleagues (1998) argue that we can learn from professionals in any field by studying their "privileged understanding of what they do" (p. 103). For this reason I decided to study teachers' perceptions or "privileged understandings" of literacy teaching and learning. In short, this study seeks to enlarge our understanding of teachers' perceptions of ideal literacy learning, their enacted literacy curriculum, and the influences that transform their ideal into their enacted curricula. Research Questions After reflecting on the research concerning literacy teaching and learning, interviewing five elementary teachers about their ideal conceptions of literacy instruction, and observing five teachers' enacted literacy curricula in a pilot study, I wondered why there were noticeable differences between real and ideal literacy curricula. I wondered about possible sources of influence that altered teachers' ideal literacy curriculum before it was implemented. I also wondered about elementary teachers' perceptions of the nature of literacy teaching and learning and the sources of influence they had to deal with daily.

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8 The following questions emerged to guide my investigation: 1. What are selected teachers' ideal conceptions of literacy and literacy learning? 2. How do teachers enact literacy lessons and how do their enactments relate to their ideal conceptions of literacy teaching and learning? 3. What are teachers' perceptions of the forces that influence their enacted literacy curriculum? The first question allowed me to investigate teachers' personal ideal conceptions of literacy learning. The second question compelled me to observe literacy teaching in action and to compare teachers' personal conceptions of literacy with their enacted literacy lessons. The third question focused on teachers' perspectives of various influences on literacy instruction and how these influences sculpted classroom interactions, instruction, and learning. This question allowed me to explore possible reasons why differences existed between teachers' ideal and real literacy lessons. Scope and Significance of the Study No universal ideal curriculum exists for any subject area. On the contrary, each teacher described a unique personal vision of an ideal literacy curriculum that was influenced by the teacher's personality, prior experiences, available resources, and other such issues Although a universal ideal curriculum does not exist for literacy learning, I compared individual teachers' ideal literacy curricula to their own enacted curriculum. By comparing and describing their real and ideal literacy curricula, I encouraged these teachers to reflect on their ideal literacy lessons in order to come closer to enacting them. This reflection is significant for current educational practice because often teachers are not encouraged to reflect on their own ideal conceptions; rather, they are

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9 encouraged to use other people's ideal conceptions of reading and writing curricula. In addition, oral interactions within the classroom may be interpreted as supporting or constraining ideal enactments. To assume and encourage a participant stance toward texts, in which language is used to build connections and support inquiry (Lindfors, 1999), is to provide a platform for both teachers and students to interact with texts in meaningful ways. This study is significant because in it I reveal four teachers' personal perspectives about literacy teaching and learning, the influences they experienced that transformed their ideal conceptions, and the types of classroom interactions that may have supported or constrained struggling students during literacy instruction.

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CHAPTER2 DISCUSSION OF RELATED LITERATURE Overview Literacy experts do not agree on a single "ideal" theory of literacy development (Resnick & Resnick, 1977). However, teachers create personal conceptions of literacy instruction that are somewhat connected to their beliefs about teaching (Clark & Peterson, 1986). The present study is a description and analysis of selected elementary school teachers' literacy curricula, including their idealized conceptions of reading and writing instruction, their enacted literacy curriculum, and their perspectives on the forces that influence and alter their enacted literacy curriculum. In order to survey the literature from the field that is relevant to this study, I review the work of literacy experts from whom teachers may find a basis for their ideal and enacted conceptions of literacy. I also review the work of experts who have analyzed various sources of influence that potentially shape literacy instruction in classrooms. Three areas provide a foundation for this inquiry. One Theories of Teaching, explores current pedagogical issues in literacy instruction. The second, Classroom Enactments, shows that research on classroom discourse analysis can shed light on the enacted curricula. The third, Teachers' Perceptions About Literacy. describes the forces that may influence teachers' conceptions of ideal and real literacy curricula. 10

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11 Theories of Teaching Frequently, principals, researchers, and teachers praise one instructional method as an ideal way to teach literacy. Numerous methodologies and philosophies are touted each year as the way to teach (Chall & Jacobs, 1996; Routman, 1994). But, apparently, no one method can successfully teach every child in every circumstance. If teachers read current research about teaching and learning, which of the many methods, if any, will they use? One way to organize a discussion of the multitude of methods of literacy instruction can be based on the stance, or orientation, of the individual teacher or learner. James Britton (1993) described two stances that readers may assume while reading: participant and spectator. I borrowed these terms to describe the stances of students and teachers in light of various theories of teaching. (In Chapter 4 I use these terms to describe the classroom interactions that occurred during my observations.) A spectator stance describes students and teachers who view text from the outside, similar to a spectator at a sporting event. Teachers who design lessons around a spectator stance often enact a teacher-centered curriculum with limited opportunities for students to use language for various purposes. During a spectator stance, teachers and students typically make use of Mehan's (1979a) Initiate Reply Evaluate (IRE) pattern in class discussions. Within this pattern, teachers typically initiate a topic (by asking a question), students typically~ to the teachers' question, and the teacher evaluates the student's response. In other words, a spectator stance limits both teachers' and students'

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12 roles. For example, the role of the teacher within a spectator stance is ordinarily to ask students questions about a text, to evaluate students' replies, and to initiate new topics. Students' roles are limited to responding to teachers' questions. Moreover, a spectator stance is not necessarily determined by the topic of the lesson. For instance, a spectator stance may be assumed while discussing a story plot if the discussion focuses on teacher-directed, discrete questions; especially if students are not encouraged to inquire about their own interests. However, teachers and students could also assume a participant stance while discussing the plot of the story. A participant stance is characterized by learners using language for various purposes in order to "get things done" (Britton, 1993, p. 101 ). If the teacher assumed and encouraged a participant stance, a discussion of a story plot would look quite different from a spectator stance. For example, in a participant stance, the teacher would allow various topics to emerge during the class discussion, encourage students to express their opinions, value multiple perspectives, and/or prompt students to express their own personal inquiry and wondering (Townsend, 1991 ). In other words, teachers who encourage a participant stance create opportunities for learners to interact with texts in order to actively construct knowledge. Students who assume a participant stance have varied, complementary roles. For example, students may express their opinions about various topics, connect a new topic with a personal experience, clarify their own ideas with the help of the teacher or other students, and/or share their personal inquiries. Students and teachers who

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assume participant stances in literacy lessons tend to use their language in various ways and for various purposes, similar to an athlete at a sporting event who is actively engaged in the event. 13 The stance that teachers encourage, whether participant or spectator, is determined, in part, by the instructional methods the teacher chooses to use. While it is beyond the scope of this study to review all teaching methodologies, I have chosen two popular teaching approaches that exemplify each stance. The spectator stance is represented by the Directed Reading Activity (DRA) and Direct Instruction (DI). The participant stance is represented by integrated language arts instruction and literature-based instruction. Next is a description of each method, a discussion of pertinent research studies, and a look at how experts rate the effectiveness of each Spectator Stance The Directed Reading Activity (DRA) and Direct Instruction (DI) are currently used in most elementary classrooms in the United States (Karolides, 1992; 1997). They both involve students assuming a spectator stance toward reading and writing, yet the nature of instruction is distinct in each. Directed reading activity The instructional pattern found in most basal reading books is the most common form of elementary school literacy instruction. According to most studies, 75% to 90% of elementary teachers use the lessons within basals as their major form of literacy instruction (Baumann & Heubach, 1996; Chall & Squire, 1996; Hoffman et al., 1998). Lesson topics in most contemporary basals

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14 contemporary basals include subjects that have been traditionally called reading (lessons on reprinted stories covering various themes and genres); writing (lessons on various genres and styles); and English grammar (lessons on verbs, nouns, pronouns, and so forth). Since the 1940s, basals have undergone a metamorphosis (Koskinen, McCartney, & Hoffman, 1995). In the early 1940s, basals were written by scientific behaviorists who sought to present words and letters systematically through vocabulary-controlled stories. This method was characterized by Betts (1946, reported in Tierney, Readence, & Dishner, 1990) as having five common steps through which reading lessons progress: Readiness for reading. Teachers introduced students to new concepts or vocabulary words. Guided silent reading. Teachers asked students to read through a portion of the story. Word recognition skills and comprehension checks of silent reading Teachers discussed skills such as finding the main idea of a paragraph or predicting what may happen during the next portion of text. Teachers also informally assessed students' comprehension of the portion of the story they read silently. Silent or oral re-reading for a new purpose. Students re-read the story, either individually or aloud with the entire class Differentiated follow-up activities. Teachers discussed reading skills, especially ones that students had not yet mastered.

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According to Tierney et al. (1990) the ORA framework is still the basis for most basals in use today, though most contemporary basals have added writing and English grammar components. 15 In general, researchers found that the basals did not supply teachers with lessons that encouraged students to respond to literary text aesthetically, (or savoring the reading experience while living through the event), nor did they provide practice with complex written texts (Barr & Sadaw, 1989; Baumann, Hooten, & White, 1999; Miller & Blumenfield, 1993). Instead, these researchers found that basal reading books used an implicit method in which teachers would point out patterns in vocabulary words or encourage students to focus on the intent of a character, without directly providing answers. In one study, Miller and Blumenfield (1993) analyzed two widely-used basal series in Grades 1 through 5. They analyzed the main idea and cause/effect tasks that were suggested in the two basal series. They found that the basals included supplemental materials, manuals, and activity ideas, and did not offer suggestions for teaching how to understand complex texts. They determined that the reading selections and the practice opportunities in the basal reading books were not conducive to helping students transfer reading skills to complex texts in other subjects. They also concluded that teachers who were concerned with developing students' comprehension of complex texts would have to considerably modify the suggestions for instruction found in basal reading books. Similarly, Karolides (1997) found that teachers who exclusively used the questions found in basals typically overlooked aesthetic aspects of literacy

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16 transactions. He maintained that textbook questions influenced teachers and students to assume a predominately efferent stance (Rosenblatt, 1938/1983) when reading, or reading to retain information for a later use. To guard against a solely efferent stance toward literature, Probst (1992) suggested that teachers modify the basal suggestions by broadening the range of students' written responses to the stories in order to "enable them to realize their own potential for understanding and shaping themselves and their worlds" (p. 126). Baumann and Heubach (1996) explicitly studied teachers' modifications of basal reading books. The researchers investigated Shannon's (1987) earlier claim that basal reading books and materials "deskill," or limit teachers' decision making about, control of, and responsibility for their enacted literacy curricula. Baumann and Heubach asked teachers to respond to 26 Likert and open-ended questions concerning how teachers enacted the suggestions in their basal reading books. In this self-report study, the authors concluded that the more than 550 teachers who responded to the survey were not "deskilled" by basal use. On the contrary, Baumann and Heubach described the teachers as "discriminating consumers who view basal readers as just one instructional tool available to them as they plan literacy lessons" (p. 522). In sum, researchers have characterized the ORA found in basals as encouraging a spectator stance that limits students' interactions with print, peers, and teachers. Generally, experts advocate modifying ORA lesson plans to include various responses to texts and to provide opportunities for analysis and synthesis of ideas and concepts. Moreover, some researchers maintain that

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17 basal reading books "de-skill" teachers, making teachers dependent on the ORA for their enacted reading and writing curriculum. On the whole, experts investigating the ORA approach contend that teachers need to become "discriminating consumers" of basal reading book suggestions. Direct instruction A second method common in elementary classrooms that encourages a spectator stance is Direct Instruction, or DI. Direct Instruction refers to "the ~\ practice of deliberately demonstrating and bringing to learners' conscious awareness those covert and invisible processes, understandings, knowledge, and skills over which they need to get control if they are to become effective readers" (Cambourne, 1999, p. 126). In the 1950s, teachers became more directive and explicit in drilling students in part because "Johnny" could not read (Flesch, 1955) due to the poor quality of basal textbooks. Later, Hirsch (1987) also condemned the implicit instruction found in the ORA of basal reading books and advocc!ted teaching students directly from a predetermined list of skills. Based on schema theories of memory and reading, he maintained that students must be able to marshal a list of concepts from their background knowledge in order to become literate Americans. Hirsch contended that "every citizen needs to have immediately at hand a critical mass of specific information in order to possess that skill of skills which is literacy" (Hirsch, 1987, p. 144). One method that Flesch and later Hirsch suggested was the Direct Instruction of literacy skills. In 1967, a 28-year longitudinal study began that ultimately proposed DI as the most effective way to develop literacy skills (Berieter, 1981; Grossen, 1996).

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18 Project Follow Through, part of President Johnson's War on Poverty, cost nearly one billion dollars and involved over 20,000 students in kindergarten through grade three. Its goal was to determine the best teaching methods with which to "follow through" the Head Start pre-kindergarten program. Nine wide-ranging teaching methods from DI to the Open Classroom Model were implemented in 139 communities all over the United States. Each school chose a particular method to implement, and teachers received training in how to implement the method. During the study, teachers also received ongoing support. All students in the same school were taught using the same type of instructional method. Teachers pre-tested students at the beginning of kindergarten and at the end of their third-grade year to compare three aspects of teaching and learning: Basic Skills, Cognitive Skills, and Affect. Based on the test results, the Direct Instruction System for Teaching Arithmetic and Reading, (DISTAR), was reported to be the most effective method of instruction (Grossen, 1996). The DISTAR method consisted of pre-programmed questions and verbal student answers in small-group settings that helped to teach reading skills based on phonics and the alphabetic system. According to Becker, Engelmann, and Thomas (1975), students who received DISTAR instruction performed significantly better on the tests Project Follow Through researchers designed. Since 1965 and the beginning of Project Follow Through, DISTAR has evolved into Direct Instruction (Engelmann, 1968), Explicit Instruction (Chall, 1999), and Intentional Teaching (Slavin, 2000), among other methods.

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According to Slavin (2000) these approaches to teaching share the following seven steps: 1. State learning objective and orient students to the lesson-the teacher explicitly verbalizes the intent of the lesson. 19 2. Review prerequisites--the teacher attempts to access and build on students' background knowledge, especially in vocabulary and comprehension lessons. 3. Present new material--teachers explicitly state academic concepts giving examples and non-examples. 4. Conduct learning probes--teachers assess whether or not students grasp the concepts in the lesson and quickly correct students' misunderstandings. 5. Provide independent practice--teachers provide ample time for individual work (or "seat work"), without teachers' input. 6. Assess performance and provide feedback--teachers evaluate students' understanding of the concepts formally (using quizzes, tests, etc.) and offer explicit feedback 7. Provide distributed practice and review-teachers design practice to accommodate individual students' weaknesses. Teachers also review at the end of the lesson, in order to further evaluate students' understandings. Direct Instruction is an approach to teaching in which goal-oriented lessons are carefully structured by the teacher who encourages students to attend only to the lesson at hand. At the heart of DI classroom discourse is a spectator stance in which teachers mainly ask pre-determined questions about specific topics. In addition, students typically answer teacher-generated questions and are not encouraged to vary their stance. Yet numerous studies conclude that DI is the most effective way to teach reading and writing in elementary schools (i.e., Becker et al., 1975; Engelmann, 1968; Foorman, 1995; Foorman, Fletcher, Francis, & Schatschneider, 1998; Meyer, Gerstein, & Gutkin, 1983; O'Connor, Notari-Syverson, & Vadasy, 1998) The pre-programmed questions and verbal student answers inherent in DI exemplify the spectator stance. But, DI is not accepted without controversy (e.g.,

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20 Taylor, 1998; Thelen, 1999). Like .the DRA, DI provides limited possibilities for students to explore topics of interest or express their own opinions, thereby limiting students' potential for literacy growth. Teachers who assume and encourage DI lessons mostly initiate topics of discussion and evaluate students' answers, unlike teachers who assume and encourage a participant stance. Participant Stance The participant stance is firmly grounded in a whole language philosophy that emphasizes student participation and meaning-making. To whole language advocates, literacy is the constructing, understanding, and communicating of meaning. Teachers who adhere to this philosophy generally reject the notion of reducing reading and writing to isolated subcomponents that should be taught in succession, as DI and DRA proponents maintain. Rather, whole language advocates suggest creating classroom environments in which the use and meaning of language are emphasized. Whole-Language does not support reading and writing curriculum that is overly structured or constrained by attempts to sequence a hierarchy of reading and writing experiences. The use of controlled vocabulary aimed at giving students control of a predetermined set of words is seen as being artificial, meaningless, and misdirected. Likewise, the isolation of skills and the tendency to teach skills to mastery are seen as inappropriate. (Tierney et al., 1990, p. 27) In part, whole language stems from the works of John Dewey and the ideas on which he based the Progressive movement. Dewey (1997) suggested that "under existing conditions far too much of the stimulus and control proceeds from the teacher, because of neglect of the idea of the school as a form of social life" (Dewey, 1997, p. 19). His comments discredit the prevailing IRE patterns

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21 within the spectator stance because most of the "stimulus and control" originates from the teacher and school discourse is not seen as a "form of social life He goes on to say that "language is the device for communication" and not simply the expression of thought (p 21 ) Dewey advocated teachers listening for their students' interests, using students' interests as catalysts for lessons, and building on students' ideas and expressions, in other words assuming a participant stance. More recently, Goodman (1986) maintained that whole language instruction is meaning-centered with a focus on students' language use. Goodman and Goodman (1986) asserted the following principles for reading and writing in a whole language classroom: 1. Readers construct meaning during reading They use prior learning and experience to make sense of the texts. 2. Readers predict, select, confirm, and self-correct as they seek to make sense of print. 3. Writers include enough information and detail so what they write will be comprehensible to their readers. 4. Three language systems interact in written language: the graphophonic (sound and letter patterns), the syntactic (sentence patterns), and the semantic (meanings). They can't be isolated for instruction without creating non-language abstractions. All three systems operate in a pragmatic context, the practical situation in which the reading and writing is taking place. 5. Comprehension of meaning is always the goal of readers. 6. Expression of meaning is always what writers are trying to achieve. 7. Writers and readers are strongly limited by what they already know, writers in composing, readers in comprehending. (p. 38-39) The whole language philosophy is characterized by student-selected learning, hence it advocates giving students choices about what they will read, write, and learn (Atwell, 1991, 1987; Berthoff, 1981; Bruner, 1986; Calkins, 1983;

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22 Townsend & Fu, 1998; Goodman, 1986; Graves, 1994; Moffett, 1983; F. Smith, 1988). In the 1960s Goodman (1965) studied 100 first-, second-, and third graders by focusing on their reading mistakes, or miscues. Contrary to popular notions at that time, he found that the better readers used context more heavily then less able readers. The better readers he studied depended on the other words within the text, the previous paragraphs, and picture clues to help formulate their interpretation of print. These readers produced meaning-based "mistakes." For example, if a picture of a duck was beside a paragraph about a dog, better readers tended to say the word "duck" in place of the word "dog," apparently to make the picture fit with the story. Because of Goodman's findings, researchers began to study how context affects learning and students' desires to make sense of texts. This emphasis on meaning evolved over time into what is known today as the whole language movement. Whole language teachers and researchers are those who attend to whole, meaningful texts instead of isolated discrete parts of texts. They also integrate reading, writing, speaking, and listening into each aspect of literacy learning. In addition, whole language teachers encourage and maintain a participant stance toward texts. They use classroom discourse as a scaffold for learning by sampling students' questions, opinions, and interests. Several teaching methods have evolved from whole language ideas Because of the contextually bound and personally meaningful nature of whole language, it is nearly impossible to list the progression of specific methods that

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23 embrace the whole language philosophy, as I did during the description of DI and the DRA. It is possible, however, to describe two approaches to learning that incorporate whole language principles and a participant stance: integrated language arts and literature-based instruction. Integrated language arts instruction One instructional method that exemplifies a participant stance is integrated language arts instruction. Integrated language arts instruction is characterized by student participation and meaning-making in literacy transactions across the curriculum (Alvermann, 1994; Glazer, 1994; Mulcahy Ernt & Stewart, 1994; M. W. Smith, 1994). Integrated language arts instruction builds on a close relationship among reading, writing, speaking, and listening by purposefully integrating literacy activities into every subject of the school day (Morrow et al., 1994; Pearson, 1994). Experts who propose integrated language arts instruction maintain that learning should be meaning-oriented, child centered, functional, and purposeful for children since children construct the meaning of texts (Becker & Riel, 1999; Bruner, 1986; F. Smith, 1977; Wells, 1986). A primary goal of the integrated language arts approach is to develop motivated students who read and write across the curriculum for academic pursuits and for pleasure. A recent study compared participant and spectator stances by investigating integrated language arts instruction and DI. Sacks and Mergendoller (1997) studied two classes of kindergartners who were at-risk of dropping out of school at some later point in their lives. In one, an integrated

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24 language arts classroom, the teacher encouraged students to assume a participant stance and self-select the order and content of their own learning. In the other classroom, the teacher encouraged students to assume a spectator stance by implementing a DI methodology that focused on teacher-determined, isolated skills and a limited oral discourse. The authors found that the kindergartners in the integrated language arts classroom were more interested in school and showed greater improvement on early reading achievement scores than did the kindergartners in the DI classroom. In contrast, O'Connor et al. (1998) argued that a spectator stance and DI had a long-term positive effect on at-risk kindergartners. O'Connor et al. observed kindergartners in a DI phonics-oriented classroom. The researchers followed the same students in the next academic year to evaluate their retention of phonics concepts. They found that students retained most of the prior phonics knowledge the second year. In the O'Connor et al. study, a spectator stance and DI were praised; in the Sacks and Mergendoller study, a participant stance and integrated language arts were praised. Although they both studied literacy development, subtly, yet fundamentally, the two studies differed. The Sacks and Mergendoller study relied on classroom observation plus an early reading inventory to measure students' successes with literacy development. In contrast, O'Connor et al. measured students' retention of skills by administering an objective test that included only discreet phonics skills. The limited nature of the evaluations O'Connor et al. administered may not describe the complete literacy picture for

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25 these students. It may also indulge in a kind of circular reasoning: we train students to exploit certain behaviors and when they do, we make assumptions about their learning that are not warranted by the measures employed. What comprised the long-term positive effect that O'Connor et al., found? Did discreet phonics skills or actual literacy development characterize this effect? If literacy development and being able to participate in a reading/writing transaction is the target, then attention to meaning and student-selected learning, such as found in an integrated language arts approach, may well be ideal (Sacks & Mergendoller, 1997). Not only are studies such as these two indicative of complex disagreements in the research community, they also illustrate the confusion that teachers face when deciding how and what to teach. Literature-based instruction Another approach in which teachers and students assume a participant stance is literature-based instruction. In its purest form, "children read books, explore language used for a purpose, and actively participate in the reading process" (Goforth, 1998, p. 391) that uses "real" books. Using constructivist principles, literature-based instruction emphasizes meaning and student choice. Teachers who support literature-based instruction advocate giving students opportunities to read and write in response to quality children's literature. Literature-based instruction is also known as Literature Circles (Short, Harste, & Burke, 1996), Book Clubs (Raphael & McMahon, 1994), and Literature Discussion Groups (Routman, 1994). Furthermore, Authors' Circles (Villaume & Brabham, 2001) is a writing program developed from literature-based instruction

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in which students use a writing workshop approach (Calkins, 1994) to discuss their own writing. 26 In studies focusing on the use of literature in elementary classrooms, researchers reported increases in positive student attitudes toward reading (Sacks & Mergandoller, 1997; Thames & Reeves, 1994), meaningful student responses to literature (Hickman, 1981; Many & Wiseman, 1992), and effective reading comprehension strategies (Baumann et al., 1999), among other improvements After surveying 396 students, Bottomley, Truscott, Marinak, Henk, and Melnick (1999) found that those students who received predominately literature-based instruction enjoyed literature more and perceived themselves as more competent readers and writers than those students who received basal instruction only. In other words, students who were encouraged to assume a participant stance through literature-based instruction benefited more than those who were instructed from the basal reader and who assumed a spectator stance. Nevertheless, to say that all students who are part of a literature-based classroom automatically assume a participant stance is an overstatement and an oversimplification. Some researchers maintain that students' and teachers' stances should be a mixture of participant and spectator. Price (1998) described a first-grade teacher who incorporated DI into her literature-based reading curriculum. Over the course of four years, Price observed this teacher explicitly teaching "strategic lessons," or DI within a l i terature context (p. 21) In a holistic context using children's literature as a base, this particular teacher attended to the alphabetic code, which she defined as knowledge of letters, sounds

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27 patterned digraphs, and predictable letter combinations. Price reported that students who were taught in this manner successfully switched stances and benefited from the various methods in which they were taught. McNinch and Gruber (1996), Morrow et al. (1994), and M. W. Smith (1994) agree that a balanced approach combining DI and literature-based instruction is an effective method for literacy teaching. Researchers, such as Price, do not agree that there is a fixed chasm between the DRA approach and an integrated approach to teaching. Flippo (1999b), for example, argued that the so-called "reading wars" and contentions among experts in reading and writing were not as divisive as they appeared in the media. Flippo analyzed 11 experts' notions about literacy instruction, asking them to create lists similar to Frank Smith's (1973) "Twelve easy ways to make learning to read difficult." The 11 experts held three philosophical positions: four from a more DI perspective (those who maintained that teachers should encourage a spectator stance), three from a more whole language perspective (those who maintained that teachers should encourage a participant stance), and three from an integrated perspective. Flippo concluded that these eleven experts agreed in principal on a majority of pedagogical aspects. "Practices that experts believe 'would facilitate learning to read' focus on combining reading and writing, as well as talking about and sharing books and making all language instruction purposeful and meaningful to children" (p. 27). In short Flippo's conclusions imply that these experts would agree that a participant stance, in which teachers and students remain open to various perspectives, embrace

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28 differing opinions, and actively use language for diverse purposes, is beneficial for literacy instruction. Overview If classroom teachers investigate contemporary theories of teaching and learning, they will be faced with differing opinions about students' stances and the most effective literacy curricula. Researchers who support a spectator stance claim that students learn best when teachers follow a predetermined sequence of discrete literacy skills. In contrast, researchers who support a participant stance claim that literacy learning should focus on meaning-making and student participation. Still others maintain that a balanced approach (or a combination of stances) is the best way to address literacy teaching and learning. There is no universally agreed upon method to effectively teach for literacy development. We can, however, observe the enacted literacy curriculum for clues leading to what actually occurs during literacy lessons and how some enacted methods are more effective than others. It is appropriate, then, to turn to research on oral classroom interactions in order to determine what kinds of literacy activities are enacted and how students and teachers use language as a tool for learning. Classroom Enactments "To a great extent, the language used by teachers and students in classrooms determines what is learned and how learning takes place" (Wilkinson & Silliman, 2000, p. 338). Language is used for varying purposes, in varying

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29 contexts, and with varying ease (Cook-Gumperz & Gumperz, 1982; Halliday, 1975; Wilkinson, 1982). Because of this variability, studying language in classrooms can be a complicated endeavor. Teachers create a classroom atmosphere and set a tone for classroom interactions (Aulls, 1998). To describe student expression, nonverbal and written communication, and the rich contexts of classroom interactions, some researchers have used the ethnographic techniques of sociolinguistic research (i.e., Cazden. 1988; Heath, 1983; Mehan, 1979a). These researchers focused on similarities and differences in children's ways of talking and making sense. Weade and Green (1989) maintained that: To make such explorations possible, an ethnographer will often make permanent records (e.g., audio-tapes, videotapes) to supplement field notes. These records permit in-depth analysis of (1) how events are accomplished and information communicated, (2) factors that support and/or constrain participation, access, and learning, and (3) social and cognitive norms and expectations for participation. In addition, the ethnographer may use participant interviewing and document analysis to obtain the fullest picture possible of daily life, its demands and routines, and to triangulate data. From this data, the ethnographer develops "a" (not "the") grammar of the event. (p. 21) One way to look closely at a "grammar of the event" is through analyzing the nature of oral classroom interactions. Researchers have described classroom interactions for several decades. In order to study language in use in the late 1960's, Flanders developed the Classroom Interaction Analysis (CIA) coding system (1970). This was one of the first instruments that targeted teacher/student interactions in classrooms. Each utterance, or group of words spoken for a particular purpose, was coded during a classroom observation to determine a particular function for speaking. At the

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30 end of a given observation period, researchers tallied the results and, using the tallies, could describe the most frequent use of language in that particular lesson. While this offered a systematic way of analyzing oral language, critics maintained that CIA coding limited possible categories of student expression, ignored both nonverbal and written communication, and often disregarded rich contextual cues (Gee, 1991; Mehan, Hertweck, Combs, & Flynn, 1982). Bellack, Kliebard, Hyman, and Smith (1966) found that the most predominate type of teacher/student interaction was characterized by teachers asking factual questions, students answering questions, and teachers evaluating students' answers. The "rules of the language game of teaching" (p. 237) that Bellack et al. described involve one person called a teacher and one or more persons called pupils. The object of the game in the classrooms observed is to carry on a discourse about a subject matter, and the ostensible payoff of the game is measured in terms of the amount of learning displayed by the pupils after a given period of play .... The person playing the role of teacher follows one set of rules; a person playing the role of pupil follows a somewhat different set of rules ... In fact, the basic rule is that if one is to play the game at all, he will consistently follow the rules specified for his role. (p. 237) Hoetker and Ahlbrand (1969) later clarified the "rules" and labeled the most common form of student/teacher interaction "recitation," or teacher centered interaction. During recitation, students frequently answered their teachers' questions but had few other reasons or opportunities for speaking. Recitation is commonly found when teachers assume and encourage a spectator stance.

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31 Also in the 1960s researchers began to realize that young children were capable of abstracting systems of rules that they could use to generate their own language, a shift from the behaviorist claim that children simply memorized and repeated words they had heard previously (Lindfors, 1991; Pinnell & Jaggar, 1991 ). Because of this shift away from a behavioristic study of early language development, researchers began to observe children in natural settings, such as classrooms, to better understand language-in-use in particular contexts. My understanding of the participant stance has been informed by this research because a participant stance frequently occurs when children are talking and learning in a natural setting (Heath, 1983; Kutz, 1997; Wells, 1986). Interaction among children or between children and teachers who assume a participant stance is characterized by learners relying on a more knowledgeable other in what Vygotsky (1978) called a Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD). Talk in the ZPD uses moves inherent in a participant stance because children may wonder, connect new topics with personal experiences, express opinions, and/or clarify their own opinions. Language use within a participant stance is supported by communicative competence, or building an intuitive knowledge of appropriate interactions in various contexts (Hymes, 1974; Lindfors, 1991). Communicative competence is nurtured through real-world interactions for authentic purposes. Hymes suggested that speakers need to have more than grammatical competence, or a mechanical knowledge of how language works. He, along with more contemporary researchers, proposed that proficient speakers need to know how

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language is used by a speech community to accomplish their purposes for speaking (Kutz, 1997; Pinnell & Jaggar, 1991 ). Proficient speakers display communicative competence while making sense within their speech communities. Most researchers agree that communicative competence is learned unconsciously, implicitly, and in various contexts (Kutz, 1997; Lindfors, 1991; Strickland c& Feeley, 1991 ). Hence, Pinnell and Jaggar (1991) maintain that the purpose of instruction should be to 32 help students develop a repertoire of strategies (forms) for different functions of language that would enable them to select a particular strategy in a given context, to communicate using that strategy, to evaluate the effectiveness of that strategy and modify it, if necessary, and to do so while simultaneously engaged in social dialogue. (pp. 697-698) Research on early language acquisition has shown that children learn how language is used while they are using language for real purposes within social situations (Cazden, 1988; Lindfors, 1991; Mehan, 1979a; Pinnell & Jaggar, 1991; Snow, 1977), not while studying discrete, isolated parts of language. In other words, children acquire language "over time, unconsciously, through participation in meaningful interactions with the people around them" (Kutz, 1997, p. 226). Researchers of communicative competence who encourage teachers to provide an interactive classroom environment most often study language in naturalistic settings. Research on language use in natural settings suggests that any portion of talk can serve many purposes (Aulls, 1998; Cazden, 1988; Halliday, 1975; Mehan, 1979a; Townsend, 1991). For Halliday (1975), who studied the oral language of his preschool child, language use was based on seven functions:

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33 1. An instrumental function to satisfy basic needs. 2. A regulatory function to influence the behavior of others. 3. An interactional function to mediate relationships with others. 4. A personal function to express self. 5. A heuristic function to explore the environment. 6. An imaginative function to pretend and imagine other possibilities. 7. An informative function to inform others. These functions are a starting point, but Halliday's list does not include all of the potential moves that a proficient speaker might use during a participant stance. For example, Halliday did not include students and teachers expressing curiosity about a topic, a fairly common move in a participant stance. Strickland and Feeley (1991) built on Halliday's list of functions and contended that students need opportunities to use a full range of language functions in their learning environments. They argued that "if schools are to foster children's language development, children need opportunities to use their language resources and to build on them. Yet studies suggest that the restrictive environment of the school is not conducive to language development" (p. 290). In short, recitation is a prominent pattern of oral discourse in today's schools, reflecting a restrictive environment for student and teacher expression (Brown, 1991; Cazden, 1988; Galda, 1990; Gallas et al., 1996). Mehan (1979a) described three parts to the pattern of recitation: Initiate, Reply, and Evaluate (IRE). He believed that the IRE pattern contained two adjacency pairs, or utterances that include an obligation to respond, such as when a phone rings and a person feels compelled to answer. Mehan considered the Initiation and Reply as one adjacency pair. For example, a typical classroom Initiation is a teacher question ("What is 3 + 3, Sam?") that motivates the

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34 responder to Reply ("six") The second adjacency pair consists of the first pair coupled with an Evaluative response ("Good.") Mehan explained that much classroom discourse reflects an IRE pattern, with these two adjacency pairs. He raised questions about teachers employing an IRE pattern, especially when they have one specific reply in mind (Mehan, 1979b). He claimed that the students' display of knowledge may be limited by the structure of the IRE pattern. This is the same limitation by which a spectator stance is constrained. Teachers who advocate a spectator stance typically use an IRE pattern while initiating topics and evaluating students' answers. Likewise, students who assume a spectator stance typically answer teacher-generated questions and do not use their language for a broad range of purposes. In other words, Mehan would agree with the claim that a spectator stance following an IRE pattern, constrains students' opportunities for expressing a full range of language functions and thereby limits potential learning possibilities. Bloome, Puro, and Theoduro (1988) described the recitation pattern as part of a larger context of classroom lessons, the procedural display. They viewed lessons as "cultural events that are accomplished through the cooperative display by teachers and students to each other of a set of interactional procedures that can be counted (interpreted) as doing a lesson by teachers students, and members of the community" (p. 266). In their study of "doing lessons" in a seventh-grade social studies class and an eighth-grade literature class, Bloome et al. described procedural display similar to a spectator stance because "getting through the lesson is taken as equivalent to substantive

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35 engagement with academic content" (p. 287). According to Bloome et al., procedural display does not emphasize engagement with content, in part because of the limited possibilities for speaking. As Brell (1990) concluded, without engagement in the content, learning is potentially less meaningful and less likely to be transferred to other contexts The study completed by Bloome et al. described negative effects of limiting the possibilities for engaging with texts during a spectator stance in procedural display. Brown (1991) reported that recitation, which includes a spectator stance, is so pervasive in schools that teachers and students think of recitation as a natural way to speak during classroom interactions. He described the frustration of teachers who tried to facilitate genuine discussions using a participant stance as an alternative to an IRE pattern. They did not realize that they were breaking all of the "rules" of discourse that are so common to school (i.e a spectator stance and the IRE pattern within procedural displays). Instead of enabling discussions, the teachers he studied apparently confused students who were trying to follow the rules of the school language game by maintaining a spectator stance with an IRE pattern. The teachers in Brown's study grew frustrated, chose to stop trying to facilitate discussions, and returned to a spectator stance and recitation He maintained that language in most schools describes the process of teaching something, rather than expressing or reflecting on something. In his "literacy of thoughtfulness" (p. xiii) Brown concurred with Halliday (1975), Mehan (1979a), and Bloome et al. (1988), and advocated encouraging a discourse that included uncertainty, disagreement, important questions, ambiguity, and curiosity

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36 (all of which emerge from a participant stance) in order to prompt students to synthesize and evaluate various texts and to give students opportunities to use a full range of functions for speaking about, and engaging with, texts. For nearly a decade, Heath (1983) studied the discourse patterns of elementary students, both at school and in three home language communities. She found that in some cases students' home language was vastly different from their school language. At school, recitation and a spectator stance was predominate, while at home various other language patterns prevailed, including a participant stance that did not include recitation. This difference caused a lack of continuity between language use at home and school. In addition, the difference created problems for students and teachers during classroom interactions. Not only were the language "rules" of school (Bellack et al., 1966) unclear to "non-mainstream" students, Heath found that not knowing the rules (in other words, not being communicatively competent within the school community) limited students' participation as active constructors of language. Heath recommended that teachers investigate the language used in their students' homes and understand that students may or may not clearly understand a mainstream use of language. She, along with other researchers (see Delpit, 1988; Friere, 1993; Moll, 1990), suggested that students, especially those whose first language is not the mainstream language, would benefit from explicit teaching of the language rules of those in authority, so that students could become active participants of society at large. In other words, these researchers claim that the IRE interaction pattern in schools may hinder those students

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whose home language is vastly different from the language of those in power (Delpit, 1988). 37 However, not all researchers have focused on the limited classroom discourses characterized by recitation. A small number of researchers have described classrooms that reflect social-constructivist principles where teachers and students engage meaningfully with texts and each other, assuming a participant stance (e.g., Dillon, 1994; Donaldson, 1978; Paley, 1997; Townsend, 1991). For example, Townsend (1991) investigated oral interactions during several literary studies in a high school English classroom. She described how one teacher supported genuine class discussions, or "a give and take of ideas among all the participants, the presentation of multiple perspectives, and the opening of possibilities with no requirement for closure" (Townsend, 1993, p. 5). Townsend found that both teachers and students used language for a wide range of purposes, including initiating topics for discussion, wondering about a topic, inviting reflection, and expressing opinions. She described these purposes by identifying 19 overlapping categories of language functions, which revealed that their classroom interactions were characterized by a deep level of engagement with the literary topic. "Although the teacher and students in this study may be unusual, they clearly demonstrated active, sense-making capacities at work in their interactions with one another'' (Townsend, 1991, p. 116). Townsend found that a teacher can successfully enact literary lessons without assuming a spectator stance or using a recitation pattern. Summary

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38 In sum, an analysis of classroom interactions, and the underlying concept of communicative competence (Hymes, 1974), is vitally important when trying to understand literacy instruction in classrooms (Alverman et al., 1990; Cazden, 1988; Gee, 1991 ). Research on classroom discourse has maintained that typical interactions are characterized by a spectator stance and: 1. Follow a systematic set of rules (Bellack et al., 1966; Delpit, 1988; Heath, 1983) called the recitation (Brown, 1991; Hoetker & Ahlbrand 1969). 2. Have a limited number of functions, or purposes for speaking (Halliday, 1975). 3. Are characterized by an IRE pattern (Mehan, 1979a, 1979b). 4. Fit into a cultural construct of a lesson, called a procedural display (Bloome et al., 1988) which may or may not engage students in lessons. Although the previous list describes most classroom interactions, there are some notable exceptions (Dillon, 1994; Townsend, 1991) in which teachers and students assume a participant stance by engaging in genuine discussions, assuming a tentative stance, and displaying a variety of functions for speaking. If, as the research in this section has shown, the recitation encourages a spectator stance that limits the range of functions for speaking, and results in a surface-only engagement with texts ; why is recitation and a spectator stance the most predominant style of classroom interaction? What forces act on teachers to retain the recitation during classroom discussions? Because teachers provide opportunities for classroom interactions, what are their perspectives on the influences they experience? The next section describes both internal and external influences on classroom enactments, curriculum, and literacy events

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Teachers' Perceptions of Influences on Literacy Events Researchers have studied teacher planning extensively (see Borko, Livingston, & Shavelson, 1990 for a review of teacher planning research) and teachers' thought processes (see Clark & Peterson, 1986 for a review of research on teachers' thinking). However, teachers' perceptions of literacy events have received much less attention (Wharton-McDonald et al., 1998). 39 Even fewer studies have investigated teachers' perceptions of the sources of influence on their literacy teaching. In order to describe teachers' perceptions of these influences, I will describe the research that deals with internal and external sources of influence that may persuade teachers to enact literacy events. When planning and implementing literacy lessons, teachers may be influenced internally by forces such as their own beliefs (stemming from their own preparation as an educator, experiences as teachers and learners, etc.) and their stances toward texts (whether participant or spectator). Teachers may be influenced externally by other people (parents, administrators, peers, society, committees, politicians, previous teachers) and materials (standards, tests, teachers' editions). The curriculum is realized after the teacher mediates both internal and external sources of influence. The teacher may make a decision about lesson implementation based, at least in part, on these influences. The next section will focus on several internal and external sources of influence through which teachers must maneuver in order to enact literacy curricula. Because I am interested in teachers' perceptions of various sources of influence, I did not focus on research concerning possible differences between

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40 teachers' professed beliefs (the beliefs they verbalized when interviewed) and their attributed beliefs (those beliefs that observers ascribe as belonging to a teacher, based on their behavior as they enact a lesson) (e.g., Schoenfeld, 1998). The research that follows relies on both professed beliefs and attributed beliefs, as do most of my results in Chapter 4. Internal Sources of Influence Clark and Peterson (1986) described the complex work of a teacher as one whose "daily task is to understand and interpret the rapid flow of social events in a classroom" (p. 281). This interpretation necessarily involves expertise in academic knowledge and beliefs, or "a view of an ideal or alternative state that contrasts with reality and provides a means of summarizing goals and paths" (Calderhead, 1996, p. 719). Calderhead reasoned that "because of the complex and multidimensional nature of classroom life, knowledge alone would be inadequate in making sense of classroom situations and prioritizing problems to be tackled and actions to be undertaken" (p. 719). Things such as pedagogical knowledge, previous experience, and state of mind may internally influence teachers, but teachers' beliefs are a large part of the internal sources of influence. Teachers' beliefs It is commonly assumed that teachers enact what they believe, though experts do not agree on this issue. Teachers may enact lessons that are based on their personal beliefs about teaching. For example, if a teacher assumes and encourages a spectator stance while enacting a lesson on an isolated reading

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41 skill, this probably reflects the teacher's belief that isolated skill practice is beneficial to learners. (As a subsequent section will show, there is no simple relationship between the enacted curricula and teachers' beliefs In other words, sometimes teachers are compelled to enact literacy lessons that do not reflect their personal beliefs about teaching ) Teachers' beliefs are apparent in the enacted curricula Some studies indicate that teachers implement literacy curricula that closely reflect their personal beliefs about teaching (Allington, 1991; Clark & Peterson, 1986; Fang, 1996; Lehman, Freeman, & Allen, 1994; Thomas & Barksdale-Ladd, 1997). From the field of reading research, when studying fourth-, fifth-, and sixth graders, Richardson, Anders, Tidwell, and Lloyd (1991) found that classroom practice consistently reflected teachers' beliefs. They concluded that the teachers who used a skills-based method of reading instruction personally believed that isolated skills practice was important. On the other hand, teachers who used literature-based instruction believed that reading and writing development occurred most logically when using literature. These findings were later supported by Lehman et al. (1994) who studied 19 K-2 teachers Analyzing the results of a survey to ascertain the teachers' beliefs about teaching and a questionnaire to gather information about their enacted curricula, Lehman et al. found that teachers implemented what they believed. In another study that found a direct relationship between teachers' beliefs and their enacted curricula, or the activities that teachers plan and students undertake, Thomas and Barksdale-Ladd (1997) interviewed students and

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42 teachers from two kindergarten classrooms about literacy. This study differs from the others in that it sampled students' conceptions of literacy and compared them to their teachers' beliefs about literacy. Thomas and Barksdale-Ladd found that students' conceptions of literacy closely reflected their teachers' conceptions of literacy. Thomas and Barksdale-Ladd concluded that students internalized their teachers' beliefs about literacy learning by participating in the enacted literacy curriculum. In other words, teachers' beliefs influenced how students made sense of literacy activities by influencing the enacted curricula. These findings concurred with Richardson et al. (1991) and Lehman et al. (1994) who found that teachers' enacted curricula typically reflected their personal beliefs about teaching and learning. Teachers' beliefs may not be apparent in the enacted curricula. However, other studies have suggested that teachers' beliefs are not always directly enacted, nor are teachers' perceptions of classroom events always easy to interpret. Some studies found a correlation between teachers' beliefs and their enacted literacy curricula, yet most maintained that the enacted curricula is swayed by an eclectic mixture of teachers' beliefs and external influences (Davis, Konopak, & Readence, 1993; Duffy & Anderson, 1984). Ridley (1990) found that when teachers make a change in either beliefs or practices, one may not reflect the other for a period of time. Other researchers have found discrepancies between what teachers say and what they enact. This discrepancy complicates a simple connection between teachers' beliefs and their enacted curricula (Alverman et al., 1990; Davis et al., 1993; Duffy & Anderson, 1994). Lenski,

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43 Wham, and Griffey (1998) maintain that teaching and teachers' beliefs have complicated roots in social interaction. "Since teaching practices are socially and contextually mediated, teachers are deeply influenced by their prior experiences as students, their professional education, and their personal beliefs about effective teaching" (p. 218). Duffy and Anderson (1984) found that the connection between teachers' beliefs and instruction is "governed by a complex set of contextual factors" (p. 97) such as students' ability levels, instructional stance of the teacher (which they described as content-centered and pupil centered), and "numerous constraints and pressures" (p. 103) So teachers' beliefs can be, but a(e not necessarily, visible in their instructional plans and practices. Although beliefs do not have to be visible to be acted upon or to influence thinking, those beliefs that are visible are more likely to influence action and thought. One reason why teachers' personal beliefs may not be acted upon is that teachers may not ever fully clarify what they believe, even to themselves. This can produce confusing internal messages about important issues in teaching. For example, Miller (1990) documented six educators' struggles to become teacher-researchers and to clarify their own beliefs about teaching. Over a period of three years, these teachers met weekly to discuss the research they carried out individually. Only after consistently meeting for one year were these teachers able to describe their personal beliefs about teaching. Often teachers cannot easily "create the kind of space where dialogue can take place and freedom can appear'' (p. 1). These spaces are apparently necessary and

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44 important for reflection and awareness of personal beliefs. So, one reason why teachers may not enact curricula that is close to their personal beliefs about teaching is that they may not take the time or have the resources available (such as study groups or college classes) to fully clarify their beliefs. In sum, teachers' personal beliefs about teaching impact their enacted curricula, though the degree of the impact and the nature of the beliefs may be difficult to assess. Researchers generally agree that teachers put curricula into place that in some way agrees with their personal beliefs about teaching External Sources of Influence Along with internal teachers' beliefs external sources also may influence teachers' enactments of literacy events. Among other things, external sources may take the form of other people or materials on which teachers feel compelled to base their literacy curriculum (Allington & Walmsley, 1996; Flippo, 1999a). No investigation of external sources would be complete without a discussion of the current political climate and the growing pressure on teachers to prepare students for standardized tests A thorough discussion of the politics that cause external pressures on teaching is beyond the scope of this study. Nevertheless, a political issue that influences the enacted curricula in elementary schools is the widespread and increasing use of standards and subsequent standardized testing. In the mid 1990s, a national committee appointed by then-President Bill Clinton devised a set of national standards called Goals 2000. The standards listed benchmarks and behavioral objectives that all students needed to meet in

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45 order to be promoted to the next school grade. After the Goals 2000 were determined, each state was compelled to put curricula into place that would teach students directly from the standards. One result of Goals 2000 was that individual states distributed the national standards to local school districts and insisted that all school districts had to implement the standards. Soon after, most individual school districts presented teachers with lists of standards based on the national benchmarks and behavioral objectives. Some teachers, writers, and researchers were glad to have a specific plan of action toward which teachers and students could move each year (Foorman et al., 1998). Local districts hired people to write curriculum guides and teach workshops geared toward implementing the national standards in local classrooms. Local school districts around the nation spent several million dollars training and informing teachers about ways to implement the standards. However, other teachers, writers, and researchers warily approached Goals 2000 standards and subsequent lists from state and local districts (Allington & Walmsley, 1996; Ohanian, 1999). They worried about diverse students who were outside of the mainstream, because teachers often used non traditional teaching methods to help them develop literacy abilities. Ohanian (1999) claimed that teachers using non-traditional methods could not easily teach traditional standards. For example, thos~ teachers who use a Direct Instruction approach would easily be able to translate the standards into the classroom. Students have little input in the content of DI lessons, so teachers can easily implement lessons that use standards as the content. Conversely,

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46 those teachers who base instruction on students' input would have a difficult time teaching through all of the standards in a given year. Similarly, Allington and Walmsley (1996) argued that external sources of influence, such as standards or mandated instructional methodologies, could not significantly improve classroom instruction unless teachers were involved in relevant decision-making processes, more than merely receiving the list of standards at the beginning of the year and being expected to cover them. Another external influence that most teachers feel is pressure to prepare students for standardized tests, which typically are used to determine whether students have learned the standards. Standardized testing often is referred to as "high-stakes" because students' test results are highly publicized and can mean less money for schools, loss of jobs, and/or lower prestige during subsequent years. High-stakes standardized testing can greatly influence the teaching of reading and writing in elementary schools In a recent article, Popham (1997) reported that principals considered standardized test results more important than teachers' own perspectives when considering the retention or placement of children. Popham reported that many districts place heavy emphasis on standardized test scores in order to evaluate teacher effectiveness. Because of such high-stakes testing, many teachers change their literacy curricula in order to train students for taking th~ test (Harman, 2000). As a result, higher test scores give the appearance that instructors are using effective instructional methods when actually they may be using methods that "fit with our views of industry rather than nurturing human potential" (Tierney, 1998, p. 389).

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47 To describe the current testing climate and to help classroom teachers deal with testing, several teacher/researchers have written books that support an eclectic philosophy of teaching, or one that covers standards, yet attempts to balance the classroom content with non-standard material (i.e., Calkins, Montgomery, Santman, & Falk, 1999; Flippo, 1999b; Garcia, 1994). Calkins et al. (1999) described the journey of one group of classroom teachers, principals, and researchers who decided to "deal" with the standards and tests. They described the testing pressure in one district. The pressure to achieve high test scores often leads to curricular mandates that intrude on the professionalism and decision-making powers of teachers. In one large, urban school district, a district offi~e testing expert dissected the previous year's reading test and identified ninety-eight discrete reading skills, including onomatopoeia, linking verbs, and compound words. Every school in the district was flooded with packets of ditto sheets on each of these ninety-eight skills. Every child of testing age received a separate packet of ditto sheets on each and every skill. The edict went out. Each child was to be taught, tested, and if necessary retaught in each skill area. No one questioned why an expert on testing (not on reading) had been given the power to design the reading curriculum for thousands of classrooms. No one asked whether what children truly needed was more drill on these decontextualized skills. Instead, the edict was clear: Every day, every district teacher was to teach one of the ninety-eight skills. The skill-of-the-day was to be displayed on chart paper on the wall of every classroom District office staff members monitored this work with periodic surprise classroom spot checks during which they selected one child in each room to read aloud and define each skill on the chart. (p. 4) After describing the often desperate attempts to raise standardized tests scores, such as in the district described above, Calkins et al. suggested that teachers prepare students for taking the tests. Calkins et al. reasoned that if students score well on the tests, their teachers will be in a much stronger position to criticize the test. Calkins and her colleagues also contended that

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teachers need to be part of any committee that makes testing decisions or mandates curricular changes because of a test. Calkins et al. outlined critical aspects of the tests that every teacher should address, while suggesting that preparing students for the tests should entail "short, powerful bursts at just the right times" rather than test preparation "leak[ing] out all over the curriculum, spoiling everything" (p. 8). For test preparation, the authors suggested that 48 we need to teach children about this new and rather bizarre genre. We need to teach them to read for new purposes, in a new context, with new strategies. We need to draw on all that we know and believe about teaching in general and teaching reading, so that our children will learn the skills they need to do their best on standardized reading tests. (p. 70) Although books such as the one by Calkins et al. have been written in order to proffer an eclectic balanced approach to dealing with standardized testing pressure, some deny that testing needs to be "dealt with" and embrace the objective nature of standardized tests. For example, Bracey (2000) found that because standardized tests "objectively" measured a predetermined set of reading skills, teachers and principals considered them much more reliable than performance-based measures, such as portfolios which are not objectively assessed. He concluded that "it is not likely that we will reduce our reliance on testing any time soon" (p. 50). Schmocker (2000) reasoned that schools and districts use standardized tests because "they provide data and a results orientation that are essential to improvement. In many cases, they promote not poorer practice, but a common instructional focus and an abandonment of ineffective practices" (p. 63).

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49 One potential problem with relying heavily on standardized testing, though, is the limited content of what the tests actually measure (Baresic & Gilman, 2001; Brown, 1991; Bracey, 2000; Graves, 2000). Brown (1991) described an exemplary school district in Toronto, Canada in which students did not use standardized tests to measure teacher and student effectiveness. Instead teachers focused on developing students' reasoning abilities and higher order thinking skills. One Toronto administrator admitted having trouble measuring reasoning abilities and critical thinking skills, yet he said that he would rather struggle with measuring these aspects of literacy than settle for a standardized test that would only measure isolated and limited reading and writing skills. As Graves (2000) put it, short-paragraph responses or filled-in bubbles on timed standardized assessments may identify the quick thinkers-the students who are prepared for the mental equivalent of the 50-yard sprint. But we need to rethink how teachers can use time to bring life into the curriculum, engage their students, and let students move inside their subjects to become the informed learners so necessary in the 21st century. (p. 22) Overview The best methods to facilitate literacy acquisition are not easily surmised from research. Therefore, it is no surprise that teachers' conceptions of ideal literacy curricula are varied and may not be directly translated into practice. Teachers navig?tte between idealized conceptions of literacy learning and the forces that influence their enacted curricula. Internal notions of ideal literacy curriculum may never be fully realized and acted upon. Added to this, external

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50 pressures may influence teachers to enact preparatory testing practice or other mandated curricula in place of their ideal literacy conceptions. From this literature review, several themes emerged that are relevant to the current study: 1. Taken as a whole, research on literacy teaching is not clear about the value of one method over another. 2. Teachers' selection of curriculum will determine the stance assumed by the teacher and students. 3. Most elementary teachers use basal reading books as the foundation of their literacy curricula. 4. Basal reading books do not typically support interpretation of more complex texts, nor do they provide many opportunities for aesthetic responses to texts. 5. Direct Instruction and Directed Reading Activity both encourage teachers to create literacy lessons based on a spectator stance. 6. Integrated language arts and literature-based instruction encourage teachers to create literacy lessons using a participant stance 7. Given the social nature of literacy learning, in order to understand the literacy opportunities that teachers provide we must investigate classroom interactions. 8. Recitation, characterized by a spectator stance and students speaking only for th~ purpose of answering teacher-generated questions, is prevalent in contemporary elementary school classrooms. 9. Recitation, procedural display, and the IRE pattern limit the possibilities for teachers' and students' expression. 10. Both internal and external sources influence how teachers enact their literacy lessons.

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CHAPTER 3 METHOD This study uses a participant observation approach (Spradley, 1980) that is naturalistic (Lincoln & Guba, 1985) and interpretive (Erickson, 1986). In order to present a full and thorough knowledge of the ideal and real conceptions of literacy of these particular teachers, I employed a case study approach of the bounded system found in four elementary teachers' classrooms (Stake, 1985) This case study is characterized by an attention to context, natural settings, a holistic view of the phenomena, and social-cultural patterns of experience, as Sherman and Webb (1997) suggest that all qualitative research needs to include. Seven main data sources provide the foundation for the study: findings from a pilot study; observational field notes; transcripts of classroom interactions; artifacts of students' literacy learning (written documents that students completed as a result of literacy learning opportunities I observed-graded and non-graded); teachers' writings (lesson plans, anecdotal notes for assessment, and so forth); interview transcripts (both teachers' and students' interviews); and textual sources such as teachers' editions of text books, standardized testing practice material, state and local curricular guides, and any other written material that teachers referred to as having importance in the daily workings of the classroom. 51

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52 Pilot Study During the winter of 1999-2000, I conducted a pilot study in order to develop a prototype for a dissertation study, refine an interview protocol, define a sampling focus, and assess the usefulness of various data sources. To this end, I discovered valuable information that was important for me to consider before starting my dissertation study. Following is a brief description of the pilot study and three find ings that informed this dissertation study. Description of the Pilot Study I began the pilot study by consulting with principals, assistant principals, and curriculum coordinators from three different elementary schools to ascertain which thirdthrough fifth-grade teachers in their schools were "interested in literacy and were doing great things in literacy instruction." I asked each one of the principals to nominate two "exemplary" literacy teachers. I chose not to define what I meant by "exemplary" so that they would not nominate only those teachers who fit my conceptions. The administrators introduced me to two teachers in each school, six teachers in grades three through five, although one teacher did not participate because of illness. In all, for the pilot study I observed and interviewed two third-grade teachers, two fourth-grade teachers, and one fifth-grade teacher. After obtaining my university's human subjects review board approval and appropriate county office documentation, I began observing and interviewing the teachers. During the observations, I took field notes on a laptop computer while describing literacy events (Anderson, Teale, & Estrada, 1980), or "any action

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53 sequence, involving one or more persons, in which the production and/or comprehension of print plays a role" (p. 59). I observed in each classroom for one entire school day. During a 45 minute interview with each teacher, I gathered information about teachers' definitions of literacy and their enacted literacy curricula. I wanted to find a range of ways in which teachers approached literacy instruction. My central question for this pilot study was, "How do teachers define and teach literacy?" Findings from the Pilot Study Shortly after each observation and interview was completed, I edited the field notes, transcribed the interviews, and began reading through the data, looking for patterns within and among the interviews and observations. Four relevant findings follow: 1. All five teachers reported that they think literacy instruction is an important part of their job. "Everything we teach comes back to literacy, because everything comes back to words." "We're in literacy all day long!" "Literacy, to me, involves basically all subject areas. It's across the curriculum, it's integrated ... It has to be integrated because you have to read in math, you have to be able to write in math, and it's the same with science and social studies." 2. The enacted literacy curriculum varied from teacher to teacher, even though they all were nominated as "exemplary" and used similar instructional materials Although three of the five teachers used the basal reading book as a foundation for literacy instruction, they created different experiences by adding to or subtracting from what the basal suggested: One teacher encouraged the fourth-grade students to role play the action from the story.

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* One teacher asked engaging questions about the story and a lively discussion ensued among the third-grade students. One teacher used the pre-written suggestions from the book to review skills with her fourth-grade students. The other two teachers used materials other than the basal reading book: One teacher based literacy instruction on a theme centered around the novel A Kid in King Arthur's Court. 54 One teacher created learning centers in which the third-grade students read about science concepts while summarizing information as a group. The students rotated through five learning centers during my observation time. 3. Other teachers influenced the enacted curricula. One teacher mentioned feeling overwhelmed by the suggestions that her peers gave for literacy learning. Another teacher mentioned that she felt the need to tell other teachers how to enact literacy learning opportunities that were effective for her. 4. All four teachers described an ideal curricula that differed, sometimes greatly, from the enacted curricula I observed. These findings lead me to the following questions for the dissertation study: 1. What are selected teachers' ideal conceptions of literacy and literacy learning? 2. How do teachers enact literacy lessons and how do their enactments relate to their ideal conceptions of literacy teaching and learning? 3. What forces influence teachers' ideal and real literacy curriculum? Setting I chose to observe two different schools and four teachers in order to sample a range of teachers' conceptions of literacy and various perspectives on literacy learning. I observed four fourth-grade classrooms in two public

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55 elementary schools in a rural county in the southeastern part of the United States. I chose only four teachers to study because I wanted to thoroughly investigate each participant and to spend sufficient time in each classroom to learn about the teachers' enacted curriculum and their ideal conceptions of literacy I also wanted to record interactions in the classrooms to further describe what actually happened in each classroom, something I could not have done effectively had I observed in numerous classrooms. Fourth grade is the first time that students take a standardized writing test in the southeastern state in which I observed. Because of this writing test, fourth-grade teachers in this region often feel intense pressure to create reading and writing instruction that will prepare students for the test. Often this pressure causes teachers to modify their literacy curricula. In this particular district, teachers' lessons at standardized testing time are relatively similar because they are mandated to complete a workbook designed to prepare students for the test. If I had observed these teachers immediately preceding the test I would have been able to observe only a narrowly and externally conceived discourse and enacted curriculum in each classroom. Traditionally standardized testing takes place in February or March. One result of the testing is that teachers provide intense test preparation from October through January, or the second and third nine-week periods. Teachers spend hours each week preparing students to answer the particular type of questions on the standardized tests, using professionally designed workbooks or worksheets So the first and last nine weeks of the school year were opportune times to observe teachers enacting

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56 literacy opportunities in ways that made sense to them personally I was told during the pilot study that teachers and students look forward to the last nine weeks in fourth grade because they can create engaging and meaningful literacy lessons (possibly closer to their ideal literacy curricula) once the tests are over and the pressure of testing is removed. Because test-taking has become such a powerful influence on public discourse about schooling, I chose to observe fourth-grade teachers because I suspected that they would have to deal with the external testing influence even during the first and last nine weeks of the school year. I also wanted to see how they would negotiate between their ideal notions of literacy instruction and the real pressures that most teachers must, at some point, face I began observing and interviewing (both teachers and students) during the last nine-week's period of the 1999-2000 school year, after the standardized tests were completed. I also conducted further classroom observations and teacher interviews during the first nine weeks of the 2000-2001 school year. Rolling Hills Elementary (a pseudonym, as are all of the following teachers', students', and schools' names) was in a rural setting with little racial diversity (nearly all of its students were White) and relatively low parental education levels. Of the 960 students during the 1999-2000 school year, 73% participated in the free-lunch program. The kindergarten through second-grade teachers in Rolling Hills were recently trained to implement a tightly controlled reading program that targeted "at-risk" students in an effort to increase both the students' reading levels and their standardized test scores. According to their

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57 assistant principal, the reading program afforded teachers a systematic way to teach all children in their preferred learning style (e.g., auditory, kinesthetic, visual) The thirdthrough fifth-grade teachers were free to design their own reading curricula based on basal readers or class sets of novels as long as they followed state curricular standards. In contrast, Madison E lemehtary was an urban/suburban school with more racial/ethnic diversity. The parents' educational levels varied widely. Some had not graduated from high school; others bad earned advanced graduate degrees Approximately 25% of the students were African American, 30% were Hispanic, and the remaining 45% were White. During the 1999-2000 school year, 64% of the 770 students in the school participated in the federally funded free lunch program. The principal at Madison declared 1999-2000 to be the "Year of Literacy," so administrators, teachers, and students actively focused on literacy development. For example, the principal worked to increase standardized test scores by conducting weekly "Principal's Club" meetings in which she met with various students about writing for the standardized test. I was told numerous times about a $64,000 gift the school received from the state during the 1999 2000 school year. The money was given to the school because the students in fourth-grade scored higher than those from the previous year in two out of three possible areas on the standardized test. In the same way as the Rolling Hills Elementary teachers, Madison Elementary's fourthand fifth-grade teachers had some creative freedom to implement literacy curricula. In fact, the fourth-grade teachers voted to buy a literature-based reading curriculum to replace the basal

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58 reader for the 2000 2001 school year. The funding for this new program was delayed by the county office, so the new reading program had not been implemented until after I collected data in the fall of 2000 at Madison. Also in a way similar to the teachers at Rolling Hills, the kindergarten through second grade teachers at Madison were trained recently to implement a skills-oriented, strictly-controlled reading program. In the program, students were drilled in phonics and isolated reading skills, including finding the main idea of a paragraph, generating topic sentences, memorizing vocabulary words, and so on. Most of the fourth-grade students I observed had not gone through a program of this type when they were in the lower grades. Participants My overarching goal was to describe a range of ideal and enacted literacy conceptions. To do so, although I had observed Ms. Price during a day-long observation period in the aforementioned pilot study, I included her in the dissertation study because she was one of only a few fourth-grade teachers in the county who used literature, and not the basal reader exclusively, to provide literacy learning opportunities for her students. I anticipated that Ms. Price's interview answers would represent one end of a range of teachers' literacy methods because she used various texts for teaching. I chose another teacher, Ms. Martin, who was nominated as an exemplary teacher for the pilot study, but was unable to take part in it, because of illness. I chose the other two participants, Ms. Vaskey and Ms. Donaldson (who were considered "average" teachers by their principal) based on their grade level and their willingness to

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59 allow me to interview them and observe their literacy instruction. I expected them to represent a more traditional approach to literacy learning in fourth-grade ( classrooms because I noticed before the study that they most often used basal reading books to teach reading and writing. I ended up with four teachers whom I thought would represent a range of ideal and real literacy conceptions--two so called "exemplary" teachers and two so-called "average" teachers. After gaining permission from my university's human subject board, I spoke with all four teachers who agreed to allow me to observe and interview them. I obtained signed consent forms from students' parents or guardians in two classes for each teacher, that totaled 240 students in all. (Fifteen parents or guardians of the 240 students did not allow me to interview their children.) I also met with and obtained written permission from both principals and gained oral permission from two county office supervisors. Ms. Price The principal at Rolling Hills Elementary School described Ms. Price, aged 50, as an exemplary literacy teacher. She was voted Teacher of the Year during the 1999 2000 school year and ultimately chosen as one of the top five teachers in the county. At the time of the study, Ms. Price had taught 13 years in all, spending the last seven years at Rolling Hills Elementary School. Each year 20 to 25 parents requested that Ms. Price be their child's teacher. Ms. Martin The other so-called "exemplary" teacher in this study, Ms. Martin, also had taught 13 years--the last 11 years at Madison Elementary School. She also had

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been previously voted by her peers as Teacher of the Year for her school. Typically five to ten parents requested that their children be in her class each year. Ms. Martin was in her late 30s. Ms. Vaskey 60 Ms. Vaskey, who was in her eighth year of teaching, had taught at Rolling Hills Elementary her entire professional career. Nine years before the study began, she was an intern in Ms. Martin's room while attending night school and working as a full-time teacher's assistant. She was in her early 50s at the time of the study. Ms. Donaldson The fourth teacher, Ms. Donaldson, was the youngest and least experienced teacher in the study. At the time of the study she was in her mid twenties and had taught in fourth-grade at Rolling Hills Elementary for four years. The principal at Rolling Hills hired her after an internship there with a second grade teacher. Data Collection I collected data by conducting a series of interviews with each of the four teachers (three times each for 13 hours and 230 transcribed pages) and 12 students (three from each class for 6 hours and 108 pages of transcripts); observing and taking field notes and transcribing selected classroom interactions from the daily, 90-minute language arts block (for 50 days, 153 hours and 482 pages of transcripts); collecting student and teacher artifacts (26 pages of lesson plans and 338 pages of student work papers); and reading the teacher's editions

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61 of text books (500+ pages examined), curricular guides (40 pages), and standardized testing materials (539 pages). I conducted three formal and numerous informal interviews with each teacher. To answer the research question, "How do these teachers enact their conceptions of literacy and literacy learning?," I observed the four teachers enacting their literacy curriculum. I observed two complete literacy learning "chunks," or series of reading and writing lessons that were grouped together by common basal stories or pieces of literature. Using the term "chunk" is a better way to refer to this phenomenon than "lesson" or "story" because most meaningful literacy learning occurs over time, not just during one or two lessons. Classroom Observations The term "chunk" captured my intent to observe a purposive sampling of lessons that occurred over several days or weeks, what Stake (1985) called a bounded instance. "Chunk" also describes a self-contained grouping of lessons that appeared in some way to fit with one another. In each case, I asked the teachers to define a chunk of learning and to determine how long I should observe in their rooms to experience the whole chunk. I observed as many days as necessary to complete two literacy learning chunks per teacher. For Ms. Price, one of the two exemplary teachers, the first chunk lasted 8 days and the second chunk lasted five days. For Ms. Miller, the first chunk lasted 12 days and the second chunk lasted five days. For the other two teachers, both chunks lasted five days. I spent a total of 50 mornings, over 153 hours, observing literacy teaching and learning in the four fourth-grade classrooms.

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62 Because I was trying to capture a sense of the typical literacy learning opportunities in the classes I observed, it was important to me that my presence in the room did not affect the usual class proceedings. All four teachers said that the students seemed to act the same way whether or not I was in the room. The teachers did admit that they spent more time in planning the language arts activities for the week because I would be in the room, but as Ms. Donaldson said, "The main thing is still the main thing. We are still teaching and the kids are still being kids!" To check on this matter, on two occasions, with two different teachers, I left the classrooms early. With the teachers' permission, in both cases I left the tape recorder running and listened to the tapes the next day. Both classes seemed to proceed in the same manner when I was not present in the room as they did when I was present. Teacher Interviews Two to three days after the beginning of each observation chunk, I conducted student and teacher interviews. I conducted 12 formal student interviews (three students from each class during the spring term) and 12 formal teacher interviews (three interviews for each teacher), along with numerous informal teacher and student interviews. During the interviews, I decided to create a conversational tone because I felt the participants would respond to my questions more readily and honestly. In the first teacher interview, my overarching goal was to discern each teachers' ideal conceptions about reading and writing because there is no universal "ideal" literacy curriculum. I wanted to answer the first research

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63 question, "What are teachers' ideal conceptions of literacy and literacy learning?" Questions I asketl during the first interview are listed in Appendix A. After the initial interview, for each teacher I generated a list of 15-20 critical points that seemed to me to describe their ideal literacy conceptions. In the second formal interview my goal was to verify what I interpreted as each teacher's ideal conceptions of teaching reading and writing. I conducted a member check (Lincoln & Guba, 1985), asking each teacher to further clarify her ideal curriculum, orally accepting, rejecting, or modifying the critical points. I presented these critical issues to each teacher orally and in conversation form so that I could change the order of issues as they made sense in the conversation. For example, Ms. Price mentioned student choice of reading and writing materials, low numbers of students in each class, and a whole language philosophy as important aspects of her ideal reading and writing curriculum. During the first half of the second interview, I presented each of these issues to her, and she verified that they were indeed important aspects of her ideal reading and writing curriculum. She also expanded and defined what she meant by each concept. During the last half of the second interview, my goal was to characterize the teachers' perceptions of their enacted literacy curricula. I focused on the research question, "How do these teachers enact their conceptions of literacy and literacy learning?" This interview took place ~t the end of one school year so I asked each teacher to describe a typical chunk of literacy lessons that year in

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64 order to determine a context for the lessons I would subsequently observe. (See Appendix A for tHe second interview questions.) Over the summer, after observing one literacy learning chunk for each teacher and analyzing their previous responses, I compared the teachers' enacted curricula with their ideal curricula as revealed in the first two set of teacher interviews. I noted any differences between the ideal curricula they described in the first two interviews and the enacted curricula I observed in their classrooms. During the third interview I asked the teachers about these differences and to assess the influences of external forces as one way to answer the research question, "What influences these teachers' ideal and enacted literacy curriculum?" My goal during this interview was to ascertain the teachers' perspectives about why there may be differences between their ideal and real curriculum. I also wanted them to tell me about any internal or external forces they felt while teaching. (See Appendix A for a list of the questions I posed during the third teacher interview.) Student Interviews During the spring semester of 2000, I asked each teacher to divide the students whose parents had agreed to let me interview them into three groups based on the teachers' perceptions of high, middle, and low performers. Then the teacher and I chose one student from each group to interview based on the teachers' opinion of which students would talk freely about their experiences. interviewed three students from each class about their reading and writing classes during the current school year especially focusing on the literacy chunks

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65 I observed. I was curious about the literacy events they remembered and what they chose to discuss. I expected them to disclose which literacy lessons were salient to them. Talking with students about these salient opportunities enabled me to envision past literacy events that were important to them. Also, asking students to reflect on past literacy experiences revealed a context of literacy learning within each classroom. I read an assent form and gained oral consent from each student before we began. (See Appendix A for a complete list of questions I asked each -student.) Then, for three of the classes, I conducted group interviews with the same high, middle, and lower performing students that I had interviewed previously. did this because the students hesitated to talk when they met with me individually. In fact, the first nine students mostly nodded or shook their heads and spoke so softly that the microphone did not clearly pick up their answers. I interviewed the students from each of the first three classes together in hopes that they would speak freely in a group setting about their literacy learning for that year. The students did talk more openly during the group interviews, in which I asked the same basic questions as in the individual interviews. However, because the three students from Ms. Martin's class were relatively talkative, I did not conduct a group interview with them. Other Sources of Data Other sources of data included collections of student artifacts, or students' written documents completed as a result of the literacy learning opportunities I observed. These sources helped me more fully describe the enacted literacy

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66 curriculum of the four teachers and served as descriptive evidence that the participating teachers provided certain types of learning opportunities. In the pilot study, when I interviewed five teachers about ideal literacy learning, all of them mentioned teachers' editions, curricular guides, and/or standardized tests as influencing their ideal literacy curricula. The pilot study teachers also described the pressures they felt to design literacy lessons modeled after teachers' editions, curricular guides, and test formats. For these reasons, I closely analyzed any teachers' editions, curricular guides, and practice materials for standardized tests that the teachers used both during my observations and throughout the entire fourth-grade school year. Data Analysis Procedures In keeping with educational ethnographic research, I used the constant comparative method of analysis (Glaser & Strauss, 1967; Hutchinson, 1988; Spradley, 1980). To begin analysis I transcribed audio-tapes of the teacher and student interviews and selected classroom interactions. As Mischler (1991) noted, deciding how to represent the spoken word on paper, or transcription, is often the first step in analysis. Each word of selected interaction was transcribed. I included the speakers' names, the words they spoke, and the nonverbal behavior I noted while in the classroom. I relied on transcripts of the first two sets of teachers' interviews to describe their ideal curricula. I also used transcripts of teachers' interviews to bring out potential sources of influence. In order to verify the enacted curriculum that the teachers described in their

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interviews I relied on transcripts of student interviews, samples of student artifacts, teachers' editions, and my field notes. Ideal Literacy Curricula 67 To ascertain each teacher's ideal conceptions of literacy teaching and learning, I focused on the first two sets of teacher interviews. I "coded" the transcriptions (Spradley, 1980), that is, looked for patterns, themes, and relationships within and among the classrooms. Several main categories emerged from this activity I noticed that all four teachers mentioned their curriculum, which included the printed texts they used as a foundation for their literacy lessons; various teacher and student roles in the classroom; and issues related to assessment. These three aspects formed the foundation of my analysis of their ideal curriculum. (See Chapter 4 for the results of this analysis.) I also organized my description of each teachers' enacted curriculum around these same three categories. Enacted Literacy Curricula To understand each teachers' enacted curriculum I relied on field notes, audio-taped and transcribed selections from literacy lessons, and student interviews. During my observations I focused on what the students generally were doing in relation to the text and the literacy assignment because at any point in a literacy chunk, students could be doing quite different things, activities which give clues to learners' orientation to a text. I analyzed classroom interactions in order to more fully describe the enacted curricula in relation to teachers' and students' moves, or purposes for speaking

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68 Seeking disconfirming evidence (Lincoln & Guba, 1985), I also noticed atypical students' responses, or those interactions, expressions, or movements that were different from the norm for that particular class. In addition, I analyzed any student artifacts that were created during my observation times in order to understand what students were being asked to do during the enacted curriculum. I also read any teachers' editions or professional materials from which teachers created their lesson plans. The combination of oral discourse analysis, field notes, students' responses to reading and writing, students' artifacts, and teachers' editions and materials revealed complex, changing, and purposeful learning chunks. Selected Interactions Numerous opportunities for literacy learning potentially occur throughout the entire school day; however, it was beyond the scope of this study to observe and analyze all literacy learning opportunities. In order to focus data collection, I transcribed and analyzed only selected classroom interactions that related to reading or writing transactions. Borrowing from studies of classroom discourse (Bellack et al., 1966), I proceeded to analyze the participants' "moves," or what participants were doing with their language in these selected classroom in.teractions. I did not analyze each word spoken in the classrooms. Rather, I chose the interactions if they revolved around a literary text, whether the text was oral or printed. For example, if the beginning point of a classroom activity was reading, I explored how teachers encouraged students to assume stances toward texts, transact

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69 with texts, and respond in some manner. Similarly, if the beginning point was writing, I described the writers as they were assuming stances, writing or talking about concepts, and receiving some sort of feedback about their writing if the teacher had designed feedback. I approximated the stance of readers and writers using their behaviors and words as clues. The internal nature of reading and writing made ascertaining the exact stance of readers and writers a difficult task. Nevertheless, I describe~ the prevalent reading and writing transactions and the approximate stanc~s of participants that took place during my observations by coding participants' moves during their oral discourse. In this way, I focused on teachers' directions, students' verbal/nonverbal expressions, students' responses to texts, students' artifacts, and any other sources of information that characterized reading or writing transactions. Similar to what Mehan (1979a) and Cazden (1988) report, I found the Initiate Reply Evaluate (or IRE) pattern prevalent in all four classrooms. I did not simply code each IRE pattern I saw, however. Instead, I coded students' and teachers' moves by finding patterns in utterances and labeling them, such as "tries to initiate a topic for discussion" and "tries to invite reflection" (Townsend, 1993). I then grouped the moves into three broad categories that I labeled spectator, participant, and pretender events (Townsend, personal communication, 2001 ). During a spectator event teachers and students used language as outside observers of the text, whether written or oral. There were limited opportunities for students to speak in spectator events and teachers directed each aspect of

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70 the event. On the other hand, during a participant event, teachers and students used language actively, in order to do something such as complete an action, speculate about a proposition, or inquire about personally relevant information. There were many opportunities for students and teachers to communicate various moves in the participant event. In a curious mixture of spectator and participant stances, I also discovered a pretender event in which teachers apparently framed a spectator event but "pretended" they were enacting a participant event. On the surface, a pretender event looked like a participant event, but taking a holistic view of the event revealed the teachers' spectator stance and the limited role that students could play in such events. I was able to describe particular episodes and characterize what both teachers and students were doing during literacy lessons. The moves that originated from the interaction transcripts became further evidence of the enacted literacy curriculum. (See Chapter 4, Results, for more details.) I categorized spectator, participant, and pretender events in oral classroom interactions in order to describe the enacted literacy curriculum. discovered that there were relatively few purposes for speaking within spectator events. Instead of simply verifying the commonplace IRE pattern, with its limited set of moves and purposes for speaking, I focused my analysis on the participant events. (To do so, I had to assume intention. I did not, however, ascertain whether or not the participants' purposes were achieved, nor did I gauge the effect of the turns of speaking on other participants.) Chapter 4 will describe the various moves as one way to characterize an enacted literacy curriculum.

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71 Sources of Influence on the Literacy Curricula While reading through the first two teachers' interviews, I noted nine possible sources of influence on their reading and writing curricula. This list included county and state standards, standardized testing, student interests, personal beliefs about teaching, the teachers' sense of what needs to be done, other people, teachers' editions, professional materials, and forces over which teachers have no control. As a "member check" (Lincoln & Guba, 1985, p. 314) during the last interview I asked the teachers to place the nine sources in order, according to the ones they felt the most influenced by, and to verify that these sources shaped their literacy instruction. I also asked them to verify that there were no other potential influences. To more fully describe the nine sources of influence, I noted any discrepancies between the teachers' ideal and enacted conceptions of literacy learning. When I asked the teachers about any differences, they typically responded by describing a source of influence more fully. In this way, the teachers themselves gave detailed descriptions of the various sources of influence. Summary To summarize, I analyzed classroom observations, teacher and student interviews, teacher and student artifacts, materials that teachers read, and selected classroom interactions in order to describe the four teachers' real and ideal literacy curricula and the sources of influence on their literacy curricula. To understand their ideal curricula, I used the first and second set of teacher

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72 interviews. To describe their enacted curricula, I analyzed the selected classroom interactions, observation field notes, students' interviews, and the third set of teacher interviews. To interpret various sources of influence on their curricula, I focused on the three sets of teacher interviews and any discrepancies I noticed between their ideal and enacted curricula Appropriateness of the Method Participant observation (Spradley, 1980) and analyzing participants' moves during classroom interactions were appropriate for this study because they aided my understanding of the complex data I collected in several ways. First, participant observation permitted me to investigate each teacher's interviews in light of the enactments I observed. My observations enabled me to individually and simultaneously analyze all four teachers' ideal and enacted curricula. In other words, being a participant observer helped me to understand each part of the data by understanding the other parts. Analyzing participants' moves served to clarify the prevailing patterns of classroom discourse. Through this analysis I was able to interpret and categorize 24 7 classroom events and identify supports or constraints to literacy instruction. Most importantly, using these methods enabled me to study teachers' perceptions and classroom enactments inductively without generating hypotheses a priori or predetermining relevant variables. The ideal and enacted curricula varied among the teachers, but I was able to integrate the data into a cohesive description of each teacher and to describe similar patterns among the teachers.

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Definitions of Terms The following terms will be used in this study: 73 An aesthetic stance is a readiness to respond to a printed literary text characterized by what the reader is living through, guided by the text, during the reading event. For example, an aesthetic stance is assumed by a reader who savors the words of a poem with his attention on the present event of reading the poem, not on remembering portions of the poem for a test at a later time. Curricular pressures are those external pressures that influence the teachers' enacted curricula and the skills and concepts teachers must cover during the course of a school year. Some examples are county-level curricular guides, teachers' editions, and state or local standards. Direct Instruction, or DI, is an approach to teaching in which goal-oriented lessons are carefully structured by the teacher and follow these seven steps: State learning objectives and orient students to lesson. Review prerequisites. Present new material. Conduct learning probes. Provide independent practice. Assess performance and provide feedback. Provide distributed practice and review. Students and teachers typically assume a spectator stance while participating in a DI lesson. An efferent stance is a readiness to respond to printed text characterized by focusing on remembering concepts, ideas, and actions after the text has been

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read. For example, reading a medicine bottle in order to learn how to take the medicine correctly requires an efferent stance. The enacted curricula is part of the actual, or real, curricula provided by teachers, undertaken by students, and able to be observed by researchers High-stakes testing pressures are external pressures that teachers may experience that are related to standardized test preparation or other measures by which teachers or schools are rewarded or punished according to student performance. Ideal refers to a phenomena that is completely satisfactory or highly desirable. 74 An Integrated language arts curriculum occurs when a teacher blends as many subjects as possible into a cohesive, meaningful whole. The topic for integration typically emerges from a literary piece or basal reading story A linguistic-experiential reservoir (Rosenblatt, 1988) is a collection of past experiences, past emotional states, prior readings of texts, previous experiences with readings, present states, present preoccupations, and so on. Linguistic experiential reservoirs shape current reading. Literacy is the state of being able to participate fully in a to-and-fro interplay between a person and text that results in a coherent understanding. Recursive in nature, being literate is being able to assume an appropriate stance toward a text, to interpret the text or lived-through experience of a text, and/ or to create a new text.

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75 A literacy learning opportunity is a classroom event that affords students an o~casion for literacy development and may or may not result in students' actual literacy learning. A literacy learning chunk is a series of literacy lessons that are grouped together by a common piece of literature or basal reading story. The length of the chunk varies from class to class. Some teachers create chunks that last one week or less, while others create chunks lasting several weeks. Literature-based Instruction occurs when teachers base reading lessons on a piece of literature instead of a basal reading story. A participant stance is characterized by people using language to complete an action, to explore possibilities, or to inquire about personally relevant information. Numerous moves are possible in a participant stance, such as "expressing an opinion," "wondering," "connecting a personal experience with a topic," or "encouraging elaboration of a topic." A spectator stance is characterized by people using language to answer explicit questions or to discuss the literal plot of a text. There are limited possibilities for speaking, including moves such as "asking a predetermined question," "showing knowledge" or "evaluating responses." A stance is a readiness to respond in a certain way. A text may be the printed word(s), or the oral and/or nonverbal interaction between or among two or more people. A literacy transaction takes place between a person and a text, whether the text is written, oral, or nonverbal. "Transaction designates an ongoing

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76 process in which the elements or factors are, one might say, aspects of a total situation each conditioned by and conditioning the other" (Rosenblatt, 1978, p. 17). In a recursive fashion, a transaction occurs when a reader assumes a stance, interprets a text, and responds to the text either during or after reading, writing, or talking.

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CHAPTER4 IDEAL CONCEPTIONS The purpose of this study was to explore 4 fourth-grade teachers' perspectives on teaching literacy by relating their ideal conceptions of literacy learning to their enacted curriculum. Using teacher and student interviews, classroom observations, and verbatim transcripts of selected classroom interactions, I analyzed each teachers' ideal and real literacy learning opportunities and characterized the influences they felt on their literacy curricula. This chapter presents the results of the first two interviews of each teacher and focuses on the first research question "What are four selected teachers' ideal conceptions of literacy and literacy learning?" Its purpose is to describe the ideal literacy conceptions of each teacher and provide a basis for understanding the differences between their ideal and real literacy curricula. Although a rich, thick description of each teacher is my intent, a complete analysis of all areas of literacy implementation was beyond the scope of this study. For example, I did not gather data on teacher planning or on any inservice instruction that took place during the study. I did, however, analyze each teacher's ideal and enacted literacy curricula by using three aspects of literacy learning: curriculum, roles of the teacher and the student, and assessment. These three categories were developed during a preliminary analysis of the teachers' responses after the first round of interviews and 77

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78 observations because they stood out as important aspects of literacy learning for the four participants. During the last round of observations and the third set of teacher interviews, I conducted a "member check" (Lincoln & Guba 1985, pp. 314-315) to confirm and correct various categories and influences that emerged from the first phase of analysis. I explicitly asked the teachers about each category in order to understand the teachers' perspectives more clearly. Spectator and Participant Stances In order to describe the enacted curricula I have employed two concepts that need to be explained at the outset. As I have described it, literacy is a to and-fro interplay between person and text This interplay between a reader, speaker, or writer and a text shapes the literary interpretation (Rosenblatt, 1994 ) In a reading or writing transaction, a person's stance, or readiness to respond in a certain way will also shape the experience In other words, a learner's stance toward a text will determine the nature of an engagement, or the degree to which the learner's interest is sustained. As Langer (1995) and others have suggested, a higher level of engagement with a literary text deepens the understanding of the text. For this study, I describe the nature of students' engagement with texts (literary, verbal, or nonverbal) by describing the nature of the interactions surrounding selected literacy lessons. How individual teachers approach literature (their stance toward literature) plays a large role in determ i ning how students will respond to texts (Galda, 1990 ; Hickman, 1981; Rosenblatt, 1994). My definition of text (which includes, but is not limited to, oral and nonverbal

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transactions of two or more people) supports experts' findings on stance in the classroom. 79 I have employed the terms "participant" and "spectator'' to characterize classroom interactions, although these stances were originally characterized by Britton (1993) to describe responses to reading and talking. As I use it in this study, a spectator stance is characterized by a person interacting with a text as an outside observer, similar to a spectator at a sporting event. I use the term "participant" for times when students used language when they felt the need" to act and decide (Britton, 1993, p. 105) and in order "to get things done" (Britton, 1993, p. 101). Within the "enacted" section, I will further describe both stances as ways of understanding the nature of students' engagement with texts. The second concept that needs clarification is my use of the term "event." In the enacted section I have grouped together the classroom interactions that had a logical beginning and ending as one way to understand a "grammar" (Weade & Greene, 1989) of the lesson. I characterized an event as a series of utterances by two or more speakers that ended when the subject matter changed or the class made a transition to another content area. The events that I identified are based on teachers' and students' stances while speaking, as I could construe them. For my purposes in this chapter, I have used the two terms, participant and spectator, as labels for the events that occurred during the observed lessons. During a "spectator event," teachers and students assumed a spectator stance and used their language accordingly. The interaction pattern of a typical

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80 spectator event was Mehan's (1979a) Initiate Reply Evaluate (IRE) interaction pattern in which the teacher initiated a question, a student responded and the teacher evaluated the student's response. For example, in the following excerpt from a spectator event Ms. Vaskey asked students to make general statements about a list of words she wrote on the board from a novel they were about to read orally: [Note: In this and all transcripts that follow, "XXX" signifies unidentifiable speech and" ... signifies words omitted for clarity. All names are pseudonyms.] [The teacher has drawn the students' attention to five words on the board: 1. bewilderment, 2. miracle, 3. wondrous, 4. miraculous, 5. wonders ] 1. Ms. Vaskey: Pick out two and tell me how they are alike Tawny. 2. Tawny: Two and four are spelled the same [Ms. Vaskey writes "2 and 4 are spelled the same" on the board.] 3. Ms. Vaskey: What is the same about two and four that is spelled the same? Lauren? 4. Lauren: Ummm. "m-i-r-a-c" is the same. 5. Ms. Vaskey: OK Anything else that you see, either one of them? [nods to David] 6 David: They talk about miracles. 7 Ms. Vaskey: [to David] Which ones talk about miracles? What numbers? 8. David: Two and four 9. Ms. Vaskey: Two and four? OK. [writes "2 & 4 talk about miracles" on board]

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81 This excerpt includes typical characteristics of a spectator event: an IRE interaction pattern and students and teacher reflecting on language or being "free to contemplate without the pressure of immediate action" (Galda, 1990). In turns 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9, Ms. Vaskey asked a question and called on a student. In turns 2, 4, 6, and 8, the students answered her questions. On the other hand, during a "participant event" students and teachers used language as participants in order to do something, such as complete an action, explore a possibility, or seek out personally relevant information. For example, in an interaction about the story James and the Giant Peach, in which a young boy must contend with wicked aunts, Ms. Price's students shared personal reflections from their journals: 1. Chris: If I were James I would have run away to the closest house and ask for them to help or if I could stay with them. 2. Ms. Price: So you would have gone to somebody else's house for help. How many of you either chose to tell somebody or ask for help? [Ten students raise their hands.] 3. Ms. Price: ... Ronnie? 4. Ronnie: If I were James, I would wait until they were asleep, and I would climb out the window and go to the neighbors then and tell the police. 5. Ms. Price: Okay, so you wouldn't call the police, you'd go! [laughs] Good idea. The students in this excerpt did not comment on the text as outsiders, as they would have done in a spectator event. Rather, in turns 1 and 4 they assumed the role of the main character and suggested possibilities for action, as

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82 if they were participating in the story line. In turn 2, Ms. Price asked a question that had multiple possibilities for answers. Students gave their opinions, first as a group (turn 3), then individually (turn 5 and after). The students and teacher in this excerpt actively used oral language to understand the text, to invite multiple perspectives into the conversation, and to express their own opinions. Introduction to the Teachers The four teachers shared similar characteristics. They all had spent their entire careers teaching in elementary schools in the southeast portion of the United States. All four were females, and three of the four taught in the same school. Although they shared certain qualities, each teacher was distinct. Ms. Martin At the time of the study, Ms. Martin had taught in the same elementary school in grades two, three, and four in a small town of approximately 12,000 people, where she had been born and raised. She graduated from a nearby state university and returned home to teach. She was 38 years old and had been teaching at the suburban Madison Elementary School for 14 years, the last two years in fourth-grade. Her principal nominated her as one of two "exemplary" literacy teachers in the school. She was isolated from the other three teachers in the study who taught at another nearby elementary school. Her soft-spoken, happy demeanor created a quiet, pleasant atmosphere in her classroom. According to the principal, 60-70% of Ms. Martin's students each year were placed in her room because of parent requests. Ms. Martin maintained a good reputation among students' parents and guardians, as

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83 evidenced by the high number of parent requests and frequent parent volunteers in her room. She regularly attended her students' extracurricular activities, such as soccer games, cheer-leading competitions, and musical performances. She said she did this because she enjoyed being part of her students' personal lives. Ms. Martin saw literacy as being able to read and write. She described her definition of literacy in the first interview: Um, literacy, I think of the ability to read well and comprehend what you're reading. And also be able to write, you know, respond to a reading. Mostly when I do think of literacy, that's what I think of, reading. This teacher also associated literacy ability with the likelihood of students' successes in school. "I've seen what it takes to fit in, and be successful is to be able to read, and I just associate that with being literate and having literacy." In interview three, Ms. Martin repeated that success in high school depends on literacy abilities developed in elementary school. She added that there was a window of time in elementary school in which teachers could help students learn to read and write, but in upper grades "they may not ever get a teacher that's going to help them to catch up." Ms Martin's definition of literacy, then, included being able to read and write so that students could progress successfully through school. When I asked her to explain the purposes of literacy in her classroom, she said, "to gain the knowledge of whatever we are doing." Ms. Price The second teacher, Ms. Price, was in her late 40s and had been in her present position for four years. She earned a bachelor's degree from a large state university and before coming to her present position had taught in grades

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84 two and five. The principal at Rolling Hills Elementary nominated her as one of two "exemplary" teachers in the school. At the time of the study, she had taught for 12 years in this rural scho~I. Ms. Price had taken extra inservice training in second-language acquisition principles. Consequently, the administration typically placed English as a Second Language (ESOL) students in Ms. Price's room. According to an office assistant, the principal placed all of the other students in her room because of parents' requests. Ms. Price's colleagues selected her to represent the school in the 1999-2000 Teacher of the Year contest, and she finished among the top five teachers in the county. Her talkative classroom had a lively, jovial atmosphere that stemmed from her energetic personality. Ms. Price described eight interrelated ideas about literacy: Well, I guess most people think of literacy as being able to read at some level. But I think it goes a lot farther than that. I think literacy is being able to read, then that automatically leads to all those things that go with it. The grammar so you'll understand what you're reading, vocabulary and the different comprehension skills. And it leads to spelling. It leads right away to writing, because if there was nothing written, there would be nothing to read. So it goes to all of those, but it goes beyond that. It goes into some creativity, particularly when you get into writing. Also when you're reading, to be creative in your thinking. It goes to problem solving and logic, because to understand what an author is saying is sometimes like a puzzle, and you have to try to figure out what they mean and where they're going and why they're doing it. So, I think it's a much broader and more encompassing subject than simply "Do they know enough phonics to be able to call words?" Which is, I think, what a lot of people would say literacy is.

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85 Ms. Price's personal definition of literacy built upon a base of reading and writing, but extended and refined a "reading and writing" explanation She based the first six aspects of her literacy definition on skills that may be easily evaluated on a standardized test. However, the last two aspects of her definition broadened to include creativity and problem solving, two higher-order thinking skills (Bloome, 1975) that are often hard to assess. Clearly, Ms. Price understood literacy as a complex phenomenon. She also acknowledged that other educators might define literacy as simply "Do they know enough phonics to be able to call words?" She admitted that they might argue with her broad definition of literacy. According to Ms. Price, the purpose of literacy instruction in fourth-grade was to learn and grow as a person She revealed that, to her, literacy learning "opens the door for everything." She also reported that she was convinced that her teaching performance could greatly affect her students' future lives. Ms. Vaskey At the time of the study, Ms. Vaskey, one of the teachers nominated as "average" by her principal, had been teaching for seven years. She graduated from a small, private college in the southeast and felt prepared for her first teaching position only because she worked as a teacher's assistant for eight years before graduating from college. "I had the experience of having teachers around me that I could observe and work with . .. [So] working and subbing and doing a lot of things" prepared Ms Vaskey for her teaching career. She also credited Ms. Martin, one of the so-called "exemplary" teachers in the study who

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86 taught at a nearby school, for helping her learn about teaching, because she served as an intern in Ms. Martin's classroom before graduating from college. Ms. Vaskey's quiet classroom at the rural Rolling Hills Elementary seemed to be run with military-like precision. From my field notes on the third day of my observations is my notation about the atmosphere in her room: It's almost eerie how quiet the students work in this room. At first, I wondered if my presence here was the cause of the stillness. Now that I've been in the room three days, I think that Ms. Vaskey has "trained" the students to be so quiet. Even so, the class erupted in laughter at times, as a result of Ms. Vaskey's rare but humorous wit. Ms. Vaskey's definition of literacy was based on comprehending printed text. She said, "literacy is reading and understanding what you read." She went on to say that if students do not love reading, "you have to have someone to get you interested in the love of reading. Just reading itself and delving into the characters and why they are the way they are." Ms. Vaskey's purpose for reading and writing in her fourth-grade classroom closely related to real-world tasks that students may have to accomplish outside of the classroom. I relate writing to business; I relate writing to home. I think it's important that they understand a story and be able to write about the characters, write about the setting, and the actions, and comparing and contrasting the different stories of a particular unit--seeing how the characters react. . I tell them that expository writing would be convincing your parents that you want that Nintendo game.

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87 Ms. Donaldson The fourth teacher in this study, Ms. Donaldson, had taught only three years at the time of the study. She both interned and accepted her first teaching position at rural Rolling Hills Elementary School. Her principal nominated her as an "average" literacy teacher. She admitted that managing students behavior was the most challenging part of learning to teach, because "you have to learn when you get in here what works for you." The atmosphere in her room clearly showed her attention to classroom management. Her students were compliant, and on the rare occasions that they did not follow the class rules, Ms. Donaldson quickly reprimanded them. Ms. Donaldson said that literacy was everything all combined. The reading, writing, and language all combined, because you're going to have to have language skills to write; you're going to have to have the writing skills to be able to read. The writing--the reading skills to be able to write. So, I think it has to be everything all combined together. In her integrated definition of literacy, Ms. Donaldson implied that reading and writing are interconnected and inform or support one another. She went on to say that "the kids that are low readers are low writers," elaborating her conceptions of the link between reading and writing even further According to Ms. Donaldson, the purpose of literacy instruction in fourth grade classrooms was to develop students' writing abilities for the future. "They're going to have to succeed in life. They're going to have to write when they go for a job interview, or to get into college they're going to have to be able to write." She also said that reading is important because "there's no place you

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88 can get by without reading." She described the importance of practice and said "That's the deep down purpose-to get better at it so you can succeed." Summary of the Four Teachers In sum, all four teachers connected literacy with future successes or failures. Although they basically agreed on the purposes for literacy instruction, all four had slightly different definitions of literacy. (See Table 4-1) Ms. Martin Table 4-1: A Comparison of Four Teachers' Definitions and Purposes of Literacy Teacher Ms. Martin Ms. Price Ms. Vaskey Ms. Donaldson Definition of Literacy being able to read, comprehend, and respond to a reading being able to write being able to read know about grammar, comprehend what is read, spell words correctly, write, use creativity, solve problems, and use logic being able to read and understand what is read being able to read, write, and use language skills Purpose of Literacy to gain knowledge of concepts in school to learn and grow as a person to succeed outside of school to develop students' writing abilities for the future defined literacy as being able to read and write, while Ms. Donaldson described the interconnected nature of reading and writing. Ms. Vaskey focused on reading and comprehending written text, while Ms. Price described literacy as a set of eight complex ideas--being able to read, understanding or knowing grammar, developing vocabulary, using comprehension skills, spelling words correctly, writing clearly, showing creativity, thinking creatively, and using

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89 appropriate problem solving and logic abilities. Ms. Donaldson and Ms. Price both characterized literacy as integrating several abilities into a coherent grasp of text. On the other hand, Ms. Martin and Ms. Vaskey simplified the definition of literacy and based it on reading. While all four teachers gave somewhat distinct definitions of literacy, three of the teachers--Ms. Martin, Ms. Vaskey, and Ms. Donaldson--had similar individual ideal conceptions of literacy. Ms. Price's ideals differed from the rest. Ideal Literacy Conceptions To answer the question, "What are four selected teachers' ideal conceptions of literacy and literacy learning," I relied on the responses from the first two sets of teacher interviews. During the first round of interviews, I asked each teacher to describe her ideal conceptions of literacy learning. In the second interview my goal was to verify their ideal conceptions from a list of critical issues I derived from the first set of interviews. After repeated, close scrutiny of the transcripts from these interviews, three aspects of literacy learning emerged that all four teachers addressed and that seemed central to their views: curriculum, the roles of teachers and students in the classroom, and assessment. This section will address these aspects of the four teachers' ideal conceptions of literacy. Ideal Curriculum All four teachers agreed that "real" literature should be used in elementary classrooms. What they did not agree on was the role that literature should play

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in the ideal literacy curriculum and the organization of an ideal literacy classroom. For example, Ms. Martin, a so-called "exemplary" teacher who was the only teacher in the study at Madison Elementary, aligned herself with an integrated, literature-based curriculum when she said, "instead of the basal reader where they're reading short, little, partial, part of the story, the pieces of stories, they actually feel accomplishment by reading a book." She went on to say that 90 I think the children get an idea that they don't like to read because of what we give them in the basal. And if they get the joy of learning from being able to read a book that maybe they're interested in ... they're going to want to read more, which is half the battle Further, she said that teachers should organize class time so that they could meet with students individually and in groups according to their abilities. She said that this organization could help lower-performing students raise their reading levels. Ms. Price, the other so-called "exemplary" teacher, also stated that literature was the foundation for her ideal reading and writing curriculum. However, she described literature-based instruction in which everything comes back to one ... You are actually working on one theme, but actually you are moving in a lot of--there's a lot of little circles going around it, but they all come back to the one theme. So, you have your main idea and all your little details sticking out from it. Like Ms. Martin Ms. Price also based her ideal literacy curriculum on students' interests, saying, "if they are not interested in it, it doesn't make any difference how well suited it is to their level. If they are not interested and it

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91 doesn't attract them, then they are not going to read it." Instead of skill groups, as Ms. Martin suggested, Ms. Price said that ideally "you would divide your class into interest groups and choose books and let them each go in their own direction." She said that during a class reading in an ideal literacy lesson, they might "just stop and talk about something or notice something." She said that "little things that hit you probably have more to do with literacy" than lessons on isolated literacy skills. The two so-called "exemplary" teachers, Ms. Martin and Ms. Price, both described a central role for literature in their ideal literacy curriculum. However, Ms. Martin emphasized using skill groups to raise students' reading levels, and Ms. Price emphasized grouping students according to their interests. In contrast, Ms. Vaskey and Ms. Donaldson, the two so-called "average" teachers in the study, said that they would make use of the basal reading book as the primary source of literacy instruction, using literature as enrichment. Initially, Ms. Vaskey said that she would "get away from the textbook and really get into more of the novels." Yet, when I asked her to describe an ideal literacy lesson, she said that she would use the basal reading book because it is supposedly easier because the teacher's book has the things that map out everything. It has the comprehension questions, it has the skills that go with the book, instead of me having to generate them. Within her ideal literacy curriculum, Ms. Vaskey said that small class sizes (no more than 25 students) would enable teachers to spend time with each student individually in order to help them if they are "struggling with a different concept."

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92 Similarly, Ms. Donaldson, the least experienced teacher, said that she / would "build on those skills these kids don't have ... and get them really solid and then move on. And I think that you have to have that foundation of the nouns and verbs before you can do anything else." Her ideal classroom setup would include learning centers in which students could practice literacy skills. She also said that an ideal classroom organization would pair higher-performing students with lower-performing students. "That way, if the lower kids can't find the answer they have someone there to go to and say, 'Where is this answer at?' Help me find it." Summary of ideal curriculum The two so-called "average" teachers said that the basal reading book curriculum was ideal for literacy instruction, while the other two teachers maintained that a literature-based curriculum was an ideal foundation. They also differed on the organization of an ideal literacy classroom. Ms. Martin, Ms. Vaskey, and Ms. Donaldson believed that ability-grouping was best for literacy development, but Ms. Price considered interest-grouping ideal. Ideal Teacher and Student Roles Ms. Martin and Ms. Price, the two so-called "exemplary" teachers, both said that the ideal role of a literacy teacher was to integrate as many subjects as possible in order to build on students' interests Ms. Martin said the best efforts of a literacy teacher are spent taking a novel and letting your child read from the novel, tying everything into that, um, that subject. And just working from there. Whatever it may be. Whether it be math or social studies or health or science, go from that

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93 one subject and pull anything I can from the Internet, the library, or from other teachers and make a whole unit or whole curriculum from that story. She reasoned that integrating all subjects would pique students' interests and give them opportunities to learn things that they may not experience otherwise. "A lot of the children don't have backgrounds that they can draw from. So you have to provide things that they know and they learn in the classroom that they can apply to their writing." Ms. Price concurred and said that she would integrate science, geography, social studies, math, and writing together into a meaningful theme around one novel. She also said that an ideal teacher would "head off' in one direction simply because students showed an interest in a particular subject. Along with integrating as many subjects as possible, Ms. Martin felt that the ideal role of a literacy teacher should be helping students progress at least one grade level so that they have the skills they need to succeed in the next school year. When I asked her how teachers should accomplish this, she said teachers should ascertain "what level they [students] are at now and [evaluate] whatever assistance they need [like] writing with my teacher's assistant .. or working with them one-on-one ... and providing a comfortable place and a nice environment where they [students] can come." Although Ms. Price agreed that integrating all subjects was ideal, she did not focus on students' skill levels, the way Ms. Martin did. Instead, Ms. Price said that part of an ideal role of the teacher was to model literate behavior. She said that one way this modeling might occur was when "I'm reading to them and I

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94 stop and I say, 'What on earth do they mean?' or 'I'm confused,' or 'How did this / happen?,' or 'What's going to happen next?' Anything I can to help them see what I'm thinking." Instead of appearing to be an expert in reading, Ms. Price seemed willing to assume a tentative stance toward texts and model the questions she had while reading. Ms. Price felt this allowed her students to see her own struggles with text and the way she resolved the questions that she raised. Ms. Price felt that she should model a participant stance toward reading. From her own definition of "whole language," Ms. Price felt that there were "a lot of little circles going around" the text that may need to be interpreted, such as the processes of raising questions about and understanding a text. Ms. Price mentioned that another aspect of the teacher's ideal role was helping students understand the value of literacy and "why they have to learn it. ... Today, you have to use a lot of 'song-and-dance' and you have to use a lot of reason" in order to help students learn. She explained that using real world objects, such as checkbooks in mathematics, were important and made the task of convincing students about the importance of adding and subtracting relatively easy. It's really hard on things like "subject and predicate." ... For them, it's very hard to explain that this is something you actually need to know. If you don't understand how a sentence fits together, and what the pieces are, you can't build it. Your sentences are never going to be good, quality sentences. And why do you need good, quality sentences? See, now we're getting into that--they can't think in that many steps. "You need to be able to do it because eventually you're going to have to write to convince somebody." Or "You're going to have to get in college and you're gonna need to be able to write and you need to impress them with your literary skills."

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95 Although the two so-called "exemplary" teachers agreed that an ideal role for teachers is to integ 'r: ate as many subjects as possible, they disagreed on the focus of the integration. Ms. Martin focused on raising students' skills, and Ms. Price focused on modeling literate behavior and explaining why literacy abilities are important. The two so-called "average" teachers, Ms. Vaskey and Ms. Donaldson, emphasized that teachers' control over students' behavior and learning was a major part of the role of teachers. Ms. Vaskey, who had worked for eight years as a teaching assistant before earning her teaching degree, said that a teacher must keep control of students' behavior "to keep them focused so that they learn what they need to." Similarly, Ms. Donaldson, the teacher who had been teaching only three years at the time of the study, said that her ideal conception of the role of a teacher was to direct what students do and learn. She maintained that by having fewer students in each class, "you're not going to have as many problems, for one thing. And you can control that [behavior] a little bit better." When I asked her specifically about the ideal role of a teacher, she said that "it should be that I'm just here to teach .... I'm here to broaden their horizon, I guess you could say. To get them to learn what they need to learn, so that they can succeed, outside." When I asked her how a teacher accomplishes getting them to "learn what they need to learn" she said by practicing isolated writing, reading, and mathematical skills. Although the two so-called "average" teachers agreed about the importance of teachers' control in the classroom, in the second interview Ms.

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Vaskey seemed to struggle between her ideal conception of the role of the teacher (maintaining quiet, controlled students) and what she felt was the best environment for literacy learning. 96 Thinking that they all have to be quiet, all the time, is maybe not a concept that is really, really good. Even though I like it when it's quieter, cause more of them can concentrate-but, [it may be better to] get them more involved in hands-on type of things . varying teaching strategies to reach more of the students. To illustrate her position further, Ms. Vaskey described one lesson in which the students worked in groups. She noticed that when she walked around and listened to them, "you hear the ideas coming out where they would share with their peers, but not necessarily with me, even though I overheard what they were saying." Ms Vaskey clearly struggled with her conceptions of the ideal role of a teacher: controlling students by implementing direct instruction lessons or allowing students the freedom to work in cooperative groups and thereby having less influence over them. In general, the two so-called "average" teachers described similar conceptions of the ideal teachers' role, focusing on teachers closely controlling students' learning opportunities and behaviors. On the other hand, Ms. Martin and Ms. Price, the two so-called "exemplary" teachers, agreed that teachers should integrate subjects and perhaps allow students some manner of control. But, Ms Martin and Ms. Price did not agree on all aspects of an ideal literacy curriculum. Ms Martin felt that the ideal role of a teacher included helping students progress through certain skills and Ms Price attended more closely to modeling literate behavior.

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97 As for the ideal role of students in the classroom, Ms. Martin, Ms. Vaskey, and Ms. Donaldson described the importance of students focusing their attention on the teacher and following the classroom rules by acting responsibly. This interaction occurred in Ms. Martin's third interview: SW: By the same token, what are the students' roles? Ms. Martin: Um, we talk about responsibility in fourth-grade and that they're grown up--they're at an age where they can control what happens to them .... You know, it's up to them. And they've got to want to do it for themselves . .. SW: So their role is being responsible? Ms. Martin: Being responsible-SW: Studying? Ms. Martin: Studying when they need to, and, um, and if they're wanting to follow the rules in the classroom, now, then hopefully that will carry on later on in life. Ms. Martin clarified her perspective in this interaction by saying that students should be responsible for studying, preparing for tests, and following the classroom rules. From this interaction it is also clear that Ms. Martin believes her students' future successes "in life" hinge on their "wanting to follow the rules in the classroom." Similarly, Ms. Vaskey said that the ideal role of students was "to be able to listen and follow directions ... and to work either in a large group or a small group." She also said that, ideally, students will monitor what they read based on their parents' opinions. The students need to know the difference between "Is this something that my mom's going to let me read?" "If it's something she doesn't want me to read," then you stay away from it, or ask somebody what kinds of information are in there

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98 Ms. Donaldson connected the ideal students' role in her classroom to being employed. Their role should be that this is their job. They should think of it as their job. And I try to tell them that. "This is your job. You need to come here You need to pay attention You need to listen. Don't disturb others. You get paid." They're like, "How do we get paid?" I said, "You get paid with your grades." ... You know, anything that we can do to help them. I think that they need to play like this i s their job. This is a job. When I asked Ms. Donaldson about what students ideally should do on the "job," she said that they need to be on time, complete the activities she assigns, and listen to her instructions. From the previous descriptions, it is clear that the ideal role for students, according to Ms. Martin, Ms. Vaskey, and Ms. Donaldson is to assume a spectator stance, listen to the teacher, and work hard to complete all class activities. In contrast, Ms. Price said that ideally a student would be a participant and involved and maybe even have a lot of say in here, by their participation. Because if they really showed some interest in some areas or worked in a direction, we could go beyond it or study a certain topic if they showed a great deal of interest in it. They should be an active partic i pant, if they really want to learn. Ms. Price's description coincided with her ideal curriculum that centered around students' interests and participation. Her concept of the ideal role for students was that they would assume what I describe as a participant stance and explore possibilities while engaging with the lessons. Summary of ideal teacher and student roles Collectively, the four teachers' ideal conceptions of teacher and student roles in a literacy classroom varied, but were somewhat similar. Ms. Martin and

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99 Ms. Price described teachers integrating subjects based on students' interests. On the other hand, Ms. Vaskey and Ms. Donaldson focused on teachers controlling students' learning and behavior. Ms. Martin emphasized students' interests as a place for teachers to begin when planning instruction. Ms. Price mentioned students' interests but in the context of explaining the reasons behind the activities she assigned. When talking about the ideal role of students, Ms. Martin, Ms. Vaskey, and Ms. Donaldson reasoned that students will learn more efficiently if they interact with texts while assuming a spectator stance. These teachers' ideal conceptions of the role of students focused on students preparing for tests, following class rules, listening to the teacher, and completing all assignments. They felt that students should assume a spectator stance toward the literacy lessons that the teacher created and controlled. Ms. Price, on the other hand, described a participant stance as an ideal role for students. She mentioned that ideally students would actively participate in planning and implementing reading and writing lessons. Ms. Price envisioned students deeply engaged in literacy lessons while investigating personally relevant information. The difference between Ms. Price and the other three teachers became more evident when I asked the teachers about their ideal conceptions of assessment. Ideal Assessment When describing their ideal conceptions of assessment, Ms. Martin, Ms. Vaskey, and Ms. Donaldson agreed that standardized tests were appropriate

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100 and necessary to ascertain the reading and writing levels of students. They argued that standardized tests were more consistent and therefore more desirable than performance-based assessments such as portfolios. Ms. Martin and her former intern, Ms. Vaskey, suggested that teachers should prepare students for the test, using activities such as writing prompts, called "Demand Writes," that the school board office mandated quarterly. Ms. Donaldson disagreed that Demand Writes were an ideal form of assessment and instead suggested that teachers choose representative pieces of writing for each student to be graded using a standardized rubric. Ms. Price asserted that listening to students and talking with them about their reading and writing was an ideal way to assess literacy development. Ms. Martin, along with Ms. Price, maintained that observing and documenting students' growth over time was key in ideal assessment. The strength of their beliefs about the ideal nature of seeing students' literacy growth varied, however. Both Ms. Martin and Ms. Price mentioned that interviewing and talking with students about what they had read were ideal forms of assessment, because to do so would reveal their students' growth. Ms. Price stated that ideal assessment would be "listening to kids read and just chatting with them about it." In the following interaction, she further described her conceptions of ideal assessment. SW: So, your ideal classroom assessment would be .... Ms. Price: It would be to listen to them, to watch them reading. If they're picking books. SW: Over time-

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101 Ms. Price: And if they're reading books and they're reading all the time and you see them progressing through the level of their books, then you know that that is going. You're headed in the right direction with them. They're wanting to read more. They're choosing books. Ms. Price connected ideal assessment to listening to students, noticing what they chose to read, and monitoring whether or not they were reading increasingly harder books. She contended that students need to see their progress if assessment is to be meaningful. She asserted that collecting students' work in writing portfolios would be one good way to "help them see progress. Writing is a much slower process" to develop than reading, so portfolios would help students and teachers ascertain students' growth. Taking a slightly weaker position toward the importance of documenting students' growth over time, Ms. Martin reiterated her ideal conceptions about the responsibility of students in her classroom. She stated that ideal literacy assessment was giving students choices about what they would read and write "and let[ting] them make a decision. I think it puts it back in their hands, also, and that makes them responsible so that they're going to do better." When the topic of ideal assessment came up in the first interview, Ms. Martin agreed with what Ms. Price had said by saying that she would "move away from standardized testing" because the tests did not give teachers enough information to show the growth of students. However, several minutes into the same interview, Ms. Martin added that she thought each grade level should have a preand post-test and all groups of

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102 fourth-graders should be evaluated using a standardized format in order to see how students performed nation-wide. She contradicted her initial ideas about moving away from standardized tests, arguing that, in her opinion, standardized assessments were more consistent than performance-based measures that were designed to see growth in children. Consistency and objectivity wer~ also key issues in Ms. Vaskey's ideal form of assessment. She described her ideal assessment as objective and . ' based on rubrics. When you're reading something, if you don't have a rubric, you're being subjective. And you're basing what they're writing on who they are and where they've come from and overlooking things that you shouldn't overlook .... So with rubrics, you know what you're looking for and the whole class is graded on the same thing. Objectivity, or evaluating all students by the same criteria, was important to Ms. Vaskey. She agreed with the county policy to administer "Demand Writes" or writing prompts that all students completed four times each school year. She said the Demand Writes assessment "gives them practice and knowledge of what the [state standardized test] is going to be about" before they enter fourth grade. Although Ms. Donaldson, the other so-called "average" teacher, agreed with Ms. Martin and Ms. Vaskey about the importance of standardized assessment, Ms. Donaldson added that various forms of evaluation were necessary because of the individuality of each student. She said that smaller class sizes would allow her to individually measure students' progress. For example,

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103 if this child succeeds better at paper and pencil, then give him a paper and pencil task. If this child will succeed better by making a poster about what was happening in the book, let him do that. Or, somebody might do it orally, if that's the way they can do it. If they can't put it down on paper that might be a good idea. Although she argued for various forms of assessment, Ms. Donaldson said that it was appropriate to test each student using an expository writing prompt, similar to the one found on the state's writing assessment. She reasoned that she could teach a simple format to all of her students and they could do equally well on the test. Her disagreement with the state's standardized writing test concerned narrative writing. She said that "it's hard to teach creativity for the narrative" and that she, herself, was "not creative, so it's hard for me to even think of something myself to do on the writing prompt with them." She did agree that it was ideal to use a rubric to score the standardized writing test. Summary of ideal assessment Collectively, both of the so-called "exemplary" teachers, Ms. Martin and Ms. Price, described observing and documenting students' growth as important characteristics of ideal assessment. They added that discussing reading and writing with students could clearly display what students had learned. However, Ms. Martin along with Ms. Vaskey, one of the so-called "average" teachers who was formerly Ms. Martin's intern, felt that consistent evaluation was important and that standardized assessment was more consistent than performance-based measures such as portfolios. Ms. Vaskey further argued that teachers who do not use rubrics while grading papers will be subjective (or not consistent) and will evaluate students unfairly. Ms. Price, on the other hand, suggested that portfolio

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104 assessment gives teachers a better understanding of students' growth and was therefore a better form of evaluation. Finally, Ms. Donaldson reasoned that evaluation should be differentiated according to students' individual differences. However, she maintained that consistently evaluating all students using standardized assessments and rubrics was important. Ms. Martin, Ms. Vaskey, and Ms. Donaldson asserted that standardized tests were an important part of ideal assessment, while Ms. Price argued that portfolio assessment was a better indicator of students' learning. As in other areas, Ms. Price's conceptions of ideal assessment differed from the other three teachers' conceptions. Overview of Ideal Conceptions of Literacy In sum, all four teachers concurred that literature should be used in ideal literacy classrooms, yet they disagreed about the extent and nature of literature use. Table 4-2 is a comparative look at the ideal conceptions of all four teachers. Ms. Martin, Ms Vaskey, and Ms. Donaldson noted that teachers and students should ideally assume a spectator stance during literacy lessons. They also upheld standardized assessment as the most consistent, and therefore the most ideal type of evaluation. Ms. Vaskey and Ms. Donaldson, the two so-called "average" teachers, both said that the basal reading book should be used as the framework for the ideal literacy curriculum. They also maintained that a major role of the teacher was to control students' behavior. Ms Price's ideal conceptions of literacy learning consistently differed from the other three teachers' conceptions. For example, instead of standardized

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Table 4-2: A Comparison of Ideal Conceptions of Four Teachers Teachers Curricula Roles of Teachers and Students Assessment Ms. Martin The curricula needs : The teacher should: Assessment should: to use novels integrate many subjects allow students to see growth in writing to integrate all subjects use students' interests to keep students' attention and reading to include one-on-one encourage and assume a spectator stance give students choices of prompts and skill groups for Students should : talk to students about reading lower learners assume a spectator stance, listen to the teacher, preand post-test each grade level follow rules, and take responsibility for learning consistently evaluate using standardized assessment Ms Price The curricula needs: The teacher should: Assessment should : to use novels, not basal model literate behavior allow students to see growth in writing to follow whole language use students' interests to plan lessons and reading philosophy help students understand "why" involve teacher listening to students to integrate all subjects encourage and assume a participant stance read and talking with them about the text into novel ideas Students should: include teachers noticing frequency of to use interest groups assume a participant stance, express interests, and students reading actively participate in literacy lessons Ms. Vaskey The curricula needs : The teacher should: Assessment should : to use basals primarily, control students' behavior and learning use rubrics but enrich with novels vary teaching strategies be objective to reflect whole encourage and assume a spectator stance use Demand Writes and standardized language principles Students should : assessment to include one-on-one assume a spectator stance, listen to the teacher, consistently evaluate using standardized time with students follow directions, and work with small groups assessment Ms The curricula needs : The teacher should: Assessment should: Donaldson to use basals primarily, control students behavior and learning use various evaluations : paper and but enrich with novels provide time for reading and writing practice pencil, book reports, posters to focus on each skill encourage and assume a spectator stance do not use Demand Writes, teacher to use ability groups or Students should: should choose sample of writ i ng ....lo. pair lower and higher assume a spectator stance, listen to the teacher, consistently evaluate using standardized 0 CJ1 performing students and complete all class assignments assessment

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106 assessment, Ms. Price believed that portfolio assessment was ideal. She was the only teacher of the four to describe a participant stance as ideal for teachers and students to assume. Along with that, she argued that students should be organized by interest groups and encouraged to explore their own inquiry. While these four teachers represent a range of ideal conceptions of literacy teaching and learning, the range is not as large as one might expect. Also, the two so called exemplary teachers, Ms. Martin and Ms. Price, described quite different ideal views of literacy learning.

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CHAPTER 5 ENACTED LITERACY LESSONS This chapter synthesizes findings from classroom observations, transcripts of classroom interactions, student interviews, and the second set of teacher interviews and addresses the second research question "How do these teachers enact their conceptions of literacy and literacy learning?" Its purpose is to portray enacted literacy lessons and describe the general implementation of the literacy curricula by each teacher. I relied on the second interview of each teacher, 50 days of classroom observations, field notes taken during the observations, transcripts made from classroom interactions during each observation, transcripts of student interviews (three from each class) and artifacts that students completed during the observation times. (See Appendix B for a sample of field notes, transcripts, and interviews.) I also examined all of the teachers' editions that dealt with literacy (reading, spelling, language arts, and English) for each teacher's yearly curriculum. Spectator, Participant, and Pretender Events Like other researchers of classroom discourse (e.g., Bellack et al., 1966; Cazden, 1988; Mehan, 1979a, 1979b; Townsend, 1991), I described patterns of interactions among the four teachers and their students in order to understand their enacted curricula. My interest in analyzing enacted literacy lessons led me 107

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108 to group utterances together and label them according to speakers' purposes. grouped turns of speech into events, or series of utterances of two or more people that had logical beginnings and endings Some examples of events were discussions of reading selections, teachers and students expressing their opinions, and students and teachers discussing a topic. Typically, these events contained multiple speakers and occurred over time, most lasting five to 25 minutes. Three major types of events emerged from the data (spectator, participant, and pretender), each dependent on the stance of teachers and students in the interactions. A spectator event occurred when teachers and students dealt with texts as outside observers and talked about texts rather than constructing meaning from them. On the other hand, a participant event occurred when students u sed language to complete an activity or explore a possibility (raised by a text, a peer, or a teacher). A pretender event occurred when teachers seemed to be encouraging a participant stance toward texts, yet the over-arching purpose of the event was spectator. I did not tabulate and analyze all utterances, nor did I attempt to determine if the participants' moves were successful. For example, I did not categorize comments that were related to classroom procedures, such as "Okay, when I call your table's number, I'd like you to line up for lunch." I also did not categorize any interruptions from people outside of the classroom, such as intercom announcements or assistant teachers asking for work to complete. Rather, I focused on the utterances that created literacy lessons

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109 Figure 5-1 depicts the total number of spectator, participant, and pretender events in the analysis I conducted. Out of 247 literacy events coded, an overwhelming majority (85%) were spectator events. The next most common event was participant at 13%, followed by pretender events which consisted of only 1 % of the total number of events. 250 200 150 100 50 0 D spectator participant pretender Figure 5-1. The Total Number of Spectator, Participant, and Pretender Events Spectator event Because of the predominance of the spectator stance in these four teachers' enacted literacy classrooms, I focused initially on the purposes for language use within spectator events. As my analysis unfolded, I found a preponderance of Mehan's (1979a) IRE pattern. In the following spectator event excerpt, Ms. Vaskey and her students had just read aloud from a chapter of Charlotte's Web in their basal reading book: [Note: I categorized the various utterances in this excerpt using Mehan's Initiate (I), Reply (R), and Evaluate (E) labels in bold print.] 1. Ms. Vaskey: Find "wondrous," Derrick. I

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2. Derrick: Page 599, last paragraph. "I intend to speak about it in my sermon and point out the fact that this community has been visited with a wondrous animal." R 3. Ms. Vaskey: Who is saying that, please? Amy? I 4. Amy: The minister. R 5. Ms. Vaskey: The minister. How can you tell that it's the minister talking? Lauren? I 6. Lauren: Because he says that he will mention it in the sermon. R 7. Ms. Vaskey: He will mention it in the sermon. Excellent. E 110 This excerpt displays three moves typical of the spectator stance: the teacher initiating a question that had a limited number of replies (in turns 1, 3, and 5), students responding only to the teacher's questions (in turns 2, 4, and 6), and the teacher evaluating students' responses (in turn 7) In this excerpt, Ms. Vaskey was assuming a participant stance by asking simple questions about the words used in a text. Assuming the same stance as their teacher, the students in this excerpt only responded to the teacher's requests. In another excerpt from a slightly different spectator event, Ms. Donaldson reviewed the concept of "nouns" before students read the story "Jumanji" from their basal reading book. 1. Ms. Donaldson: What is a noun? Joie? I 2. Joie: A person, place, or thing. R 3. Ms. Donaldson: A person, place, or thing. [writes "person, place, or thing" on chalkboard in the front of the room.] Name me a noun. [nods at Santos.] I 4. Santos: "Jennifer." R

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5. Ms. Donaldson: [writes "Jennifer'' on board.] .... Name me a noun that's not a person. Edmond? I 6. Edmond: "Jefferson Memorial." R 7. Ms. Donaldson: Okay, it's not a person [writes "Jefferson Memorial" on board] Kevin? E, I 8. Kevin: "kiwi bird." R 111 9. Ms Donaldson: Name me another one that doesn't have a capital letter.I During this excerpt, Ms. Donaldson had a specific answer in mind (a word that was an example of a noun), and she controlled the pace and procedure of the lesson by her response and initiation. In this and other spectator events, lessons were about words, and the students and teachers viewed words from the outside, typifying a spectator stance. Turns 1 and 2 are typical of Mehan's adjacency pair (1979b), or two utterances in which the second is routinized or obligated. Most of my analyses of spectator events revealed similar moves, those described by Mehan's IRE pattern (1979a) and by Hoetker and Ahlbrand's recitation (1969). After analyzing numerous spectator events, I found that they were all relatively similar in their functions and purposes for language use. However, in some instances I noticed that the language use of teachers and students differed from that used in spectator events. After transcribing and analyzing numerous interactions, I discovered two other categories of events: participant and pretender. Although they represent a small portion of the total classroom interactions, they are noteworthy because they manifest quite different purposes and functions for classroom talk.

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112 Participant event Instead of simply repeating what other researchers have documented by focusing on spectator events, I chose to focus on participant events. Along with assuming a participant stance, these events contain three key characteristics: language is used in a personally meaningful way (such as exploring a possibility or investigating a personal inquiry); teachers and students are open to various topics for discussion; and teachers and students accept multiple perspectives on topics at hand. Participant events consisted of only 13% of the total classroom events in these four teachers' classrooms. In the following excerpt, Ms. Price and the students were discussing the job of a school board superintendent because a superintendent candidate was visiting their classroom the next day. (After the discussion, the class presented a book of their suggestions to the superintendent candidate.) 1. Ms. Price: What do you think schools need, to be even better than they are? [10 students' raise their hands] .... Sally? 2. Sally: More programs for education. 3. Ms. Price: What kind of programs? 4. Sally: Like people who listen more. 5. Ms. Price: Students who listen more, or teachers who listen more, or both? 6. Sally: Both. 7. Ms. Price: All right. So, you would say that what our schools need are more students and teachers who listen to each other. Is that it? 8. Sally: [nods] 9. Ms. Price: OK. Jesucita?

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10. Jesucita: More computers 11. Ms. Price: OK What our schools need are more computers. Steve? 12. Steve: Take 50 days off of school! 13. 1 Ms. Price: Well, would that make your chances of learning better? 14. Steve: Add 50 days, then. 15. Ms. Price: [to the class] What he's concerned about are ways to help you learn better. 16. Steve: Yeah, add 50 days then. 113 17. Ms. Price: Add 50 days. OK. So you want to say a longer school year? . A longer school year, huh? 18. Liz: [without being called on] We should go all summer then. 19. Ms. Price: But, doesn't rest help you learn? 20. Liz : Yeah, I guess so Many moves occurred in this excerpt that differentiate it from a spectator event. For example, Ms. Price called on Sally four times in a row to clarify the topic Sally suggested (turns 3, 5, and 7). Also, Ms. Price did not attempt to elicit a single correct answer. Rather, she encouraged multiple perspectives and several students expressed their opinions. In turn 13, Ms. Price questioned Steve's comment in turn 12. This questioning was not punitive; rather, Ms. Price was helping Steve see a flaw in his reasoning, which he later resolved The teacher and students in this example were using their language for quite different purposes than those used in the spectator examples. The speakers were using language to complete the task of answering the open-ended question "What do

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114 schools need to be even better than they are now?" Ms Price offered the floor for discussion of various topics, and she invited multiple perspectives Categories of moves To more closely analyze participant events, I developed categories of language use from analyzing all the participant events I observed. Borrowing the style of analysis from Townsend (1991, 1993) I labeled moves in order to ascertain what teachers and students were trying to do with their language My list of moves are not meant to describe comprehensively all of the moves in each class discussion. Rather, the categories reflect my interest in the participant stance and the variety of moves found therein. I categorized each turn of speech by determining, as best I could, the purpose for the turn and labeling it. I determined speakers' purposes by listening to the content of their utterance, observing any nonverbal behavior for clues to meaning, and comparing the utterance to the surrounding context of the discussion. Data analysis resulted in 79% three-way inter-rater reliability which attests to the validity of the categorized moves and their ability to describe participant events. (See Chapter 3, Methods, for further details.) Dep!3nding on the stance of the teacher, context of the lesson, purpose for the lesson and other factors, I categorized moves that occurred during participant events. These moves stood out because they were vastly different from a common IRE pattern of interaction. Table 5-1 lists eight moves that exemplify what teachers and students were doing with their language during participant events in these four teachers' classrooms.

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Moves common to teachers and students. The first three moves are common to both teachers and students. Both teachers and students tried to Table 5-1: Moves within Participant Events Teacher tries to: 1. wonder 2. connect a new topic with a personal experience 3. express an opinion 4. encourage student to express an opinion Students try to: 5. wonder 6. connect a new topic with a personal experience 7. express an opinion 8. clarify their own ideas 115 wonder (move numbers 1 and 19). This move occurred when they asked questions, invited reflection of a topic, considered multiple perspectives, and/or entertained various possibilities (Townsend, 1991). At times, the move tries to connect a new topic with a personal experience (moves numbers 2 and 6) occurred when students or teachers were explaining their wanderings or their opinions. Often these previous moves were accompanied by the move tries to express an opinion (numbers 6 and 24), in which students and teachers shared their thoughts on a topic. Teacher-only move. One move was unique to teachers, tries to encourage students to express opinions. In this move teachers tried to elicit the thoughts and feelings of students. This move exemplifies an openness to various topics and a willingness to entertain multiple perspectives, two important aspects of participant events. Student-only move. A student-only move, tries to clarify their own ideas, appeared in participant events when students were discussing their own

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personal meanings of a particular topic. This move happened when teachers called on students several times in succession, and students were able to elaborate on their own topics. 116 All of the previously mentioned moves were evident in the following excerpt from a participant event that occurred in Ms. Price's classroom. Ms. Price called on Colton, supposedly to read aloud the next portion of the book James and the Giant Peach. Elise had just read a section describing the physical abuse that one of the characters in the book, James, had to endure. (Note: The moves are numbered in bold-faced type beside each turn according to Table 5-1 In this transcript, each turn may contain more than one move, but only the eight moves found in participant events are marked. "XXX" stands for words that were indecipherable.) 1. Ms. Price: Thank you. Colton? 2 Colton: How come they won't, um, arrest them for child abuse? 5, 7 3 Ms. Price: Well, first of all, it's a make-believe story. It's in another country. And third of all, even when I was growing up, I don't 2 remember anyone being arrested for child abuse. People just assumed that the children were okay. When I was a child XXX, but back a hundred years ago, it didn't make any difference. Children belor,ged to their parents, and the parents could do whatever they wanted. So parents were not punished, 3 particularly for being cruel. ... Who cares about James? .... An orphan is someone who has no parents, because they died. 4. Colton: [without being called on] Where did they live? 5, 8 5. Ms. Price : [not hearing Colton's question] Who cared about James? Nobody cared about orphans. There was no HRS running out to see how James was doing No school teachers to say, "Hey, there's something wrong with this child. Somebody's not doing this child right." Nobody to take him to church. That's another place where kids often get help. You know, people at church

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117 might have said, "There's something wrong. This kid needs 3 some help." There was nobody to report to anybody. Colton? 4 6. Colton:What, um, how come he didn't go live with somebody else?5, 7, 8 7. Ms. Price: Apparently, there was nobody else. These were the only relatives in the whole area. And usually they send people to their relatives, first. And I'll tell you just to help you, what most parents do today, they name a guardiansomeone who would take 3 care of their children. In fact, my son and his wife were up last week and that's what they did for my granddaughter. They picked my youngest son to be her guardian. And his job would be to see that she is taken care of and treated fairly and raised--guess 2 who would do the raising?! [laughs] But that's what they did. Most parents have talked to somebody and said, "If something happens to us, please take care of my child Do you think James' parents would have picked these aunts? 4 8. Class: No! 7 9. Ms. Price: If they had realized that something was going to happen to them, they would probably have asked friends or somebody else that they know. But since they hadn't asked anybody, their relatives were the ones. 3 10. Colton: [without being called on] How come he doesn't have any other relatives? 8 11. Ms. Price: I have no idea. I always wondered how his mom and dad can be such nice people and one of them have such nasty sisters! You know? I don't know how that happened. 1, 3 In this excerpt Ms. Price encouraged students to assume a participant stance because of Colton's initial question. She acknowledged Colton's wondering move (move number 5, turn number 2), joined in his reflection, and ended the interaction with a wondering of her own (move number 1, turn number 11) when she admitted that she did not know how "such nice people" can have "such nasty sisters." In this excerpt, Colton succeeded in stopping the momentum of the class lesson (students reading aloud, one after the other) in

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118 order to express his wondering and clarify his own idea In answer to Colton's request for clarification, Ms. Price expressed an opinion (move number 3) in turns five and seven. In turn number five, she was exploring answers for Colton's point that no one seemed concerned for the character in the book, and she mentioned that church is "another place where kids often get help." Likewise, in turn seven, Ms. Price also expressed the opinion that most parents have designated someone to take care of their children in the event of an emergency. In this excerpt the class also expressed an opinion, (move number 3) albeit collectively, when they said "no" in turn number 8 to answer Ms. Price's question. Implicitly, Colton's questions expressed his opinions (move number 7): the aunts should be arrested for child abuse (turn 2); the main character should have been able to live elsewhere (turn 6); and there must have been other relatives with whom the main character could have lived (turn 11). Similarly, the student move number 6, tries to connect a new topic with a personal experience, could be implied by Colton's questions, as he persisted with his line of questioning. This excerpt represents a participant stance that is fully realized. Ms. Price showed an openness to various topics and did not silence Colton, although he stopped the momentum of the read-aloud session. Colton grappled with complicated issues of guardianship and empathy for a book character. Unlike what might have happened in a spectator event (a teacher would have probably ignored Colton's question and redirected him to begin reading aloud the next section of the book), this excerpt showed a teacher who was willing to spend

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119 time on an issue that was salient to at least one student in her class. So, although participant events only consisted of 13% of the total classroom interactions I observed, they represented much deeper engagements with texts than those found in spectator events Pretender event While analyzing participant events more closely, I noticed that it was possible for teachers to frame a classroom interaction in a way that was similar to a participant event, yet in reality assume and encourage a spectator event. called these "pretender events" (Townsend, March 1, 2001, personal communication) because in them teachers pretended to assume a participant stance but instead enacted a spectator event. Although they account for only 1 % of classroom interactions I observed, they represent a mixture of spectator and participant events and may exemplify one way teachers maneuver (unsuccessfully) between their ideal and real literacy curricula. Both Ms. Vaskey and Ms. Donaldson enacted pretender events. Typically, these events occurred when teachers had one specific topic or answer in mind, although discussions were framed to appear as though various topics were possible. For example, the following interaction occurred before Ms. Vaskey's class read a chapter of Charlotte's Web from a basal reading book. 1. Ms. Vaskey : When you woke up this morning was it foggy outside? How many of you have parents who park your car outside and when you get into it your windows are all covered up? [Seven students raise their hands] 2. Ms. Vaskey: If and when you write on the window, what happens? [nods to Willy]

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120 3. Willy : It looks like a drawing. 4. Ms Vaskey: Looks like a drawing? You are writing in ... what? Sean? 5. Sean: Like a fog. 6 Ms. Vaskey : Not a fog, but something that is ... Bo? 7. Bo: Water. 8. Ms. Vaskey : It is water, like dew. It happens in the morning. The first thing in the morning when you look outside on the trees, what can you see on the trees and bushes? Caleb? 9. Caleb : Lots of dew. 10. Ms. Vaskey: And something else Sometimes you can see this as well. Derek? 11. Derek: [puts hand down and shakes his head "no."] 12. Manuel: [without being called on first] Like water droplets. 13. Ms Vaskey: Something else besides water. Art? 14. Art: Sometimes you can see mold. 15. Ms. Vaskey: Mold outside the window, on the trees, in the morning? Maybe, if you've seen that. I don't recall seeing that on Saturday morning when I looked outside .... Erik? 16 Erik : Fog. 17 Ms. Vaskey: Fog sometimes. I'm looking at something that may be attached to something. Either the side of a wall, or from bush to bush [Five students raise their hands] or from branch to branch. Cecil. 18. Cecil: A web. 19. Ms. Vaskey: A web The first thing in the morning when you see a web, you can actually see the whole thing. Sometimes when it's dark at night and there is not light and there is no fog, you might not be able to see a web as well.

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121 At the end of this excerpt the pretender event was fully revealed Ms. Vaskey's comments in turn 8 was the first clue that Ms. Vaskey had a specific answer in mind (a spider web) when she said, "It is water, like dew. It happens in the morning. The first thing in the morning when you look outside on the trees, what can you see on the trees and bushes?" Finally, in turn 17 she gave enough information for Cecil to guess the answer she wanted. In turn 19, Ms. Vaskey revealed that she wanted them to talk about a web, which directly connected to the chapter of Charlotte's Web that they were about to read in the basal. Ms. Vaskey related to the text (which in this instance was the oral discussion) as an outsider, unwilling to entertain multiple perspectives, not allowing students to explore their own inquiries, and not accepting variant answers. Although she began this excerpt with a question that could have more than one response, Ms. Vaskey wanted only one answer, thereby revealing a spectator stance. One significant aspect of the previous pretender event emerges when comparing Ms. Vaskey's ideal literacy curricula and the sources of influence she felt on her literacy teaching. Ms. Vaskey maintained that a whole language philosophy was ideal, but she also believed that the basal was the best foundation for literacy instruction and that teachers should maintain control over how students behaved and what they learned. Additionally, she listed students' interests (by self-report) as a large influence on her literacy curriculum. (See Chapter 6 for an in-depth discussion of the teac~ers' perceptions of the sources of influence on their literacy curriculum.) The pretender event, while initially

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satisfying her need to access students' interests (by asking open-ended, or opinion questions), also gave her the control she idealized by limiting the students' response possibilities. 122 Pretender events are important because they represented two teachers' maneuvering between their ideal and enacted curricula. They also characterize Ms. Donaldson's and Ms. Vaskey's views about literacy learning. Both teachers seemed to admit that they felt that students' interests were important and that teachers need to attend to them, although they both reported they felt most comfortable using a DRA approach. The conflict between perceived influences and personal ideal curricula was enacted as pretender events. Pretender events revealed several things about these two teachers: both sought to enact their personal beliefs about teaching; both were compelled to conduct DRA lessons, at the expense of attention to students' interests; and both held strong ties to a discourse that depended on a spectator stance. In addition, a pretender event may reveal these two teachers' imitation of other teachers in other settings who were actually enacting a participant stance. Ms. Donaldson and Ms. Vaskey may have unsuccessfully imitated the moves they observed within the other teachers' lessons and in effect enacted a spectator event, instead. Whatever the reasoning behind them, pretender events supported the spectator stance and were evidence of the dominance of the spectator stance in classroom discourse. Events across all four teachers To compare the four teachers' classroom interactions in more detail, Table 5-2 shows the number of spectator, participant, and pretender events that

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123 occurred in each classroom over the average number each day for the events. At first glance, Table 5-2 seems to show that Ms. Martin had many more literacy events occurring in her classroom However, I spent more time in her room (17 days) than in any of the other rooms. I observed each teacher the number of days it took them to complete two literacy learning chunks For Ms. Martin, two chunks occurred over 17 days. Ms. Martin averaged five spectator events per day. Ms. Price and Ms. Vaskey both averaged four spectator events per day, while Ms. Donaldson averaged three per day Although Ms. Price Table 5-2: Total Number of Spectator. Participant. and Pretender Events Over the Average Events Per Day Teachers Total number of Total number of Ms. Martin Ms. Price Ms Vaskey Ms. Donaldson spectator events/ participant events/ average per day average per day 90 I 5 12 / less than 1 49/ 3 43/ 4 29 / 3 14 / 1 4 / less than 1 3 / less than 1 Total number of pretender events/ average per day 010 010 2 / less than 1 1 / less than 1 Total number of observations 17 13 10 10 averaged only four spectator events per day, the length of time for each of her spectator events was between five and 10 minutes, or 14 turns of speech (See Table 5-3 ). On the other hand, the average length of time for Ms. Vaskey's spectator events was between 15 and 20 minutes, or 28 turns of speech. So, although Ms. Vaskey enacted relatively few spectator events, she spent a considerably greater amount of class time assuming and encouraging a spectator stance than Ms. Price did. Table 5-3 displays the average number of turns during each teachers' spectator, participant, and pretender events. Ms.

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124 Price averaged slightly more than one participant event per day. These events typically lasted 20 to 25 minutes, or an average of 18 turns of speech. Table 5-3: The Average Number of Tums During Events Teachers Ms. Martin Ms Price Ms. Vaskey Ms. Donaldson Spectator Event 10 14 28 18 Participant Event 10 18 16 8 Pretender Event 0 0 24 48 This is in contrast to the other three teachers' participant events, which typically lasted from less than a minute to 10 minutes each. Ms. Vaskey's participant events averaged 16 turns per event, but she conducted these events rapidly, rarely calling on a student more than one time. I discovered two pretender events in Ms. Vaskey's interactions and one in Ms. Donaldson's interactions. Ms. Donaldson's pretender event lasted 48 turns, considerably longer than her participant events, which lasted an average of only eight turns each. The average number of events per day combined with the average turns in each event reveals that Ms. Price spent more class time assuming and encouraging participant events. She also consumed the least amount of interaction time enacting spectator events. On the other hand, Ms. Vaskey had a total of 43 spectator events (averaging four per day) and spent the most amount of classroom time enacting a spectator stance (averaging 28 turns per spectator event). In addition, she conducted her participant events at a rapid pace,

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spending one to 10 minutes on each event. Of the four teachers, Ms. Price assumed and encouraged a participant event most often and for the longest periods of time, and Ms. Vaskey assumed and encouraged a spectator event most often and for the longest periods of time. 125 Another way to understand what happened in the enacted curricula is to look at the number of days in which there were no participant events enacted (See Table 5-4 for the number of days there were no participant events and the total number of observation days in each classroom.) Each teacher had at least one day that did not include a participant event. Ms. Martin and Ms. Donaldson had the highest number of days (six) with no participant events. For Ms. Martin, this averaged 35% of the days I observed in her classroom. For Ms. Donaldson, however, six days represented 60% of the total number of days I spent in her Table 5-4: Number of Days Participant Events Were not Evident and the Total Number of Observation Days Teacher Ms Martin Ms. Price Ms Vaskey Ms. Donaldson Number of days-no participant events 6 1 6 5 Total days 17 13 10 10 room, a much higher percentage. Ms. Vaskey's interactions did not include any participant events during one half of the days I spent in her room. By contrast, Ms. Price's classroom interactions did not include a participant event for only one day out of 13. (That particular day Ms. Price played an audio tape of the basal story, and she asked the students to individually compose sentences looking at

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126 various pictures she distributed. She also admitted to not feeling well because she had a sinus headache.) The proportions in Table 5-4 indicate that Ms. Price encouraged participant events more consistently than the other three teachers in the study. In order to elaborate on these four teachers' enacted curriculum more fully, I used my classroom observation notes, teacher interviews, student interviews, and students' artifacts to supplement my analysis of classroom interaction patterns. All four data sources revealed a complex interplay in these four teachers' enacted literacy curriculum. Three categories that emerged during my analysis of their ideal conceptions of literacy teaching and learning are helpful in describing their enacted curriculum as well: teachers' enacted curricula; the roles of teachers and students in each classroom; and the nature of assessment in each classroom. Enacted Curriculum One consistent aspect of all four teachers' literacy teaching was the Direct~d Reading Activity, or ORA method, used in most basal reading books. Generally, all four teachers enacted a ORA approach, whether they used the basal reading book or a class set of novels. Three teachers, Ms. Martin, Ms. Price, and Ms. Vaskey, used a novel during one literacy chunk and the basal reading book during the other chunk when I observed their classroom Ms. Donaldson, the least experienced teacher of the four, used the basal reading book for both observation chunks. During most of the lessons I observed, students:

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Copied lists of vocabulary words that the teachers either chose from the novel or copied from the teacher's edition of the basal reading book. Wrote the definitions for each vocabula ry word. Read a portion of text, either individually, with a partner, silently as the teacher read, or with the whole class. Completed worksheets that addressed individual skills. Answered five to seven questions about the plot of the story, either individually or with their partner. 127 This progression was consistent, although some days the teachers and students spent an entire language arts session on one of the steps Each Friday and at the end of each novel, the teachers quizzed students over spelling words, vocabulary definitions, and the plot of the novel or story in the basal reading book. One of the students in Ms. Martin's room, Frank, described a typical week this way: Frank: Um, spelling words, we have a spelling book. And what Ms. Martin does is she'll go up on her overhead and she'll write them down and we'll copy them. And we'll just do sentences and stuff with them. SW: And what about reading? What do you do in reading each week? Frank: With our reading, the first day we'll get down our vocabulary words .... SW: And where do those words come from? Frank: Out of the stories that we read, because if they give you a sheet and in that story they'll have huge words that we don't know and you'll look in the back of your book and you'll get down your vocabulary words which are the big words .... SW: So, usually you read a story each week? Frank: Yes. In effect, Ms. Martin and the other three teachers "basalized" the novel and crafted their lessons around a DRA approach by making up questions and

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128 vocabulary words to accompany short daily reading sessions; creating lessons that covered isolated literacy skills, like finding the main idea and predicting outcomes based on the novel; and assessing students on skills, words, and comprehension questions from the novel. As one of Ms. Price's students reported, each week they "read the story out loud, then we take it home and read it. Then we'll listen to it on the tape. And we'll look up the vocabulary words." During our second interview, Ms Martin said that she was happy with the DRA format, although it differed greatly from her ideal conception of literacy teaching, which was based on an integrated, whole language approach. She offered no rationale as to why her enacted lessons took on this form. Both Ms. Martin and Ms. Price, the two so-called "exemplary" teachers, suggested that students' choices were an important aspect of their ideal literacy curriculum. In the first interview, Ms. Martin said that students should be "given the choice of three prompts, and let them make a decision, I think it puts it back in their hands." She reiterated this comment during the second interview and said that student choice is a big influence on how well students will read and write. I saw little student choice, however, in the enacted curricula of Ms Price or Ms. Martin. During the first chunk of observations, Ms. Martin chose the novel to read and the pace at which to proceed. I saw no opportunity for Ms. Martin's students to choose reading or writing materials, questions to answer, or concepts to explore. I also noticed little student choice during the second round of observations when the class read from the basal reading book Ms. Martin was "jumping around in the book," choosing stories out of sequence because her

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129 school was implementing a new reading program. But she chose which stories to read, rather than allowing students to do so. Generally, Ms. Martin's enacted curriculum was dramatically different from her ideal conceptions. Unlike Ms. Martin, Ms Price based some lessons on students' interests. For example, one day, after a student named Colton asked about child abuse and why the main character did not receive help, Ms. Price encouraged him to assume a participant stance and a class discussion ensued. (See the previous section, "Participant Event," for an excerpt of the discussion.) The next day, Ms. Price told me that she abandoned her original journal writing idea in lieu of following up on Colton's concerns about child abuse. She began the reading lesson by saying, "Now yesterday, Colton brought up a point .... James does have a problem. You probably wanted to know why somebody didn't report them for child abuse and I got to thinking, well, I really don't know why." Ms. Price assumed a tentative stance and suggested that there might not be only one correct answer to the dilemma in their previous discussion. She continued the lesson by asking students to suggest what they might do if they were in James' place. The students responded by saying things such as, "Tell the teachers what happened," "Tell a friend," and "When they are sleeping, you can call the law for help." After the class discussion, Ms. Price directed them to write about what they might do if they had to live with James' aunts. She told me later that after reflecting on Colton's questions she felt that the issues he raised would be salient to the whole class, so she designed the next day's lesson around Colton's interests.

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130 In several ways, Ms. Price's enacted curriculum resembled her ideal conceptions of literacy, which were based on an integrated, "whole language" approach that keyed into students' interests. Ms. Price admitted that although she did not learn how to integrate subjects in her teacher education program in college, she soon discovered that her own way of thinking kept coming out. So I might be teaching in reading about the great Yellowstone fire that happened to be in the story in the basal and find myself wanting to pull down a map and explain where Yellowstone is .. [The ideas] came to me and pretty soon I realized that the kids were interested in those things, too. In her enacted literacy curriculum Ms. Price encouraged students to talk about subjects that were salient to them, frequently assumed and encouraged a participant stance, and often changed topics of discussions and journal lessons in order to connect to her students' interests. Unlike Ms Martin and Ms. Price, the two so-called "exemplary" teachers, Ms. Vaskey's and Ms. Donaldson's ideal curricula were based on the lessons in the basal reading book. In this way, their enacted curriculum was also similar to their ideal curriculum However, Ms Vaskey's enacted curriculum differed from her ideal in that she did not implement a whole language philosophy, which she mentioned would be a part of her ideal literacy instruction. Of the four teachers, Ms. Donaldson's enacted curr i culum was the closest to her idealized conceptions of teaching. But this consistency in itself was not encouraging because of the limited roles that students played, both in her ideal and enacted literacy curricula. Although she enacted a ORA approach that she described as ideal, she admitted she wanted to spend some time reflecting on

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131 how I teach my reading. As far as the vocabulary, I'm not sure how I need to keep reviewing the vocabulary. Do I need to just keep on going over the words, or do I put something else in it and make it a game? That's what I'm working-trying to work on that. Trying to pull in different things. To work on cause and effect--making a book for cause and effect instead of just doing a worksheet. I'm trying to work on that. At this point in the third interview, Ms. Donaldson admitted that she felt unsure about her enacted curriculum and was "working on" changing it in the future. Summary of enacted curriculum All four teachers mostly enacted a ORA approach which followed the same progression of activities. All four teachers predominantly assumed and encouraged a spectator stance; however, Ms Price encouraged a participant stance most often. The two "exemplary" teachers, Ms. Martin and Ms. Price, mentioned students' choices as an important aspect of their ideal literacy teaching, but Ms. Price was the only teacher during my observations who modified lessons on the basis of her students' interests. Ms Vaskey and Ms. Donaldson, the two so-called "average" teachers, both described an ideal literacy curriculum based on the basal reading book, which they most often enacted. Of the four teachers, only Ms. Donaldson, relatively inexperienced with teaching seemed tentative about her enacted curriculum. Table 5-5 displays all four teachers' ideal and enacted literacy curriculum. Enacted Teacher and Student Roles Not surprisingly, the enacted roles of these four teachers were closely aligned with the ORA approach, that of a teacher-directed curriculum in which the teachers planned and implemented all instruction After observing the

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enacted curriculum in these four teachers' classrooms and interviewing both students and teachers, I discovered that both the students' and the teachers' roles in each classroom were similar. All four teachers Encouraged and mostly assumed a spectator stance. Planned and implemented instruction. Created and used various lists of words (some to be spelled correctly and some to be defined correctly). 132 Created and used lists of questions about the novel or basal reading story. Each teacher seemed to base her instruction and assessment on these lists and questions. (See the next section for a detailed description of the four teachers' enacted assessment.) The teachers' roles supported the spectator stance that these teachers mainly encouraged students to enact. Similarly, the students' roles in these four teachers' classrooms complemented the teachers' roles Students were busy assuming a spectator stance toward texts; copying lists of words and questions to be defined and answered; carefully following the various directions of each teacher; and complying with classroom rules Although all four teachers' enacted literacy curriculum was similar, the roles of teachers and students varied slightly in each classroom. For example, Ms. Martin, one of the so-called "exemplary" teachers, reported that one of her roles as a teacher was to bring in interesting items in order to help students understand concepts or to arouse their interest in a concept. During my observations she brought in pictures and books from the library, an expandable ball, a plush toy parrot that recorded and repeated speech, homemade ice cream supplies, cakes that students iced, a large box decorated as a monster and named "Penelope Prompt," and various chocolate candies. In some cases

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Table 5-5: All Four Teachers' Ideal and Enacted Literacy Curriculum Teachers Ms. Martin Ms. Price Ms Vaskey Ms. Donaldson Ideal Literacy Curriculum The teacher should: use novels, not basal reader integrate all subjects into novel concepts provide students with choices of reading and writing materials assume a spectator stance toward texts The teacher should : use novels, not basal reader use whole language techniques integrate all subjects into novel concepts organize class by interest groups assume a participant stance toward texts The teacher should: use basal readers primarily, but enrich with novels employ whole language techniques spend one-on-one time with students assume a spectator stance toward texts The teacher should: use basal readers primarily, but enrich with novels spend time on each skill for practice pair lower performing student with higher performing student assume a spectator stance toward texts Enacted Literacy Curriculum The teacher: based lessons on basal reader used ORA approach gave students no choice of reading and writing materials most often assumed a spectator stance toward texts The teacher: mostly used ORA approach did not use whole language techniques did not integrate subjects created some lessons based on students' interests assumed and encouraged a participant stance at times The teacher : use basal readers primarily, but enriched with novels used ORA approach primarily used whole-class instruction most often assumed a spectator stance toward texts The teacher: used basal readers primarily, but enriched with novels occasionally spent time on each skill for practice paired lower performing students with higher performing students most often assumed a spectator stance toward texts 133 the eye-catching items were used as rewards, but Ms. Martin mainly used them as instructional. The roles in Ms. Vaskey's classroom, a room in which I described the students as displaying military-like compliance, also varied from the other four

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134 teachers. She seemed to expect the most obedient behavior from her students. In Ms. Vaskey's classroom, the students' roles were to pay attention, listen to her directions, demonstrate their knowledge, and be quiet. As one student put it when I asked her what they did in class: Taneesha: And, um, sometimes we listen to the story on tape. We read out loud. If somebody's not paying attention, she'll call on them to read. And if they're not paying attention, they move their skateboard [a discipline system Ms. Vaskey used]! SW: Really. She's pretty tough about that? Taneesha: Yes! Several times during my observations, Ms. Vaskey told the class that she expected them to comply with her classroom rules. One day, during the second round of observations, her expectations were apparent when she displayed a paragraph on the overhead projector: Today, in class we would not pay attention so we had to write this paragraph. It is important that the class listen so they can learn what Ms. Vaskey is teaching them. It is important that the class follow directions so that they can complete the assignments. Listening and following directions is important to be successful in fourth grade. The attached assignments need to be completed along with my regular homework. We understand what needs to be completed and turned in tomorrow. Name _____ date ____ assignments ___ Without saying a word about the paragraph, Ms. Vaskey continued teaching, and the students, most of whom were noisily talking to their neighbors, read the paragraph and got quiet. From this episode and similar ones that I noticed while in her room, Ms. Vaskey clearly expected her students to play certain restricted roles. Her students closely followed her ideal conceptions of the role of students, which she expressed as assuming a spectator stance, following

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135 directions, and listening to the teacher. Not surprisingly, her most frequent role as a teacher involved making sure students were enacting the roles she thought were important. Ms. Donaldson, one of the so-called "average" teachers, controlled the class pace and content by responding to students' comments quickly and with little affect. For example, in the following interaction Ms. Donaldson displayed a picture on the overhead projector of several cartoon-like people waiting at the bus stop The title of the picture was "Inference," which alludes to one of the skills on the state standards for fourth-grade. The directions read, "The eight people are waiting for a city bus. Each person's expression, posture, clothes, and possessions give clues about that person. Look at each person and write two sentences which tell something you can conclude about that person." Ms. Donaldson began the following interaction by asking about each person in the picture. 1. Ms. Donaldson: Let's look at this guy, right here. [points to the drawing of a man running] What can we conclude? [nods to Perry] 2. Perry: He's in a hurry. 3. Ms. Donaldson: He's in a hurry. How can we tell? [Writes "in a hurry" under the picture. Nods at Tomas.] 4. Tomas: I think he's in a hurry because he's late for something. 5. Ms. Donaldson: Is there anything else we can tell about him? [nods to Earl] 6. Earl: He's struggling to keep his things with him. 7 Ms. Donaldson: [writes "struggling to keep his things with him" under the picture.] What else can we tell about him? [goes on to other students]

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136 In turns 1, 3, 5, and 7, Ms Donaldson acknowledged students' answers with little emotion, although turn 4 is an opinion that would have been much clearer if Ms. Donaldson had probed Tomas to clarify his idea. In this interaction, Ms. Donaldson revealed that her enacted role as a teacher was to keep the discussion focused on the topic and to allow an opportunity for as many students as possible to speak. She frequently conducted class discussions by responding to numerous students with little facial expression or emotion. The roles of the teacher and students in Ms Price's room, one in which I noticed frequent attempts at humor from the teacher and students, varied the most from the other three teachers in the study. In her room, students were expected to assume various stances and roles, according to Ms. Price's instructions. Not only did Ms. Price expect students to know the class rules; they were also expected to know when the rules should be followed (while working individually) and when they could be modified (during a class discussion). Students' roles in Ms. Price's room included expressing their interests and knowing which stance to assume, according to Ms. Price's directions or the routines of the class. In contrast to the students in the other three rooms, the students in Ms. Price's room did not comply as strictly with classroom rules such as, "Raise your hand before speaking" and "Stay in your seat during lessons." In fact, during whole-class discussions, when the students were sitting in the front of the room on the floor, they frequently interjected their thoughts and opinions without being

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137 called on first. Sometimes Ms. Price would acknowledge the comments and other times she would ignore them. She typically did not reprimand students who called out comments when they were participating in a whole-class discussion, especially if they were assuming a participant stance. But when students were supposed to assume a spectator stance, as in times when they were completing "seat work" at their desks, Ms. Price frequently asked the students to be quiet and stay focused on their work. So the role of the students in Ms. Price's room varied according to where they were sitting and what stance Ms. Price was encouraging. Part of their role was to know which stance and to know when certain behaviors were and were not acceptable. As for Ms. Price's role, in the third interview, she described the teacher as one "source" who "gives out the information they are ready to learn" and helps students "understand why they need to learn it." She also said that she expected students to express their interests and to participate actively in literacy lessons. In both observation periods, Ms. Price frequently told students why they were completing particular lessons. For example, instead of simply assigning students a writing prompt and picture, Ms Price encouraged students to assume a participant stance as they discussed the school superintendent's job. She asked them to suggest "ways to make schools even better'' in the category of "Things a new superintendent would need to know She told them that they would publish their essays in a class book to present to one of the superintendent candidates who was to visit their classroom the next day. In this way, when she subsequently assigned the

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138 writing essay to her students, they knew why they were writing. One of Ms. Price's ideal and enacted roles was to explain the reasons behind lessons and to make the lessons meaningful. During my observations in Ms. Price's room, I observed her enacting this role many times. We also might expect Ms. Price's enacted literacy curriculum to include participant events, in keeping with her ideal conceptions of literacy learning. She said that, ideally, teachers would encourage a participant stance. Yet, even with her ideal conceptions, Ms. Price did not enact many more opportunities for participant events-only 14 during 13 days--than did Ms. Martin, who enacted 12 events during 17 days and said that teachers and students would assume a spectator stance during ideal literacy lessons. It seems clear that teachers' ideal conceptions are only one of many factors that affect the enacted curriculum. (See Chapter 6 for a discussion of the influences on the enacted curriculum.) Summary of enacted teacher and student roles All four teachers' enacted roles were closely aligned with the ORA approach. Ms. Price gave the most opportunity for participant events, although she, too, most often assumed a spectator stance. Ms Price's enacted role as a teacher was different from the other three in the way she paid attention to students' interests, stressed real purposes for reading and writing, and encouraged a participant stance more often than the other three teachers. The students' roles in all four classrooms also reflected the ORA approach that encouraged a spectator stance. During my classroom observations, the roles of students in Ms. Martin's, Ms. Vaskey's, and Ms. Donaldson's rooms were

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139 somewhat similar. Their students most often complied with the classroom rules, listened to the teacher, and assumed a spectator stance toward texts. While students in Ms. Price's classroom enacted the same three roles, they also expressed their interests and varied their stances according to Ms. Price's directions. Her students complied with classroom rules, but mainly when working at their desks. When Ms. Price invited students to sit on the floor at the front of the room, the classroom rules and stance changed, and students participated freely in discussions. Table 5-6 compares all four teachers' ideal and enacted students' and teachers' roles. Enacted Assessment All four teachers' enacted assessments closely followed the last step of the DRA approach, "differentiated follow-up activities," and each teacher assessed their students in similar ways. These four teachers' enacted literacy assessments can be divided into the following: weekly "paper and pencil tests," standardized assessments, and assessments during literacy lessons. Weekly assessment Weekly, all four teachers evaluated students based on three things: spelling a list of words, knowing the definitions of words on a list, and answering a series of comprehension questions from the text for the week. The weekly assessments were similar although the classes variously read from novels or from basal reading books. Surprisingly, none of the teachers mentioned the three weekly quizzes as part of their ideal assessment, yet they administered them each Friday. When I asked Ms. Price why she gave weekly quizzes,

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Table 5-6: Four Teachers' Ideal and Enacted Roles in the Classroom Teacher Ms. Martin Ms. Price Ms. Vaskey Ms. Donaldson Ideal teacher's and students' roles Teacher should: integrate subjects into novels, use students' interests as beginning point of lessons keep students' attention encourage a spectator stance Students should : focus on teacher, take responsibility for choices, comply with class rules, and assume a spectator stance toward texts Teacher should: enact a whole language curriculum and use novels, model literate behavior make lessons interesting help students understand "why," encourage a participant stance toward texts Students should: express their interests, assume a participant stance by actively participating in lessons Teacher should: control students' behavior vary teaching strategies, encourage a spectator stance toward texts Students should: listen to & follow Ms. Vaskey's directions, work in small groups, and assume a spectator stance toward texts Teacher should: follow a DRA approach, assume a spectator stance, keep discussions focused on a particular topic, control pace provide time for practice Students should: assume a spectator stance, listen to the teacher, and complete all class assignments Enacted_te_a_eher's and students' roles The Teacher: followed DRA approach, used the basal as beginning point of lessons, used unusual artifacts to arouse/keep students' interests, most often encouraged a spectator stance Students: focused on the teacher, sat quietly in their seats, and most often assumed a spectator stance toward texts The Teacher: mostly followed DRA approach, but also used novels, modeled literate behavior, used students' interests to make lessons interesting, helped students understand "why,"mostly encouraged a spectator stance; some participant events noticed Students: expressed their interests, assumed a participant stance in some lessons, varied stance according to teacher directions The Teacher: controlled students' behavior, mostly used DRA approach, most often encouraged a spectator stance toward texts Students: listened to & followed Ms. Vaskey's instructions, worked in small groups, and most often assumed a spectator stance toward texts The Teacher : followed a DRA approach, most often assumed a spectator stance, kept discussions focused, controlled pace of lesson provided time for practice Students: most often assumed a spectator stance, listened to the teacher, and completed most of class assignments ...tr,, 0

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141 although she thought that they were somewhat unnecessary, she said, "Because people need proof. They do not trust teacher intuition or teacher judgment." She went on to say that "most teachers really don't have good judgment. .. because they use things like behavior and personality" on which to base students' grades. Ms. Price said that she administered weekly quizzes in order to avoid subjectivity: SW: .... Isn't all grading subjective? Ms. Price: I think it probably is, but I think that this is so radical in some ways that is very difficult for parents and administrators. You know, your grade book has to be put away for audits. And then they come through and say, "Well, how did you get this grade?" "Well, it just felt like he had a 'C"' [laughs]. How do I say, "You know, he could answer my questions and he discussed it with me, so I felt like he was an 'A!"' [laughs] Uh, you have a hard time justifying it. Paper is so easy. You say, "Here, look. See? They got this many right and this many wrong, and they got a C." Ms. Price felt comfortable justifying students' grades to parents based on weekly tests and not based on her own observations. According to the teachers, the weekly quizzes provided a sense of what students had learned that week and how successful their literacy instruction had been. Most of the weekly comprehension quizzes included lower-level questions in which students had to repeat simple details from the plot of the story. Following is a typical comprehension quiz that Ms. Donaldson administered after students had read through a story in the basal reading book: "Koya Delaney and the Good Girls Blues" Comprehension Quiz 1. Who are the four characters in the story? 2. Who didn't call Loritha? 3 Where does the story take place?

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142 4. What type of competition was in the gym? 5. Who watched the competition from the bleachers? 6. What grade were the girls in? 7. Why didn't Loritha participate in the free-style competition? Similar to all of the other weekly comprehension quizzes that the four teachers gave while Lvisited in their classrooms, the seven questions on this assessment could be answered with simple words or phrases. All four teachers enacted similar weekly tests. They each evaluated students on the correct spelling of lists of words, writing the vocabulary definitions, and comprehension questions, such as the ones above. Standardized test preparation and administration For standardized test preparation in reading, all four teachers used the same county-adopted workbook, "Blast Off." According to Ms. Martin, her students worked from the book twice a week for 14 weeks before the test. The other three teachers (along with another fourth-grade teacher who was not in this study) shared one class set of workbooks which they used for two weeks at a time in daily, intensive sessions. Ms. Donaldson described the problems that occurred, having to share one class set among four teachers. Ms. Donaldson: We were trying to share one set between the four of us, which was tough because we had to make a schedule that she would use them one time and I would use them the next, then we would flip-flop. And then they finally got us all a set. And that was late in the year. That was in December and the test was in February or January. So we--basically all of January was "Blast Off," "Blast Off," "Blast Off," which wasn't good for the kids. SW: Why? Ms. Donaldson: Well, they got tired of it. They got burned out real

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quick. By the time the test came, they were like, "Agh! Get this over with! I've had enough!" 143 To prepare for the standardized writing test, all four teachers typically assigned a prompt each Monday to be completed by the next Friday. Although my observations of one school year began the second week of class, students were already reviewing the two types of writing prompts found on the test. Most already had learned several vocabulary words that were specific to the test: "narrative," "expository," "aiming for a six," and others. Ms. Donaldson described when and how she began working with her class to prepare for the standardized tests. Ms. Donaldson: Writing, we started at the very beginning. We usually spend a week or two on paragraph writing so I can see where they're at. Then I'll start with the expository and we'll get the five paragraph essay down. And then, we'll do that weekly writing prompt .. . SW: Really? Ms. Donaldson: I mean every week. Ms. Donaldson said that an ideal way to assess writing ability is to have teachers choose "what they would feel would be the best indication of how the child is doing at that time." According to Ms. Donaldson's ideal conceptions of literacy assessment, choosing a representative sample of each student's writing would be a much better picture of how the student is performing. Her enacted weekly practice would fit into her ideal assessment because students would generate many writing pieces from which teachers could choose. Even so, she was not able to enact her ideal conceptions of assessment because, to do so,

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would hav~ been to go against the mandates of the county office and school administration, which she did not feel she could do. 144 Along with the workbooks, the four teachers also prepared students for the standardized tests by administering county-wide assessments called "Demand Writes." Quarterly, the county office distributed a writing prompt, similar to one that might appear on a standardized writing test. During a Demand-Writes assessment, students had 45 minutes to plan and write a paper based on a written prompt that the county supplied. A Demand Writes assessment occurred during my first observation period in Ms. Price's room and my second observation period in Ms. Martin's room. Ms. Martin asked students to assume their "writing positions" (in which they moved their desks apart) and to "Imagine you are swimming. Suddenly something brushes against your leg. Think about what this might be. Now write a story about the day something brushes against your leg while you are swimming." This paper was scored by two other teachers in the school using a state-wide scoring rubric, similar to the rubric used on the state's standardized writing test. Ms. Martin reported that students were placed in remediation for writing if they scored below average (or below a "3" on a six-point rubric that the state used) on any Demand Writes writing assessment. During remediation classes, which occurred each day in conjunction with social studies and science classes, students wrote additional essays and teachers worked with them individually. Ms. Price asserted that one aspect of the Demand Writes assessment was particularly effective.

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145 I think that it has effective moments in the sense that it's become more important to teachers to teach writing .... I think it's making teachers aware of the need to have students writing a lot. To teach the grammar that was necessary to get them writing .... But I think mostly it's made teachers focus on the importance of writing because a lot of teachers who weren't really doing it are now doing it. Ms. Price justified the Demand Writes by saying that students were writing more often in all grades in the school because Demand Writes were mandatory However, not everyone agreed that such an experience was the best option for evaluating students' writing. Ms. Donaldson, one of the so-called "average" teachers, felt that the Demand Writes and the standardized tests were unfair to students who do not perform well on standardized tests. Although Ms. Donaldson prepared her students for the tests, she did not agree with their use in her classroom. I don't agree with the standardized testing because not all kids test well in that kind of situation. I didn't test well. And I did poorly, I really did poorly on my SA T's and ACT's and it wasn't a good indication of how I would do in college, so I don't really think that just because this student scored all proficient in reading this year that's a good indication that they're going to do that way next year. It's just kind of putting a label on kids. Along with the practice workbooks and Demand Writes, all four teachers prepared for the standardized writing test by using various worksheets. For example, in the following classroom interaction students were substituting "rich" verbs for common verbs, using a list that Ms. Martin supplied. Ms. Martin: . Now, look down that list of "eat" verbsum, read them for us . because the more you hear them, the more you're going to be using them .... Read me the list of "eat" verbs and let's hear some good, rich "eat" verbs. Okay, Staci, nice and loud. Staci: [reads words listed for "ate" words: "devour," "consume," etc.]

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Ms. Martin: Okay. "Sarah quickly ate her breakfast." Okay, now, instead of using "ate," which is kind of, you know, an "aghh" word, what's a good verb that you can pick from there that is a good substitute for that? Wendy? Wendy: "inhaled" Ms. Martin: All right, she likes the rich verb "inhaled." ... She's saying that "inhaled" is a good one that she could use instead of the word "ate 146 In this excerpt, students were not expected or allowed to make up their own words that might fit into the sentences. Instead, the focus was on memorizing words that they might use on the standardized writing test, in order to raise their scores. When I asked about ideal assessment, Ms. Martin said she preferred a "move away from the standardized tests." She also maintained that teachers should allow students to choose from several prompts when assessing writing. However, her enacted assessment did not reflect this view. When I asked her why she did not allow students a choice of writing prompts, she said that there were no choices on the standardized test, so she felt that she should not give her students choices in the classroom Test preparation was important to Ms. Martin, and she felt that to prepare students for the test she must try to maintain consistency between how they wrote in class and how they would write on the test. After I asked Jeremiah, from Ms. Vaskey's room, how he felt about taking the standardized test, he answered: Jeremiah: I felt nervous.

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SW: You did? How did it go once you were in there? Once you were taking it? 147 Jeremiah: I felt cool because I knew what I was doing. She taught us a lot about it. Like, if it said "explain," then it was an expository. If it didn't say "explain," then it was a narrative. SW: Oh, very good. So she gave you clues when looking at those prompts? Jeremiah: And she gave us prompts all through the year. Like practice prompts. SW: So, since the fall, you guys have been practicing. That's good. Did you feel like you did pretty well on it? Jeremiah: Un huhn [yes]. Although Jeremiah was "nervous" about the standardized writing test, he felt confident that he did well on it in the end. During this interchange, he revealed how he determined which type of writing to use by reading the prompt carefully and looking for the word "explain He also verified that Ms. Vaskey had taught the class how to read the prompt and how to employ the appropriate formula. In the third teacher interview, when I asked her to tell me about the standardized assessments, we had the following interchange: Ms. Vaskey: Standardized assessments. We teach to them, but we're trying to get away from the fact that we're teaching to them. We have the materials to generate questions so that we are teaching the skills from day one, the things that will be on the test. ... So, it's just, you know, it's getting them used to putting their thoughts down on paper. And that's basically what the standardized test is. Now, they read a passage, they answer a, b, c, d questions, they have to do short term, then they have to look back. But one thing that we found out, that when they're given this standardized test and they have this story to read, it says in the directions, "You can go back and re-read the passage," So when we're doing assessment in the classroom, even, we have to provide them with being able to use their book to go back and find the information ..

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148 SW: Why do you do that? Ms. Vaskey: For the practice, because that's what the test is going to be like. Some things you are allowed to go back in the story and re read, and re-read. It says in the directions, "Go back and re-read if you're stuck." And that's getting them used to finding the information in the book, on their own, when it's time for the assessment time. To see can they really do it? Or do we need to do it as a whole group to learn how to do it? This interaction revealed that Ms Vaskey attempted to prepare her students for the standardized test from the start of the school year. She mentioned the skill of "Go back and re-read if you're stuck," which she explicitly taught. She also mentioned informally assessing whether or not the whole class needed to work on test preparation skills together. From this interview and Jeremiah's comments we can deduce that Ms. Vaskey, like the other three teachers, prepared her students in various ways for the standardized tests: interpreting correct responses to writing prompts, writing practice essays using standardized test formats, and re-reading passages for details. Ongoing assessment A third way to look at assessment in these four teachers' classrooms is to understand the work of the teacher informally monitoring students' understanding. All four teachers asked many question s during my observations, but qualitatively the questions differed, based on the stances that the teacher assumed and encouraged. During a spectator stance, the level of engagement seemed to be at a surface level, dealing with words and phrases directly from the text or entirely out of context in lists, instead of overall themes or complicated

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149 concepts. During assessments in spectator stances, students typically answered teacher-generated questions without any possibilities for exploring their own inquiry or synthesizing information from various texts Table 5-7 is a sample of the comprehension questions that three teachers asked while encouraging and assuming a spectator stance. Each question revealed a spectator stance as these three teachers sampled their students' knowledge of the plot of the story or of vocabulary words This type of questioning occurred on most of the days that I observed in these three teachers' rooms. During lessons in which the teachers encouraged a spectator stance, they asked many lower level questions (Bloome, 1975) in order to ascertain what students knew about limited information from the text. Ms. Price's enacted literacy curriculum differed from the other three teachers' Table 5-7: Samples of Three Teachers Enacted Assessments Teachers Literature Source Ms. Martin The Chocolate Touch Ms Vaskey Freckle Juice Ms Donaldson (from the basal reading book) Jumanji Questions 1 What are the three ingredients in chocolate? 2 Okay, who can spot the two vocabulary words that were in that paragraph? 3. Why do you think he blushed? 4. Again "tonic" is what? 5. Why do you think he put that box of chocolate under the bed? 1 Who can tell me the name of the turtle? 2 How old was Fudge? 3 How old was e._ eter? 4. They had a horrible time at the party because of .. ? 5. Name two things that Fudge did? 1. Would you want to finish the game or would you want to quit? 2. What do you see on page 519? 3. What do you think is on that paper? 4. Do the monkeys look like they're having fun? 5. What is that on the floor?

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150 curricula. She encouraged a participant stance during some of the class discussions about James and the Giant Peach. In a way that was similar to the other three teachers, she did gauge whether or not students knew the plot of the story, but along with that, both she and her students made comments and asked questions. The following excerpts are from interactions that occurred on different days and reveal their participant stance toward the text: 1. Ms. Price : Sometimes, little brothers and sisters are a pain! They pester, they aggravate, they don't want to leave you alone! [This was followed by several students telling stories about their little siblings.] 2. Colton: [in the middle of a read-aloud session] How come they won't, um, arrest them for child abuse? [This was followed by an extensive discussion about child abuse and how children can be helped when they are suffering from abuse.] 3. Ms Price: This book is banned in some schools, not because of the language, not because of the story itself, but because of one thing. That is the green crystals and the little man that comes up and tries to get little children to take them and add them to water. And he tells them that wonderful things will happen and he will never be sad again. Why do you think that that bothers parents? Jesucita? [This was followed by a discussion about drugs and why some people may not like the book.] 4. Ms. Price: [when the class was discussing whether or not they would crawl inside a large peach] You know what would get to me, honestly? I love to eat peaches, but when you eat one, you know how that juice runs all over you and gets on your hand and how sticky and yucky it is? [followed by further discussion about crawling into a large peach] Unlike the questions in Table 5-7, in the these examples Ms. Price encouraged and assumed a participant stance. She not only gauged the students' understanding of the text, but she joined with them as together they interpreted what the text meant. In these examples, Ms. Price connected students' home life with the text and encouraged students to express their

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151 questions or thoughts, even in the middle of a reading-aloud session. Higher order thinking (Bloome, 1975), in which students speculated, synthesized, and evaluated ideas, was valued and encouraged when this teacher and her students assumed a participant stance. Ms. Price most consistently encouraged and assumed a participant stance toward texts even though she used a participant stance in only 22% of her classroom events. Although Ms. Price administered weekly quizzes, her classroom interactions revealed that she also informally assessed students based on a deeper understanding of texts by providing opportunities for a participant stance. In one interview I asked Ms. Price why her ideal forms of assessment (using portfolios, talking with students about their reading, and so on.) were not the primary types of assessment in her enacted curricula. She answered that she felt pressure to administer paper and pencil tests with concrete grades to "verify your knowledge of where they are." (See the next section for more information about the influences Ms. Price felt on her ideal conceptions of assessment.) Even so, she maintained that "a really good teacher who knows what they're doing does not need a test or a quiz or even a piece of paper to give a grade ... because they're evaluating them all the time by everything In Ms. Price's opinion, ideal assessment is based on teachers' ongoing observation of students (some of the time during participant events) and not on objective tests only. Her enacted assessment came close to her ideal assessment during the episodes when she asked questions that encouraged a participant stance and

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asked students to think beyond simple one-word answers found easily in the text. Summary of enacted assessment 152 All four teachers administered weekly spelling, vocabulary, and comprehension quizzes and prepared their students for the standardized writing test. In addition, all four teachers monitored their students' understandings by orally discussing the stories they read as a class, although the types of discussions varied in depth, tone, and pace according to the stance that was assumed. For standardized test preparation, they all used a county-adopted workbook, administered a quarterly Demand Writes exercise, and directly taught the format of the standardized writing test, using worksheets and providing weekly opportunities for students to write in prescribed ways. Practice for the district's writing test was an important aspect of the fourth-grade reading and writing curriculum for all four teachers. Weekly assessments and standardized test preparations were similar for all four teachers. But, they differed in the stances they assumed during text discussions. Ms. Martin, Ms. Vaskey, and Ms Donaldson predominantly assumed and encouraged a spectator stance and asked many detail-oriented questions. Ms. Price, on the other hand, encouraged and assumed a participant stance in some discussions, a position which she believed resulted in a deeper , engagement with texts as she and her students together monitored and constructed mutual understandings of texts. Table 5-8 is a comparison of all four teachers' ideal and enacted assessment.

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Table 5-8 : Comparison of Four Teachers' Ideal and Enacted Assessment Teachers Ms. Martin Ms Price Ms Vaskey Ideal Assessment The teacher should: see students' growth in reading and writing through performance based assessments give students choices of prompts interview and talk to students about reading and writing administer preand post-tests for each grade level and evaluate students using a standardized assessment most often encourage a spectator stance when monitoring students' understanding of texts The teacher should: see students' growth in reading and writing by using portfolios listen to students read aloud and discuss texts, observe students as they read and see them progress through reading levels, notice the amount that students read encourage a participant stance, at times, when monitoring students' understanding of texts The teacher should: use rubrics to evaluate writing in order to be objective administer Demand Writes and standardized assessments most often encourage a spectator stance when monitor i ng students' understanding of texts Ms. Donaldson The teacher should: use various evaluation measures not administer standardized writing test evaluate a representative sample of each students' writing encourage a spectator stance when monitoring students' understanding of texts Enacted Assessment The teacher: gave weekly tests instead of performance-based assessments. did not give students a choice of writing prompts did not interview and talk to students prepared students for and administer standardized tests and Demand Writes most often encouraged a spectator stance when monitoring students' understanding of texts The teacher: did not measure students' growth in reading and writing portfolios used some ongo i ng evaluation gave weekly spelling vocabulary and comprehension tests prepared students for and administered standardized tests encouraged a participant stance, at times when monitoring students' understanding of texts The teacher: used rubrics to evaluate writing, attempted to be objective gave weekly spelling, vocabulary and comprehension tests prepared students for and admin i ster standardized tests and Demand Writes most often encouraged a spectator stance when monitoring students' understanding of texts The teacher: used only "paper and penc i l" evaluation measures prepared students for and administer standardized tests did not evaluate a representative sample most often encouraged a spectator stance when monitoring students' understanding of texts _.. CJ1 (,,)

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154 Overview of Teachers' Ideal and Enacted Conceptions The following three findings emerged when considering all four teachers' ideal and enacted conceptions of literacy teaching and learning: 1. The teachers' enacted curricula reflected part of their ideal conceptions, but the teachers expressed a cognitive dissonance between their ideal and real literacy curricula. Ms. Vaskey and Ms. Donaldson, the two so-called "average" teachers, maintained that ideal literacy learning was based on a basal reading book, an approach that they enacted in their classrooms Both teachers implied that spectator events were ideal for literacy teaching and learning. They also predominately assumed and encouraged a spectator stance in their enacted literacy curriculum. Even so, Ms. Vaskey and Ms. Donaldson reported that they felt unsure about the curriculum of their enacted literacy lessons. In one interview Ms. Donaldson wondered aloud if her reading curriculum was the most effective. Likewise, Ms. Vaskey questioned me privately about her reading curriculum and asked me how to introduce more whole language ideas in her classroom. The other two teachers implemented literacy lessons that were relatively different from their ideal conceptions. One of the so-called "exemplary" teachers, Ms. Price, enacted only parts of her ideal conceptions. She described a literature-base, integrated language arts approach as i deal, yet she mainly enacted a ORA approach. In effect, Ms. Price was the only teacher of the four whose ideal curriculum reflected a participant stance toward learning. But the number of participant events Ms Price actually offered was relatively low

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155 Ms. Martin, who also believed that an ideal curriculum was integrated and literature-based, enacted a ORA approach whether following the basal reading book or teaching from a novel. Different from Ms. Price, Ms. Martin implied that a spectator stance was ideal, and she enacted few participant events. None of the four teachers directly enacted their ideal conceptions of literacy teaching and learning. But all four teachers expressed either a difference between their ideal and enacted conceptions or a verbal tentativeness about their literacy curriculum. 2. Teachers' ideal stance is reflected in ideal roles of teachers and students. Teachers whose ideal conceptions included a spectator stance toward literacy lessons expected students to comply with assigned rules and assume a similar stance. Ms. Vaskey, Ms. Donaldson, and Ms. Martin, who idealized a spectator stance during literacy lessons, required their students to follow strict classroom rules ("Stay in your seat and wait to be called on before you speak.") with little variation. These three teachers also contended that teachers should control students' learning and activities by preparing all lessons and giving limited opportunities for students' free expression. Ms. Price, whose ideal conceptions of literacy teaching and learning included a participant stance, expected students to express their interests and to take an active role in lesson planning and implementation. Ms. Price also expected her students to imitate the stance that she assumed according to the assignment and the students' location in the room. For example, when students were working at their desks on an individual assignment, Ms. Price expected

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them to follow the class rules closely and assume a spectator stance. When students were sitting on the floor participating in a discussion, she expected them to assume a participant stance. The stances that these four teachers idealized and assumed determined their enacted roles and those of their students. 156 3. Assessment contained preparation for the standardized writing test, whether or not test preparation was a part of the teachers' ideal literacy cuniculum Even Ms. Price who was the most opposed to standardized testing and who thought that teachers should be given the authority to evaluate students without a formal test vigorously prepared her students for the standardized writing test. She did so by assigning a weekly writing prompt that was similar to prompts students might find on the standardized test. Her students completed one writing prompt each week that she graded every weekend using the state testing rubric She admitted that test preparation had taken over her entire writing curriculum. Similarly, Ms. Donaldson who contended that teachers should choose a representative sample of students' work to evaluate did not focus on any types of writing other than those found on the test. She also assigned a weekly writing prompt that she graded and returned every week. Ms. Vaskey and Ms. Martin, who argued that standardized tests were objective and therefore beneficial, also assigned weekly prompts that they collected and graded each Friday. To prepare for the test, Ms. Martin frequently asked students to assume what she called "writing positions," which meant that students separated their chairs in order to "stop all conversations and .. focus

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157 on their writing." Ms. Vaskey's test preparation included rewriting all of her weekly quizzes that accompanied the basal reading book, and any writing assignments so that they were similar to the standardized tests. All four teachers' writing curricula mirrored the types of writing found on the standardized tests.

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CHAPTER6 INFLUENCES ON THE LITERACY CURRICULUM This chapter presents the results of the third set of teacher interviews and focuses on the third rese~rch question "What are four teachers' perceptions of ,. j the forces that influence their enactep literacy curriculum?" Its purpose is to describe various influences on the teachers' enacted curricula and account for how teachers contend with these forces. It is clear that curricula, the roles of teachers and students in each classroom, and the teachers' views of assessment differed between each teachers' ideal and enacted literacy curricula. What influenced both their thinking and their actions? One way to answer this question is to investigate the sources of influence that shape these teachers' enacted literacy curricula. Because each teacher perceived these influences differently, I relied on the teachers' descriptions of the influences they felt. I decided to focus on what teachers said (or perceived) in order to sample their "privileged understandings" (Wharton-McDonald et al., 1998) of the context in which they teach. In order to answer Research Question 3, "What are teachers' perceptions of the forces that influence their enacted literacy curriculum?," I relied on a third set of interviews with the teachers, data from my field notes, and 12 student interviews Midway through data collection and based on all of my data sources, I devised a list of nine probable influences on the teachers' reading and writing 158

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159 programs (in alphabetical order): county and state curricular standards, other people, personal beliefs about teaching, professional materials, standardized tests, students' interests, teachers' editions, teachers' own sense of what needed to be done, and things over which teachers have no control. During the third interview I tested the teachers' views of the impact of these sources on their literacy teaching. I gave each teacher a set of 3 X 5 cards on which I had printed the nine influences. First, each teacher read through the cards and verified that they felt some pressure from each source. At this point, they had an opportunity to add to the list, although none did so Finally, I asked each teacher to place the cards in order according to the amount of pressure they personally felt from each influence. (Three of the teachers grouped concepts together that they saw as interrelated. I did not suggest that they group the influences, but if they asked to do so, I acquiesced.) We then discussed each source of influence and how it affected their enacted curricula. Table 6-1 displays the lists of the four teachers and the order in which they placed each influence. Because I had asked each teacher previously about any discrepancies I noted between their ideal and enacted curricula, I sensed that they were eager to tell me about the sources of influence they felt to help me understand why they did not always enact what they thought were ideal literacy lessons Table 6-1 displays the lists that each teacher generated, including the groupings they created. Following is a discussion of three salient aspects of the teachers' lists: standardized tests, students' interests, and internal influences. These three

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160 aspects describe the impact of the sources that influenced the enacted literacy curri~ula and suggest reasons why there were discrepancies between teachers' ideal and enacted literacy curricula. Table 6-1: Sources of Influence for the Four Teachers Ms. Martin Ms Price Ms. Vaskey 1. county and state 1 things over which 1. personal beliefs curricular standards, teachers have no about teaching standardized tests control 2 students' interests, personal beliefs about teaching, teachers' own sense of what needed to be done 3 other people 4. teachers' editions 5. professional materials 6. things over which teachers have no control Standardized Tests 2. personal beliefs about teaching, teachers' own sense of what needed to be done, students' interests 3 other people, professional materials 4. county and state curricular standards 5. standardized tests 6 teachers' editions 2 teachers' own sense of what needed to be done 3. students' interests 4. county and state curricular standards 5. teachers' editions 6 professional materials 7. standardized testing 8. things over which teachers have no control 9. other people Ms.Donaldson 1. standardized tests 2. students' interests 3. teachers' editions, professional materials, other people 4. personal beliefs about teaching, teachers' own sense of what needed to be done 5. things over which teachers have no control 6. county and state curricular standards Early in my work I noticed that the literacy lessons I observed in these four classrooms were strongly influenced by standardized tests Although standardized test results were rarely disclosed before summer break, and therefore were not used to modify their literacy curriculum, all four teachers' writing lessons revolved around preparation for the standardized writing test. During the classroom observations I saw and heard numerous references to "the

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161 test" and what would "make better sentences so you can get a better score" on the test. With the exception of one writing opportunity in Ms. Price's classroom when students wrote in response journals about James and the Giant Peach, all of the writing lessons I observed focused on formulaic writing for the standardized writing test. All four teachers admitted that preparation for the writing test had overtaken the entire writing curriculum. "I hate to say it, but it [standardized testing] has taken away a lot of the things that I used to do in the classroom." All four teachers described several aspects of the standards and tests over which they felt no control. Following is a sample of influences in this category that came from all four teachers' interviews and classroom observations: 1. The limited nature of prompts for the standardized writing test. 2. A requirement to document the standards by number in lesson plans. 3. The necessity to prepare students for standardized tests. 4. The content of the standardized tests. 5. The state mandate to provide remediation for below average students. 6 The content of the standards. 7 Students' capabilities to take standardized tests. 8. The way outsiders judged schools' effectiveness based on test scores. This list provides evidence that the teachers had much to say about their lack of control over the "high-stakes" standardized tests because they could verbalize numerous ways the test influenced their literacy lessons. In speaking to the teachers about these issues, I noticed a resignation that testing was not going to change. Instead of resisting the test all four teachers discussed ways to modify their lessons to accommodate the test.

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162 Ms. Martin and Ms. Donaldson not only listed standardized tests as their most prominent source of influence, they both described the other categories of influence by referring to the test. Standardized testing was the main influence that guided their literacy teaching. Ms. Martin held that students should ideally have choices of writing topics for literacy assessment. In practice, however, Ms. Martin offered students few choices because she wanted them to be prepared for the standardized test that offered no choice of topics. To counteract a testing focus, Ms. Martin reported that she "sneaks in" interesting activities around holidays and at the end of the year because students are too "focused and concentrating on that [the test] at the beginning of the year'' to learn about anything but the material covered by the standards Even so, she admitted that her feelings toward the test had evolved slowly. When the standardized tests came out originally, Ms. Martin felt that administrators did not give teachers enough freedom to implement the best curricula for students. Then, she noticed with our expectation going up .. the skills are going up. As we're expecting more of them they're producing--they're giving a lot more. And, I think, uh, I like that, I mean that higher expectation . .. So, if we raise our standards, a little bit then they're going to go up. And I like that. So, my views have changed about the testing. Ms. Martin's personal philosophy toward testing changed, and her personal beliefs and enacted curriculum followed suit. When asked if she agreed with the standards she was given to teach: Ms. Martin: Like I said, usually it backs up--it's something that I think the children should know, um, especially with the Holly County ones It's teachers that are making up those, so they know ... SW: So you trust them to

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163 Ms. Martin: You trust them--that committee-to make up what to do. In this excerpt, Ms. Martin revealed that she trusted the committee that made up the county standards with setting the foundation for her enacted literacy program because its members were teachers. In effect, she demonstrated the importance of the standards by enacting them daily. Because she felt the standards and tests were the biggest influence on her literacy curriculum, the standards committee became an important outside influence on Ms. Martin by determining not only the standards she would teach during the year but also the curriculum she would use. Ms. Donaldson, a so-called "average" teacher, also listed standardized tests as her most prominent source of influence. When asked about changes in the literacy curriculum if standardized tests were not part of the fourth-grade experience: Ms. Donaldson: Mmm. I think we'd have a much more relaxed atmosphere .... And I think we could really, probably spend more time on the skills that need to be taught and probably teach them better. Because we only have so much time that we have to get taught in, that we have really a whole year's teaching to get done in, what, six months? Four or five months, tops. And I think that-SW: So, less stress? Ms. Donaldson: Less stress and more relaxed--much more relaxed atmosphere for the teachers and the students .... SW: So, the actual time involved in preparation for the standardized tests is a problem, too. Ms. Donaldson: Yeah, yeah.

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164 In this interchange, Ms. Donaldson revealed that she would spend "more time on the skills that need to be taught" if she did not have to prepare students for the test. Without the influence of the test, she would have time to enact her ideal literacy curriculum, which included practicing with skills and grouping students by ability in order to help them individually. She said that "everything is focused on writing. We're having to spend a lot of time on the writing prompt. We cannot teach creative writing. We have to teach expository writing and narrative writing." She did "not agree with the standardized testing because not all kids test well in that kind of situation," and "it's just something that has to be done. And I know it has to be done. So that's why it's a big influence." Ms. Vaskey and Ms. Price were greatly influenced by the standardized writing test, even though they listed it near the bottom of their prioritized list of influences. I did not observe any writing instruction during my first five days in Ms. Vaskey's classroom. When asked about this lack of writing: Ms. Vaskey: We didn't do writing because it's the end of the year and I'm sick of it. Writing is just not as important. They're tired of it. They're tired of writing. SW: Why? Ms. Vaskey: Because they've been stressed out too much. They've been over-SW: Why? Ms. Vaskey: Because of the testing. Um, the end of the year, they're not really in a mood .... They're just not interested in doing it right now And it's-you know, I think because of the testing, and because of all the work that they had to do that writing has become their, um, the lower end of it.

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165 In this interaction, Ms. Vaskey described how she and her students felt about writing. They were "tired of it." She described a test-induced, emotional strain that caused her to omit any writing activities toward the end of the year because writing was at "the lower end" on her students' list of enjoyable activities. Ms. Vaskey maintained that the standards, supposedly reflected on standardized tests, were "the content of what I believe needs to be taught." She went on to say that she relied on teachers' editions for coverage of the standards, a strategy that follows her ideal and enacted literacy curriculum which was based on the basal reading book. She listed standardized tests as a less influential source, yet they greatly influenced how she planned for instruction. Ms. Price, a so-called "exemplary" teacher who placed standardized tests toward the end of her ordered list of important influences, maintained that she decided how and what to teach before she consulted the list of standards and before she considered if she needed to focus on testing skills. When planning for her second observation period, Ms. Price said the following: I am supposed to consider the standards first, but when I was doing the lesson plans last week ... my teacher's edition let me know what story was next, but that's it. If I didn't want to do it, I'd flip around to whatever story I wanted to do. I skipped the first story and went to "Freckle Juice" because I didn't like "Ali Babba." I just don't care for the story. I think "Freckle Juice" is more fun and it gives me more opportunity to teach--to get them started on how stories work. So, I just let it go. But, I looked in the teacher's edition and saw the story. I then, unfortunately, had to check out to see what skills I could get out of the story that would fit these. But I didn't do that first. I decided how I was going to teach and what I was going to teach. Ms. Price would "flip around to whatever story" she wanted to do, instead of considering the standards and standardized tests first. Yet, later in this

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166 interview, Ms. Price revealed that her writing curriculum was greatly influenced by the test. She told me that the teacher's edition of the reading book suggested a persuasive creative writing essay that was "way off' for where she needed to be in order to prepare her students for the standardized writing test. She said that she was "only supposed to introduce persuasive. I have to have these kids ready for expository and narrative. And they don't know how to write a good expository yet. ... They're not ready to write it." This comment revealed that she did not use the basal's writing suggestions because of the influence of the standardized writing test. Ms. Price reasoned that the students were not developmentally ready because they're still learning to organize thoughts, so they might be able to talk about it. ... It has to do with the development of children at this age. You know, they're still learning to organize their thought in general. ... They're not developmentally thinking that way, yet. So, although Ms. Price relied on teacher's editions for stories and reading skills, she determined the sequence with which to proceed based on her perceptions of students' interests or their developmental levels and not on the standardized test only. She also reasoned that the two types of writing found on the standardized writing test, expository and narrative, were appropriate for her students' developmental levels. In other words, preparing students for the writing test was in line with what she thought students should be doing in fourth-grade. Although she did not openly admit it, the tests greatly influenced her enacted curriculum through the types of writing she encouraged and the sequence of her enacted writing curriculum.

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167 When I asked Ms. Price why she placed standardized tests near the end of her list of influences, although standards and test preparation were important to her enacted curriculum, she answered, "I don't have an objection to any of these skills [the standards] because that's what good readers do and they don't even know they do it." She told me that her frustration with standards was that, to be meaningful, standards "have to come out of real situations" and be done "in as 'non-artificial' way as possible Ms. Price implied that standardized tests and their preparation were "artificial" and not a good way to measure whether or not students have learned the standards. In sum, even though Ms. Vaskey and Ms. Price did not list tests as predominant sources of influence, their enacted curriculum reflected that they were influenced by the standardized tests. Ms. Martin and Ms. Donaldson both listed the tests as the greatest source of influence on their teaching. All four teachers' enacted curricula reflected a reliance on standards and an urgency to prepare students for these tests. Students' Interests Even though it may not have been apparent in their enacted literacy curriculum, all four teachers mentioned that students' interests were a driving influence on how they planned and implemented literacy lessons. However, the way they monitored, exploited, and interpreted them varied. Ms. Price gauged students' interests by having them express their opinions in class discussions or writing assignments. She often modified her daily plans using this information. Sp~aking about students' interests as a whole, she said, "You need to pursue

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168 the directions it [student interest] takes you in So, it can lead you to science or math or social studies or anywhere else." Ms. Price talked about using students' interests as a way to make her literacy lessons meaningful to students. Ms. Vaskey and Ms. Donaldson, the two so-called "average" teachers, talked about students' interests quite differently-as a way to motivate students to get them to finish class assignments. Talking about her classroom as a whole, Ms. Vaskey said her attention to students' interests was vital "because if they're not interested, then the rest really doesn't really flow Similarly, Ms. Donaldson said that she tried to "do things that I think they might like. 'Cause if they really don't like it, then you're going to lose them." She continued by talking about a lesson conducted the previous day, when she asked students to get up and stretch while they were reading aloud from the basal reading book: Ms. Donaldson: As you saw yesterday, this is a hard group to get motivated--to motivate them. [laughs] SW: That was interesting. Standing up and moving around, or just wait until everybody's-Ms. Donaldson: They just sit there like [makes a bored expression]. . They're just hard to get motivated. So, I'm trying to find things all the time that they're going to be interested in. I mean, they're going to have to realize that it's [doing interesting activities] not going to be every day ... But, I think if you can get them interested in it, they'll do better. From this excerpt of interview three, Ms. Donaldson clearly saw students' interests as a critical component of motivating students to complete class assignments. However, I saw little evidence that she attended to students' interests during my observations in her classrooms. The reading, writing, and

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speaking activities of her enacted literacy curriculum typically originated and were chosen by Ms. Donaldson and not her students. 169 Similarly, Ms. Martin, one of the so-called "exemplary" teachers, described using students' interests to motivate students to finish class work. She added that she used students' interests to help plan her literacy lessons so that her students would achieve higher test scores. "If I can do it [plan lessons] in a way that they are interested, they'll end up doing well on the test at the end of the year." To Ms. Martin, students' performance on standardized tests depended on the teacher's ability to exploit their interests when planning instruction, a skill which was a component of her ideal role for teachers. Throughout the three interviews, Ms. Martin mentioned strategies that she used to keep students interested in reading and writing, both before and after the standardized test: 1. Assigned writing lessons about flamboyant fictional characters. 2. Encouraged students to bring in personal artifacts related to any story they read through. 3. Allowed students to work at their own pace. 4. Overlooked and did not punish students for reading beyond the class assignment if they were interested in the reading. 5. Brought in interesting books, pictures, and artifacts. In sum, while all four teachers listed students' interests as an important source of influence, how and why they attended to students' interests varied. Ms. Price used her students' interests in order to shape her literacy curriculum and create meaningful literacy events. Of the four teachers, her enacted literacy curriculum most clearly showed her attention to students' interests. In contrast, Ms. Vaskey, Ms. Donaldson, and Ms. Martin mainly used their students' interests

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170 as a way to get students to finish class assignments. Ms. Martin added that students' interests could help her plan lessons that would result in higher standardized test scores. As an influence on their curriculum, the way that these three teachers interpreted students' interests was quite different from Ms Price's use of students' interests. Internal Influences Three sources of influence can be described as internal influences, or those that originate internally and must be verbalized in order to be revealed: personal beliefs about teaching. teachers' own sense of what needed to be done, and the teachers' understanding of students' interests. Ms Martin and Ms Price grouped these three influences together, and Ms. Donaldson paired personal beliefs about teaching and teachers' own sense of what needs to be done as her most prominent group of influences. Even though she did not group them, Ms. Vaskey placed personal beliefs about teaching, teachers' own sense of what needs to be done, and students' interests as her first, second, and third most influential sources. Educational researchers have not conclusively determined whether or not teachers directly enact their beliefs (Fang, 1996), but most experts agree that teachers' beliefs somewhat influence the enacted curriculum (Clark & Peterson, 1986). These four teachers reported that these three internal sources highly influenced their teaching. From my observations and interviews of Ms. Price and Ms. Martin, it was obvious that there was a qualitative difference in their ideal and enacted literacy lessons I found the differences curious and hard to account for until I began

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171 analyzing these two teachers' perceptions of the influences on their literacy curricula. I discovered that the qualitative differences originated in the teachers' varying beliefs about teaching, their own sense of what needed to be done, how they used students' interests, and the stances they assumed and encouraged. Ms. Martin, who agreed with the idea of teaching and testing students according to a list of standards, enacted a DRA approach, emphasizing a spectator stance. Even though she brought in unusual artifacts to stimulate students' interests, she used their interests to focus on teaching and testing the standards. On the other hand, even though Ms. Price most often enacted a DRA approach, at times she encouraged students to assume participant stances, thereby using students' interests to craft meaningful lessons and providing opportunities for students to connect with texts in various ways. While agreeing on the three most prominent sources of influence, Ms. Martin and Ms. Price disagreed on their ideal conceptions of literacy teaching and learning. Ms. Donaldson and Ms. Vaskey, the two so-called "average" teachers, reported that these internal sources influenced their enacted curricula as well. However, their enacted curricula revealed more attention to standards and standardized tests than to students' interests. Ms. Donaldson's top ranked influences, standardized tests and students' interests, contain an apparent contradiction: How can teachers attend to standardized tests and the interests of their students at the same time? As I discussed in the previous section, one explanation is that teachers attend to students' interests in various ways and for various purposes. Ms. Martin, Ms. Vaskey, and Ms. Donaldson believed that an

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ideal assessment included standardized tests, so they used the topics that interested their students to motivate students to perform well on the test. In contrast, Ms. Price noticed and planned lessons around salient issues her students raised during classroom interactions. Summary of Influences 172 In sum, all four teachers reported that they implemented the literacy curriculum in ways that made sense to them. Ms. Martin, Ms. Vaskey, and Ms. Donaldson reported that students' interests helped them to accomplish their personal beliefs about teaching--they used the topics in which students were interested to help students perform better on standardized tests. Ms. Price used salient issues that her students raised to plan subsequent lessons. Although Ms. Martin and Ms. Price were both nominated by their principals as "exemplary" teachers, their personal beliefs about teaching and the types of stances they encouraged made their classrooms distinctive. One reason for this difference may be explained by how their individual principals defined an "exemplary" teacher Ms Martin's principal monitored the teachers more closely than did Ms. Price's principal to make sure they documented coverage of standards by checking each teachers' lesson plans weekly. In addition, Ms. Martin's principal held weekly reward parties for students from each grade level who performed well on the weekly writing prompt. Hence, this principal's idea of an "exemplary teacher" included teachers who had high student scores on standardized tests and who consistently documented each

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173 standard in their lesson plans. Ms. Martin reflected her principal's emphasis on standards and tests by listing them as her most influential source. On the other hand, Ms. Price's principal, who was Ms. Vaskey's and Ms. Martin's principal as well, seemed to emphasize a teacher's rapport with students and parents in his criteria of an "exemplary teacher." He was not unconcerned about standardized test scores, but he mentioned that he appreciated teachers who were "successful communicators" and who helped students understand texts. This implies that he based successful teaching on making meaning, not on coverage of standards. He also asked teachers to write the numbers of the corresponding standards they taught in their lesson plans, but he did not collect { the plans until the end of the school year. Obviously, these two principals differed in their views of the characteristics of an "exemplary" literacy teacher, and in their views of the roles of a principal. So, whereas Ms. Martin and Ms. Price listed similar sources as influential to their literacy curriculum, their views about each source differed, and corresponded to the reasons why their principals nominated them as "exemplary" teachers. By rank ordering a list of nine influences that I noted during the first round of interviews and observations, the four teachers revealed how they felt about sources that influenced their literacy curricula. I discovered three main sources: standardized tests, students' interests, and internal influences. These three sources describe the influences that all four teachers reported and bring out a conflict that these teachers did not directly address or perceive: How do teachers attend to their own beliefs about teaching, their own sense of what

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needs to be done, and the pressure to prepare for the standardized tests, without neglecting the issues that were salient to their students? The next chapter summarizes the study and suggests implications for the stances that teachers take and the level of teachers' curricular control. 174

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CHAPTER 7 CONCLUSION The purpose of this study was to describe and analyze four teachers' ideal conceptions of literacy teaching and learning, their enacted literacy lessons, and their perceptions of the influences on their enacted literacy curricula. To ascertain this information, I conducted three interviews with each teacher, observed two complete literacy learning chunks in each classroom, analyzed oral interactions that took place during literacy lessons, interviewed three students from each teacher's classroom, and examined curricular guides and teachers' editions that the teachers used. In this chapter I summarize the results from the study, identify limitations of the study, and suggest implications for pedagogy and future research endeavors Summary of the Results At the beginning of the study, I expected to find a range of ideal and enacted literacy curricula. The teachers I studied varied in years of teaching, teaching experiences, school locations, reputations with the principal (either "average" or "exemplary"), curricular materials they used, and so forth. Because of the design of the study, I expected the teachers to conceive of a range of ideal and real literacy lessons. I found a narrow range in these teachers' ideal conceptions of literacy learning. Ms. Price's ideals were different from the others in terms of stance, 175

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176 roles of the teacher and students, and assessment. She maintained that teachers should encourage and assume a participant stance toward texts, model literate behavior, and help students understand "why" they needed to complete class assignments. She thought students should participate actively in lessons and express their interests about particular subjects so that she could build on their understandings to create meaningful literacy lessons. She also advocated using portfolios to assess students' growth throughout the school year. In contrast, the other three teachers asserted that students should assume a spectator stance toward texts, and teachers should tightly control classroom activities. Ms. Martin maintained that a literature-based, integrated approach was ideal. Ms. Vaskey initially said that a whole language approach was ideal, but, later, when I asked her to describe an ideal lesson, she outlined a lesson from the basal reading book using a DRA approach. Ms. Donaldson said that the DRA approach in basals was ideal, but that teachers needed to enrich the basal curriculum with novels. These three teachers expected students to comply with class rules, listen to teachers' directions, and complete all class assignments. They also contended that standardized assessment was ideal although Ms. Donaldson added that teachers should evaluate a representative sample of writing instead of enacting a one-size-fits-all evaluation tool, like that found in the standardized writing test. I asked each teacher about their ideal conceptions to find out the aspects of literacy teaching and learning that they felt were important.

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177 However, as the study progressed I did not find a wide range. Instead the four teachers' enacted literacy curricula were relatively similar. They all used a ORA approach, most often encouraged a spectator stance in classroom interactions, and prepared for and administered standardized tests. All four teachers displayed a pedagogical dependence (Barksdale-Ladd & Thomas, 1993) on basal reading books during their enacted literacy curricula even though three of the four mentioned that other approaches to literacy instruction were ideal. Because they did not enact most of what they considered ideal, the teachers' concern for covering the standards outweighed their concern for implementing their ideal conceptions of instruction. In addition, the stances they encouraged and assumed were similar. Stances and Events in the Classroom Teachers nourish particular classroom environments by the types of interactions they invite (Aulls, 1998) and by their expectations of students' roles. In addition, teachers assume their own stances toward literacy events, encourage students to assume a similar stance, thereby closing down conflicting stances. The teachers' stance, while not the only determining factor of students' stances, contributes to the overall success of literacy lessons and is a powerful force behind literacy teaching and learning (Alvermann et al., 1990; Aulls, 1998; Cazden, 1988). Generally, the four teachers in the present study assumed and encouraged either a spectator or participant stance and demonstrated three distinct types of literacy events: spectator, participant, and pretender.

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178 Spectator events In a majority of elementary classroom interactions teachers encourage and assume a spectator stance (Alverman et al., 1990; Baumann et al., 1999; Galda, 1990). The IRE pattern in the spectator event seeps into literacy lessons even if teachers do not believe the IRE is an ideal interaction pattern. The spectator stance offers limited larJguage possibilities by prescribing adjacency pairs (Mehan, 1979b) instead of encouraging authentic responses to texts and/or meaningful questions. When students' roles are limited by a spectator stance, they may ignore their own genuine questions in lieu of retaining procedural display (Bloome et al., 1988). Literacy, as I have defined it, depends on participating in a to-and-fro interplay between learner and text that results in a coherent understanding. The interplay is enhanced when students can ask personally relevant questions (Eeds & Wells, 1989) and reflect on linguistic experiential reservoirs (Rosenblatt, 1978/1994). If students are encouraged to ignore their true questions (Dillon, 1994; Lindfors, 1999) in order to maintain a spectator stance that elevates other people's questions, they will learn to ignore the issues they find salient or most interesting. Because saliency drives language learning (O'Donnel, 1991 ), the learning of students who are trained to disregard their own questions will suffer. The spectator stance can potentially cripple students' literacy development, yet it is the predominate stance in most elementary classrooms and appeared often in my analysis of these four teachers. (See "Implications for Future Research" for more discussion about the spectator stance during standardized test preparation.)

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179 Participant events The teac~ers in this study assumed and encouraged stances other than the spectator stance but did so only a small portion of the time I observed in their classrooms. Participant events occurred in 13% of the interactions I analyzed. These events embody what some researchers would call ideal classroom interactions (Dillon, 1994; Friere, 1993). In participant events, teachers assume and encourage a participant stance by allowing various topics to emerge, being open to numerous perspectives on issues, and valuing students' interpretations of texts. Students who assume a participant stance approach texts actively by constructing or building on their own understandings of texts. They freely express their opinions about top i cs raised, connect topics and personal experiences, and/or wonder (Townsend 1991) about various topics In addition, teachers and students use language for various purposes during a participant stance. The participant stance supports a to-and-fro interplay between the learner and the text, a transaction that occurs when a person reads, writes, or speaks. During a participant event, the interplay may flourish because learners can refer to a peer or a more knowledgeable other (Vygotsky, 1978) if they ask questions or need to clarify the i r own wanderings. I found eight overlapping moves that occurred only within participant events. (See Table 5-1 for a list of the eight moves.) These moves characterized a participant stance that was fully realized. Moves such as expressing an opinion, wondering, and connecting a new topic with a personal experience open the classroom discourse for multiple perspectives and deepen

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180 students' engagement with texts. In contrast to the spectator event, participant events have no predetermined adjacency pairs (Mehan, 1979a). Instead, the reasons for speaking are meaningful and spontaneous, not obligated or prescribed. Along with meaningful reasons for speaking, students who assume a participant stance typically make choices in determining texts or topics to read, write, or talk about, solidifying a meaning-oriented focus found in whole language instruction (Goodl'!lan, 1986). Advocates of both integrated language arts and literature-based instruction, two approaches to teaching in which teachers encourage and assume a participant stance, maintain that teachers who offer students literary choices create healthy learning environments (Karolides, 1997; Routman, 1994). Pretender events A third type of event occurred only 1 % of the time, but is noteworthy because it exemplifies two teachers' attempts to reconcile personal beliefs about teaching with conflicting sources of influence. Ms. Donaldson and Ms. Vaskey both enacted pretender events, albeit not self-consciously or deliberately. During pretender events, teachers apparently tried to assume a participant stance by asking open-ended or opinion questions. During the course of the lessons, however, it was clear that the teachers expected their students' responses to fit into a limited range of possibilities, thereby revealing a somewhat hidden spectator stance. Both Ms. Vaskey and Ms. Donaldson listed students' interests within their top three sources of influence. In other words, they believed in the

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181 impo~ance of planning lessons around students' interests. However, both teachers also believed that the DRA approach from the basal reading book was ideal, an approach to teaching in which there is little attention to students' interests. To reconcile their students' interests and the influences they felt, these teachers implemented pretender events and gave the appearance of soliciting students' opinions. However, the teachers controlled students' contributions to the discourse by limiting possible responses and conforming to a DRA approach. I am certain that these two teachers did not intentionally set out to "pretend." Rather, during their interviews they mentioned that students' interests influenced their choices about how to enact literacy lessons. Pretender events may occur when teachers try to deal with opposing ideals and influences. Additionally, they may not even be aware that they are enacting less-than-successful literacy events. The two teachers who enacted pretender events, Ms. Vaskey and Ms. Donaldson, reported that they wanted their students to succeed in school, and both worked diligently to prepare for class each day. In fact, both teachers enacted a literacy curriculum that was close to their ideal conceptions. They did not seem to enact a spectator event simply because to do so was easier or more convenient. These teachers genuinely thought they were using their students' interests in ways that would help them become literate. Yet, the spectator stance they assumed closed down students' interests and made a participant event improbable.

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182 In sum, the four teachers' enacted curricula were similar-a DRA approach that most often used a spectator stance. Why were the four teachers' enacted literacy curricula similar? To shed light on the answer to this question, the next section discusses the various sources of influence that these four teachers reported. Sources of Influence Ms. Price's ideal conceptions of literacy curricula differed from the other three teachers' personal conceptions. However, their enacted curricula were similar. The fact that they implemented a similar curriculum (basal oriented, spectator events) suggests that all four felt similar influences on their enacted literacy curriculum and that these influences could only be met by enacting one kind of teaching Were they simply enacting the same types of teaching that they remembered as children? The fact that the teachers attended elementary school in different states and decades suggests that this is not the case. The stances they assumed and encouraged and how they perceived various influences on their enacted curriculum uncovers why Ms. Donaldson's, Ms. Vaskey's, and Ms. Martin's ideals differed from Ms. Price's, yet their enactments were similar. Ms. Price, one of the so-called "exemplary" teachers in the study reported that the sources over which she had no control highly influenced her enacted literacy curriculum. She reported that she felt compelled by her principal and parents to enact and assess her students according to a DRA approach (Tierney et al., 1990) that limits the possibilities for students to express their opinions or

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183 interests ~ Nevertheless, within her enacted curricula Ms. Price apparently felt the freedom to encourage a participant stance, at least some of the time. I observed several lessons in which she altered a ORA approach by assuming a participant stance, inviting multiple perspectives to emerge, and encouraging students to express their opinions so that she could build on them. Ms. Price offered evidence that a particjpant stance is possible even within fairly severe external constraints that f~vor a ORA approach and spectator stance. In effect, Ms. Price found a way to teach within the framework that the influences provided. Of the four teachers, Ms. Price, who believed that participant events were ideal, most often encouraged a participant stance. However, she did not encourage many more participant events than did Ms. Martin, who believed that spectator events were ideal. (See Table 5-1 for the total number of participant events per day for each teacher.) I suspect that Ms. Price felt pressure to assume a spectator stance because of the influences over which she felt no control: a lack of curricular freedom and an inability to affect students' home lives. As a result of the sources over which she felt no control, she enacted what was, for her, a less than ideal literacy curriculum. Control over curricula is teachers' freedom to plan, implement, and assess literacy lessons while maintaining what they perceive as appropriate classroom discourse. Numerous studies have documented teachers' lack of control over their curricula, an external locus of control (Hoffman et al., 1998; Richardson et al., 1991). Curiously, Ms. Price listed things over which teachers have no control as the source that most influenced her literacy curriculum, whereas Ms. Martin

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184 listed it as the source that least influenced her enacted curricula. Both had been nominated as "exemplary" teachers by their principals, yet they described external influences quite differently. Bringing out one aspect over which she felt little control, Ms. Price discussed teachers' salary and the newly reorganized teacher evaluation program in her county that will link teachers' pay with their students' standardized test scores. Ms. Price: I don't think it should be linked any more than--why isn't a dentist evaluated and paid based on the amount of tooth decay his clients have? Because he doesn't have control over it! And there's so much of it I have no control over. SW: Right. [points to the index card labeled "things over which the teacher has no control"] This issue right here. Ms. Price: Yeah. I have no control over--well I have no control over whether they do homework whether they read in their home, whether they have exposure to other thingsSW: Or too much exposure to other things-Ms. Price: Or too much exposure to things they shouldn't, or the situation in their home, or their nutrition, or how much sleep they get. I have no control over such a large area. All I can do is present information. Whether they can show it on a given day is a whole other thing .. . So, they haven't figured out how to link it. In this excerpt, Ms Price mentioned numerous aspects of teaching over which she had no control, which mostly involved students' lives outside of school. This discussion brought out Ms. Price's frustration over her students' home lives that she saw as a contributing factor to students' test scores and ultimately their literacy development. With such high stakes pressure on the standardized test scores, Ms. Price highlighted the frustration many teachers feel (Calkins et al., 1999; Ohanian, 1999; Popham, 1997). Her point was that teachers should not

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185 be judged by the performance of their students on standardized tests. Ms. Vaskey echoed this sentiment by saying that "they ought to judge me on how I teach the standards, not on how well my students perform on the test." When I asked Ms. Price about some differences I noted between her ideal curriculum (an integrated, literature-based approach) and her enacted curriculum (a predominately DRA approach), she said that to teach a novel, she would like to let the novel lead the curriculum in various ways. Yet, things over which she had no control, in this case the order of the subject area units, which was decided at the beginning of the school year by the administration, did not enable her to do so. Even in doing James and the Giant Peach, unfortunately because of the way the curriculum is set up, I have to do three weeks of science, three weeks of social studies, and three weeks of writing remediation. I can't do what would make the most sense, and that is to automatically go into a study of insects while we're doing this. It's frustrating to me because I can't do that because I need to teach Florida History. It's what I've got to get accomplished. Yet, Ms. Price reported that she planned her lessons first, based on her students' interests, then worried about the tests and standards afterward, somewhat refuting Shannon's (1987) claim that basals necessarily de-skill teachers. In talking to and observing Ms. Price, I found that she maintained close control over how she enacted the literacy curriculum (encouraging and assuming a participant stance), and gave up some control over the topics she enacted (like moving on to Florida History, when she would have liked to spend time on a novel). Even so, contrary to what Allington (1991) and Lehman et al.

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(1994) found, I found that Ms. Price did not implement a literacy curricula that closely reflected her personal beliefs about literacy teaching and learning. Limitations of the Results 186 As with any case study, the results are not generalizable to any other population or setting. My informants were contextually bound to their particular schools. However, my analysis of data does reveal information about the participant stance, which can be generalized to other settings. One limitation of my study was the self-reporting I relied on during the teacher and student interviews. I suspected, at times, that teachers were answering ._ my questions in such a way as to please their interviewer. For exa~ple, during the first interview, Ms. Vaskey briefly mentioned that whole language was an ideal philosophy for teaching. Yet, when I asked her to describe an ideal literacy lesson, she talked about using a basal reading book. She either thought that whole language was a "universal ideal" way to teach (and was trying to answer the interview questions to please her interviewer), or she actually thought that the whole language philosophy was ideal but felt that she could not implement it, so she described an ideal lesson that she could enact from the basal. Either way, I suspected that she worried more about pleasing me, rather than reporting on her ideal conceptions. I tried to counteract this limitation by using several sources of data and by asking probing questions during the interviews. If the teachers answered the questions in contradictory terms, as Ms. ~askey did, I tried to question them in different ways about the same subject to have them clarify their true feelings. I relied on teachers' self

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187 report, knowing that there are often discrepancies between what teachers say and what they do (Alvermann et al., 1990). In order to gain verifiability and reliability, I conducted member checks (Lincoln & Guba, 1985) and also achieved 79% three-way inter-rater reliability in my coding of interaction patterns. Another limitation of this study concerns the trade-off between breadth and depth. If I had studied only one teacher, possibly through the whole fourth grade school year, the study could have included more classroom observation data over a longer period of time. Also, I could have limited the focus of the study to attend more closely to teachers' ideal or enacted literacy curricula only, the oral classroom discourse only, or teachers' perceptions of the influences they felt. Each of these areas alone could have evolved into a lengthy study. Instead, I described a range of ways that teachers conceptualize their ideal and enacted literacy curricula, along with the influences they dealt with that transformed their ideal into their enacted curricula. I studied four teachers in order to go into some depth, yet also be able to describe a range of possible ideal and enacted literacy curricula. A third limitation was that I was limited in the amount of time I could spend interrupting the normal classroom routines by my presence in the classrooms. I studied the teachers before and after all standardized tests had been given so that teachers felt more freedom in implementing literacy events and did not feel constrained to prepare students for the standardized tests. I did not want my presence to add ~ension to an anxious test preparation period. In addition, I avoided the time period directly before the test because of the limited nature of

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188 the enacted curriculum. Test preparation was reported to be similar in all fourth grade classes in the county, characterized by limited classroom interactions, few opportunities for students to engage in personally relevant subject matter, a mandated test preparation curriculum, and a proliferation of the IRE interaction pattern. Finally, the internal nature of reading and writing make studying literacy and the classroom interactions that revolve around literacy events a complicated task (Alvermann et al., 1990; Erickson, 1986). During my analysis, I had to construe the intent of speakers using the context of the discussion, prior knowledge of the subject matter or speaker, and/or subsequent interviews. As with any data set, other researchers could use my data sources and potentially come to different conclusions about other aspects of literacy learning. Implications for Educational Practice This study describes literacy teaching and learning as multi-layered and shaped by various sources of influence. The influences act on teachers' ideal conceptions as literacy lessons are enacted. Teachers must negotiate the lessons found in teachers' editions of textbooks, each teacher's own sense of what needs to be done, students' interests, other people's opinions, and the pressure to prepare students for standardized tests, among, no doubt, other influences. This study focuses on teachers' perceptions of three layers of literacy teaching and learning: curricula, roles of teachers and students, and assessment. Follpwing is a discussion of these three interdependent layers and their implications for educational practice.

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189 Teachers' enacted curricula and their methods of assessment overlap and inform one another, and the roles that students and teachers play in the classroom reflect teachers' conceptions of these dimensions. This study confirms other research that found the enacted curricula to be greatly influenced by the Directed Reading Activity (ORA) in basal reading books (Chall & Squire, 1996; Hoffman et al., 1998). By following the ORA many teachers believe they will prepare students for high-stakes standardized tests, which affect, among other things, school funding, jobs, and community respect. Lawmakers, principals, and other people attempt to gauge the quality of children's literacy learning by monitoring students' performance on standardized tests. Test scores are frequently used by administrators, politicians, newspaper reporters, and others to apply immense external pressure to retain traditional types of teaching, such as the ORA. People rely on newspapers and other media in order to gain information about schools and test scores, even though typically journalists are not"experts in education. For example, according to a recent newspaper article, one school "catapulted from failure to shining success over the past year" because they raised students' standardized test scores, for which they received $100 per student from a state education commission (Miller, 2000). This article attributed the high test scores to teachers who taught from textbooks that used the ORA approach. If teachers, and perhaps more importantly, administrators, parents, and politicians, read articles such as this one and believe th~t the ORA approach will raise test scores and increase their

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190 Many assume standardized test scores adequately measure students' literacy attainment and/or teachers' effectiveness. To some, test scores represent hard evidence that literacy abilities are developing. Generally speaking, when teachers deal with these types of societal influences, they feel an immense urgency to do all that they can to bring about high test scores. In the southeastern state where this study was conducted, schools are evaluated on their ability to raise the test scores of the lower-performing students, not on their ability to support students' literacy learning--students' ability to participate in a to-and-fro interplay with texts that results in a coherent understanding. Students who make high test scores cannot necessarily grapple with complex writing tasks, make critical decisions regarding text, or ask important questions about what they read--all things that literate people do. Nevertheless, test scores are interpreted by some teachers and some of the society at large as indications of literacy attainment. The problems with judging literacy teaching and learning based on a single standardized test score are numerous. The limited nature of the information gathered on the test, synthetic testing conditions, the restricted possibilities for students to show their knowledge, and the complicated, internal nature of literacy abilities are only a few of the problems with gauging literacy development based on a single test score. Even so, some teachers, politicians, and so forth, rely on standardized test scores to judge the effectiveness of teachers and school~. Consequently, many teachers depend on the ORA to shape their curricula.

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191 However, not all newspaper journalists report that the ORA approach exemplifies the best way to help students become literate. Neither do all lawmakers, principals, and parents agree that standardized tests effectively measure literacy ability. For example, Gustafson noted that schools "will modify programs to meet legislative demands, even if it is programmatically unjustified" (p. A11). Gustafson asserted that schools, administrators, and teachers will adopt or modify any curriculum in order to gain funding, jobs, and prestige. This modifying process has also been noted in recent research studies that described teachers who changed their literacy curricula in order to train students to take the test (Harman, 2000; Tierney, 1998). What is the result of teachers modifying their enacted curricula based on raising test scores and not based on helping students literacy development? Meyers and Rust (2000) claimed that "by investing significant resources in improving our children's test-taking skills and making teachers better at preparing students for these tests, we limit real education" (p. 1 ). They go on to argue that "high-stakes tests fail to catch the subtleties of incremental improvement that inform teachers' day-to-day curricular and instructional decisions" (p. 3). One problem with relying on the ORA approach is that it creates teachers who believe they no longer make "day-to-day curricular and instructional decisions" within the enacted curriculum. In this study, Ms. Martin, one of the so-called "exemplary" teachers, personified the teachers' editions, referring to the lessons in the book as what "they" want h~r to teach and trusting that "they" design appropriate lessons. Personifying the basal seems to increase the power of the ORA and

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192 highlights Ms. Martin's reluctance to enact anything besides the DRA approach, even though her ideal literacy methodology was characterized by a literature based approach. Like many teachers who rely on basal teachers' editions, Ms. Martin generally assumed the DRA was preparing her students for standardized tests so she did not focus on "the subtleties of incremental improvement." Instead, she hoped to see marked improvement on standardized test scores at the end of the year. Most people-educational experts as well as those in the society at largeagree that being able to interpret texts, ask critical questions about what they read and write, and adeptly understand language are among the important results of literacy education. What they do not agree on is the method with which to develop and evaluate these literacy abilities. One way to decide what type of evaluation instrument to use is to answer the question, "What methods of teaching will support students' literacy development?" The four teachers in this study confirmed that they felt intense external pressure to generate high standardized test scores. The teachers demonstrated their conformity to testing pressure by the similarity of the types of lessons they implemented (the DRA approach) and by their interview answers. They said that they spent a considerable amount of class time preparing students for the tests and that preparation for the writing tests had "taken over the writing curriculum." Yet, all four teachers expressed frustration with having both their performance as teachers and the quality of their schools measured by their students' performance on a standardized test.

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193 Because these teachers believed that many people think the evidence of actual achievement is high test scores and the fact that they most often enacted DRA lessons from the basal reading books, it is no surprise that the majority of the roles of teachers and students in this study mostly reflected an Initiate Reply Evaluate (IRE) interaction pattern (Mehan, 1979a) within a recitation model (Hoetker & Ahlbrand, 1969). The DRA approach lends itself to an IRE interaction pattern and is the most efficient way to cover the skills found on a standardized test. Teachers adopting an IRE pattern control the classroom discourse by asking pointed, specific-answer questions, to which students reply. The questions can narrowly pertain to a list of standards that will appear on a standardized test, and teachers can ascertain which questions that students do not correctly answer. Teachers can either ask further questions about the same standard or proceed to the next standard, according to the students' replies. Students and teachers enacting an I RE pattern assume specific, limited roles during recitation. Another layer of literacy teaching and learning--the roles of teachers and students--represent, in part, the teachers' conceptions of ideal and enacted literacy curricula. This additional layer interacts with the enacted curriculum and assessment to support or constrain literacy development. The roles of the teachers in this study closely followed the teachers' part of the IRE pattern: Initiate and Evaluate. As a result, the role of the students in this study were mostly limited to the students' portion of the IRE: respond. Both teachers and students in this study enacted limited moves, similar to what Cazden (1988), Mehan (1979a) and Strickland and Feeley (1991) found when

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194 studying classroom events. The IRE pattern characterized by a spectator event prohibits students from usirig language for multiple purposes and limits their opportunities to communicate with one another to build their communicative competence, or their ability to interact appropriately with others in various communication contexts (Hymes, 1975). Fundamentally, it is easier for teachers to transmit knowledge, such as test-taking strategies, using the DRA with an IRE pattern (assuming a spectator stance) than it is to invite students to inquire about personally relevant concepts (assuming a participant stance). So, the DRA approach with an IRE interaction pattern seems a logical choice for teachers who hope to raise test scores. However, preparation for tests typically limits classroom content by focusing on one way of writing or reading (the standardized test style) at the expense of all other genres (Baresic & Gilman, 2001; Villuame & Brabham, 2001 ). Missing are opportunities for students to develop their language abilities, to inquire about personally salient concepts, and other processes inherent in a participant stance. Consequently, not all teachers and educational experts agree that the focus of literacy events should be preparation for standardized tests (Allington, 1991; Ohanian, 1999). Literacy events can be placed on a continuum between efferent, or reading for the purpose of using information at a later time, and aesthetic, or savoring the words during the reading event (Rosenblatt, 1983). The teachers in this study instigated literacy events revolving around works of literature, during which I expected them to encourage students to respond

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195 aesthetically to their reading. However, according to the teachers, they could not offer many literary events (those that were more aesthetic in nature) because they felt compelled to enact lessons from the basal reading book (that were more efferent in nature). Consequently, most often the teachers asked students to regard the literature efferently and answer numerous detail-oriented questions, activities that are quite different from those found in aesthetic events. Some teachers, educational experts, and politicians think that meaning making and aesthetic responses are the ideal results of the to-and-fro interplay that occurs during a literary event. Experts argue that language is purposeful and can be used for various functions: to aesthetically respond to a text, to engage with a subject matter while reading, to enrich an understanding of a complex idea, or to communicate an idea with another person (Berthoff, 1981; Goodman, 1986; Routman, 1994). These processes are supported and developed by genuine class discussions (Dillon, 1994), or interactions that are characterized by an encouragement of student-to-student interchanges, an acceptance of multiple perspectives, and an attention to students' interests. Genuine class discussions are successful only if both parties agree to sustain the conversation. In classrooms, the conversation is meaningfully sustained when teachers and students work together to create communication events (Gallas et al., 1996), such as those documented by the rare participant events in this study. If meaning-making is the emphasis of literacy instruction rather than high test scores, we can assume that classroom interactions and the roles of teachers and students would be qualitatively different.

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196 Discourse analysis of the classroom interactions in this study revealed rare occasions in which students and teachers cooperated in participant events when the main purpose of the event was communication and meaning-making. The rare participant event provides opportunities for students to express their opinions, clarify their ideas, and connect topics with personal experiences, all of which are moves that depend on the articulation of ideas. One of the so-called "exemplary" teachers, Ms. Price, enacted several participant events. In one particular interaction with Colton, it was evident that the language used during this event was based on the teacher and students both trying to make sense of, and puzzling over, a concept-Colton's question about why two book characters were not arrested for child abuse Colton focused on the topic most salient to him and persisted with questions until Ms. Price finally shared her own confusion. Ms. Price showed her interest in Colton's perspective by listening carefully to his ideas and helping him elaborate on them. Paying attention to students' perspectives is one important role of the teacher during a participant event. This interaction also shows that the role of the student during a participant event includes wondering, expressing ideas and questions with others, and interpreting what others say--activities that are vastly different from a spectator event. Hence, a participant event helps students develop language competence and make sense of complex ideas. In the elementary years, children develop important cognitive and linguistic concepts about their physical world, their emotional world, and the worlds of others (Lindfors, 1991 ). A participant stance toward this learning gives

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197 students various opportunities to try out their newly developing language skills, to attend to others' ideas, and to reason through important linguistic concepts. In addition, the participant stance nurtures a curiosity about life and the development of language that is required to explore the world which, in turn, may fuel lifelong learning. Thus, the stance that a teacher assumes and encourages will influence students' classroom interactions during literacy learning and may determine whether or not literacy learning is active and results in meaning making. Some teachers assume that asking students to express their opinions automatically means that the teachers are providing opportunities for students to actively cooperate in reading and writing events. However, this is not always the case. This study documents pretender events in which two of the teachers began an event by asking for their students' opinions. Instead of valuing their students' opinions, though, the teachers rapidly called on students, searching for answers the teachers had in mind. During a pretender event the two so-called "average" teachers, Ms. Vaskey and Ms. Donaldson, seemed to be trying to expand the typical spectator roles of their students by asking students to express their opinions. Yet, as the events unfolded, the teachers controlled students' contributions to the discourse by limiting their possible responses. It was clear that the teachers expected the students to respond by giving only one particular answer. The pretender event can possibly limit students' literacy development. Teachers may think that they are providing opportunities for students to express

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198 their opinions (such as the pretender events in this study) when, in actuality, they are limiting the topics students can raise. In other words, pretender events may give teachers a false sense that they are accessing students' interests, one of the influences that all four teachers in the study"' placed near the top of their prioritized list of influences. In addition, if teachers enact pretender events, students may incorrectly assume that there are definite answers to opinion questions, thereby shutting down critical literacy development and discouraging the questions students themselves may ask when they read. Another negative implication of a pretender event may be that students begin to understand that teachers do not really want to know their opinions on issues. This makes it impossible for a classroom atmosphere that is conducive to mutual respect and genuine discussion (Dillon, 1994). Pretender events, the ORA approach, the influence of standardized testing, and varying conceptions of the way to teach all influence the roles of teachers and students in the enacted literacy curricula detailed in this study. While under pressure to follow the ORA approach and to produce high test scores, Ms. Price occasionally instigated participant events that focused on meaning-making. She idealized participant events as important, yet her beliefs did not predominate. On rare occasions she enacted participant events in which students entertained multiple perspectives; expressed their opinions and ideas; and investigated personally meaningful inquiry--all activities that were vastly different from those in a ORA approach and a spectator stance. Ms. Price felt strongly about encouraging and assuming a participant stance, but participant

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events occurred in only 22% of the events I observed in her classroom. Why were there so few examples of participant events in her classroom? 199 One reason lies in the fact that, contrary to what other researchers have found, teachers' beliefs and ideal conceptions may not always be apparent in the enacted curriculum (Davis et al., 1993; Duffy & Anderson, 1984; Ridley, 1990). The pressure to adopt a DRA approach is powerful, whether or not teachers believe the DRA is the best way to help students develop their literacy abilities. It is simplistic to say, then, that classroom enactments are a direct reflection of teachers' beliefs about teaching, even though that generally seems to be the case. The enacted curriculum is a complex entity and is mediated by many sources of influence, not only teachers' beliefs and ideal conceptions. In Ms. Price's case, her enacted curriculum contained only glimpses of her ideal conceptions, and she lamented the differences during my interviews with her. An understanding of the complexity of literacy teaching and learning is critical when trying to interpret what actually happens in classrooms. Outside observers, such as administrators, researchers, politicians, or parents, should interpret the enacted curriculum as a conglomeration of, among other things, teachers' ideals, teachers' experiences and expertise, and external sources that impose particular constraints on the literacy curriculum. When the teachers in this study were given an opportunity to talk about their privileged understandings (Wharton-McDonald, 1998), or insights into the complex issues and forces that informed their own teaching, they articulated aspects of their teaching over which

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200 they felt little or no control, such as large class sizes, small amounts of time, and the need to prepare students for standardized tests. A questionable implication here is the commonly accepted idea that the DRA helps students prepare for standardized tests. Ms. Vaskey and Ms. Donaldson enacted DRA literacy lessons that were close to their ideal curricula. Ms. Vaskey reasoned that the state standards were documented and highlighted in each lesson of the basal, so therefore the basal reading books must help prepare students for the tests. Both Ms. Vaskey and Ms. Donaldson implemented a literacy curriculum that closely followed the basal reading book, yet they struggled to produce high scores on the standardized tests. In fact, the students' scores in these two teacher's classrooms were average, at best, according to their principal. Why did these two teachers struggle with standardized test preparation? If these two teachers taught from the basal reading books exclusively, and if basals helped students perform well on the test, then why weren't their students' test scores extremely high? Why did they struggle to prepare students for the test, when their ideal and enacted curricula were focused on helping students perform better on the test? Does the basal reading book actually help students prepare for the test? Does a spectator stance during literacy lessons create better standardized test scores? A closer look at the standardized test in the state where the research was conducted sheds some light on these questions. The standardized reading test includes a multiple choice section in which students choose one answer from

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I 201 four possibilities. It also includes a short-answer section in which students are asked to describe the processes by which they arrive at their answers. In other words, there is more than one possible way to answer the questions in this portion of the test. The short-answer section is graded differently than the multiple choice section. This section asks students to assume a participant stance while answering the questions, something that Ms. Vaskey and Ms. Donaldson did not practice regularly in their enacted curricula, which may be one of many reasons why their students typically scored in the below average range. Granted, there are numerous reasons why a group of students may not achieve high scores on standardized tests, such as cultural biases implicit in some tests, students' home lives interfering with test performance, the makeup of a particular group of students, etc. However, the spectator stance and DRA that these teachers relied upon did not seem to help their students on the tests as much as the teachers had hoped. In fact, Ms. Price, the teacher in the study who offered the most opportunities for participant events, was nominated by her principal as "exemplary" based, in part, on her students' high standardized test scores. Could it be that the participant stance, in some way, helped Ms. Price's students perform well on the standardized tests? Although the participant stance may prepare students for the short answer portion of the tests, there are other variables at work. For example, the students in Ms. Martin's classroom, the other so-called "exemplary" teacher, also scored well on standardized tests, according to her principal. Like Ms. Price, Ms. Martin idealized a literature-based, integrated approach to literacy teaching. However,

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202 she did not enact as many participant events as Ms Price did, and she mainly used a ORA approach with an IRE interaction pattern Yet, her students performed well on the standardized tests. Why did Ms. Martin's students, who did not have as many opportunities to assume a participant stance, do as well as Ms. Price's students? There is not one answer to this question, and it highlights the complexity of preparing students for standardized tests as well as the question of whether or not standardized tests adequately measure literacy growth and development. Although there are no definitive, ideal literacy curricula, roles for teachers or learners, or types of assessment, there are aspects of literacy teaching that are generally agreed upon. The teachers in the study agreed that their students' future literacy successes (in school and in life) depended on the literacy foundation that begins in elementary school. In addition, they felt that the activities teachers enact either support or constrain students' literacy foundation. So, what sources influence the kinds of opportunities that teachers enact? To some extent, the opportunities that teachers provide for literacy learning are influenced by the experiences in which they participate during their own schooling and their teacher preparation programs. What must teacher educators do to prepare their students for their future endeavors as teachers?? Lindfors (1991) suggests that teachers may play many roles in classrooms including: provider, demonstrator, learner, observer, and responder. Teachers provide purposeful experiences in which to use language, demonstrate their own struggles with literacy, learn about concepts along with students, observe

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students' attempts at language growth, and respond to students' language development by supporting and encouraging them. These roles are quite different from the roles of teachers during spectator events that are characterized by dispensing prepackaged information and transmitting knowledge. 203 It can be argued that living through an experience is the most powerful way to appreciate and remember the experience. Those of us who work with prospective teachers need to demonstrate various roles in our own classes in order to allow preservice teachers to see examples of the roles in action. If we agree that literacy learning should be engaging to students and based on meaning-making, then we should provide opportunities for preservice teachers to assume a participant stance while learning about becoming a teacher. We should also support preservice teachers as they learn how to conduct participant events, knowing that most of the events they will observe in classroom settings will be based on a ORA approach with a spectator stance. For example, a teacher educator could assign a project in which students identify and analyze spectator events they observed during internship experiences. After analyzing the spectator events, students could explore ways to modify the events, turning them into participant events (changing any necessary contextual aspects to do so, such as subsequent lessons, foci of lessons, and so forth). Students could then practice presenting the participant events to their peers in the class. Possibly, the lessons would be changed considerably, but this activity would help preservice teachers think about

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204 designing lessons from a participant stance. During this assignment the teacher educator could support students by discussing any problems they encounter and by helping them see the value of the participant stance. This is a learning opportunity that would give students an active role to play in their own learning and also would allow teacher educators to demonstrate a more wide-ranging set of roles for teachers. Preservice teachers also must have practical knowledge about the various influences they will face while coming to terms with literacy curricula, the roles in the classroom, and assessment. This knowledge must include the ideas that literacy learning is based on a to-and-fro interplay with texts and that classroom interactions can enhance and support students' expression possibilities. Preparing future teachers by engaging them in participant events, is one step toward better literacy education because they will live through, and possibly later implement, an educational experience that is personally meaningful and involves students in active thinking. Similarly, teacher educators need to invite practicing teachers to reflect on their own teaching in new ways. Since researchers claim that most literacy instruction is based on a recitation model (Bloome et al., 1988; Brown, 1991), it is highly likely that practicing teachers who return to college classes assume a spectator stance toward their own lessons. In order to stretch their instructional repertoire, practicing teachers could analyze audio-tape recordings of their own literacy lessons, identifying oral interaction patterns. The teacher educator could support students' explorations by encouraging them to read articles and books

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205 by experts who suggest participant-like events (Eeds & Wells, 1989; Goodman, 1986; Graves, 1994; Routman, 1994; F. Smith, 1988). This exploration would help to expand teachers' reflections about their own teaching and bring to bear others' opinions about teaching and learning on their own literacy lessons. In sum, literacy teaching and learning is multi-layered and altered by various sources of influence, such as teachers' personal ideals, other people, and the types of lessons that text books provide, among other things. Curricula, roles of teachers and students, and assessment are interconnected in literacy instruction and development. Some implications that this study suggests are among the following : Teachers need to provide learning opportunities that will help students' literacy development, namely the kinds of opportunities found in participant events. Teachers need to resist external pressure to heavily rely on the DRA for literacy lessons. Teachers need to support oral classroom interactions that call for varying roles of teachers and students, such as those found in a participant event. Administrators and people outside of education need to become knowledgeable about the complexity of literacy development before they attempt to evaluate literacy teaching. Teacher educators need to assign activities that call for active participation on the part of preservice teachers, such as projects in which students are encouraged to assume a participant stance and actively engage in the kinds of learning that they can one day implement. Implications and Questions for Future Research In general, this study samples the ideal and enacted literacy conceptions of four elementary school teachers. During analysis of interviews and classroom interactions, three focal aspects of literacy teaching and learning were investigated: curricula; roles of teachers and students; and assessment. I found

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206 no universal ideal or enacted literacy teaching, even though I found that all four classrooms were similar. Rather, this study raises questions about the potential discrepancies between ideal and real curricula, or the lack thereof. This study also documents teachers' perceptions of the sources of influence on the enacted literacy curricula. When I interviewed and observed the two so-called "average" teachers, Ms Vaskey and Ms. Donaldson, they demonstrated little difference between their ideal and real literacy lessons and did not seem to question the literacy opportunities they provided. They both idealized and enacted a ORA approach with a spectator stance. Why did these two teachers reveal no gap between their ideal and enacted literacy teaching? What implications might this suggest for anyone doing research in a classroom setting who wants to access teachers' perspectives? Ms. Vaskey and Ms. Donaldson both seemed uncomfortable with my presence in their classrooms. Neither teacher introduced me to their classes until the end of the first day of each observation period, only after I asked to address their students. (In contrast, the other two teachers in the study spent several minutes at the beginning of each observation period talking to their students about me and inviting me to talk to their classes.) During the interviews about ideal conceptions, Ms. Vaskey and Ms. Donaldson both chose ideal lessons that they could easily implement from the basal reading book. In fact, both of them asked if they could describe lessons they had already implemented as examples of their ideal literacy curricula.

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207 During my times in their classrooms they did not address me directly and they both joked about how many days I had left to "bother'' their classes. (In contrast, during observations in her room, Ms. Price referred to me often, asking for my help in explaining concepts to the class or sharing humorous anecdotes with me.) My presence in their classrooms no doubt made these two teachers feel uncomfortable. They both joked about the "ivory tower'' that I must have descended in order to talk to them, even though I had taught in the same school just three years earlier and had known them first as peers. Their discomfort with my observations and interviews suggested that they thought I represented the university community. In their joking, I noted a fear that I would somehow judge their efforts as a teacher, even though I explained to them that I was interested in teachers' perspectives and not in evaluating their teaching. The implication for researchers is that either Ms. Donaldson and Ms. Vaskey did not express the cognitive dissonance they were experiencing (because they did not want to appear vulnerable to a university representative), or they did not feel that their enacted curricula needed improvement. In either case, future researchers who study teachers' ideal and enacted literacy teaching need to somehow determine whether teactiers truly are satisfied with their teaching or if they feel uncomfortable to talk about teaching practices that they do not implement. (See also the previous section in which I discuss implications for teacher preparation--namely that those of us who work in teacher preparation need to urge teachers to look critically at their own teaching practices [or the

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teaching they observe] to compare it to what research has to say about good teaching practices.) 208 These two teachers' discomfort also raises the issue that teachers are often observed and evaluated by administrators who spend little time accessing teachers' privileged understandings (Wharton-McDonald et al., 1998) and less time participating in dialogues with teachers about teaching and learning. Details may give an outside observer a deeper understanding of the classroom life in that particular classroom. A much clearer picture of classroom practice will emerge if administrators and researchers base their teacher evaluations on a wide knowledge base, including classroom observations, teacher interviews about teachers' ideal and enacted curricula, student interviews, and knowledge about the specific interactions that shape the complexity of literacy teaching and learning in a particular classroom. Future researchers need to create descriptive instruments that will encompass classroom observations, teacher interview questions, knowledge of the students, and the observer's knowledge about the subject they are observing. Descriptive instruments of this kind would take more time to complete, but a much clearer picture of literacy instruction would emerge as a result. The multi-layered nature of literacy teaching and learning demands a multi-layered approach to understanding it. The two so-called "average" teachers idealized and enacted a ORA approach using a basal reading book and mostly assumed a spectator stance while teaching. The other teachers, Ms. Price and Ms Martin, enacted a ORA approach that was quite different from their ideal conceptions. Ms. Price

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209 seemed frustrated by the differences. On the other hand, Ms. Martin showed little frustration that her ideals were not enacted. One implication for future research is that teachers like Ms. Martin may need to be prompted in other ways -journal writing, hypothetical case studies, and so forth-to express their feelings about any differences between their ideal and enacted. The curricula, roles of teachers and students, and the nature of assessment in these four classrooms were all influenced by standardized tests, in one way or another. All four teachers felt an intense pressure to prepare students for standardized testing. This pressure caused Ms. Price and Ms. Martin to enact lessons that they considered less-than-ideal, in order to focus on standards and specific test-taking skills. What are the long-term effects of literacy curricula that emphasize standardized testing? Contrary to what some would say, standardized tests do not measure the important processes that occur in schools (Ohanian, 1999; Schmoker, 2000; J. K. Smith, 1994). Problem solving, critical literacy, interpreting and communicating complicated ideas, and responding aesthetically to a text are four of the many processes that may occur when teachers and students explore their own inquires (Brown, 1991; Coles, 2000; Lindfors, 1999) or a spontaneous idea that emerges during a participant event. No standardized test can gauge these processes adequately. Typically standardized tests are designed to measure a predetermined set of standards and cannot predict or measure anything other than the standards. Essentially, standardized tests measure an efferent kind of sense-making and do not measure literary understanding that is required for an

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210 aesthetic response. Thus, preparation for standardized testing may limit curricula by focusing on specific skills that appear on the test instead of focusing on students' aesthetic responses such as student inquiry, critical literacy, or problem solving. Researchers neeq to conduct longitudinal research that follows learners across several years to ascertain the effects of this limitation over time. Another question for future research deals with the cultural diversity found in each classroom. Cultural diversity can be defined as differences among students in ethnicity, home language, and socio-economic status. Heath (1983) compared language and racial differences between students' families and their schools. The homes represented by the students in Heath's study were economically and racially different from the homes represented by the teachers in the study. This difference became a problem when students and teachers met in the classroom. In effect, some of the students did not know how to communicate effectively in the mainstream language of the teacher, or the language of power (Delpit, 1988), so the students were often misdiagnosed or judged less intelligent. In addition, Moll (1990) researched English as a Second Language (ESL) learners and their attempts to participate in English-only classrooms. He found that ESL students' language difficulties were directly attributed to their culture and not being able to communicate well in the classroom's mainstream language, not to their lack of intelligence or lack of desire to cooperate. Among other things, Moll encouraged teachers to learn about the various cultures represented in their classrooms by celebrating "family literacies" (p. 20), having

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211 students chronicle oral family stories and songs or record family members talking about reading and writing, activities that are completed by assuming a participant stance. Participant events encourage students to express their wanderings, connect new topics with personal experiences, express their opinions, and clarify their own ideas, activities that most students would find engaging. However, one potential problem with participant events may occur when cultural diversity affects students' oral expression. A question for further study is, "How can we teach all students to become participants in classroom interactions so that they can not only interpret the discourse, but also express their own thoughts using it?" Students may express ideas that are unintended or unclear to teachers if the students do not have fluency in the mainstream language of the classroom, or if their communicative competence needs special development (Garcia, 1994). If children are not able to clearly express their thoughts, will they be able to participate fully in class discussions? Future researchers need to investigate opportunities for the literacy learning of students who are culturally differentbased on home language, socio-economic status, and home culture. Another question that emerges from the findings in this study is, "How can we urge teachers to provide participant events during literacy lessons and support their efforts when they do so?" In this study three out of the four teachers did not enact many participant events and did not mention meaningful engagement with texts (aesthetic responses) in their ideal literacy curriculum Yet, researchers have documented teaching that encourages classroom

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212 interactions based on social-constructivist principles where teachers and students engage meaningfully with texts and each other (Dillon, 1994; Paley, 1997; Townsend, 1991). If we value sense-making in education, then we need to persuade teachers to provide more opportunities for participant events in their literacy teaching. How can we encourage teachers to assume a participant stance? Furthermore, only one out of the four teachers provided participant events somewhat consistently, and they occurred only 22% of the time I observed in her classroom. Ms. Price's ideal literacy conceptions were obviously not supported by the influences she felt. How can we, as teacher-educators, researchers, and the society at large, support teachers like Ms. Price who would provide opportunities for participant events? A fourth question for future research considers literacy as a to-and-fro interplay that results in a coherent understanding. What kind of assessment could encompass the complicated nature of literacy learning, systematically evaluate students' literacy development, and recognize individual differences among students? It would be easy to argue that standardized tests have irrevocably tainted the atmosphere of elementary school and need to be abandoned altogether. However, some kind of evaluation system is necessary to try to ensure that all pupils develop literately and become literate adults. So, what form should literacy assessment take? How can a single evaluation instrument capture the complexity of literacy learning?

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213 One of the teachers, Ms. Donaldson, suggested that various forms of assessment were necessary. In effect, she said that one test cannot possibly measure students' literacy abilities. But, what forms of assessment should be included in literacy evaluation? Experts have suggested that performance-based assessments such as portfolios holistically evaluate language learning because portfolios show growth over time (Pearson, 1994; Routman, 1994). Other experts argue that portfolio assessment is not systematic or objective (Chall & Jacobs, 1996; Foorman, 1995), thereby making it impossible to compare students' literacy rates from class-to-class or state-to-state. From previous research as well as the results of this study there is no clear answer to the problem of assessment. There is, however, the indication that literacy assessment, in whatever form, must be able to measure the numerous ways that students develop language. More research is needed in order to highlight assessment possibilities that encompass the complexity of literacy learning. All four teachers in this study struggled with internal and external influences In this study I describe powerful forces, such as standardized tests and the ORA, that limit literacy opportunities. Above all, this study documents glimpses, though small in number, of teachers and students occasionally assuming a participant stance, even in the midst of powerful, contrary sources of influence. I hope, with glimpses such as these, we can both support teachers as they face the monumental task of teaching and also promote the kinds of classroom instruction that will enable our elementary students to participate

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214 freely in literacy transactions and ultimately become competent readers, writers, speakers, and thinkers.

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APPENDIX A QUESTIONS FOR INTERVIEWS I asked the following questions (or those that closely resembled the following): Teacher Interview 1 1 What is literacy? 2. How did you come to these views of literacy? 3. What has influenced your views of literacy? 4. If you could design an ideal physical classroom environment what would it be like? 5. What curriculum would you use in this ideal classroom? 6. Tell me about an ideal lesson that focuses on literacy. 7. Tell me about an ideal "chunk" of lessons that focus on literacy. 8. What are the purposes of reading and writing in a fourth-grade classroom? 9. Tell me about the best way to assess the development of students' reading and writing abilities in the classroom. 10 Tell me about evaluating reading and writing school-wide or nation-wide Teach er Interview 2 1. What influence do teachers' guides, curricular guides, and so on, have on your teaching, if any? 2 Does anything else influence your teaching? What? Why? 3 Describe how you plan typical lessons. 4. What opportunities do you see for literacy learning throughout the day? 5. Why are these considered opportunities? 6. How does this week compare with your typical week in language arts? 7. Were there any other activities you wanted to do this week that you did not have the time to do? Teach er Interview 3 1. Do you notice any differences between your ideal conceptions of literacy and what I observed in your classes? 2. As I observed, I saw_ in your classroom. Tell me about this. 3. Describe the influences that make this different from your ideal conceptions of literacy. 4. What is your role as a teacher? 5. What are the students' roles in your classroom? 6. What is the role of assessment in your room? 7. What is the purpose of literacy instruction? 8. Tell me about the new teacher evaluations. Will the new teacher evaluations change your enacted literacy curricula? 215

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9. Do you find all of the state and county standards easy to teach? 10. In your opinion, do the standards reflect the basic abilities that literate people possess? 11. How did you feel about the state standardized tests and school grades from last spring? Student Interview 1. What is your favorite school subject? 2. Do you like to read? Why? or Why not? 3. Has your: teacher read any books out loud to your class this year? If so, which ones? 216 4. Tell me about some of the things that your teacher has done with you during language arts this year. Did you enjoy them? Why or why not? 5. What was one of the best things you did this year in language arts? 6. If you were in charge of designing the language arts class, what would you choose to do? Why? 7. How did you feel about taking the standardized tests this year? Why? 8. Did you feel that your teacher helped you to get ready for the standardized tests? Why or why not? 9. I noticed you did __ when I was observing in your room. Tell me about that activity. 10. What does a good reader do? 11. What does a good writer do?

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APPENDIX B SAMPLE TRANSCRIPT (Ms. Price places an overhead pointer on the overhead. While encouraging students to get everything off their desks except supplies for the lesson.) Ms. Price: Now, yesterday, Colton brought up a point and I got to thinking about it after I, uh, after school yesterday, James does have a problem. You probably wanted to know why somebody didn't report them for child abuse and I got to thinking, well, I really don't know why But what I'd like you to do, in your response journal, the first day was what you think this book is about, to those of you who were at flame, please wait, turn to the next page of your response journal. I want to give you something to think about. [Students look at their neighbors to see if they were taking out the right supplies.] Ms. Price: This is what I want you to think about: James does have a serious problem. Maybe if he'd never had nice parents he wouldn't have known he had a problem. But he really does have a very serious problem. Life can't be much more miserable than his You have been in school and have learned lots of ways to handle problems. What is one thingif he were a student in our class, what is one thing he could do to resolve his problems? Lisa: (without being called on) Tell the teacher what happened. Ms. Price: All right, you have been taught, tell the teacher, or tell an adult who might be able to help you. Teachers are supposed to help you. As a matter of fact, I could go to jail if I did not report the fact that a child has told--I have seen bruises on a child, or a child has come to me and told me, "I can't go home." Fred: XXX Ms. Price: No that's the truth. Ask Mrs. Wegmann Mrs. Wegmann: Yes. Ms. Price: I could go to jail if a child tells me, "I cannot go home because my 217

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life is in danger." Or-Fred: (without being called on) You'd go to jail? Ms Price: I could go to jail for not reporting it. Not for doing it, but for not reporting it. I wouldn't go to jail if it's happening XXX. I could also go to jail if I see a child who's obviously has been badly beaten and I don't report it. Now, that doesn't happen very often. I think in all my teaching career I've only had two children who've come in with bumps all over them, and said to me, "Look what happened to me. And this is who did it." And I had one child who came to me and was abused at home. Fred: Was he here? Ms. Price: You don't know these children, it happened somewhere else. have not had it happen here. Colton: Did those parents go to jail? 218

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APPENDIX C SAMPLE EXCERPT OF TEACHER INTERVIEW SW: How long have you been teaching? Ms. Vaskey: This is my 7th year. SW: And you said your final internship was with Tricia Martin, right? Ms. Vaskey: No, she was Tricia Blake at the time. She wasn't married Um, second grade. That was really, um--she taught me how to be quiet and still be effective. SW: Ohh. Ms. Vaskey: Even though I didn't gain that knowledge until I was actually here and working on some things. Yeah, she's very quiet, very organized, and very set up, so it was very different. SW: What grade levels have you taught? Ms Vaskey: Second, fourth, middle school ESE as a continuing sub for half of a year. That was reading and math. That was really interesting. SW: I'll bet you learned a lot! (laughs) Ms. Vaskey: Yes I did, I did. SW: Talk about behavior management .. Ms. Vaskey: Yes because there was a teacher that really helped Linda Duncan, and she was real helpful and she's always trying to encourage me to go ESE, but I haven't taken that step because it requires school, and I'm tired of school! (laughs) SW: (laughs) . Why did you go into teaching? What was your motivation? Ms. Vaskey: I think, basically, the reason why I did was because I was motivated by the people that I worked with as a teacher's aide. 219

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Not all of them, but one in particular. Just the way she was with the children. I don't know that I really knew what I was getting into when I started. It's definitely a learning lesson. So I think, just being around other professional who taught 19, 20 years really kind of see how you can really help the children. SW: So maybe a desire to help? Ms. Vaskey: Right, right. So, it's a lot of stress, but it's also a lot of fun if you handle it! (laughs) 220

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APPENDIX D SAMPLE EXCERPT OF STUDENT INTERVIEW [Frank is a middle-level performer who tries hard and was very interested in being interviewed.] [I read the assent script to Frank and he answered, "Yes. I've been on the news before!"] [Frank ranks the six cards with school subjects written on them, in order from the subjects he likes the most on the top, to the subjects he likes the least at the bottom.] [Frank's order: math, social studies, science, reading, spelling, English.] SW: Okay, you have math . what is it about math that you really like? Frank: Well, I do good in math all the time and with my math I, I just know more in math than I do in most subjects. SW: Does it come easier for you? Frank: Yes. That's why in most of my math subjects I'm second done in the class. SW: Ohh. Frank: Cause, I'll look at my things and I'll basically get A's and B's in my math SW: Well, good. You feel really good about math. Frank: Yeah. And my dad was excellent at math, too. SW: Ahh. See, sometimes that helps, doesn't it? And then social studies and scienceFrank: The reason I like those is because I always get A's. I won't even try cause I don't listen in those subjects and I'm just like, "Daa daa daa." (sings) and I'll be drawing or something and then when it comes up to a test I just I look at the questions and I say, "I know this and I know this and I know this." 221

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SW: Wonder why? Frank: I-Nobody in my family's good at science or anything. Cause, I'll just look at the test sheet and I'll, "There's the answer, there's the answer, there's the answer." 222

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APPENDIX E SAMPLE EXCERPT OF FIELD NOTES After observing in Ms. Price's classroom: 4/6/00 Thought: Am I "forcing" Ms. Price to finish this book in a hurry? Would she go through it this quickly if I were not here? 4ll lOO After I asked her about her pace for the book, she said she would like to "stretch out" the lessons. This means that I will not be able to observe every day that they work on this chunk, but I asked her to audio-tape the lessons I miss. (They will be labeled Days 9 and 10). She said they will work in groups Mon, Tues, and Thurs of next week, and Monday of the next to finish. After observing in Ms. Martin's classroom: 5/10/00 After day 8 watching students work in pairs, reading a section of a novel and answering questions. Have we so efferently trained kids to not react aesthetically to books? When these students finished reading a humorous chapter, most of them simply picked up their pencils and began answering questions. I expected them to naturally talk about the book, maybe even laugh or tell a related story, but I didn't notice any one enjoying the book that way. But, I did hear "ta-ta-ta-ta" singsong in two pairs. Was this an aesthetic response? I also saw Molly and Ed laughing while reading. The nature of an aesthetic event is hard to characterize: appreciating the text by ... living through, empathizing? laughing--some kind of reaction, emotion, outward sign? If I combine Rosenblatt and Bakhtin into a definition of literacy, am I "insisting" on some kind of socialized, outward expression of literacy knowledge? Rosenblatt may not agree that there will be an outward expression of what students are reacting to as they read. Bakhtin's "utterance" as a complete novel--when we segment a novel, are we interfering with the author's expression? 223

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237 Wilkinson, L. C. & Silliman, E. R. (2000). Classroom language and literacy learning. In M L. Kamil, P. Mosenthal, P. D. Pearson, & R. Barr, (Eds.) Handbook of reading research: Volume II. (pp. 337-360). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Susan Wegmann was born in Vincennes, Indiana to Drs. Gene B. and Frances Goforth. She graduated from the University of South Florida in 1985 with a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education She continued her education in elementary classrooms for ten years, teaching in Grades three, four, five, six seven, and eight. During this time, she completed a Master of Arts degree at the University of Mississippi, in Oxford, MS. While pursuing her Ph.D., she taught future teachers as a graduate teaching assistant at the University of Florida, i n classes including Classroom Reading, Research in Education Language Acquisition, Action Research, and Language Arts Methods. In August, 2001 she earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree i n the School of Teaching and Learning a t the University of Florida She is married to Steve Wegmann and has two children, Lauren and Chris. She is a faculty member at Appalachian State University, in Boone, NC. 238

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I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. ) ane S. Townsend, Chair Associate Professor, Teaching an Learning I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and qualily, as a dissertation for the degree of Docto::Phi::z__ ....C::: ~de Professor, Teacher Education I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. Barbara G. Pace Assistant Professor, Teaching and Learning I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. ~ ?:?5~ Robert R. Sherman Professor, Foundations of Education This dissertation was submitted to the Graduate Faculty of the College of Education and to the Graduate School and was accepted as partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. August, 2001

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