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Analysis of preservice teachers' beliefs and professional knowledge about teaching struggling readers

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Title:
Analysis of preservice teachers' beliefs and professional knowledge about teaching struggling readers
Creator:
Scharlach, Tabatha Dobson ( Dissertant )
Allington, Richard L. ( Thesis advisor )
McGill-Franzen, Anne ( Reviewer )
Fu, Danling ( Reviewer )
Lane, Holly ( Reviewer )
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Gainesville, Fla.
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University of Florida
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2005
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English

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Learning ( jstor )
Learning motivation ( jstor )
Observational research ( jstor )
Preservice teachers ( jstor )
Reading difficulties ( jstor )
Reading instruction ( jstor )
Special needs students ( jstor )
Students ( jstor )
Teachers ( jstor )
Tutoring ( jstor )
Teaching and Learning thesis, Ph. D.
Dissertations, Academic -- UF -- Teaching and Learning
Greater Orlando ( local )
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bibliography ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
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United States--Florida

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Abstract:
The purpose of this qualitative case study was to examine the beliefs and professional knowledge of preservice teachers about teaching struggling readers. These descriptions were based on the qualitative methods of questionnaires, autobiographies, interviews, observations, and document review. This qualitative study was conducted during a four-month period in 2003. The participants were six elementary education majors who were employed as tutors in Project UFLI, a federally funded study of beginning reading intervention. The study was concerned with participants' beliefs and professional knowledge in the context of tutoring struggling readers in order to discover how these beliefs and professional knowledge influenced the preservice teachers' expectations, instruction, and evaluations of these learners. Separate cases were reported for each preservice teacher, patterns were identified, and cross-case analysis was utilized. This study contributed to the knowledge and understanding of preservice teachers' beliefs and professional knowledge about teaching struggling readers and how these beliefs and knowledge influenced their teaching behaviors. Specifically, the findings from this study described how preservice teachers' beliefs and professional knowledge about teaching struggling readers influenced their expectations, instruction, and evaluation of struggling readers. The findings from this multiple case study suggest that preservice teachers may not believe they are capable of or responsible for teaching all of their students to read. The preservice teacher beliefs about teacher efficacy and responsibility influenced many teaching behaviors in the current study. These findings illustrate the complex interrelationship between preservice teachers' beliefs and professional knowledge, expectations, instruction, and evaluation. Several recommendations were determined from the results of the current study. Preservice and inservice teachers should explore how their beliefs and professional knowledge influence their teaching behaviors. It is important for teachers to examine their own beliefs, professional knowledge, and practice in order to make changes that lead to more effective instruction for our struggling readers. Teacher educators can utilize this information to improve teacher education programs as teacher education programs have been shown to significantly impact preservice teachers' beliefs and professional knowledge. The results are important as they provide guidance to teacher educators as they teach, support and supervise preservice teachers.
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Includes vita.
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Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Florida, 2005.
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Includes bibliographical references.
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Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format.

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ANALYSIS OF PRESERVICE TEACHERS' BELIEFS AND PROFESSIONAL
KNOWLEDGE ABOUT TEACHING STRUGGLING READERS
















By

TABATHA DOBSON SCHARLACH


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


2005















ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I would like to thank all of my committee members for their support and guidance

throughout my doctoral program and the dissertation process. Richard Allington and

Anne McGill-Franzen have inspired me and encouraged me and challenged me to think

in new ways. Their passion and conviction are only matched by the depth and breadth of

their knowledge and expertise. Dr. Danling Fu shared her expertise and encouraged me

from the beginning of my program to read widely and broaden my perspectives A special

thank you goes to Holly Lane who made the current study possible. Her experience,

knowledge, guidance, support and encouragement throughout the past five years have

been invaluable. My committee members have been examples for me in professional

commitment, passion for learning, and personal concern for students. I am fortunate to

have been one of those students.

I would also like to thank my family for their contribution. Throughout this long

journey, my husband, Greg, and my daughter, Hannah, have been incredibly supportive,

encouraging, patient, and understanding. They have sacrificed along with me in order to

allow me to complete my studies. To them I am eternally grateful. Now, together with

Ryan, we will all be able to enjoy our weekends again.
















TABLE OF CONTENTS

page

A C K N O W L E D G M E N T S ................................................................... ......... ................ ii

LIST OF TABLES ................................. .... .........................vii

ABSTRACT .............. .......................................... ix

CHAPTER

1 IN TR OD U CTION ............................................... .. ......................... ..

Background of the Problem ........................................................... .................
State ent of the P problem ............................................................................. ........ 2
Significance of the Study .............................................................................. ...... .4
Purpose of the Study ............... ............... .................................. .4
R research Q uestions............... ........ .. ................................... ............. .. ..............
Delimitations and Limitations of the Study......................................................5
D e fin itio n s ........................................................... ................ 6

2 REVIEW OF LITERATURE ......................................................... .............. 8

In tro d u ctio n .................................................................................. 8
Reading Instruction....... ...................................... ................ ... .8
E m ergent Literacy ................. .... ........................... ... ....... ................ .9
Teaching Struggling readers............................................................. ............... 9
A access and Exposure to Print...................................................................... .... 12
Effective Teachers ............................................. .... .... ................. 13
Early Intervention .................. .......................... .. ...... ............... ... 14
B eliefs and Professional K now ledge..................................... .................................. 18
Influences of Beliefs and Professional Knowledge on Teaching ..............................20
Influence of Beliefs and Professional Knowledge on Teaching Struggling Readers.25
S u m m a ry ...................................................................................................... 3 1

3 M E T H O D O L O G Y ............................................................................ ................... 33

Introduction ........................................................................................................ 33
General Research Plan.......................................................33
Q ualitative R research ......................................... ........... .... .. ...... .... 35
Grounded Theory .................. ............................... ........ ... ............ 37









R e se arch D e sig n ................................................................................................... 3 8
M ethods and Procedures......... ............ ................... .... 38
Preservice Teacher Background Information Sheet ....................................... 40
Preservice Teacher Autobiography..................... ...... ........................... 40
In te rv ie w s .............................................................................4 0
O observations ...........................................4 1
Written Evaluations and Expectations......... ................................... ...............42
Data M management .................. ...................................... ....43
D ata A nalysis................................................... 43
Case Descriptors ........... .... .............. ..... .................... .....44
V alidity an d R eliab ility ......................................................................................... 4 5
Internal V alidity................................... .......... ................ 45
R e liab ility ................................................................4 5
E x tern al V alid ity ........................................................................................... 4 6
R e se arch er B ia s ............................................................................................. 4 6
Entry and A access Into the Field................................... ................... 47
Investigator B ias ...................................................... 47
E ethical Issues ................................................................... 48

4 R E S U L T S .............................................................................5 0

Introduction ......... ...................................................................... .......... ................50
Participant Identification ............... ..... ...... ... .... .... ........................ .... 51
Participants' Background, Experiences, and Professional Knowledge .................51
In te rv ie w s .......................................................................................................5 1
O b se rv a tio n s ............................................................................................................... 5 2
Case Studies........................................... 53
C ase Study 1: C indy ........................ .... ... .... ... ........... .................. 54
Beliefs and Professional Knowledge About Teaching Reading.......................54
Expectations for Struggling Readers ...................... ............................... ............ 58
Instruction for Struggling Readers .......................................... 62
Evaluation of Struggling Readers ........... ................... ................. 66
C ase Study 2 : E rin ............................... .... ................................ ... .. ........ ... 69
Beliefs and Professional Knowledge About Teaching Reading.......................70
Expectations for Struggling Readers ............... .................. ......... .. ........... 74
Instruction for Struggling R leaders ........................................... .....................76
Evaluation of Struggling Readers......... ................................... ...............79
C ase Study 3: N ancy ................................ ..... .... .... ........... ............... 83
Beliefs and Professional Knowledge About Teaching Reading..........................84
Expectations for Struggling Readers ............... .................. ......... .. ........... 88
Instruction for Struggling R leaders ........................................... ............... 91
Evaluation of Struggling Readers........ ......................... ...............94
C ase Study 4 : L au ra ................. ........ ........ ...... ......... ... .. .. ..............97
Beliefs and Professional Knowledge About Teaching Reading........................97
Expectations for Struggling Readers ............................. .........................100
Instruction for Struggling Readers ........................................ ............... 104
Evaluation of Struggling Readers........................ ................. ...............107


iv










C ase Study 5: D rew .......................... ....... ..... .... ....... ........... ............ 109
Beliefs and Professional Knowledge About Teaching Reading........................110
Expectations for Struggling R leaders ............................................ ...............112
Instruction for Struggling Readers ..........................................................116
Evaluation of Struggling Readers .......................................... ...............119
Case Study 6: K erry .................................. ..... ....... ... .... .. .............. 121
Beliefs and Professional Knowledge About Teaching Reading........................122
Expectations for Struggling Readers ................................................125
Instruction for Struggling R leaders ........................................ .....................128
Evaluation of Struggling Readers .......................................... ...............130
Cross-Case Analysis ..................................... ........ ....... ................. 132
S u m m a ry ........................................................................................14 5

5 DISCUSSION .................. ................................... ........... ... ..... ....... 150

O v erview of the Stu dy .................................................................. .. .................... 150
Review of Literature .................. ............................ ........ ................ 151
Review of M methods .................. .............................. ........ ................ 151
F in d in g s .............................................................................1 5 2
Question One ................................................................... ... ......... 153
Q u e stio n T w o .............................................................................................. 1 5 4
Q u e stio n T h re e ............................................................................................ 1 5 5
Question Four ................................ ................................ .. ....... 157
C o n c lu sio n s......................................................................................................... 1 5 8
Implications .............................. ....... .... .. ................163
Implications for Preservice Teachers and Teachers ........... .. ............. 163
Implications for Teacher Educators .................................................................163
Recommendations for Further Study .............................................................165

APPENDIX

A BACKGROUND INFORMATION SHEET ...........................................................166

B A U TOBIO GRA PH Y GU ID E ............................................................................ 168

C INTERVIEW ONE GUIDE ........................................ ....... .........169

D INTERVIEW TW O GUIDE................................... .................... 172

E O B SE R V A TIO N G U ID E ................................................................................... 176

F WRITTEN EVALUATION AND EXPECTATION GUIDE ...............................180

G CONSENT FORM FOR PARTICIPANTS ......................................... ...............181

H C O D E S ..............................................................................1 8 3




v









R E F E R E N C E S ........................................ ............................................................ 18 4

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ............................................................. ..................190
















LIST OF TABLES


Table page

3-1 M ethodology D descriptions ................................................ .............................. 34

3-2 M methodology M atrix .......................................................................... ....................34

3-3 Timeline of Research M ethodologies........................... ............... 35

4-1 Participants' B ackgrounds........ ......................... ......... ................... ............... 52

4-2 Chronological Listing of Observations............................................................... 53

4-3 Cindy's Beliefs and Professional Knowledge About Teaching Reading....................59

4-4 Cindy's Expectations for Struggling Readers .................................. ............... 61

4-5. Cindy's Instruction for Struggling Readers........... ............... ..............65

4-6 Cindy's Evaluation of Struggling Readers ...................................... ............... 68

4-7 Erin's Beliefs and Professional Knowledge About Teaching Reading ..................73

4-8 Erin's Expectations for Struggling R leaders ........................................ .....................75

4-9 Erin's Instruction for Struggling Readers .........................................................79

4-10 Erin's Evaluation of Struggling Readers ....................................... ...............82

4-11 Nancy's Beliefs and Professional Knowledge About Teaching Reading .................89

4-12 Nancy's Expectations for Struggling Readers ................................................ 90

4-13 Nancy's Instruction for Struggling Readers .................................. ............... 93

4-14 Nancy's Evaluation of Struggling Readers .................................... ............... 96

4-15 Laura's Beliefs and Professional Knowledge About Teaching Reading ..............101

4-16 Laura's Expectations for Struggling Readers..................................... ................ 103

4-17 Laura's Instruction for Struggling Readers ..........................................................106









4-18 Laura's Evaluation of Struggling Readers.................. ........... ............... 109

4-19 Drew's Beliefs and Professional Knowledge About Teaching Reading ...............113

4-20 Drew's Expectations for Struggling Readers ........................................................115

4-21 Drew's Instruction for Struggling Readers.......................................................118

4-22 Drew's Evaluation of Struggling Readers...... .............. ................................121

4-23 Kerry's Beliefs and Professional Knowledge About Teaching Reading ..............126

4-24 Kerry's Expectations for Struggling Readers ................ ............. ............... 127

4-25 Kerry's Instruction for Struggling Readers ........... ..................... ....................129

4-26 Kerry's Evaluation of Struggling Readers.............. ................... .... ............131

4-27 Preservice Teachers' Beliefs and Professional Knowledge about Teaching Reading
..................................................................................................... . 1 3 5

4-28 Preservice Teachers' Expectations for Struggling Readers...................................136

4-29 Relationship between Preservice Teachers' Beliefs and Professional Knowledge and
their Expectations for Struggling Readers .................................. ............... 139

4-30 Preservice Teachers' Instruction for Struggling Readers .............................141

4-31 Relationship between Preservice Teachers' Beliefs and Professional Knowledge and
their Instruction for Struggling Readers..... .......... ......... ......................... 143

4-32 Relationship between Preservice Teachers' Beliefs and Professional Knowledge and
their Expectations, Instruction, and Evaluations of Struggling Readers................146















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

ANALYSIS OF PRESERVICE TEACHERS' BELIEFS AND PROFESSIONAL
KNOWLEDGE ABOUT TEACHING STRUGGLING READERS

By

Tabatha Dobson Scharlach

May 2005

Chair: Richard Allington
Major Department: Teaching and Learning

The purpose of this qualitative case study was to examine the beliefs and

professional knowledge of preservice teachers about teaching struggling readers. These

descriptions were based on the qualitative methods of questionnaires, autobiographies,

interviews, observations, and document review. This qualitative study was conducted

during a four-month period in 2003. The participants were six elementary education

maj ors who were employed as tutors in Project UFLI, a federally-funded study of

beginning reading intervention. The study was concerned with participants' beliefs and

professional knowledge in the context of tutoring struggling readers in order to discover

how these beliefs and professional knowledge influenced the preservice teachers'

expectations, instruction, and evaluations of these learners. Separate cases were reported

for each preservice teacher, patterns were identified, and cross-case analysis was utilized.

This study contributed to the knowledge and understanding of preservice teachers'

beliefs and professional knowledge about teaching struggling readers and how these









beliefs and knowledge influenced their teaching behaviors. Specifically, the findings

from this study described how preservice teachers' beliefs and professional knowledge

about teaching struggling readers influenced their expectations, instruction, and

evaluation of struggling readers. The findings from this multiple case study suggest that

preservice teachers may not believe they are capable of or responsible for teaching all of

their students to read. The preservice teacher beliefs about teacher efficacy and

responsibility influenced many teaching behaviors in the current study. These findings

illustrate the complex interrelationship between preservice teachers' beliefs and

professional knowledge, expectations, instruction, and evaluation.

Several recommendations were determined from the results of the current study.

Preservice and inservice teachers should explore how their beliefs and professional

knowledge influence their teaching behaviors. It is important for teachers to examine

their own beliefs, professional knowledge, and practice in order to make changes that

lead to more effective instruction for our struggling readers. Teacher educators can utilize

this information to improve teacher education programs as teacher education programs

have been shown to significantly impact preservice teachers' beliefs and professional

knowledge. The results are important as they provide guidance to teacher educators as

they teach, support and supervise preservice teachers.














CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

Background of the Problem

Teacher educators are faced with the daunting task of preparing preservice teachers

to teach an increasingly diverse student population in the new millennium. Whether the

diversity is ethnicity, race, gender, economic status, or learning differences, teacher

education programs must develop teachers who are able to effectively teach all children

(National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education [NCATE], 2000).

Reading is a lifelong skill that is crucial for success in today's world. It is widely

known that children who struggle with reading acquisition perform lower in other subject

areas, possess lower self-esteem, present greater discipline problems in school, and are

less likely to finish high school (Shanahan & Barr, 1995). Although students in the

United States read as well as or better than they ever have before in history, there is still a

small population of children who struggle with reading acquisition (Klenk & Kibby,

2000). Teachers of reading must have a deep understanding of how children learn to read

and be prepared to teach all children to high levels of literacy. Preparing preservice

teachers for the challenges of teaching children who are struggling with reading

acquisition must be a crucial priority among educators.

Because preservice teachers' beliefs about teaching children who are struggling

with reading acquisition will influence their future teaching decisions and practices as

they work with such children (Nierstheimer, Hopkins, & Schmitt, 1996), it is important

that preservice teachers and teacher education programs examine these beliefs.









Statement of the Problem

Teachers of reading must have a deep understanding of how children learn to read

and be prepared to teach all children to high levels of literacy. Teacher education

programs are constantly striving to improve the preparation of preservice teachers in

order to meet the high demands and expectations placed on beginning teachers. Crucial to

this effort, teacher educators must explore preservice teachers' beliefs about students,

teaching, and learning, as teachers' beliefs influence their judgments and decision-

making and exert critical influence on classroom practice (Pajares, 1992). As human

beings we have beliefs about everything whether they are implicit or explicit beliefs.

Researchers have argued that these beliefs are the basis for all of the choices that we

make as individuals (Bandura, 1986; Richardson, 1996; Rokeach, 1968).

Preservice teachers often have an unrealistic optimism and become disillusioned

when teaching children who are struggling with reading acquisition (Nierstheimer et al.,

1996). This unrealistic optimism may be the result of preservice teachers relying on their

own experiences as literacy learners to inform their beliefs about how all children learn

(Kagan, 1992). Because preservice teachers may believe that their students will be much

like themselves, it may be necessary for them to confront their beliefs about students who

are different from themselves. If preservice teachers do not reexamine their beliefs and,

therefore, their instruction for struggling readers, the result might be that the struggling

reader is viewed as the problem instead of the instruction being viewed as the problem. It

may also mean that the preservice teachers may not provide the most appropriate learning

experiences for the children that they are teaching and may even be biased toward the

students based upon their beliefs.









An area that is important for professors and teacher education programs to consider

is preservice teachers' beliefs and professional knowledge and the manners in which

these beliefs and professional knowledge influence their teaching behaviors. If

preservice teachers' beliefs and professional knowledge influence their teaching

behaviors, it would seem essential for those teaching, supporting, and supervising

preservice teachers to be aware of these beliefs and knowledge and the manners in which

these beliefs and knowledge influence teaching behaviors. Deeper understanding of these

beliefs and professional knowledge may be important to assist teacher educators in

preparing preservice teachers to teach all children to read proficiently. These

understandings may be useful in the design and implementation of teacher education

programs for teachers of reading.

Researchers have reported that teachers do make decisions based upon their beliefs

(Fang, 1996; Kagan & Smith, 1988; Lonberger, 1992; Richardson, 1996; Solomon,

Battistich, & Hom, 1996; Soodak & Podell, 1994; Stuart & Thurlow, 2000; Winfield,

1986). These decisions and actions have significant impact upon the learning

experiences provided for students. Teachers' actions are influenced by their attitudes and

beliefs, which then influence student learning and student behaviors (Soodak & Podell,

1994; Wiest, 1998).

Preservice teachers' beliefs and professional knowledge about teaching struggling

readers are important to study as these beliefs and knowledge influence the preservice

teachers' expectations, instruction, and evaluation of struggling readers. As researchers

and educators attempt to prepare teachers who are able to teach all children to read, it is









important to understand how preservice teachers' beliefs and professional knowledge

about struggling readers influence their teaching behaviors.

Significance of the Study

This research benefited the research community, preservice teachers, teachers, and

teacher educators. This study extended and refined the understandings regarding

preservice teachers' beliefs and professional knowledge and the manner in which these

impact preservice teachers' behaviors. This study may impact the design and

implementation of teacher education programs. As researchers uncover more insights into

preservice teachers' beliefs and professional knowledge, teacher educators will have

more information with which to design appropriate preservice and inservice teacher

education programs.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this qualitative study is to examine the beliefs and professional

knowledge of preservice teachers about teaching struggling readers. Specifically, this

study was an exploration of the participants' beliefs and professional knowledge in the

context of tutoring struggling readers in order to discover how these beliefs and

professional knowledge influenced the preservice teachers' expectations, instruction, and

evaluations of these learners.

Research Questions

Specifically, this study addressed the following questions:

1. What are preservice teachers' beliefs and professional knowledge about teaching
reading in general and teaching struggling readers in particular?

2. How do preservice teachers' beliefs and professional knowledge influence their
expectations for struggling readers?









3. How do preservice teachers' beliefs and professional knowledge influence their
instruction, for struggling readers?

4. How do preservice teachers' beliefs and professional knowledge influence their
evaluation of struggling readers?

Delimitations and Limitations of the Study

This research was limited to six preservice teachers at one university in Northern

Florida. The small number of participants provided the opportunity to deeply probe the

research questions being studied. The power of the study relied on the rich descriptions

and patterns that described the participants' experiences. Multiple data sources

strengthened the power of the data through triangulation. Descriptions of the participants

were sufficiently detailed to allow transferability to other settings. However,

generalizations are modest as the researcher sought to understand individuals in a specific

context.

The researcher had some previous knowledge of the participants and worked with

the participants in a supervisory capacity. This may have limited the participants' abilities

to be completely forthcoming with responses. The researchers' biases could not be

separated from the data. These biases included those as a former classroom teacher,

reading resource teacher, graduate student of reading, preservice teacher educator, and

researcher of a reading intervention program. These biases also included those of a white,

middle-class female. While attempting to describe, analyze, and report the beliefs,

professional knowledge, and actions of these preservice teachers, the researcher's identity

provided the lens through which all the information was processed.









Definitions

Beliefs and professional knowledge are the attitudes, values, beliefs, and

knowledge about teaching, students, content and the education process that students bring

to teacher education (Kagan, 1990; Pajares, 1993).

Blending refers to combining the sounds represented by letters to pronounce a

word; to sound out (Harris & Hodges, 1995).

Decoding refers to the process of translating printed words into an oral

representation using knowledge of letter-sound relationships and word structure (National

Reading Panel, 2000).

Elkonin boxes refers to a method in which squares are drawn to represent the

number of discrete sounds in a word. The student segments the phonemes in the word and

determines and writes the letter in the box to represent each of these phonemes.

Encoding refers to changing a message into symbols as in encoding oral language

into writing.

Fluency refers to the ability to read text quickly, accurately, and with proper

expression (National Reading Panel, 2000).

Frustration reading level refers to the level at which a reader can read text at less

than 90% success rate. The readability of material is too difficult to be read successfully

by student even with instruction and support (Harris & Hodges, 1995).

Genre refers to different kinds of literary texts, such as informational, instructional,

mystery, realistic fiction, historical fiction, biography, fantasy, traditional folk and fairy

tales, science fiction, etc. (Fountas & Pinell, 1996).

Independent reading level refers to the level at which a reader can read text at a

95% or higher success rate (National Reading Panel, 2000).









Instructional reading level refers to the level at which a reader can read text

between a 90% and 94% success rate. The material is challenging but not frustrating for

students to read successfully with instruction and support (Harris & Hodges, 1995).

Miscue refers to an oral reading response that differs from the expected response to

written text (Harris & Hodges, 1995).

Modeling refers to the act of serving as an example of behavior and or technique

(Harris & Hodges, 1995).

Oral cloze refers to the procedure of restoring omitted portions of an oral message

from its remaining context (Harris & Hodges, 1995).

Reading disability refers to reading achievement that is significantly below

expectancy for both an individual's reading potential and for chronological age or grade

level (Harris & Hodges, 1995).

Reading Recovery leveled text refers to reading materials that have been leveled

by Reading Recovery" based on a gradient of difficulty in order for teachers to make

decisions about materials to select for children to read (Clay, 1991).

Running record refers to the cumulative account of selected behavior, as of that of a

student reading as noted by a teacher over time (Harris & Hodges, 1995).

Self-correction refers to the use of knowledge of language and context to correct

errors in reading (Harris & Hodges, 1995).

Self-efficacy refers to the belief in one's capabilities to organize and execute the

sources of action required to manage prospective situations (Bandura, 1986).














CHAPTER 2
REVIEW OF LITERATURE

Introduction

This review begins with what researchers have reported about effectively teaching

struggling readers. Next is a review of the literature on beliefs and professional

knowledge and pre- and inservice teachers' beliefs and professional knowledge. Next in

the review is research that has been conducted on the influence pre- and inservice

teachers' beliefs and professional knowledge have on their teaching behaviors. The final

section is a review of the limited research that has been conducted related to the influence

that pre- and inservice teachers' beliefs and professional knowledge have on teaching

struggling readers is presented.

Reading Instruction

Effective teacher education facilitates preservice teachers in their development of

content area expertise, research-based knowledge about teaching and learning, and

pedagogical skills that will enable them to teach effectively to a diverse population of

learners (NCATE, 2000; Ross, Lane, & McCallum, in preparation; Zeichner & Hoeft,

1996). This focus on rigorous content, theory, and pedagogy will prepare exemplary

teachers with expectations for all children to develop high levels of thoughtful literacy

skills, critical thinking skills, active learning skills, content knowledge application, and

problem solving abilities.









Emergent Literacy

Most literacy researchers and educators agree that learning to read and write is a

developmental process that begins long before the commencement of formal schooling

(Adams, 1990; Clay, 1991; Snow, Bums, & Griffin, 1998; Spear-Swerling & Sternberg,

1998; Whitehurst & Lonigan, 2001). This theory of emergent literacy supplanted the

previous reading readiness approach in which there was a perceived boundary between

what constituted "pretend" reading prior to formal literacy instruction and "real" reading

after formal literacy instruction when students were "ready to read" (Whitehurst &

Lonigan, 2001). The emergent literacy perspective validated the importance of literacy

activities such as storybook reading, chanting, singing, print awareness, and word-play

activities that occur in homes and preschool settings prior to formal schooling.

Young children who experienced more of these kinds of literate activities would

benefit more from formal reading instruction and learn to read sooner and more skillfully

than children who lacked these types of informal learning experiences (Whitehurst &

Lonigan, 2001). For these children, reading acquisition had begun well before the onset

of formal instruction (Spear-Swerling & Sternberg, 1998). Many children, however, have

had limited or have had no experiences with these types of literacy activities prior to

formal schooling. For these children, reading acquisition may be slower and more

difficult.

Teaching Struggling readers

There are many factors that can influence whether a child will have difficulty

learning to read including but not limited to instructional influences, socioeconomic

status, speaking a non-standard variety of English, having limited proficiency in English,

biological deficits, and cultural differences (Snow et al., 1998). The majority of children









who are struggling with reading acquisition at the completion of first grade will continue

to struggle with reading acquisition throughout their school careers (Juel, 1988). Literacy

researchers and educators are continually searching for effective strategies to ensure that

all children will become literate.

There is nothing so complicated about learning to read that would keep any child
who is not mentally retarded from being able to learn to read near, on, or above
grade level, provided this child is given enough instruction and instruction of
sufficient quality (Klenk & Kibby, 2000, p. 684-685).

In the first half of the twentieth century, the medical model was used to attempt to

determine the causes) of reading difficulties by studying variables such as visual acuity,

auditory acuity, general physical status, neurological factors, emotional/psychiatric

factors, and intelligence (Klenk & Kibby, 2000). The belief was that there must be

something inherently wrong with a child who was struggling with reading acquisition.

This "deficit hypotheses" argued that the deficit was within the child and caused by

environment, experience, or heredity (Johnston & Allington, 1991). Researchers now

believe that students who are struggling with reading acquisition do not require

qualitatively different instruction than children who are not struggling with reading

acquisition (Snow et al., 1998). Instead, children who are struggling with reading

acquisition require extra time in quality reading instruction, extensive opportunities to

read high-success materials, and specific strategy instruction (Allington, 2001;

Strickland, 2000).Therefore, children who are struggling with reading acquisition need

more quality reading instruction beginning early in their school careers (Pikulski, 1998).

Snow, Burns, and Griffin (1998), in a review of literature for the National Research

Council, argued for integrating attention to the alphabetic principle with attention to the

construction of meaning and opportunities to develop fluency. The researchers found









that most reading difficulties could be prevented with effective instruction. Their

conclusions for effective reading instruction included children reading to obtain meaning

from print; frequent opportunities to read; exposure to frequent, regular spelling-sound

relationships; instruction on the alphabetic principle; and instruction on the structure of

spoken words. Snow et al. concluded that progressing beyond the beginning reading

level required an understanding of the alphabetic principle, reading practice, sufficient

background knowledge and vocabulary to derive meaning from the text, monitoring

strategies, and interest and motivation to read for a variety of purposes.

Though criticized for its narrow focus on few topics and for limiting its review to

experimental and quasi-experimental evidence (Pressley, 2001), the National Reading

Panel's Report (2000) outlined evidence for teaching beginning reading skills in their

review of research. The conclusions of the panel were that phonemic awareness

instruction was effective in promoting early reading and spelling skills; systematic

phonics instruction improved reading, spelling, and comprehension skills; guided oral

reading and repeated reading of texts increased reading fluency; a variety of methods of

vocabulary instruction should be implemented; comprehension strategies instruction

improves comprehension; professional development can influence teachers' instruction in

reading; greater community resources can promote literacy; when children have access to

books, children are more likely to engage in literate activities which result in enhanced

language and literacy skills; whole language interventions at school may promote some

general, beginning understandings about reading and writing; literature-driven instruction

increased children's autonomous reading; instruction with strong connections between

literature and concept learning increased interest and engagement and comprehension









strategies; experiences with literature increased understanding of story structures;

comprehension of texts increased when children engage in conversations about literature

with peers and teachers; and exposure to a second language can have positive

implications for literacy development.

In his criticism, Pressley (2001) advised that the conclusions reached by the Panel

are not enough. Pressley argued that the Panel's emphases on discrete skills at specific

development levels did not take into account that effective reading instruction occurs

over a number of years and changes with the child's development. He contended that

"effective literacy instruction is a balance and blend of skills teaching and holistic

literature and writing experiences" (p. 4).

Access and Exposure to Print

To become a proficient reader one needs the opportunity to read (Allington, 1977).

Allington (1980) observed reading group instruction in twenty-four first and second

grade classrooms. He discovered that good readers read an average of 539 words during

a reading lesson but poor readers read only an average of 237 words during a reading

lesson. Allington argued that poor readers needed to read larger quantities of reading

material of they were ever going to become good readers. In addition, Allington

explained this reading material must be at the child's instructional level and must be

contextual reading as opposed to other reading instruction activities.

After tracking the effects of print exposure in fourth, fifth, and sixth grade students,

Cunningham and Stanovich (1991) found that print exposure is a significant unique

predictor of spelling, vocabulary, verbal fluency, word knowledge, and general

information even after controlling for differences in general ability and phonological









coding ability. These researchers argued that even the child with limited reading skills

would build vocabulary and knowledge structures through reading.

Stanovich's (1986) theory of "Matthew Effects" in reading explained that children

who experience early success in reading are likely to read more and become even better

readers. Conversely, children who struggle with reading acquisition are likely to spend

less time reading and achieve even less progress, falling farther and farther behind their

peers. Stanovich suggested,

If the development of vocabulary knowledge substantially facilitates reading
comprehension, and if reading itself is a major mechanism leading to vocabulary
growth which in turn will enable more efficient reading then we truly have a
reciprocal relationship that should continue to drive further growth in reading
throughout a person's development (p. 380).

His theory of "Matthew Effects" in reading further supports the position that the

volume of reading done by students directly affects reading achievement. Stanovich

theorizes that the very children who are reading well and who have good vocabularies

will read more, learn more word meanings, and read even better while children with

inadequate vocabularies who read slowly and without enjoyment read less, and as a result

have slower development of vocabulary knowledge, which inhibits further growth in

reading.

Effective Teachers

In a review of research examining students' passive failure in reading, Johnston and

Winograd (1985) contended that teachers treat less successful students differently than

more successful students. These differences in teacher actions for less successful students

include giving these children answers, allowing less wait time, interrupting reading more

frequently, having lower expectations, paying less attention, and praising less frequently.

Johnston and Winograd argued that these differences in teacher actions allow less









successful students to attribute their failure to low ability which, in turn, leads to passive

failure in reading. The authors concluded that research and teaching activities should

focus on children learning to read rather than the teaching of reading in order to prevent

passive failure in reading.

Allington (2002) argued that what really matters in reading instruction is effective

teachers. While studying exemplary teachers through research at the National Research

Center on English Learning and Achievement, Allington found that the most important

aspects of effective instruction were time spent in actual reading and writing activities;

quality and quantity of easily read materials; active instruction that modeled and

demonstrated reading and writing strategies; conversational talk; substantive, challenging

tasks; and assessment based on effort and improvement. This type of instruction can only

occur with effective, knowledgeable teachers.

Allington's (2002) focus on the teacher and instruction is supported by Darling-

Hammond's (1999) review of policy evidence in regard to teacher quality and student

achievement. Darling-Hammond found that well-prepared teachers can have strong

effects on student achievement ameliorating the impact of student poverty level, language

background, or minority status. She also concluded that teacher quality variables were

more strongly related to student achievement than class size, overall spending levels or

teacher salaries.

Early Intervention

Educators have increasingly turned to early intervention in order to help accelerate

literacy learning of students who are struggling with reading acquisition (Strickland,

2001). While it is crucial that the classroom teacher provide exemplary instruction and

take responsibility for all students in the classroom (Walmsley & Allington, 1995), rising









expectations for young literacy learners has shifted the focus to intensive early

intervention along with exemplary teaching practices (Strickland, 2001). These short-

term, intensive programs of intervention aimed at accelerating literacy development are

becoming preferable to extended remediation efforts such as Title I pull-out programs

(Strickland, 2001). Fortunately, the majority of children struggling with reading

acquisition can become readers if they are provided early and intensive intervention

(Vellutino & Scanlon, 2001). Providing this early intervention to children struggling with

reading acquisition is a crucial priority among educators. Research has shown many

forms of tutoring to be effective with struggling readers (Shanahan, 1998).

Reading Recovery is a one-to-one tutorial intervention provided by specially

trained teachers developed specifically for children struggling with reading acquisition in

the first years of formal schooling (Pinnell, Lyons, DeFord, Bryk, & Seltzer, 1994).

Reading Recovery was developed by Marie Clay, a developmental psychologist and

teacher of special education in New Zealand, and her colleagues in 1976 in an effort to

develop an intervention that would accelerate the reading development of the lowest

achieving children up to the reading development of the average achieving children in the

classroom. The lesson framework includes reading and rereading familiar texts; analysis

of student reading through running record techniques; composing, writing, and reading

messages; and reading new and more challenging texts with teacher support. In a study

conducted by Pinell et al. (1994) children who received Reading Recovery as an

intervention performed significantly higher than other treatment groups and the control

group. In an independent analysis of the effectiveness of Reading Recovery, Shanahan

and Barr (1995) found Reading Recovery to be less effective and more costly than had









been claimed. Despite these findings, the researchers recommended the continued support

of Reading Recovery as a successful intervention strategy.

Many researchers have reported that the majority of children struggling with

reading acquisition can become readers if they are provided individualized, early and

intensive literacy intervention (Hayes, Lane, & Pullen, 1999; Juel, 1991; Pinnell et al.,

1994; Vellutino & Scanlon, 2001). These researchers have reported that some students

would require longer periods of effective, intensive remediation but that many students

could actually be remediated with less intensive and shorter interventions if that

intervention was provided early in the child's reading development. Vellutino and

Scanlon (2001) concluded that reading difficulties in the majority of children struggling

with reading acquisition were caused by experiential and instructional deficits rather than

cognitive deficits.

Other tutorial intervention strategies that have utilized volunteers or college

students have also proven to be effective in helping children who are struggling with

reading acquisition (Baker, Gersten, & Keating, 2000; Elbaum, Vaughn, Hughes, &

Moody, 2000; Fitzgerald, 2001; Hayes et al., 1999; Invemizzi, 2001; Invernizzi, Juel, &

Rosemary, 1998; Juel, 1996). Many of these literacy interventions were based upon the

design of the Reading Recovery (Pinnell et al., 1994) framework including rereading

familiar texts, word study, writing, and reading an unfamiliar book with the assistance of

a tutor who is providing specific strategy instruction. The tutoring models that utilized

volunteers or college students offered an affordable form of early intervention that was

proven to be successful in raising literacy levels. These studies confirmed that well-

designed, reliably implemented interventions could improve the literacy development for









students struggling with reading acquisition. The crucial factor in successful volunteer

efforts appeared to be the training and mentoring provided to tutors (Invernizzi, 2001).

Elbaum et al. (2000) cautioned that the instruction provided by volunteers or college

students was intended to supplement, not replace, the classroom reading instruction.

Research consistently supports the effectiveness of tutoring (Shanahan, 1998).

However, tutoring is not a perfect solution and does have some potential drawbacks. One

criticism of pull-out programs in general is that students who are receiving interventions

during the school day lose ten to fifteen minutes of instructional time just traveling

between the classroom and the intervention (Cunningham & Allington, 1994). These

researchers suggested that it may be difficult or impossible to make up for this lost time

regardless of the effectiveness of the intervention. In order to control for these factors,

attention must be focused on limiting the loss of instructional time through transitions as

well as careful attention to the decision about which classroom activities will be lost

during the intervention. Many schools have chosen to add these intervention programs on

to their school day either before or after school in order to address these issues and

provided extended learning for struggling children.

Shanahan (1998) warned that if the person providing the tutoring is ineffective, the

intervention will be ineffective. Of course, if the intervention is inappropriate or

ineffective, trading exemplary classroom instruction for this instruction would be

detrimental to student achievement (Shanahan, 1998). Providing extra time in quality

reading instruction, extensive opportunities to read high-success materials, and specific

strategy instruction (Strickland, 2000) as previously suggested is appropriate and

effective intervention.









The researchers included in this review have reported that there are common

elements of effective literacy instruction for all readers in general and struggling readers

in particular. These common elements include extra quality reading instruction, extensive

opportunities to read high-success texts and useful, specific strategy instruction with an

effective teacher. In addition to the described reading instruction occurring within the

regular classroom, more intensive, short-term intervention programs may also be

implemented to accelerate the learning of some struggling readers. While occurring in a

smaller group and a more intensive manner, this intervention instruction should not be

qualitatively different than the instruction provided to those children who are not

struggling with reading acquisition.

Beliefs and Professional Knowledge

As human beings we have beliefs about everything whether they are implicit or

explicit beliefs. Researchers have argued that these beliefs are the basis for all of the

choices that we make as individuals (Bandura, 1986; Richardson, 1996; Rokeach, 1968).

Researchers have reported that teachers, like all human beings, make decisions based

upon their beliefs (Bandura, 1986; Fang, 1996; Kagan & Smith, 1988; Lonberger, 1992;

Richardson, 1996; Rokeach, 1968; Solomon et al., 1996; Stuart & Thurlow, 2000;

Winfield, 1986). These decisions and actions have significant impact upon the learning

experiences provided for students. Teachers' actions are influenced by their attitudes and

beliefs, which then influence student learning and student behaviors (Wiest, 1998).

Rokeach (1968) theorized that the decisions that people make throughout their

lives are based upon their beliefs. His research and theories about beliefs, attitudes and

values are often-cited and studied. Rokeach (1968) defined beliefs as "any simple

proposition, conscious or unconscious, inferred from what a person says or does, capable









of being preceded by the phrase 'I believe that ...'" (p. 113). Rokeach was interested in

the structure of belief systems and conducted a quantitative study on 29 subjects' belief

systems using hypnotic procedures. He concluded that some beliefs are more central than

other beliefs and that the more central the belief, the more it will be resistant to change.

He also concluded that knowledge is a component of belief. Rokeach warned that beliefs

should not necessarily be verbal reports taken at face value, but rather inferences made by

an observer about the underlying states based on all the things the "believer" is doing and

saying.

Bandura (1986), agreed with Rokeach that beliefs are the best indicator of an

individual's decision-making. Beliefs are the basis upon which individuals plan, interpret,

and make decisions. Bandura argued that beliefs must be studied in context specific

situations in order to be useful, as human beings have beliefs about everything. He also

argued that some beliefs are more resistant to change than others and that teacher efficacy

beliefs are the strongest predictors of motivation and actions.

Pajares' (1993) defined preservice teachers' beliefs as: "the attitudes and values

about teaching, students, and the education process that students bring to teacher

education attitudes and values that can be inferred by teacher educators not only from

what preservice teachers say but from what they do" (p. 46). Because of the subjective

nature of teaching, Kagan (1990) used beliefs and knowledge interchangeably. Kagan

defined teachers' cognitions as any of the following: "pre- or inservice teachers' self-

reflections; beliefs and knowledge about teaching, students, and content; and awareness

of problem-solving strategies endemic to classroom teaching" (p. 421).









For the purposes of this study, these two definitions will be combined. Preservice

teachers' beliefs and professional knowledge will be defined as: The attitudes, values,

beliefs, and knowledge about teaching, students, content and the education process that

students bring to teacher education. Additionally, Pajares' (1993) advice that preservice

teachers' attitudes and values should be inferred not only from what preservice teachers

say but also from what they do will be heeded.

Because human beings have beliefs about everything and these beliefs are the basis

for decision-making and actions (Bandura, 1986; Rokeach, 1968), belief research is an

important field of study. Based upon the theory that beliefs are central to human beings'

everyday decisions and actions (Bandura, 1986; Rokeach, 1968) and that there need not

be any truth or evidence required for a belief (Richardson, 1996), it seems logical that

teacher beliefs are central to their classroom decisions and actions. Understanding

teachers' beliefs is important for understanding teachers' actions.

Influences of Beliefs and Professional Knowledge on Teaching

Researchers have discovered that teachers make decisions based upon their beliefs.

These decisions and actions have significant impact upon the learning experiences

provided for their students. This section will describe research that has been conducted on

the influence of teachers' beliefs and professional knowledge on teaching behaviors.

In a study of teachers' beliefs about self-efficacy, Ashton and Webb (1986) used

the quantitative and qualitative methods of questionnaires, interviews, classroom

observations, and student records to determine if there was a relationship between

teachers' self-efficacy and student achievement. Forty-eight high school teachers were

included in the study. These researchers found that the teachers' self-efficacy was

associated with student achievement in both reading and math. Additionally, these









researchers determined that teachers' self-efficacy influenced teaching behaviors such as

their use of praise and whether or not they were task-oriented. It is an important finding

that there is a relationship between teachers' self-efficacy beliefs and their teaching

behaviors as well as between teachers' self-efficacy beliefs and student achievement.

Kagan and Smith (1988) examined the relationship between kindergarten teachers'

self-reported beliefs and their classroom practice. Fifty-one kindergarten teachers

completed self-report instruments that assessed cognitive style, teaching ideology,

classroom behavior, and occupational stress. They were later observed for two hours

teaching their kindergarten students. The researchers were specifically interested in

whether the teachers believed in a more child-centered or a more teacher-centered

kindergarten classroom. Kagan and Smith found the teachers' self-reported beliefs were

strongly consistent with the researcher observations and that their beliefs were evident in

their classroom practice and classroom environment. The researchers described how the

teachers' beliefs were reflected in their teaching behaviors. These behaviors included the

teachers' verbal behavior, teachers' position in the room, and students' positions and

groupings in the room. Kagan and Smith concluded that teachers with a more child-

centered approach to teaching kindergarten held a consistent set of beliefs and behaviors.

This study is significant in that it reports how teachers' beliefs and professional

knowledge are reflected in teaching behaviors.

Richardson, Anders, Tidwell, and Loyd (1991) studied the relationship between

teachers' beliefs about teaching reading comprehension and their classroom practices. In

the study, thirty-nine intermediate elementary teachers, including 30 females and 9 males,

were interviewed to determine their beliefs about reading comprehension and how









children learn to read. These teachers were then observed twice while teaching reading

comprehension to determine if their beliefs were consistent with their classroom

practices. The researchers concluded that the beliefs of the teachers in the study reflected

their classroom practices in the teaching of reading comprehension.

In a quantitative study of the relationship between belief systems and the

instructional choices of preservice teachers, Lonberger (1992) assessed the beliefs of 37

elementary and special education students enrolled in an introductory reading methods

course. The students' beliefs about reading, how children read, and teaching a child to

read were assessed through informal questions. Responses were classified by philosophy

and frequencies of response by belief system were tabulated. Students later designed,

implemented, and were observed teaching a lesson for teaching word recognition. The

lessons were then judged to be congruent or incongruent with the preservice teachers'

philosophies. Lonberger reported that 84% of the students made instructional choices that

were congruent with their beliefs and theoretical orientations to reading and that these

orientations evolved during the reading methods course. These conclusions are important

in understanding the nature of preservice teacher beliefs and the manners in which these

beliefs influence teaching behaviors.

In a quantitative study, Solomon, Battistich, and Hom (1996) assessed the attitudes,

beliefs, perceptions and classroom practices of 476 teachers in 24 urban and suburban

elementary schools through the use of teacher questionnaires and classroom observations

during the course of a school year. The researchers reported that teachers' beliefs were

consistent with their teaching practices after statistically controlling for school poverty

level and students' achievement. Among the findings from the data, Solomon et al. found









that teachers in economically disadvantaged schools emphasized teacher authority and

control rather than student autonomy and constructivist approaches. They found that

teachers in the poor communities provided less engaging activities and saw themselves as

having less influence than teachers in more affluent communities. These findings, that

teachers interact with students differently based on their beliefs about students,

underscore the need for understanding how teachers' beliefs influence their teaching

behaviors.

Stuart and Thurlow (2000) analyzed the beliefs of preservice teachers enrolled in a

mathematics and science methods course. Twenty-six students were asked to examine

their beliefs and the impact these beliefs had on classroom practice. The researchers

included interviews and written responses to journal prompts, mathematics

autobiographies, final examination questions, field observations, and semi-structured

interviews in their data collection. Stuart and Thurlow challenged the preservice teachers

to confront their beliefs through reflection and discussion. They reported that the

preservice teachers' beliefs' about teaching were heavily influenced by their childhood

experiences. Stuart and Thurlow concluded that the preservice teachers gained a better

understanding of the impact their beliefs would have on classroom practice and how that

classroom practice would impact student learning. Stuart and Thurlow described how the

preservice teachers thought their beliefs would influence classroom practice. However,

they did not describe how preservice teachers' beliefs actually did influence their

classroom practice.

In her review of research on attitudes and beliefs in learning to teach, Richardson

(1996) concluded that in an interactive relationship, teachers' decisions and actions are









based upon their beliefs. She reported that preservice teachers' beliefs about teaching

result from personal experience, schooling and instruction, and formal knowledge.

However, she concluded that these beliefs could be changed or added to because of

experience and reflection upon that experience. She found in her review of research that

preservice teachers' beliefs are strong and highly resistant to change. Richardson argued

that teacher education programs must facilitate the self-identification and self-assessment

of preservice teachers' beliefs relative to their classroom actions in order to help facilitate

positive change in preservice teachers' beliefs.

In his review of the relationship between teacher beliefs and practices, Fang (1996)

reported that teachers' theories and beliefs are an important part of their general

knowledge. These beliefs can influence teachers' expectations of student performance as

well as teachers' theories about teaching and learning. These, in turn, can have significant

impact on academic performance and student learning. Fang called for further research

on teacher beliefs that addresses the personal experiences of teachers and their influence

on shaping their beliefs.

Researchers have reported that inservice and preservice teachers' beliefs influence

their teaching behaviors (Ashton & Webb, 1986; Fang, 1996; Kagan & Smith, 1988;

Lonberger, 1992; Richardson, 1996; Richardson et al., 1991; Solomon et al., 1996; Stuart

& Thurlow, 2000; Winfield, 1986). These beliefs and professional knowledge include

beliefs about teacher efficacy, responsibility for teaching, pedagogical methods, and

issues of authority and autonomy. The researchers have also reported that teachers'

beliefs are congruent with their teaching behaviors and influence teachers' expectations

as well as student achievement. Obviously, the decisions and actions that are made by









teachers in the classroom have significant impact upon the learning experiences provided

for students. It is, therefore, important to more fully understand preservice teachers'

beliefs and professional knowledge and the manner in which these beliefs and knowledge

influence their teaching behaviors.

Influence of Beliefs and Professional Knowledge on Teaching Struggling Readers

As researchers and educators attempt to prepare teachers who are able to teach all

children to read, it is be important to understand how preservice teachers' beliefs and

professional knowledge about teaching struggling readers influence their teaching

behaviors. This section will describe research that has been conducted on the relationship

between teachers' and preservice teachers' beliefs and professional knowledge about

teaching struggling readers in particular and the influence these beliefs and knowledge

have on their teaching behaviors.

Winfield (1986) studied inservice teachers' beliefs about academically at risk

students in inner city schools. Winfield studied five inner-urban schools which served

predominately minority and low income students. Forty teachers were interviewed for the

study, which utilized a case study methodology to examine the schools over a one-year

period. Winfield categorized the teachers' beliefs based on whether teachers believed

some type of instructional assistance could improve the students' achievement and

whether teachers assumed responsibility for improving instruction or shifted

responsibility to someone else. By using a cross-classification, Winfield categorized

teachers as either: 1) "tutors" who believed they were responsible for and provided the

necessary instruction to the lowest readers; 2) "general contractors" who believed the

students needed remedial instruction but that it was not their job to provide that

instruction; 3) "custodians" who believed that little or nothing could be done to improve









the students' achievement; and 4) "referral agents" who believed students could not learn

in the classroom or remedial program and should be referred for psychological testing or

special education. Winfield concluded that teachers' beliefs influenced their expectations

as well as their instruction for at risk students. This is an important contribution to the

study of how teachers' beliefs influence expectations, instruction, and assessment.

McGill-Franzen (1994) reported on earlier research (Allington & Li, 1990; McGill-

Franzen & James, 1990) that investigated the relationship between institutional practices

and teachers' beliefs about children and their ability to learn to read. Thirty-nine

elementary classroom teachers, compensatory education teachers, and special education

teachers in six school districts were interviewed about the struggling readers in their

classes. The researchers found that special education teachers believed that their students

could not perform on grade level and that they could only make six months progress for

each year of school. This was reflected in the special education teachers' behaviors,

which included a slower pace of instruction, easier materials, repetition, and retention of

students. McGill-Franzen reported that teachers held different beliefs about remedial

students as opposed to special education students. The teachers believed that remedial

students would eventually be able to perform on grade level and that they expected these

remedial students to make at least one year's progress for each year in school. This

translated to teaching behaviors that included actual opportunities for reading and writing

as the basis for literacy instruction. McGill-Franzen called for challenging the beliefs,

expectations and instruction of teachers who work with at-risk children. This is an

important study of the influence of teachers' beliefs and professional knowledge about

teaching struggling readers on teaching behaviors.









Soodak and Podell (1994) investigated teachers decision-making with regard to

students experiencing difficulty in reading. The researchers were interested in teachers'

causal beliefs and sense of efficacy. The researchers distributed questionnaires to 110

participants that included a case study of a third grade student from a divorced family

experiencing difficulty in reading with occasional problems with self-control that

disrupted the class. Participants were to list possible ways to address the situation,

including which they believed would be most effective and what they believed was the

cause of the situation. Teachers also completed a teacher efficacy scale. The researchers

found that teachers offer a wide variety of suggestions for addressing a student's

problems and a wide variety of causes for the student's difficulties. The teachers did not,

however, believe that their efforts would be successful with the student. Additionally, the

teachers frequently believed that someone outside of the classroom would be needed to

effect change in the situation. The researchers also reported that when teachers believed

the home was the cause of the student's problems, they sought parental involvement.

When the teachers believed the school was the cause of the student's problems, they

sought outside interventions. Finally, the researchers reported that teachers' personal

efficacy beliefs influenced their decisions regarding instruction for "difficult-to-teach"

students. This study is an important study that describes the influence of teachers' beliefs

about efficacy and responsibility on their teaching decisions.

Maxson (1996) reported that there is an intricate, interactive relationship between

what teachers believe and teachers' actions such as curriculum decision-making,

planning, and experiences that teachers provide for students. Maxson (1996) used a

multiple case study design to explore the influence of teachers' beliefs on literacy









instruction for at-risk first graders. The sample included five white, female teachers

teaching at different high-risk schools within the same school district. Maxson collected

data from interviews, observations, questionnaires, and teacher reflections throughout a

school year and made conclusions based upon the constant comparative method. Maxson

concluded that there was a direct relationship between the teachers' beliefs and their

practices and that the teachers held definite beliefs about teaching at-risk students.

Maxson found that the teachers functioned within an instructional paradigm that was

directly influenced by their individual belief systems. She reported that many external

factors such as content and population of students influenced the teachers' beliefs.

Maxson did not report the teachers' beliefs, only that they were related to practice.

Nierstheimer, Hopkins, and Schmitt (1996), conducted a study examining

preservice teachers' beliefs about teaching students who are struggling with reading

acquisition. The preservice teachers included 60 female and 7 male participants. These

preservice teachers were enrolled in a corrective reading methods course with a tutoring

practicum. Features of the Reading Recovery professional development model were

incorporated into the program. Data sources included questionnaires, videotapes,

interviews, small-group discussions, observations, lesson plans and portfolios. The

researchers conducted within- and cross-case analyses to analyze the data. The

researchers reported that the preservice teachers assigned responsibility for the cause of

reading problems to someone else and assigned the responsibility for teaching struggling

readers to read to someone else. The preservice teachers believed it was not the

classroom teachers' responsibility to teach struggling readers. The preservice teachers

included in the study believed that the parents and home environment or the children









themselves were responsible for the reading difficulties. Additionally, the preservice

teachers believed it was the responsibility of a resource teacher or parents to teach these

struggling readers. This study is important in describing the relationship between

preservice teachers' beliefs and their sense of responsibility for teaching struggling

readers.

In a study examining preservice teachers' shifting beliefs about struggling literacy

learners, Nierstheimer et al. (2000), utilized qualitative methods to re-examine the

previously reported (Nierstheimer et al., 1996) study of 67 preservice teachers. The

researchers found that after participating in the course, the preservice teachers' beliefs

shifted toward "assuming responsibility for helping children with reading problems rather

than assigning responsibility to someone else as they had when the course began" (p.1).

The researchers concluded that carefully guided tutoring experiences are crucial in

preparing effective literacy teachers.

Mallette, Readence, McKinney, and Smith (2000) critically analyzed the written

work of two preservice teachers' who had been tutoring struggling readers. The

researchers analyzed the preservice teachers' field notes, case studies, reflective writings,

and group lesson plans by coding and exploring the relationships in the various sources.

Mallette et al. was interested in exploring how the ideologies of the preservice teachers

effected the preservice teachers' development of knowledge about teaching struggling

readers. The researchers defined ideologies as beliefs embedded in hegemonic relations.

They discovered that the preservice teachers' expectations about reading acquisition,

success, parental support, reading difficulties, attitude toward reading, assessment,

teaching, and education were based upon their white, middle-class, female identities.









These preservice teachers believed their students would be similar to themselves and

struggled with these ideologies when the students were not like them. Mallette et al.

concluded that it is important for teacher educators to help preservice teachers understand

how their knowledge about education is centered in ideologies that are based on their

raced, classed, and gendered identities. The researchers called for an exploration of

beliefs of preservice teachers' at a deeper level to examine how they reflect ideologies.

Researchers have concluded that teachers' beliefs about teaching struggling readers

influence their teaching behaviors (Mallette et al., 2000; Maxson, 1996; McGill-Franzen,

1994; Soodak & Podell, 1994; Winfield, 1986). Researchers have described how these

beliefs and professional knowledge have translated into different expectations and

instruction for struggling readers (McGill-Franzen, 1994; Winfield, 1986). These beliefs

and professional knowledge also influence teachers' sense of responsibility for teaching

struggling readers (Nierstheimer et al., 1996; Soodak & Podell, 1994; Winfield, 1986).

The Winfield (1986) study is an important contribution to the study of how

teachers' beliefs about at-risk students influenced their expectations, instruction, and

assessment of these students. McGill-Franzen (1994) offered specific details about

teachers' beliefs and how these beliefs influenced teaching behaviors. Her research was

limited to teachers' beliefs about special education students as opposed to remedial

education students. Soodack and Podell's (1994) research described the influence of

teachers' beliefs about efficacy and responsibility on their teaching decisions. However,

the researchers did not observe actual teaching behaviors to determine how these beliefs

influenced actual classroom practice. Maxson (1996) concluded that there was a

relationship between teachers' beliefs and teaching behaviors, however, she did not









provide specific details about this relationship. Nierstheimer et al. (1996) found that

teachers' beliefs influenced their sense of responsibility for teaching struggling readers,

however, they did not explore how this translated into teaching behaviors. Finally,

Mallette et al. (2000) were interested in hegemonic relations and the manner in which

these influenced preservice teachers' beliefs about teaching struggling readers. Again,

this research did not attempt to explore the manner in which these beliefs influenced

teaching behaviors.

Summary

Researchers included in this review have demonstrated that teachers' beliefs and

professional knowledge influence their teaching behaviors in general and their teaching

behaviors for struggling readers in particular. However, the research on the relationship

between teachers' beliefs and professional knowledge about teaching struggling readers

is limited. More research is needed in order to more fully understand preservice teachers'

beliefs and professional knowledge about teaching struggling readers and how these

beliefs and knowledge influence their teaching behaviors. Specifically, more research is

needed to explore the relationship between preservice teachers' beliefs and professional

knowledge about teaching struggling readers and their expectations, instruction, and

evaluation of struggling readers. The current research study attempted to fill this gap in

the research.

This study of preservice teachers' beliefs about teaching struggling readers and

their influence on their teaching behaviors should help researchers explore areas for

potential preservice teacher program improvement. Researchers in this review reported

that teacher education programs could have a significant impact upon preservice

teachers' beliefs and professional knowledge. It is, therefore, a challenge for preservice






32


teacher educators and researchers to identify the beliefs and professional knowledge of

preservice teachers and discover the impact of these beliefs on the teaching of struggling

readers in order to identify directions for improvement in teacher education. If preservice

teachers' beliefs and professional knowledge influence their teaching behaviors, it would

seem essential for those teaching, supporting, and supervising preservice teachers to be

aware of these beliefs and knowledge and the manners in which these beliefs and

knowledge influence teaching behaviors.














CHAPTER 3
METHODOLOGY

Introduction

The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine the beliefs and professional

knowledge of preservice teachers about teaching struggling readers. The study was an

exploration of the participants' beliefs and professional knowledge in the context of

tutoring struggling readers in order to discover how these beliefs and professional

knowledge influenced the preservice teachers' expectations, instruction, and evaluations

of these learners.

General Research Plan

The research plan was to identify six elementary education majors who would be

employed as tutors in Project UFLI, a federally funded study of beginning reading

intervention, and describe how their beliefs and professional knowledge about teaching

struggling readers influenced their teaching behaviors. These descriptions were based on

data collected over a four-month period (February 2003 May 2003). Included in the

data collection procedures were five sources of data: preservice teachers' background

information sheets, preservice teachers' autobiographies, interviews with preservice

teachers, observations of preservice teachers while teaching struggling readers, and

preservice teachers' written expectations and evaluations of struggling readers (Table 3-

1). This methodology was implemented in order to provide multiple data sources for

attempting to answer the research questions. These questionnaires, autobiographies,

interviews, observations, written expectations and evaluations allowed for triangulation









of the data (Table 3-2). The researcher developed a timeline in order to ensure that all

methods were applied over a four-month period (Table 3-3).

Table 3-1 Methodology Descriptions


Methods


Source


Data


Background
Information
Sheets


Autobiographies









Interviews



Observations


Expectations
and Evaluations


Preservice
Teachers



Preservice
Teachers








Preservice
Teachers


Researcher


Preservice
Teachers


Establish pertinent demographic and background
information. Identify preservice teachers' educational
background and teaching experiences. Help to refine the
interview and observation guide.

Identify preservice teachers' beliefs about themselves,
family, their own literacy experiences and reading
habits. Identify preservice teachers' beliefs and
professional knowledge about good readers, how
children learn to read, and their beliefs and professional
knowledge about why children have difficulty learning
to read. Help to refine the interview and observation
guide.

Explore research questions in depth and corroborate
background information, autobiography, and
observational data.

Explore research questions firsthand and gain contextual
information.

Identify preservice teachers' expectations and
evaluations of struggling readers.


Table 3-2 Methodology Matrix
Beliefs and
professional
knowledge


Research
Methods
Background
Information
Sheets
Autobiographies
Interviews
Observations
Expectations and
Evaluations


about teaching
reading


How beliefs and
professional
knowledge
influence
expectations


How beliefs and
professional
knowledge
influence
instruction


How beliefs and
professional
knowledge
influence
evaluation










Table 3-3 Timeline of Research Methodologies
Date(s) Instrument
February 2003 Autobiography

February 2003 Background Information Sheet

February 2003 Expectations and Evaluations of Tutored Students

February 2003 Observation One

February/March 2003 Observation Two

March 2003 Interview One

March/April 2003 Expectations and Evaluations of Tutored Students

March/April 2003 Observation Three

April/May 2003 Expectations and Evaluations of Tutored Students

April/May 2003 Interview Two


A case study approach was utilized with the descriptive data sources from this

research. A cross-case analysis was then employed to search for patterns across cases.

The researcher generated categories, themes, and patterns and tested emergent

understandings while searching for alternative explanations (Marshall & Rossman, 1999).

The data collection questions were intended to probe the relationship between preservice

teachers' beliefs and professional about teaching struggling readers and their teaching

behaviors. The following questions guided data collection in this research:

1. What are preservice teachers' beliefs and professional knowledge about teaching
reading in general and teaching struggling readers in particular?

2. How do preservice teachers' beliefs and professional knowledge influence their
expectations for struggling readers?

3. How do preservice teachers' beliefs and professional knowledge influence their
instruction, for struggling readers?









4. How do preservice teachers' beliefs and professional knowledge influence their
evaluation of struggling readers?


Qualitative Research

Patton (1990) described necessary assumptions of qualitative research: 1) A holistic

approach that seeks to understand in entirety in order to develop a complete

understanding of the person or situation rather than experimental research which seeks to

isolate and measure narrowly defined variables with prediction and control, 2) begins

with specific observations and moves toward the development of patterns that emerge

from the cases under study rather than defining variables and hypotheses prior to data

collection, 3) seeks to discover and understand in naturally occurring states rather than

under controlled conditions with a limited amount of outcome variables.

Miles and Huberman (1994a) included the following in their defense of qualitative

methods: Data can be collected in close proximity to a specific situation rather than

through mail or over phone; the emphasis can be on specific cases in context; there is the

possibility for understanding latent, underlying or non-obvious issues; there is potential

for richness, holism, and revealing complexity; data collected over a sustained period

makes them more powerful; possibility for locating meanings and for connecting these

meanings to the social world.

Most of the current research on teacher beliefs has shifted to a qualitative research

design (Richardson, 1996). Interviews and observations are the most widely used data

collection in research on teacher beliefs (Richardson, 1996). Case studies involve

multiple methods such as interviews, observations, and document analysis. The goal of

these types of designs is not to predict, but to understand the nature of teachers' beliefs.









In the hermeneutic nature of many of the teacher belief studies, researchers were

concerned with obtaining rich understandings through an openly dialogic process of

repeatedly returning to the text to gain increased understanding and a more compete

interpretation (Smith, 1993). There is a relationship between the researcher and the

subject matter and the researcher is involved in the explanatory process, which intrudes

into the context of the data. According to Richardson (1996), an important trend in these

hermeneutic studies of teachers' beliefs is that the data collection is used for purposes of

teacher change as well as research. For example, the coursework, autobiographies,

reflections, and cultural analysis in the qualitative studies above may serve not only for

the researchers to understand the preservice teachers' beliefs, but also for the preservice

teachers to change their beliefs based upon their participation in the activities.

Qualitative methods were useful for an in-depth exploration of how beliefs and

professional knowledge influenced preservice teachers' expectations, instruction, and

evaluation in order to fully understand the impact of preservice teachers' beliefs on

children who are struggling with reading acquisition.

Grounded Theory

Sociologists Glaser and Strauss introduced the research methodology of grounded

theory to researchers in their book, The Discovery of Grounded Theory (1967). In

grounded theory the researcher is the primary instrument of data collection and analysis.

As such, the researcher takes an inductive stance and strives to derive meaning from the

data (Merriam, 1998). The result of this research is the emergence of a theory that is

"grounded" in the data. The theory that emerges is usually substantive theory that is

useful to practice (Merriam, 1998).









Research Design

The research design is the logic that makes the connections between the collected

data and the initial study questions (Yin, 2003). (Table 3-1, Table 3-2). The conceptual

framework was designed to answer the question, how do preservice teachers' beliefs and

professional knowledge about teaching struggling readers influence their teaching

behaviors?

The research design for the current study was based on a case study approach. A

case study has a distinct advantage when "a 'how' or 'why' question is being asked about

a contemporary set of events, over which the investigator has little or no control" (Yin,

2003) (Yin, 2003, p. 9). Advantages of case study research include providing a means of

investigating complex social units consisting of multiple variables; studies are conducted

in real world situations; the rich and holistic descriptions offer insight and illuminate

meanings; and the case study can advance a field's knowledge base (Merriam, 1998).

Case studies can be single or multiple cases. A multiple case study approach may

be preferred in order to substantiate conclusions, allow for replication, and expand the

external generalizability of the findings (Yin, 2003). The current study employed a

multiple case study design and was explanatory, descriptive, and exploratory in nature.

Methods and Procedures

In this multiple-case study design, data were collected from six participants. These

participants were elementary education majors at the University of Florida who were

employed as tutors in Project UFLI, a federally funded study of beginning reading

intervention.

The University of Florida Literacy Initiative is a tutorial intervention designed to

improve the literacy development of children struggling with literacy acquisition (Hayes









et al., 1999). This intervention is a comprehensive literacy intervention that combines

effective practices from other programs in order to address the needs of children

struggling with reading acquisition. The framework of the lesson includes: 1) Gaining

fluency through reading high-success familiar texts, 2) measuring progress through

running record techniques, 3) writing for reading with an emphasis on analyzing words

and constructing their spellings, 4) reading unfamiliar and increasingly challenging text

with appropriate instructional coaching from the tutor and, 5) extending literacy with an

emphasis on exploring a wide variety of genres. This intervention program trains

university students, primarily from the College of Education, to implement the tutoring

program. These tutors are trained by university personnel, continuously supervised, and

provided with ongoing support through weekly meetings with the authors of the program.

Lane and Pullen, the developers of the program at the University of Florida, have

conducted internal research on the effectiveness of the program in both one-to-one and

small group settings. Based upon their internal research, this intervention program has

proven to be consistently effective in improving the literacy development of children

struggling with reading acquisition.

Data were collected over a four-month period (February 2003 May 2003).

Included in the data collection procedures were preservice teachers' background

information sheets, preservice teachers' autobiographies, interviews with preservice

teachers, observations of preservice teachers while teaching struggling readers, and

preservice teachers' written expectations and evaluations of struggling readers.

Interviews allow preservice teachers to reflect upon recent behavior as well as beliefs and

biases.









Preservice Teacher Background Information Sheet

The preservice teacher background information sheet (Appendix A) was designed

by the researcher. This questionnaire was designed to provide data describing the

preservice teachers' educational backgrounds and teaching experiences. This type of

document is a stable source that can be reviewed repeatedly and provides background

information and details of experiences that may have shaped preservice teachers'

professional knowledge and beliefs about teaching and learning.

Preservice Teacher Autobiography

The preservice teacher autobiography sheet (Appendix B) was designed by the

researcher. The preservice teachers were asked to identify their beliefs and professional

knowledge about themselves, their families, their own literacy experiences and their own

reading habits. The preservice teachers were also asked to identify their beliefs and

professional knowledge about good readers, how children learn to read, and their beliefs

and professional knowledge about why children have difficulty learning to read. This

type of document is a stable source that can be reviewed repeatedly and provides

background information and details of experiences that may have shaped preservice

teachers' professional knowledge and beliefs about teaching and learning.

Interviews

Interviews allow participants to reflect upon recent behavior as well as beliefs and

professional knowledge. Interviews also allow the researcher to discuss behaviors,

beliefs, and professional knowledge in detail. Multiple in-depth interviews with multiple

preservice teachers over time allows triangulation of the data across sources and tests

issues of reliability and validity (Dilley, 2000). The data collection can be sufficiently in

depth to foster thick description of preservice teachers' beliefs and professional









knowledge. Interviews can be useful in order to obtain large amounts of data quickly and

allow for immediate follow-up and clarification. Interviews, however, are open to

different interpretations, difficult to replicate, dependent on the participants being

forthcoming and honest, and highly dependent upon the researcher to be "resourceful,

systematic, and honest" (Marshall & Rossman, 1999, p. 135).

Two semi-structured interviews were conducted with each individual participant.

The questions for the interviews were generated from the preservice teachers'

background information sheets, autobiographies, written evaluations of struggling readers

and observations of the preservice teachers working with struggling readers (Appendixes

C and D). To better understand the beliefs, professional knowledge and understandings of

the participants, the questions were designed to be open-ended and focused on the

research questions in Chapter 2. The researcher conducted each of the teacher interviews

at the University of Florida Literacy Initiative Office or at the elementary school site

where the preservice teacher was tutoring struggling readers at a time chosen by the

preservice teacher. With the permission of the participants (Appendix G), each interview

was audio-taped, transcribed, coded, and critically analyzed.

Observations

When combined with interviews, observation allows the researcher to understand

the meanings that people hold. Observation allows data to be collected in a natural setting

and is useful for describing complex social interactions (Marshall & Rossman, 1999).

Observation can be useful in obtaining data on nonverbal behavior and communication,

providing contextual information, and for obtaining large amounts of data quickly.

Observations, however, are open to multiple interpretations, are difficult to replicate,









subject to observer effects, and also dependent upon the researcher to be "resourceful,

systematic, and honest" (Marshall & Rossman, 1999, p. 135).

Preservice teachers were observed in the context of tutoring struggling readers.

Participants were each observed a minimum of three times while tutoring struggling

readers. These observations ranged from 30 to 60 minutes. Field notes were collected

during and after the observations using the observation guide (Appendix E). Following

each observation, participants were debriefed about the observation. During the

debriefing the preservice teachers were asked to clarify their rationale for instructional

decisions to determine how their beliefs about teaching struggling readers influenced

their teaching behaviors. Each debriefing was audio taped. The audiotapes were

transcribed, coded, and critically analyzed.

Written Evaluations and Expectations

Observations and interviews were supplemented with analysis of documents

constructed specifically for this research. These documents include the preservice

teachers' written evaluations and expectations of struggling readers. These documents

provided contextual information and facilitated analysis and triangulation (Marshall &

Rossman, 1999). This type of data is easy to manage, administer, and categorize for

analysis. Despite these strengths, document analysis can also be open to multiple

interpretations and is dependent upon the researcher to be "resourceful, systematic, and

honest" (Marshall & Rossman, 1999, p. 135).

Participants wrote three narrative evaluations of the struggling readers they were

tutoring (Appendix F). These evaluations included the preservice teachers' expectations

for student progress. These documents were analyzed to identify preservice teachers'

expectations and evaluations of struggling readers.These evaluations were written









approximately after the third, seventh, and tenth week of tutoring. These evaluations were

coded and analyzed.

Data Management

The researcher developed a system of data management for the case study early in

the data collection process. The researcher transcribed interviews, typed notes, and filed

documents into computer folders. The researcher created a data base that allows access of

the data by other researchers. The data for this investigation included background

information sheet data, autobiography data, transcripts from interviews, observational

field notes, transcripts from debriefings, written evaluations and expectations, and

researcher comments.

Data Analysis

Data analysis focused on the research questions to: (a) describe the beliefs and

professional knowledge of each preservice teacher; and (b) discover how these beliefs

and professional knowledge influenced their teaching behaviors.

"Data analysis involves organizing what you have seen, heard, and read so that you

can make sense of what you have learned" (Glesne, 1999). The researcher began with

reading and rereading the data sources for each preservice teacher and coding for

emerging themes. Coding is analyzing (Miles & Huberman, 1994b) and searching for

patterns in the data (Shank, 2002). Each preservice teacher's data analysis involved

sorting, classifying, and labeling as well as clustering and organizing these emerging

classifications. The codes needed to have conceptual and structural order that allowed

them to be integrated into a governing structure (Miles & Huberman, 1994b). Open

coding was used rather than a predetermined framework in order to ensure themes were

not artificially forced onto the data. After initial coding, the data were reviewed again to









search for categories neglected in the initial identification. This process was repeated for

each individual participant. These coding structures were compared in order to support

the coding system. Each participant's data was reviewed again as new codes and themes

emerged.

Next, the researcher combined the original themes from each case study to search

for overarching themes. In making connections across the individual preservice teachers,

the researcher was careful not to lose the meaning of any individual participant (Miles &

Huberman, 1994b).

The next step in data analysis was to extend the description in a systematic manner

through identifying, describing and illustrating the themes that emerged (Glesne, 1999).

Case Descriptors

The cases were arranged around the categories of: (a) preservice teachers' beliefs

and professional knowledge about teaching reading, (b) preservice teachers' expectations

for struggling readers, (c) preservice teachers' instruction for struggling readers, and (d)

preservice teachers' evaluation of struggling readers. In the category of preservice

teachers' beliefs and professional knowledge about teaching reading, nine codes were

identified: 1) parental involvement, 2) motivation, 3) readiness, 4) access and exposure

to print, 5) socioeconomic status, 6) behavior, 7) reading disability, 8) teacher efficacy,

and 9) responsibility. In the category of preservice teachers' expectations for struggling

readers, five codes were developed: 1) text level, 2) grade level, 3) reading strategies, 4)

reading disability, and 5) behavior. In the category of preservice teachers' instruction for

struggling readers, five categories emerged: 1) modeling, 2) wait time, 3) prompting, 4)

providing answers, and 5) text. In the category of preservice teachers' evaluation of

struggling readers, five codes were identified: 1) text level, 2) grade level, 3) reading









strategies, 4) reading disability, and 5) behavior. The grounded theory developed in the

current study was data driven and emerged from the exhaustive data analysis. The

identification of themes allowed for cross-case analysis. The researcher used the results

from the cross-case analysis to identify conclusions and develop recommendations.

Validity and Reliability

Internal Validity

In order to establish construct validity the researcher needs to use multiple sources

of evidence (Yin, 2003). In the current study, the triangulation of data was implemented

for construct validity by collecting data through multiple sources: preservice teachers'

background information sheets, preservice teachers' autobiographies, interviews with

preservice teachers, observations of preservice teachers while teaching struggling readers,

and preservice teachers' written expectations and evaluations of struggling readers.

Findings in a case study that are based upon multiple sources of information that lead to

converging lines of inquiry are considered to be more convincing and accurate in case

study research (Yin, 2003). The researcher spent four months collecting data through

written documents, observations, and interviews. This prolonged engagement adds to the

validity of the current study.

Reliability

Reliability refers to the extent that the research results could be replicated if the

study was repeated (Merriam, 1998). The objective of reliability is to "minimize the

errors and biases in a study" (Yin, 2003). Lincoln and Guba (1985) suggested that in

qualitative research reliability should be thought about in terms of dependability and

consistency. This means that the findings based on the data collected make sense and are

consistent and dependable. The researcher in the current study developed a database that









can be the subject of a separate, secondary analysis or inspection of the raw data that led

to the study conclusions in order to strengthen the reliability of the study. This database

includes all of the collected data, case study notes, narratives, and case study documents.

External Validity

External validity is concerned with the extent to which the findings can be

generalized to other situations (Lincoln & Guba, 1985). The researcher chose a multiple

case study approach in order to strengthen the conclusions from the study and expand the

external generalizability of the findings. The current study includes six case studies.

According to case study method (Yin, 2003), each case study was conducted and

analyzed individually and each case report was written individually. Subsequently, cross-

case conclusions were drawn and the cross-case report was written. The researcher also

included rich, thick descriptions in order to help the reader determine transferability of

the findings to another situation (Lincoln & Guba, 1985).

Researcher Bias

Qualitative research and data analysis are highly time consuming and filled with

researcher bias and judgment (Marshall & Rossman, 1999). Interviews do involve

personal interaction so cooperation is essential. Interviews require good listening skills,

questioning techniques, and probing ability. Interviews also require high participation

from the participants in the research. The interviewees may be uncomfortable or

unwilling to share all that the interviewer hopes to explore. The researcher may not ask

questions that evoke long narratives from participants and at times interviewees have

good reasons not to be truthful.

Self-report data such as reflections, semantic maps, narratives, and autobiographies

may be flawed due to participants responding in a manner they believe desirable by the









researcher. Researchers conducting qualitative research have challenges such as

developing a thorough, concise conceptual framework; planning a flexible, yet systematic

and manageable design (Marshall & Rossman, 1999). Additionally, the researcher may

impose her values through the phrasing of questions or interpretation of data. Studies

should triangulate interview data with other data gathered though other methods.

Qualitative researchers believe and accept that the investigator can not be separate

from what is being studied (Miles & Huberman, 1994a). In fact, in qualitative designs,

the researcher's presence in the lives of the participants is fundamental to the qualitative

paradigm (Marshall & Rossman, 1999). Simply by being present, the researcher is

involved in the study. The emphasis is on the socially constructed nature of reality, a

close relationship between the researcher and the object of study, and the context that

influences the inquiry (MIles & Huberman, 1994).

Entry and Access Into the Field

The researcher was study coordinator for the University of Florida Literacy

Initiative. The researcher's position as coordinator made access and entry to the

participant preservice teachers and study sites possible. The researcher worked in a

supervisory capacity with the study participants. The preservice teacher participants gave

their consent to participate in this research study before the researcher began data

collection (Appendix G).

Investigator Bias

The researcher had some previous knowledge of the participants and worked with

the participants in a supervisory capacity. This may have limited the participants' abilities

to be completely forthcoming with responses. The researchers' biases could not be

separated from the data. These biases included those as a former classroom teacher,









reading resource teacher, graduate student of reading, preservice teacher educator, and

researcher of a reading intervention program. These biases also included those of a white,

middle-class female. While attempting to describe, analyze, and report the beliefs,

professional knowledge, and actions of these preservice teachers, the researcher's identity

provided the lens through which all the information was processed.

Ethical Issues

The researcher was responsible for designing and conducting the study and writing

the results in an ethical manner. Wellington (2000) has established a set of eight

guidelines that were maintained by the researcher for this study. 1) No parties should be

involved without their prior knowledge or permission and informed consent. 2) No

attempts should be made to force people to do anything unsafe, or do something

unwillingly. 3) Relevant information about the nature and purpose of the research should

always be given. 4) No attempts should be made to deceive the participants. 5) Avoid

invading participants' privacy or taking too much of their time. 6) Benefits should not be

withheld from some participants or disadvantages imposed upon others. 7) All

participants should be treated fairly, with consideration, with respect and with honesty. 8)

Confidentiality and anonymity should be maintained at every stage, especially in

publication.

In this study, participants' names and the schools and students' names have

remained anonymous. The researcher assigned pseudonyms to participants to report study

results. All participants signed an informed consent prior to the data collection (Appendix

G) which was approved by the University of Florida's Institutional Review Board as

required for research projects that involve human subjects. The researcher did not allow

bias to interfere with the honest reporting of the results. The researcher believes that the






49


findings illuminate that beliefs and professional knowledge can impact teaching

behaviors.














CHAPTER 4
RESULTS

Introduction

The purpose of this qualitative case study was to examine the beliefs and

professional knowledge of preservice teachers about teaching struggling readers. The

findings presented in this chapter were based on the following data sources: (a)

questionnaires, (b) autobiographies of the participants, (c) interviews with the

participants, (d) observations of the participants, and (e) participants' written evaluations

and expectations of struggling readers.

Specifically, this study addressed the following questions:

1. What are preservice teachers' beliefs and professional knowledge about teaching
reading in general and teaching struggling readers in particular?

2. How do preservice teachers' beliefs and professional knowledge influence their
expectations for struggling readers?

3. How do preservice teachers' beliefs and professional knowledge influence their
instruction, for struggling readers?

4. How do preservice teachers' beliefs and professional knowledge influence their
evaluation of struggling readers?

This chapter contains four sections. The first section reports the identification of

participants for this case study. The second section describes the participants'

backgrounds, experiences, and professional knowledge as it relates to reading in general

and teaching struggling readers in particular. Section three provides thick descriptions of

the interviews, observations, evaluations, and expectations of the participants in a case

study format. Section four is the cross-case analysis and a summary of the research.









Participant Identification

The six participants consisted of University of Florida Literacy Initiative (UFLI)

tutors working in the spring semester of 2003. Announcements were made at tutor

meetings about the opportunity to participate in this project. All announcements made

clear the strictly voluntary nature of participation in this project. All participants were

female graduate students in education and were at least 21 years of age. Each participant

was compensated $50 for their participation. Each of the participants signed the

University of Florida IRB Informed Consent statement (Appendix G) and complied with

all IRB and University of Florida guidelines.

Participants' Background, Experiences, and Professional Knowledge

All of the participants were female graduate students in the college of education at

the University of Florida. Four of the subjects identified themselves as Caucasian, one as

black, and one as white/Hispanic. All of the participants were unmarried and ranged in

age from 20 to 24. All of the preservice teachers had completed a pre-internship. Table 4-

1 provides a summary of the background information for each of the preservice teachers

included in this study. Descriptive information specific to each participant follows in

their individual case studies. Pseudonyms are employed to protect the anonymity of the

participants.

Interviews

The preservice teacher participants were interviewed twice at the University of

Florida Literacy Initiative office on the University of Florida campus or at the elementary

school site based upon the convenience of the preservice teacher. The interviews were

conducted in the middle of the study and then again at the end of the study.









Table 4-1 Participants' Backgrounds
Preservice Gender Age Race
Teachers'
Pseudonym

Cindy female 22 white

Erin female 23 white


Nancy

Laura

Drew


Kerry


female 23 white

female 20 black

female 23 white/
Hispanic

female 24 white


Graduate
specialization


literacy

Interdisciplinary
(math/science/
reading/social
studies)
math/science

literacy

math/science


children's
literature


Semester
Hours of
Reading

21

12


Student
teaching
grade
level
5

4


Other
teaching
experiences

pre-
internship
pre-
internship


pre-
internship
pre-
internship
pre-
internship/
private tutor
pre-
internship


Observations

Table 4-2 provides a chronological listing of the observations of preservice teachers

made over a period of three months. An observation guide was made based upon the

structure of the tutoring program the preservice teachers were implementing. The

researcher focused on the research questions during the observations. Preservice teachers

were debriefed following the observation to gain more insight into their beliefs and

professional knowledge and their teaching behaviors.

The researcher took anecdotal notes during each observation. The observations

ranged in time from 40 to 45 minutes based upon the tutoring session. The researcher

observed each participant at least two times while tutoring struggling readers.









Case Studies

The case study method was utilized in order to explore the professional knowledge

and beliefs of preservice teachers and how that professional knowledge and beliefs

influence their teaching behaviors. Case studies of six preservice teachers were prepared.

Table 4-2 Chronological Listing of Observations
Date Tutor Length of Time
2/21/03 Erin 40 minutes
2/21/03 Nancy 40 minutes
2/24/03 Drew 40 minutes
2/24/03 Cindy 40 minutes
2/24/03 Erin 40 minutes
2/28/03 Drew 45 minutes
2/28/03 Kerry 40 minutes
2/28/03 Nancy 40 minutes
2/28/03 Laura 40 minutes
3/3/03 Nancy 40 minutes
3/3/03 Cindy 40 minutes
3/7/03 Laura 45 minutes
3/7/03 Laura 40 minutes
3/17/03 Drew 40 minutes
3/17/03 Nancy 40 minutes
3/24/03 Kerry 40 minutes
3/24/03 Cindy 40 minutes
3/24/03 Erin 40 minutes

These six case studies were designed to generate knowledge relevant to the

research questions with respect to: (a) preservice teachers' beliefs and professional

knowledge about teaching reading, (b) preservice teachers' expectations for struggling

readers, (c) preservice teachers' instruction for struggling readers, and (d) preservice

teachers' evaluation of struggling readers. Each of the case studies was organized around

these four categories. The cases were written based on data reduction from the

background information sheets of the participants, autobiographies of the participants,

interviews with the participants, observations of the participants, and the participants'

written evaluations and expectations of struggling readers.









These categories of preservice teachers' beliefs and professional knowledge,

expectations, instruction, and evaluation of struggling readers assisted the researcher in

sorting through the data and were useful in developing the description of each case. For

the purpose of this study, preservice teachers' beliefs and professional knowledge are

defined as the attitudes, values, beliefs, and knowledge about teaching, students, content

and the education process that students bring to teacher education. The individual cases

describe each of these categories and the patterns for each preservice teacher.

Case Study 1: Cindy

Cindy was a twenty-two year old white female in graduate school at the University

of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, specializing in literacy education. She had completed

twenty-one semester hours related to the teaching of reading including Language Arts for

Diverse Learners, Emergent Literacy, Assessment in Literacy, Children's Literature,

Literacy Seminar, and Classroom Reading 2. Cindy had completed field experiences in

first, third, and fifth grades. Cindy completed her student teaching in fifth grade. Cindy

planned on teaching in grades three to five when she graduated.

Beliefs and Professional Knowledge About Teaching Reading

Cindy's beliefs and professional knowledge were compiled from her

autobiography, background information sheet, interviews, observations, written

expectations and written evaluations.

Parental involvement. Cindy believed that parental involvement is important for

reading acquisition. She believed that some children struggle with reading acquisition due

to a lack of parental involvement. In her autobiography, Cindy recalled that her mother

spent a lot of time with her reading, telling stories and doing role-play activities. She

credited this involvement with her reading success. In her evaluations of struggling









readers, Cindy often mentioned the family of her students and whether or not they were

involved in the academic achievement of her students. She also acknowledged that many

parents may be working a great deal and not available to assist their students. Cindy

believed that parental involvement "makes a huge difference" in students' reading

success.

Motivation. Cindy believed that children learn to read if they are motivated to read.

She wrote that learning to read will be easier for students who are excited about learning

to read. She believed her motivation and desire to read were partly responsible for her

success in school. Cindy described two of her students as motivated and hard working.

Cindy described her other students as having a poor attitude towards reading, feeling

unsuccessful about reading, lacking confidence and avoiding reading.

Readiness. Cindy believed that children will learn to read when they are

developmentally ready. Cindy recalled that she learned to read without formal

instruction. She believed that learning to read came easily to her because she was ready to

read. She recalled that there was little reading instruction in her kindergarten class.

However, because of her readiness to read and her mother's influence at home, she

learned to read without instruction. Cindy described some of her students as not being

ready for intensive reading instruction due to their lack of prior reading experiences.

Access and exposure to print. Cindy believed that children learn to read by being

given access and exposure to print. Cindy remembered having many books and literacy

toys as a child. She remembered her favorite book as a young child was a book of farm

poems that her mother had given her as a gift. She wrote about this belief in her

autobiography.









Through my experiences, I feel that children learn to read when they are
surrounded by an environment rich in text.

In her evaluations of struggling readers, Cindy wrote that many of her students do

not have access to books and do not read outside of school. In her autobiography, Cindy

wrote about her belief that lack of access to books and reading outside of school are the

reasons some children have difficulty learning to read and why she believes they will

continue to struggle throughout their lives.

When kids don't have many experiences with text they are automatically going to
be behind the student who has been read to every night or looks at picture books on
a daily basis. It seems sad to think that the kids whose parents or teachers don't
provide opportunity for textual experiences are in for a lifelong struggle.

Socioeconomic status. Cindy believed that some students struggle with reading

acquisition because of the influence of their socioeconomic status. Cindy wrote about her

belief in her autobiography.

Even more evident are the difficulties experienced by children in poverty. How can
kids learn to read when they are busy thinking about survival and where they are
going to get their next meal.

When asked to describe a student that she found it difficult to teach, Cindy

described a child who wasn't "encouraged at home either by parents or environment." In

an interview, Cindy discussed the reasons that a child's background is important for their

reading success.

I think that a student who comes from a fairly literate family, you know, who keeps
books around, who is doing okay as far as economically, socioeconomics, I think
that that student is going to have a much easier time applying what they know and
the way that they know how to learn to read. And I think a child who doesn't come
from that type of background, who might be poor or might not have access to any
kind of text, is going to have a much harder time learning how to read.









Behavior. Cindy believed that another reason students struggle with reading

acquisition is because of poor behavior. In her evaluations of struggling readers, Cindy

often wrote about behavior.

He has issues. I don't know exactly what is going on there except he has some
emotional problems.

He needs a lot of attention and without it he tends to shut down. This doesn't help
his progress in literacy.

He gets off task really easy. I'm constantly having to redirect him to what he's
doing.

Cindy believed that a teacher would not be able to teach a student to read until

"someone was able get his behavior under control."

Reading disability Cindy believed that students who continue to struggle with

reading acquisition may have a reading disability that prevents them from making

progress. Cindy believed these students required additional instruction beyond what she

could provide. Cindy did not believe that she could teach a student to read if that student

had a reading disability.

Teacher Efficacy. Cindy did not believe that she was capable of teaching all of her

students to read. She wrote about one student, "He needs much more help that I am able

to provide." In an interview conducted upon completion of the tutoring, Cindy responded

that she did not believe that she would be able to teach all of the students in her

classroom to read when she became a classroom teacher.

I think that I'll be able to teach the majority how to read based on what I've been
taught here and with UFLI and other things. There's always going to be one student
that, you know, I'm maybe not going to know how.









As reported previously, Cindy did not believe that she could teach a student to read

if that student had a reading disability. Cindy believed these students required instruction

beyond what she could provide.

Responsibility. Cindy believed that it was the responsibility of the resource

teachers and the school to teach the struggling students to read. She believed the

classroom teacher alone could not teach all of the children in the class to read.

It's the responsibility of the resource teachers and also, the responsibility of, you
know, the school to make sure that they're getting the other help that they need -
like pullouts and things like that. I think the school needs to provide someone who
can work one-on-one with him every day whether it be special education or
something like that.

Table 4-3 summarizes Cindy's beliefs and professional knowledge about teaching

reading.

Expectations for Struggling Readers

Cindy submitted three written expectations for the struggling readers she was

tutoring. Cindy's expectations were low for all of her struggling readers. She expected

each of them to make little progress because they had "too many obstacles to overcome

before becoming a good reader."

Text level. Cindy did not expect any of her struggling students to improve

significantly in their reading text level. She expected them to improve only one to three

Reading Recovery reading levels. She expected one of her students to achieve only a

Reading Recovery level six. Her highest expectation was for some of her struggling

readers to improve from a Reading Recovery level eleven to a thirteen.

Grade level. Cindy expected all of her struggling readers to remain reading below

grade level at the end of the tutoring. Cindy expected her most struggling student to read

text at a Reading Recovery level six and her least struggling reader to read text at a










Table 4-3 Cindy's Beliefs and Professional Knowledge About Teaching Reading
Theme Belief
Parental involvement Parental involvement is important for
reading acquisition.

Children struggle with reading acquisition
because of lack of parental involvement.


Motivation


Readiness


Access and exposure to print


Socioeconomic status


Behavior


Reading disability


Teacher efficacy


Responsibility


Children learn to read if they are motivated
to read.

Children struggle with reading acquisition
because they lack motivation to read.

Children learn to read when they are
developmentally ready to read.

Children learn to read through access and
exposure to print.

Children struggle with reading acquisition
if they are not provided access and
experience with print.

Children struggle with reading acquisition
because of their socioeconomic status.

Children struggle with reading acquisition
because of poor behavior.

Some children struggle with reading
acquisition because they have a reading
disability.

Can not personally teach a student with a
reading disability to read.

Will not be able to teach every child to read
proficiently.

It is the responsibility of the resource
teachers and the school to teach struggling
students to read.









Reading Recovery level thirteen by the end of the year. According to Reading

Recovery, a first grader would need to read level seventeen to be reading on grade level

at the end of the school year (Reading Recovery Council of North America, 2004).

Reading strategies. Cindy expected all of her students to need additional strategy

instruction and practice. She was not specific regarding the type of strategy instruction

and practice. She expected that her students would require individualized instruction from

a resource teacher in the future in order to make progress. She also did not expect her

struggling readers to learn in a group setting. She expected that these students would need

individual instruction in order to make progress. Therefore she expected little or no

progress from these students.

Reading disability. Cindy suspected that two of her struggling readers had reading

disabilities although they had not been tested for reading disabilities. Cindy expected that

these students would require instruction beyond what she could provide. She did not

expect these students to make progress with her instruction. She expected these two

students to qualify for exceptional education.

Behavior. Cindy expected the behavior of her struggling readers to interfere with

their progress. Cindy described every one of her students as "easily frustrated." One

student she described as "needs a lot of attention," which she expected to interfere with

his progress. She described one of her students as having "emotional problems" that

would require "much more help that I am unable to provide." She described one student's

shyness as an obstacle to her progress. Cindy described two of her students as motivated

and hard working. Cindy described her other students as having a poor attitude towards

reading, feeling unsuccessful about reading, lacking confidence and avoiding reading.









Table 4-4 summarizes Cindy's expectations for struggling readers.

Table 4-4 Cindy's Expectations for Struggling Readers
Category Expectations
Text Level Students will improve one to three Reading
Recovery reading levels.

Grade Level Students will remain below grade level.

Reading Strategies Students require additional individualized
instruction based on student need.

Reading Disability Two students will qualify for exceptional
education.

Make little or no progress.

Behavior Students' poor behavior will interfere with
progress.

Influence of beliefs on expectations. The influence of Cindy's beliefs and

professional knowledge on her expectations was evident in her written expectations of

struggling readers, her descriptions of her students' achievement of her expectations

during an interview, and in the debriefing sessions after the observations. Cindy's beliefs

and professional knowledge influenced both her expectations for struggling readers and

her explanations for her students' successful or unsuccessful achievement of those

expectations.

Cindy did not believe she, as a future classroom teacher, was capable of teaching

all of her struggling readers to read and that it was the responsibility of resource teachers

and the school to assist struggling readers with their reading acquisition. She did not

believe she could teach a child with a reading disability to read. Cindy's expectations for

her struggling readers were directly aligned with these beliefs about teaching struggling

readers. She had low expectations for her struggling readers. She expected them to make









small text level reading gains and remain reading below grade level. She expected one

student would be diagnosed with a reading disability and would make little or no

progress.

Cindy's beliefs about 'socioeconomic status, readiness, reading disability,

motivation and poor behavior were also directly aligned with her expectations for her

struggling readers. During the first interview, Cindy reported that one student was

meeting her expectations. Cindy described the student's motivation as the reason for her

progress. Cindy also reported that some of her students were not meeting her

expectations. Cindy described the possible reasons for their lack of success as low

socioeconomic status, lack of developmental readiness, possible reading disability, lack

of motivation, and poor behavior.

Instruction for Struggling Readers

Modeling. The researcher observed Cindy modeling throughout the observed

tutoring sessions. Cindy modeled fluent reading, using picture clues, decoding, blending,

encoding, and rereading strategies. Cindy used the whiteboard, magnetic letters, and

Elkonin boxes to model these strategies.

Wait time. The researcher observed throughout the observed tutoring sessions that

when a student miscued, Cindy would immediately interrupt the student's reading and

prompt the student to figure out the word. Then, before the student could respond, Cindy

would immediately interrupt again and decode the word for the student. Cindy did not

provide any wait time after a miscue to allow for self-correction during the observed

tutoring sessions. She also did not allow wait time after a strategy prompt for the student

to apply the strategy.









Prompting. The researcher observed that Cindy often prompted students to apply a

reading strategy. However, she applied the strategy herself instead of the student. For

example, the researcher observed in one tutoring session that a student hesitated on an

unknown word and looked at Cindy. Cindy prompted the student, "What can we do to

figure that word out?" Before the student could respond, Cindy again prompted, "What if

we covered that part up?" Before the student could respond, Cindy gave him the correct

word. The student repeated the word and Cindy praised him, "Good job."

The researcher observed Cindy prompt students by rereading the sentence as an

oral cloze so the student could guess the word based on context. The students often were

able to guess the word with this method.

The researcher observed Cindy prompt a student to look at the pictures and pointed

to the picture. However, before the student could respond, Cindy supplied the word.

Cindy repeated this pattern of instruction throughout the observed tutoring sessions.

Providing Answers. The researcher observed that Cindy repeatedly supplied the

answers to students rather than let the students apply the strategies and skills. While the

students read the text, Cindy pointed to the words instead of instructing the child to point

to the words. She did not allow the students to figure out unknown words on their own.

After prompting a student to decode a word, Cindy would decode the word for him or

often just provide the word. In the observed tutoring sessions, Cindy did nearly all of the

work for the students

For example, in one tutoring session Cindy asked the student to sound out the word

'make.' Before the student could reply, Cindy made the sounds, "'m' 'a' 'k',

'mmmmm' 'a a a a' 'k'." After Cindy decoded the sounds and blended it together in









this manner, she then said the word. Cindy then praised the child, "Good, very good!"

even though the child had not responded. When the same student made another miscue,

Cindy immediately interrupted, "No, what is this word?" The student guessed incorrectly.

Cindy then sounded the letters out and blended them together. The student did not

respond. Cindy gave him the word.

During writing or word work, the researcher observed Cindy prompt students to use

letter-sound correspondences with Elkonin boxes. However, just as in the reading of text,

Cindy did all of the work for the student. She figured out how many sounds there were in

the words and what the sounds and letters were for the Elkonin boxes. Each time Cindy

asked the student to count the sounds in the word with her, the student held up an

incorrect number of fingers. Cindy did not acknowledge the error or help the student

practice counting the sounds. Cindy simply did all of the work herself and did not help

the student understand how to do it.

During one tutoring session, Cindy showed the student a story book for the

extending literacy step of the UFLI program. Cindy read the book to the student. Two

times during the reading, Cindy prompted the student to make a prediction. However, she

did not allow the student time to respond and kept on reading.

Text. The researcher noted repeatedly in the observed tutoring sessions that Cindy

had the student reading text at his or her frustration level rather than instructional level. In

one observation, the researcher noted that the student struggled with every two or three

words. He did not make it through any sentence without having to work on a word. When

the student finished the book, he threw it across the room. Cindy ignored the behavior. In

the observation conference after the session, Cindy recalled the student's reading.









He did pretty well. And he read the new book without getting frustrated which is a
big battle for us.

Cindy did not seem to realize the level of frustration the student was experiencing.

However, in her final evaluations, Cindy did note that she thought she had all of her

students reading text that she estimated to be at least two levels higher than their

instructional reading level.

Table 4-5 summarizes Cindy's instruction for struggling readers.

Table 4-5. Cindy's Instruction for Struggling Readers
Category Instruction
Modeling Fluent reading.
Using picture clues.
Decoding.
Blending.
Encoding.
Rereading.
Materials: whiteboard, magnetic letters,
Elkonin boxes, various texts.

Wait Time No wait time after miscue.
No wait time after questions or prompts.

Prompting Prompted strategy use.

Providing Answers Supplied the answers to students rather
than let the students apply the strategies
and skills.

Text Provided frustration level text for students.

Influence of Beliefs on Instruction. The influence of Cindy's beliefs and

professional knowledge on her instruction while she was teaching children who were

struggling with reading acquisition was evident during the observed tutoring sessions.

Cindy's beliefs about struggling readers were directly aligned with her instruction for

struggling readers.









Cindy did not believe that she, as a future classroom teacher, was personally

capable of or responsible for teaching all of her struggling readers to read due to the

students' lack of parental involvement, lack of motivation, lack of developmental

readiness, lack of exposure to print, low socioeconomic status, possible reading

disability, and poor behavior. These beliefs were directly aligned with her instruction.

Cindy did not allow wait time after miscues or strategy prompts and supplied the

answers to students rather than allowing the students to apply the strategies and skills.

This type of instruction reflects the belief that the students are not capable of achieving

reading proficiency due to all of the previous factors. These factors would also prevent

her from being capable of or responsible for teaching them to read.

Evaluation of Struggling Readers

Cindy submitted three written evaluations of the struggling readers she was

tutoring. Her evaluations included the strengths and weaknesses of each student.

Text level. In her final evaluations, Cindy wrote that her most struggling reader

was reading at a Reading Recovery text level six. However, she wrote that he should be

on a lower level. "Although he made it to this level honestly he should actually be on a

lower level." The rest of her struggling students were in a group that she had reading text

at a Reading Recovery level fourteen. However, she wrote that her students' reading

levels were probably actually lower than the level on which she had them reading. "I

would estimate the actual reading ability to be a couple levels lower."

Grade level. Based on Cindy's final evaluations, all of her struggling readers

remained reading below grade level at the end of the tutoring. Although Cindy's group

finished on a level fourteen, she estimated their actual reading achievement was "a couple









of levels lower" so they would have been reading well below grade level. Cindy's other

student was significantly below grade level at a Reading Recovery text level six.

Reading strategies. Cindy described the strengths and weaknesses of each her

student's reading strategies. Strengths included use of picture clues and storytelling

ability. Cindy reported that some of her students had difficulty with the letter-sound

relationships, lacked reading strategies, had difficulty recognizing letters, and made

careless mistakes. She described some of her students' reading strategies as "low and

slowly progressing."

Reading disability. Cindy suspected that two of her students had reading

disabilities. Neither student had been evaluated for a reading disability. Cindy speculated

about possible reading disabilities in her evaluations of struggling readers. One of

Cindy's evaluations included that the student read or wrote words backwards or out-of-

order, was a bit confused most of the time, and spelled a word backwards. Cindy

concluded, "I think she's dyslexic. I know she hasn't been tested for it."

Behavior. Behaviors that Cindy mentioned in her evaluations of her struggling

students were distracted, frustrated, "hyper", needs a lot of attention, temperamental

attitude, and poor attitude. Cindy wrote in her evaluations that all of her students were

easily frustrated. This frustration would lead them to become distracted. Cindy described

several students as "needing a lot of attention." Cindy described one of her students'

behavior.

He needs a lot of attention and without attention he tends to shut down. He has
issues. I don't exactly know what is going on there except that he has some
emotional problems. His weakness would definitely be his temperamental attitude.
He is very hyper.









Cindy concluded that her most struggling reader was frustrated very easily because

of the tutoring program.

He gets frustrated fairly easily, more so now than when we started tutoring. I
attribute this to all of the extra reading instruction he has been given since we
began our sessions. He doesn't feel successful in reading and avoids it like the
plague. I have to bribe him into reading a book.

Table 4-6 summarizes Cindy's evaluations of struggling readers.

Table 4-6 Cindy's Evaluation of Struggling Readers
Category Evaluation
Text level Students improved one to three Reading
Recovery reading levels.
Students' actual reading level lower than
current level.


Grade level


Reading Strategies


Students remained below grade level.

Student uses picture clues.
Student good at storytelling.
Student lacks reading strategies.
Student has difficulty recognizing letters.

Student reads or writes words backwards or
out-of-order.
Student might have dyslexia.
Student easily confused.
Student probably has a reading disability.


Reading Disability


Behavior


Student has emotional problems.
Student needs a lot of attention.
Student is shy.
Student is easily distracted.
Student is easily frustrated.
Student is hyperactive.
Student will not participate.


Influence of Beliefs on Evaluations. The influence of Cindy's beliefs and

professional knowledge on her evaluations of struggling readers was discovered in her









written evaluations. Cindy's beliefs about teaching struggling readers were directly

aligned with her evaluations of struggling readers.

Cindy believed that children struggle with reading acquisition because they have a

reading disability. This belief is evident in her evaluations of her struggling readers.

Cindy included in her evaluations of her two most struggling readers that they probably

had a reading disability that interfered with their ability to make progress even though

they had not been tested or diagnosed with any type of reading disability. Cindy also

believed that she, as a future classroom teacher, was not capable of teaching a child with

a reading disability to read. Her evaluation reflected this belief as Cindy believed that the

children who were still struggling the most with reading acquisition after her tutoring

must have a reading disability and that would explain her inability to teach them to read.


Cindy also believed that children struggle with reading acquisition because they

lack motivation to read and because of poor behavior. These beliefs about motivation and

behavior were directly aligned with her evaluations of her struggling readers. Cindy

reported behaviors and motivation factors that interfered with her students reading

progress such as having emotional problems, needing a lot of attention, easily distracted,

easily frustrated, hyperactive, and not willing to participate.

Case Study 2: Erin

Erin was a twenty-three year old white female in graduate school at the University

of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, with an interdisciplinary specialization including math,

science, reading, and social studies. She had completed twelve semester hours related to

the teaching of reading including Children's Literature, Emergent Literacy, Language









Arts Methods, and Classroom Reading 2. Erin completed her student teaching in fourth

grade. Erin planned on teaching in grades one to three when she graduated.

Beliefs and Professional Knowledge About Teaching Reading

Erin's beliefs and professional knowledge were compiled from her autobiography,

background information sheet, interviews, observations, written expectations and written

evaluations.

Parental Involvement. Erin believed that parental involvement is important for

reading acquisition. She believed that children struggle with reading acquisition because

of lack of parental involvement. Erin reported in her autobiography that her mother and

grandmother spent a lot of time reading to her and she also attempted to "read" to them.

Erin talked about the influence that the parents had on the students that she tutored during

an interview.

You can tell that the parents of the kids from the better educated homes read to
them. You can tell that they do. Whereas, the other kids don't have that benefit
because maybe their moms and dads have to work until way past their bedtime or
something. You never know.

She believed parents should meet with their child's teacher at least once a month to

"talk about the different ways you can help your child at home to enhance their school

learning."

Motivation. Erin believed that students who are motivated to read will be good

readers. She described the "ideal" student she hoped to teach as "one that is very eager to

learn and be successful." She also believed that exposing children to various types of

reading material and genres will pique their interest in reading and, therefore, motivate

them to become good readers. She recalled that when she learned to read it gave her a









sense of power and confidence in herself which motivated her to become an even better

reader. Erin believed that the students she was tutoring were motivated.

They get real excited once we're into the actual session. I think it's mainly that they
enjoy feeling like they're doing something when they read a sentence that they
didn't think that they could read. I think that's probably it.

Readiness. Erin believed that children will learn to read when they are

developmentally read. Erin recalled that she learned to read before she began

kindergarten. She believed she was ready to read and learned to read without formal

instruction because she had been immersed in a print rich environment and was read to

on a regular basis.

Access and exposure to print. Erin believed that children learn to read through

access and exposure to print. She believed that children should be exposed to all types of

genres and reading materials in order to get them interested in reading. "In my opinion,

it's very important that they are surrounded by a print rich environment all the time

because it makes them more comfortable in reading."

Socioeconomic status. Erin believed that children struggle with reading acquisition

because of the influence of their socioeconomic status. She reported that it was obvious

which students came from "no-so-good homes" by the way the recognize letters and their

sounds. She believed that students from a low socioeconomic background would not have

had prior experience with books and a print-rich environment.

Behavior. Erin believed that children struggle with reading acquisition because of

poor behavior. She reported that two of the students in her group were often off task

which affected not only their own achievement, but that of the group. She reported that

she had to spend more of her instructional time on their behavior in order to ensure they

were "on track."









I feel like my teaching is not as good because I'm constantly trying to get one kid
sit down or stop making noises and faces. And that's a little frustrating. And I feel
like I neglect two of the other kids because I'm always reprimanding the other
two."

Reading Disability. Erin believed that some children struggle with reading

acquisition because they have a reading disability. She believed these students needed

more individual instruction. Erin described a child who was difficult for her to teach

during her student teaching experience.

One student who was classified ESE and reads at a first grade level (in the fourth
grade), was difficult to teach because he was very unsure about his abilities and he
needed more one-on-one help.

When asked why she thought one of her students was struggling so much with

reading acquisition, she reported, "I think that he has dyslexia. I haven't been able to

think of any other reason." She believed these students needed more instructional time,

not significantly different instruction.

Teacher Efficacy. Erin believed that she could teach every child to read

proficiently. She confidently reported, "I think every child can learn to read." She

believed she was ready to start teaching and believed the UFLI tutoring model "really

helped my ability to teach reading a lot." Erin believed that with a combination of

ongoing progress monitoring and specific strategy instruction she would be able to teach

all of her students to read.

Responsibility. Erin believed that it is the responsibility of the classroom teacher to

teach struggling readers. She reported that she would like to use the exceptional

education teacher as a resource to seek coaching on strategies to help her teach her

struggling readers.









Table 4-7 summarizes Erin's beliefs and professional knowledge about teaching

reading.

Table 4-7 Erin's Beliefs and Professional Knowledge About Teaching Reading
Theme Belief
Parental involvement Parental involvement is important for
reading acquisition.

Children struggle with reading acquisition
because of lack of parental involvement.

Motivation Children who are motivated to read will be
good readers.

Children struggle with reading acquisition
because they lack motivation to read.

Readiness Children learn to read when they are
developmentally ready to read.

Access and exposure to print Children learn to read through access and
exposure to print.

Children struggle with reading acquisition
if they are not provided access and
experience with books.

Socioeconomic status Children struggle with reading acquisition
because of their socioeconomic status.

Behavior Children struggle with reading acquisition
because of poor behavior.

Reading disability Some children struggle with reading
acquisition because they have a reading
disability.

Teacher efficacy Can teach every child to read proficiently.

Responsibility Responsibility of the classroom teacher to
teach struggling students to read.









Expectations for Struggling Readers

Erin submitted three written expectations for the struggling readers that she was

tutoring. Erin included expectations specific to her students' reading development. Her

expectations were high for all of her struggling readers.

Text level. Erin expected all of her students to be reading on a Reading Recovery

level 14 by the end of the tutoring. However, Erin confirmed in her interview that she

believed level fourteen was considered on-grade-level for the end of first grade.

Grade level. Erin expected all of her struggling readers be reading on grade level at

the end of the tutoring. As previously reported, Erin expected all of her students to be

reading on a Reading Recovery level 14 by the end of the tutoring. Although this is

lower than grade level, Erin believed this to be grade level reading. Therefore, Erin had

high expectations that all of her tutored students would be reading on grade level by the

end of the tutoring.

Reading strategies. Erin was very specific in her reading strategy expectations. She

expected her students to improve their fluency and decoding. She expected her students

to improve their ability to independently identify unknown words. Erin expected her

students to increase the number of sight words they were able to quickly and accurately

identify.

Reading disability. Erin suspected that one of her struggling readers had a reading

disability although he had not been tested for reading disabilities. As with all of her

tutored students, Erin expected this student to be reading on a Reading Recovery level

14 by the end of the tutoring program. She also expected him to improve his decoding

and fluency skills.









Behavior. Erin expected her students to become more confident and motivated. She

expected all of her students to enjoy reading and participate. Erin expected her students'

off task behavior to affect their achievement as well as the other students in the tutoring

group as her attention was often on behavior rather than instruction.

Table 4-8 summarizes Erin's expectations for struggling readers.

Table 4-8 Erin's Expectations for Struggling Readers
Category Expectations
Text Level All students will read at Reading Recovery level
fourteen.

Grade Level All students will read on grade level.

Reading Strategies All students will improve fluency, decoding, sight
words.

Reading Disability One student will be labeled dyslexic.

Student will make same progress as other students.

Behavior Students will become motivated, confident,
participate, and enjoy reading.

Students' off task behavior will affect group's
achievement.

Influence of beliefs on expectations. The influence of Erin's beliefs and

professional knowledge on her expectations was evident in her written expectations of

struggling readers, her descriptions of her students' achievement of her expectations

during an interview, and in the debriefing sessions after the observations. Erin's beliefs

and professional knowledge influenced both her expectations for struggling readers and

her explanations for her students' successful or unsuccessful achievement of those

expectations.









Erin believed that she, as a future classroom teacher, was personally capable of

teaching all of her struggling readers to read and that she was responsible for teaching

them to read. Erin's expectations for her struggling readers were directly aligned with

these beliefs about teaching struggling readers. She had high expectations for all of her

struggling readers and expected all of her students to be reading on grade level and

improve their reading strategies.

Erin's belief that students who continue to struggle with reading acquisition may

have a reading disability was reflected in her expectations. Erin expected one of her

students to be diagnosed with a reading disability. However, her high teacher efficacy

belief influenced her expectation for him as she expected him to be reading on grade

level at the end of the tutoring sessions.

During the first interview, Erin reported that all of her students except one were

meeting her expectations. Erin described several elements of the tutoring instruction and

specific strategy instruction as the reasons these students were making progress. Erin also

reported that one of her students was not meeting her expectations. Erin described the

possible reasons for his lack of success as a possible reading disability and the need for

more tutoring instruction.

Instruction for Struggling Readers

Modeling. The researcher observed Erin modeling throughout the observed tutoring

sessions. Erin modeled fluent reading, using picture clues, decoding, blending, encoding,

and rereading strategies. Erin used the whiteboard, magnetic letters, and Elkonin boxes to

model these strategies.

Wait time. The researcher observed throughout the observed tutoring sessions that

when a student miscued, Erin would immediately interrupt the student's reading and









prompt the student to figure out the word. However, after pointing to the miscue, Erin

would allow the student to attempt again or give the student a strategy prompt and wait

for the student to attempt the unknown word. Erin usually did not provide any wait time

after a miscue to allow for self-correction during the observed tutoring sessions. Erin did

always allow wait time after a strategy prompt for the students to apply the strategy.

Prompting. The researcher observed that Erin often prompted students to apply a

reading strategy. She prompted students to reread, decode, look for little words within the

word, look at the pictures, and segment sounds. She prompted students to think about

whether a miscue made sense or sounded correct in the sentence.

Providing answers. The researcher observed in a later tutoring session, that Erin

sometimes supplied the answers to students. During the earlier observed tutoring

sessions, Erin coached the students and challenged the students to do the work on their

own. During these observations, the students were reading text at an appropriate level for

instruction. However, in a later tutoring session, the researcher noted that the text was too

difficult for the students, which required Erin to provide extensive assistance. Erin

provided more coaching and prompting when a student was not successful right away.

She attempted to have the students do the work with multiple prompts. However, when

the text was too difficult for the students, Erin had to provide many of the answers. The

researcher noted that Erin's students still did all of the writing work themselves. Erin let

the students apply the strategies and skills during writing. She had the students segment

the sounds and write the words on their own. The researcher observed that the students

were more successful with this encoding during writing than they were with decoding

during reading.









Erin was aware at times that she was providing answers to students rather than

allowing the students to apply their knowledge and skills. During one observed tutoring

session, after the students read the new book Erin used the whiteboard for decoding

practice. Her students were unable to decode the words that she chose. Erin described her

frustration after this tutoring session.

Sometimes I get a little frustrated because I don't feel like I'm able to really help
him sound the words out better without giving him the word. That's something I'm
really struggling with.

Text. The researcher noted that during the beginning tutoring sessions, Erin's

students were reading text at their instructional level. Since the text was as their

instructional level, Erin did not have to provide extensive support so that students were

able to read the text. The researcher observed Erin coaching the students and providing

support so that the students were able to apply the strategies and skills. However, later in

the tutoring sessions, the researcher observed students reading books at their frustration

level rather than their instructional level. Because the text was too difficult, Erin had to

provide extensive support for the students to get through the text. Erin seemed to get

frustrated when this would happen as reflected in her words to the student.

You should know these words. We read this book yesterday. You should be able to
read this. You know that word.

During one observed tutoring session the text was so difficult for the student that he

was struggling with nearly every word. During the running record the tutor is to simply

record the child's reading verbatim with no encouragement, prompting, or input in any

way in order to determine if the text is on the student's independent reading level,

instructional reading level, or frustration reading level. The researcher observed that

when Erin took the running record she provided strategy prompts, praised for correct









reading, nodded her head with each correct word, and pointed out miscues. The

researcher noted that Erin's prompting allowed the student to score instructional level on

the assessment rather than frustration level. Erin was not aware that her prompting was

allowing the students to perform higher on the running record than their actual reading

level. Erin described the student's performance in an interview after the tutoring session.

He got a 94% on his running record. Overall I think he did fine. He's usually pretty
good. You know, he's a good reader.

Table 4-9 summarizes Erin's instruction for struggling readers.

Table 4-9 Erin's Instruction for Struggling Readers
Category Instruction
Modeling Fluent reading.
Using picture clues.
Decoding.
Blending.
Encoding.
Rereading.
Materials: whiteboard, magnetic letters,
Elkonin boxes, various texts.

Wait Time No wait time after miscue.

Wait time after questions or prompts.

Prompting Prompted strategy use.

Providing Answers Allowed students to apply the strategies and
skills.

Supplied the answers to students when text
was too difficult.

Text Provided instructional level text for students.

Provided frustration level text for students.

Influence of Beliefs on Instruction. The influence of Erin's beliefs and professional

knowledge on her instruction while she was teaching children who were struggling with









reading acquisition was evident during the observed tutoring sessions. Erin's beliefs

about teaching struggling readers were directly aligned with her instruction for struggling

readers.

Erin believed that she, as a future classroom teacher, was personally capable of and

responsible for teaching all of her struggling readers to read. Her belief and professional

knowledge that she was capable of teaching all students to read is evident in the type of

instruction she provided to her students. Erin allowed time after prompts, allowed

students to apply the strategies and skills themselves, and provided instructional level text

most of the time. This type of instruction was reflective of her high teacher efficacy and

responsibility. She believed that she was capable of teaching her students and, therefore,

they would be able to apply the strategies and skills that she taught them.

Evaluation of Struggling Readers

Erin submitted three written evaluations of the struggling readers she was tutoring.

Her evaluations included the strengths and weaknesses of each student.

Text level. In her final evaluations, Erin reported that her students were reading at

Reading Recovery levels 11, 12, 13, and 14. She wrote that one of her students might

actually be able to read higher than a level fourteen if he had been tutored individually.

Erin believed that one student that she reported at a level fourteen was actually only

reading on a level twelve.

Grade level. In her final interview, Erin reported that "maybe two" of her students

were reading on grade level. She believed this was because "they slowed down a lot

rather than just kind of guessing on a word just by looking at the first letter." Erin

reported that her most struggling reader "might be dyslexic" and was still below grade

level.









Reading strategies. Erin described the strengths and weaknesses of each of her

student's reading strategies. Strengths included decoding strategies, phonemic awareness,

increasing sight word vocabulary, using picture clues, and using anchor words. Erin

reported that some of her students had difficulty using context clues and "often guess at

words without closely looking at the word when reading a sentence." She described some

students' lack of fluency, which "prevent them from having good comprehension of the

story." She reported that some of her students have a "difficult time blending the sounds

together to make the whole word."

Reading disability. Erin suspected that her student who was struggling the most

with reading acquisition have a reading disability. She wrote that her most struggling

reader "might be dyslexic" and was still below grade level. Erin speculated in an

interview that dyslexia was the reason he was not reading on grade level.

So I think he does have dyslexia that would definitely be what is hindering it. I
mean I haven't been able to think of any other reason why.

Behavior. Erin reported that her students' off task behavior affected their

achievement as well as the other students in her tutoring group. Positive behaviors that

Erin reported in her evaluations included having a good attitude, enjoying reading,

getting excited about accomplishments, and participating. Negative behaviors that Erin

reported included giving up easily, being talkative, "goofing off quite a bit," and "having

a lot of energy."

Table 4-10 summarizes Erin's evaluations of struggling readers.









Table 4-10 Erin's Evaluation of Struggling Readers
Category Evaluation
Text level Students reading Reading Recovery level
11, 12, 13, 14.

Students' actual reading levels higher or
lower than current level.

Grade level Two students reading on grade level.

Other students reading below grade level.

Reading Strategies Student uses decoding strategies.
Student uses phonemic awareness skills.
Student increased sight word vocabulary.
Student uses picture clues.
Student uses anchor words.
Student has difficulty using context clues.
Student guesses without strategy use.
Student lacks fluency.
Student has difficulty blending.

Reading Disability Student has dyslexia.

Behavior Student has a good attitude.
Student enjoys reading.
Student excited about accomplishments.
Student gives up easily.
Student off task.
Student energetic.

Influence of Beliefs on Evaluations. The influence of Erin's beliefs and

professional knowledge on her evaluations of struggling readers was discovered in her

written evaluations. Erin's beliefs about teaching struggling readers were directly aligned

with her evaluations of struggling readers.

Erin believed that children struggle with reading acquisition because they have a

reading disability. This belief was evident in her evaluations of her struggling readers.

Erin included in her evaluations of her most struggling reader that he probably had a

reading disability that interfered with his ability to make progress even though he had not









been tested or diagnosed with any type of reading disability. Erin's belief that she was

capable of and responsible for teaching a child with a reading disability to read was

reflected in her evaluation as she wrote that this student needed more time for instruction

in order to make progress.

Erin also believed that children struggle with reading acquisition because they lack

motivation to read and because of poor behavior. These beliefs about motivation and

behavior were directly aligned with her evaluations of her struggling readers. Erin

reported behaviors and motivation factors that interfered with her students reading

progress such as being off task, giving up easily, and being energetic. Erin reported

positive behaviors such as having a good attitude and enjoying reading that also reflect

her belief that children learn to read if they are motivated. Erin's teacher efficacy belief

was strong than these beliefs as she believed that she could teach all of her students to

read.

Case Study 3: Nancy

Nancy was a twenty-three year old white female in graduate school at the

University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, specializing in math and science education.

She had completed six semester hours related to the teaching of reading including

Children's Literature and Emergent Literacy. Nancy completed her student teaching in

fourth grade. Nancy completed field experiences in fifth grade, kindergarten, and sixth

through eighth grade ESOL. Nancy planned on teaching middle school or fourth or fifth

grades when she graduated.









Beliefs and Professional Knowledge About Teaching Reading

Nancy's beliefs and professional knowledge were compiled from her

autobiography, background information sheet, interviews, observations, written

expectations and written evaluations.

Parental involvement. Nancy believed that parental involvement is critical for

reading acquisition. She believed that some children struggle with reading acquisition due

to a lack of parental involvement. Her parents believed that school was very important

and provided an environment for learning. Nancy believed parents should spend time

with their children teaching them to read.

Parents should try to spend as much time as possible working with their children to
develop the skills that they need to be good readers. Unfortunately, not all students
get this kind of help and attention at home.

Nancy did not believe that her tutored students' parents were involved in their

education.

I know they're not getting much encouragement at home. They don't talk about
reading with their parents or anything like that. That leads me to believe that they
don't really to that very often. It doesn't seem like they are very involved.

Motivation. Nancy believed that students learn to read if they are motivated to read.

In her background information sheet, Nancy described the "ideal student."

The ideal student would have a hunger for learning. He would be motivated to
look beyond what is being taught to him in the classroom and look for other ways
to extend his knowledge. This student would be so motivated to learn that there
would be no difficulties in getting the child to know that information that I am
presenting.

Nancy believed that students can improve their reading skills with increased effort.

"With practice and hard work, students can improve their reading skills."

Nancy described this lack of motivation as the reason one student in her internship

was difficult to teach.









During instruction, she would not pay attention, then when it came time to do
assignments she would raise her hand and ask for help. In the beginning I would
help her, but then I realized that I was not helping other students because I was re-
teaching the lesson to her. I told her that if she wanted my help, she needed to pay
attention while I was teaching the lesson the first time, because I was not going to
teach it a second time for her. Sometimes she would follow along with the lessons,
while other times she would not. She had no desire to receive good grades and it
was hard to find something to motivate her to do her work.

Nancy believed that her most struggling reader was not motivated.

I pull out a book and he starts moaning. So I say, 'Too bad, you're going to have to
read it.'

Readiness. Nancy believed that children will learn to read when they are

developmentally ready to learn. She believed that she learned to read before she entered

school with no instruction because she was ready to read.

My mom told me that I picked up a book one day and began reading it to her. She
thought that I had memorized the book from having it read to me, so she took me to
the library. She said that I could read all of the books that she gave me, including
books that I had never seen before.

Access and exposure to print. Nancy believed that children learn to read by being

given access and exposure to print. She recalled having many books in the home and

participating in many literacy related activities.

I think that to be a good reader you have to be exposed to reading and books at an
early age. This exposure should be regular and meaningful.

Nancy believed that lack of parental support and lack of exposure to books may be

the reasons students struggle with reading acquisition.

Students that are poor readers are definitely missing something that does not allow
them to read as well as other students in their classes. This reason could be that
they do not have the support at home to help them. It could also be that they do not
get enough exposure to books.









Socioeconomic status. Nancy believed that some students struggle with reading

acquisition because of the influence of their socioeconomic status. She described a

student she found it difficult to teach during her student teaching experience.

This was a fourth grade student who was 12 years old, three years older than most
of the other students. She came from a low-income home, in which she lived with
her grandmother and four or five other children. After many attempts to contact
her grandmother, we realized that she was not getting the support she needed at
home.

Nancy's belief that students from low-income homes would automatically be lower

achieving was evident in her background information sheet. "Teachers need to be aware

of the discrepancy between home environments and try to close the gap between the low

and high readers in their class."

Behavior. Nancy believed that students struggle with reading acquisition because of

poor behavior. She described one student as temperamental and giving up too easily. "His

misbehavior prevents him from doing what he is supposed to do and learning what he

should be learning." She believed another students was only "pretending" not to be able

to read in order to get attention.

Reading disability. Nancy believed that some students who continue to struggle

with reading acquisition may have a reading disability. Nancy did not believe that she

could teach a student with a reading disability to read. She also did not believe that the

classroom teacher could teach a child with a reading disability to read. She believed that

one of her students might have a reading disability. She believed that something within

the child was preventing the child from reading.

The other little girl that's in his class is pretty good at reading so you know it's
obviously not something the teacher's doing. It's just something within him.









Teacher efficacy. Nancy did not believe that she was capable of teaching all of her

students to read. She repeatedly wrote that her struggling students needed "special help."

Nancy wrote about her inability to teach one student.

I think that he needs a lot of outside help. This special help is not something that I
can spend as much time as he needs.

Responsibility. Nancy believed it was the responsibility of the resource teachers

and parents to teach struggling children to read. In an interview Nancy described what

she would do if she had a struggling reader in her classroom that was not responding to

her instruction.

If I've already tried, maybe he'd go to the reading resource teacher or some other
resource teacher. And, like, definitely talk to the parents and say, 'look this is very
important for your child to be able to do' and try to get that parent interaction so
that they're getting the help they need at home. I would talk to the parents and say,
'Look, it's going to be really helpful for your child if you read with them at home.'
And just hope that they realize that it's a really big deal.

In her description of the "ideal" student she hoped to teach, Nancy placed

responsibility for student success onto parental support. "He would come from a home in

which his parents, or other caretaker, would provide the support that he needs to excel in

school and other areas." This parental responsibility for school success was also

contained in an evaluation of a tutored student. "I think that with continued help from

home, she would be caught up to her fellow classmates." And in her autobiography

Nancy wrote, "Parents should spend as much time as possible working with their children

to develop the skills that they need to be good readers."

Nancy also believed it was the responsibility of the student to learn to read. She

repeatedly mentioned that if the students would only work harder they would learn to

read. In her evaluations of tutored students, Nancy repeatedly wrote that if the children

would really try to read, they could do it.









As long as she concentrates and really tries to read, she can do very well. She is
excited to learn so I'm sure that she'll catch up.

I think he has a lot of promise if he would just concentrate and try to read.

Table 4-11 summarizes Nancy's beliefs and professional knowledge about teaching

reading.

Expectations for Struggling Readers

Nancy submitted three written expectations for the struggling readers she was

tutoring. Nancy's expectations were low for all of her struggling readers.

Text level. Nancy did not expect any of her struggling students to improve

significantly in their reading text level. She expected them only to improve a few

Reading Recovery text levels. She was not specific with the text levels.

Grade level. Nancy expected all of her tutored students to remain reading below

grade level at the end of the tutoring. She did not expect significant improvement.

Reading strategies. Nancy expected all of her students to need additional strategy

instruction and practice. She expected some of her students to need more instruction on

"learning the sounds of letters and letter combinations." She was not specific regarding

any other type of strategy instruction and practice. However, she described it as being

"specialized instruction."

Reading disability. Nancy expected one of her students to be diagnosed with a

reading disability. He was in the process of being screened for a reading disability. She

expected that this student would require some kind of "specialized instruction" that

neither she nor the classroom teacher could provide.

Behavior. Nancy expected the behavior of some of her struggling readers to

interfere with the reading progress. Nancy described the behavior of two of hers students









Table 4-11 Nancy's Beliefs and Professional Knowledge About Teaching Reading
Theme Belief
Parental involvement Parental involvement is critical for reading
acquisition.

Children struggle with reading acquisition
because of lack of parental involvement.

Motivation Children learn to read if they are motivated
to read.

Children struggle with reading acquisition
because they lack motivation to read.

Readiness Children learn to read when they are
developmentally ready to read.

Access and exposure to print Children learn to read through access and
exposure to print.

Children struggle with reading acquisition
if they are not provided access and
experience with print.

Socioeconomic status Children struggle with reading acquisition
because of their socioeconomic status.

Behavior Children struggle with reading acquisition
because of poor behavior.

Reading disability Some children struggle with reading
acquisition because they have a reading
disability.

Teacher efficacy Can not personally teach a student with a
reading disability to read.

Will not be able to teach every child to read
proficiently.

Responsibility Responsibility of the resource teachers and
parents to teach struggling students to read.

Responsibility of struggling reader to learn
to read.









as a "major problem that holds back progress." She expected these students to make little

or no progress until their behavior was "kept under control."

Table 4-12 summarizes Nancy's expectations for struggling readers.

Table 4-12 Nancy's Expectations for Struggling Readers
Category Expectations
Text Level Students will improve a few Reading
Recovery text levels.

Grade level Students will remain reading below grade
level.

Reading strategies Students will require additional
"specialized" instruction.

Reading disability Students will qualify for exceptional
education.

Students will make little or no progress.

Behavior Students' poor behavior will interfere with
progress.

Influence of beliefs on expectations. The influence of Nancy's beliefs and

professional knowledge on her expectations was evident in her written expectations of

struggling readers, her descriptions of her students' achievement of her expectations

during an interview, and in the debriefing sessions after the observations. Nancy's beliefs

and professional knowledge influenced both her expectations for struggling readers and

her explanations for her students' successful or unsuccessful achievement of those

expectations.

Nancy did not believe she, as a future classroom teacher, was capable of teaching

all of her struggling readers to read and that it was the responsibility of resource teachers

and the parents to assist struggling readers with their reading acquisition. She did not

believe she could teach a child with a reading disability to read. Nancy's expectations for




Full Text

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ANALYSIS OF PRESERVICE TEACHERS BELIEFS AND PROFESSIONAL KNOWLEDGE ABOUT TEACHING STRUGGLING READERS By TABATHA DOBSON SCHARLACH 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 2005

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would like to thank all of my committee members for their support and guidance throughout my doctoral program and the dissertation process. Richard Allington and Anne McGill-Franzen have inspired me and encouraged me and challenged me to think in new ways. Their passion and conviction are only matched by the depth and breadth of their knowledge and expertise. Dr. Danling Fu shared her expertise and encouraged me from the beginning of my program to read widely and broaden my perspectives A special thank you goes to Holly Lane who made the current study possible. Her experience, knowledge, guidance, support and encouragement throughout the past five years have been invaluable. My committee members have been examples for me in professional commitment, passion for learning, and personal concern for students. I am fortunate to have been one of those students. I would also like to thank my family for their contribution. Throughout this long journey, my husband, Greg, and my daughter, Hannah, have been incredibly supportive, encouraging, patient, and understanding. They have sacrificed along with me in order to allow me to complete my studies. To them I am eternally grateful. Now, together with Ryan, we will all be able to enjoy our weekends again. ii

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TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ..................................................................................................ii LIST OF TABLES ............................................................................................................vii ABSTRACT .......................................................................................................................ix CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION........................................................................................................1 Background of the Problem..........................................................................................1 Statement of the Problem..............................................................................................2 Significance of the Study..............................................................................................4 Purpose of the Study.....................................................................................................4 Research Questions.......................................................................................................4 Delimitations and Limitations of the Study..................................................................5 Definitions....................................................................................................................6 2 REVIEW OF LITERATURE.......................................................................................8 Introduction...................................................................................................................8 Reading Instruction.......................................................................................................8 Emergent Literacy.................................................................................................9 Teaching Struggling readers..................................................................................9 Access and Exposure to Print..............................................................................12 Effective Teachers...............................................................................................13 Early Intervention................................................................................................14 Beliefs and Professional Knowledge..........................................................................18 Influences of Beliefs and Professional Knowledge on Teaching...............................20 Influence of Beliefs and Professional Knowledge on Teaching Struggling Readers.25 Summary.....................................................................................................................31 3 METHODOLOGY.....................................................................................................33 Introduction.................................................................................................................33 General Research Plan................................................................................................33 Qualitative Research...................................................................................................35 Grounded Theory........................................................................................................37 iii

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Research Design.........................................................................................................38 Methods and Procedures.............................................................................................38 Preservice Teacher Background Information Sheet...................................................40 Preservice Teacher Autobiography.............................................................................40 Interviews...................................................................................................................40 Observations...............................................................................................................41 Written Evaluations and Expectations........................................................................42 Data Management.......................................................................................................43 Data Analysis..............................................................................................................43 Case Descriptors.........................................................................................................44 Validity and Reliability...............................................................................................45 Internal Validity...................................................................................................45 Reliability............................................................................................................45 External Validity.................................................................................................46 Researcher Bias...................................................................................................46 Entry and Access Into the Field..................................................................................47 Investigator Bias.........................................................................................................47 Ethical Issues..............................................................................................................48 4 RESULTS...................................................................................................................50 Introduction.................................................................................................................50 Participant Identification............................................................................................51 Participants Background, Experiences, and Professional Knowledge......................51 Interviews...................................................................................................................51 Observations...............................................................................................................52 Case Studies................................................................................................................53 Case Study 1: Cindy...................................................................................................54 Beliefs and Professional Knowledge About Teaching Reading..........................54 Expectations for Struggling Readers...................................................................58 Instruction for Struggling Readers......................................................................62 Evaluation of Struggling Readers........................................................................66 Case Study 2: Erin......................................................................................................69 Beliefs and Professional Knowledge About Teaching Reading..........................70 Expectations for Struggling Readers...................................................................74 Instruction for Struggling Readers......................................................................76 Evaluation of Struggling Readers........................................................................79 Case Study 3: Nancy...................................................................................................83 Beliefs and Professional Knowledge About Teaching Reading..........................84 Expectations for Struggling Readers...................................................................88 Instruction for Struggling Readers......................................................................91 Evaluation of Struggling Readers........................................................................94 Case Study 4: Laura....................................................................................................97 Beliefs and Professional Knowledge About Teaching Reading..........................97 Expectations for Struggling Readers.................................................................100 Instruction for Struggling Readers....................................................................104 Evaluation of Struggling Readers......................................................................107 iv

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Case Study 5: Drew..................................................................................................109 Beliefs and Professional Knowledge About Teaching Reading........................110 Expectations for Struggling Readers.................................................................112 Instruction for Struggling Readers....................................................................116 Evaluation of Struggling Readers......................................................................119 Case Study 6: Kerry..................................................................................................121 Beliefs and Professional Knowledge About Teaching Reading........................122 Expectations for Struggling Readers.................................................................125 Instruction for Struggling Readers....................................................................128 Evaluation of Struggling Readers......................................................................130 Cross-Case Analysis.................................................................................................132 Summary...................................................................................................................145 5 DISCUSSION...........................................................................................................150 Overview of the Study..............................................................................................150 Review of Literature.................................................................................................151 Review of Methods...................................................................................................151 Findings....................................................................................................................152 Question One.....................................................................................................153 Question Two....................................................................................................154 Question Three..................................................................................................155 Question Four....................................................................................................157 Conclusions...............................................................................................................158 Implications..............................................................................................................163 Implications for Preservice Teachers and Teachers..........................................163 Implications for Teacher Educators...................................................................163 Recommendations for Further Study........................................................................165 APPENDIX A BACKGROUND INFORMATION SHEET............................................................166 B AUTOBIOGRAPHY GUIDE..................................................................................168 C INTERVIEW ONE GUIDE.....................................................................................169 D INTERVIEW TWO GUIDE.....................................................................................172 E OBSERVATION GUIDE.........................................................................................176 F WRITTEN EVALUATION AND EXPECTATION GUIDE..................................180 G CONSENT FORM FOR PARTICIPANTS..............................................................181 H CODES.....................................................................................................................183 v

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REFERENCES................................................................................................................184 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH...........................................................................................190 vi

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LIST OF TABLES Table page 3-1 Methodology Descriptions..........................................................................................34 3-2 Methodology Matrix....................................................................................................34 3-3 Timeline of Research Methodologies..........................................................................35 4-1 Participants Backgrounds...........................................................................................52 4-2 Chronological Listing of Observations........................................................................53 4-3 Cindys Beliefs and Professional Knowledge About Teaching Reading....................59 4-4 Cindys Expectations for Struggling Readers.............................................................61 4. Cindys Instruction for Struggling Readers..............................................................65 4-6 Cindys Evaluation of Struggling Readers..................................................................68 4-7 Erins Beliefs and Professional Knowledge About Teaching Reading.......................73 4-8 Erins Expectations for Struggling Readers................................................................75 4 Erins Instruction for Struggling Readers...................................................................79 4-10 Erins Evaluation of Struggling Readers...................................................................82 4-11 Nancys Beliefs and Professional Knowledge About Teaching Reading.................89 4-12 Nancys Expectations for Struggling Readers...........................................................90 4 Nancys Instruction for Struggling Readers.............................................................93 4-14 Nancys Evaluation of Struggling Readers...............................................................96 4-15 Lauras Beliefs and Professional Knowledge About Teaching Reading................101 4-16 Lauras Expectations for Struggling Readers..........................................................103 4 Lauras Instruction for Struggling Readers.............................................................106 vii

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4-18 Lauras Evaluation of Struggling Readers...............................................................109 4-19 Drews Beliefs and Professional Knowledge About Teaching Reading.................113 4-20 Drews Expectations for Struggling Readers..........................................................115 4-21 Drews Instruction for Struggling Readers..............................................................118 4-22 Drews Evaluation of Struggling Readers...............................................................121 4-23 Kerrys Beliefs and Professional Knowledge About Teaching Reading................126 4-24 Kerrys Expectations for Struggling Readers..........................................................127 4-25 Kerrys Instruction for Struggling Readers.............................................................129 4-26 Kerrys Evaluation of Struggling Readers...............................................................131 4-27 Preservice Teachers Beliefs and Professional Knowledge about Teaching Reading ................................................................................................................................135 4-28 Preservice Teachers Expectations for Struggling Readers.....................................136 4-29 Relationship between Preservice Teachers Beliefs and Professional Knowledge and their Expectations for Struggling Readers.............................................................139 4-30 Preservice Teachers Instruction for Struggling Readers........................................141 4-31 Relationship between Preservice Teachers Beliefs and Professional Knowledge and their Instruction for Struggling Readers.................................................................143 4-32 Relationship between Preservice Teachers Beliefs and Professional Knowledge and their Expectations, Instruction, and Evaluations of Struggling Readers................146 viii

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Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements of the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy ANALYSIS OF PRESERVICE TEACHERS BELIEFS AND PROFESSIONAL KNOWLEDGE ABOUT TEACHING STRUGGLING READERS By Tabatha Dobson Scharlach May 2005 Chair: Richard Allington Major Department: Teaching and Learning The purpose of this qualitative case study was to examine the beliefs and professional knowledge of preservice teachers about teaching struggling readers. These descriptions were based on the qualitative methods of questionnaires, autobiographies, interviews, observations, and document review. This qualitative study was conducted during a four-month period in 2003. The participants were six elementary education majors who were employed as tutors in Project UFLI, a federally-funded study of beginning reading intervention. The study was concerned with participants beliefs and professional knowledge in the context of tutoring struggling readers in order to discover how these beliefs and professional knowledge influenced the preservice teachers expectations, instruction, and evaluations of these learners. Separate cases were reported for each preservice teacher, patterns were identified, and cross-case analysis was utilized. This study contributed to the knowledge and understanding of preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge about teaching struggling readers and how these ix

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beliefs and knowledge influenced their teaching behaviors. Specifically, the findings from this study described how preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge about teaching struggling readers influenced their expectations, instruction, and evaluation of struggling readers. The findings from this multiple case study suggest that preservice teachers may not believe they are capable of or responsible for teaching all of their students to read. The preservice teacher beliefs about teacher efficacy and responsibility influenced many teaching behaviors in the current study. These findings illustrate the complex interrelationship between preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge, expectations, instruction, and evaluation. Several recommendations were determined from the results of the current study. Preservice and inservice teachers should explore how their beliefs and professional knowledge influence their teaching behaviors. It is important for teachers to examine their own beliefs, professional knowledge, and practice in order to make changes that lead to more effective instruction for our struggling readers. Teacher educators can utilize this information to improve teacher education programs as teacher education programs have been shown to significantly impact preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge. The results are important as they provide guidance to teacher educators as they teach, support and supervise preservice teachers. x

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CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Background of the Problem Teacher educators are faced with the daunting task of preparing preservice teachers to teach an increasingly diverse student population in the new millennium. Whether the diversity is ethnicity, race, gender, economic status, or learning differences, teacher education programs must develop teachers who are able to effectively teach all children (National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education [NCATE], 2000). Reading is a lifelong skill that is crucial for success in todays world. It is widely known that children who struggle with reading acquisition perform lower in other subject areas, possess lower self-esteem, present greater discipline problems in school, and are less likely to finish high school (Shanahan & Barr, 1995). Although students in the United States read as well as or better than they ever have before in history, there is still a small population of children who struggle with reading acquisition (Klenk & Kibby, 2000). Teachers of reading must have a deep understanding of how children learn to read and be prepared to teach all children to high levels of literacy. Preparing preservice teachers for the challenges of teaching children who are struggling with reading acquisition must be a crucial priority among educators. Because preservice teachers beliefs about teaching children who are struggling with reading acquisition will influence their future teaching decisions and practices as they work with such children (Nierstheimer, Hopkins, & Schmitt, 1996), it is important that preservice teachers and teacher education programs examine these beliefs. 1

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2 Statement of the Problem Teachers of reading must have a deep understanding of how children learn to read and be prepared to teach all children to high levels of literacy. Teacher education programs are constantly striving to improve the preparation of preservice teachers in order to meet the high demands and expectations placed on beginning teachers. Crucial to this effort, teacher educators must explore preservice teachers beliefs about students, teaching, and learning, as teachers beliefs influence their judgments and decision-making and exert critical influence on classroom practice (Pajares, 1992). As human beings we have beliefs about everything whether they are implicit or explicit beliefs. Researchers have argued that these beliefs are the basis for all of the choices that we make as individuals (Bandura, 1986; Richardson, 1996; Rokeach, 1968). Preservice teachers often have an unrealistic optimism and become disillusioned when teaching children who are struggling with reading acquisition (Nierstheimer et al., 1996). This unrealistic optimism may be the result of preservice teachers relying on their own experiences as literacy learners to inform their beliefs about how all children learn (Kagan, 1992). Because preservice teachers may believe that their students will be much like themselves, it may be necessary for them to confront their beliefs about students who are different from themselves. If preservice teachers do not reexamine their beliefs and, therefore, their instruction for struggling readers, the result might be that the struggling reader is viewed as the problem instead of the instruction being viewed as the problem. It may also mean that the preservice teachers may not provide the most appropriate learning experiences for the children that they are teaching and may even be biased toward the students based upon their beliefs.

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3 An area that is important for professors and teacher education programs to consider is preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge and the manners in which these beliefs and professional knowledge influence their teaching behaviors. If preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge influence their teaching behaviors, it would seem essential for those teaching, supporting, and supervising preservice teachers to be aware of these beliefs and knowledge and the manners in which these beliefs and knowledge influence teaching behaviors. Deeper understanding of these beliefs and professional knowledge may be important to assist teacher educators in preparing preservice teachers to teach all children to read proficiently. These understandings may be useful in the design and implementation of teacher education programs for teachers of reading. Researchers have reported that teachers do make decisions based upon their beliefs (Fang, 1996; Kagan & Smith, 1988; Lonberger, 1992; Richardson, 1996; Solomon, Battistich, & Hom, 1996; Soodak & Podell, 1994; Stuart & Thurlow, 2000; Winfield, 1986). These decisions and actions have significant impact upon the learning experiences provided for students. Teachers actions are influenced by their attitudes and beliefs, which then influence student learning and student behaviors (Soodak & Podell, 1994; Wiest, 1998). Preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge about teaching struggling readers are important to study as these beliefs and knowledge influence the preservice teachers expectations, instruction, and evaluation of struggling readers. As researchers and educators attempt to prepare teachers who are able to teach all children to read, it is

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4 important to understand how preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge about struggling readers influence their teaching behaviors. Significance of the Study This research benefited the research community, preservice teachers, teachers, and teacher educators. This study extended and refined the understandings regarding preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge and the manner in which these impact preservice teachers behaviors. This study may impact the design and implementation of teacher education programs. As researchers uncover more insights into preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge, teacher educators will have more information with which to design appropriate preservice and inservice teacher education programs. Purpose of the Study The purpose of this qualitative study is to examine the beliefs and professional knowledge of preservice teachers about teaching struggling readers. Specifically, this study was an exploration of the participants beliefs and professional knowledge in the context of tutoring struggling readers in order to discover how these beliefs and professional knowledge influenced the preservice teachers expectations, instruction, and evaluations of these learners. Research Questions Specifically, this study addressed the following questions: 1. What are preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge about teaching reading in general and teaching struggling readers in particular? 2. How do preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge influence their expectations for struggling readers?

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5 3. How do preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge influence their instruction, for struggling readers? 4. How do preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge influence their evaluation of struggling readers? Delimitations and Limitations of the Study This research was limited to six preservice teachers at one university in Northern Florida. The small number of participants provided the opportunity to deeply probe the research questions being studied. The power of the study relied on the rich descriptions and patterns that described the participants experiences. Multiple data sources strengthened the power of the data through triangulation. Descriptions of the participants were sufficiently detailed to allow transferability to other settings. However, generalizations are modest as the researcher sought to understand individuals in a specific context. The researcher had some previous knowledge of the participants and worked with the participants in a supervisory capacity. This may have limited the participants abilities to be completely forthcoming with responses. The researchers biases could not be separated from the data. These biases included those as a former classroom teacher, reading resource teacher, graduate student of reading, preservice teacher educator, and researcher of a reading intervention program. These biases also included those of a white, middle-class female. While attempting to describe, analyze, and report the beliefs, professional knowledge, and actions of these preservice teachers, the researchers identity provided the lens through which all the information was processed.

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6 Definitions Beliefs and professional knowledge are the attitudes, values, beliefs, and knowledge about teaching, students, content and the education process that students bring to teacher education (Kagan, 1990; Pajares, 1993). Blending refers to combining the sounds represented by letters to pronounce a word; to sound out (Harris & Hodges, 1995). Decoding refers to the process of translating printed words into an oral representation using knowledge of letter-sound relationships and word structure (National Reading Panel, 2000). Elkonin boxes refers to a method in which squares are drawn to represent the number of discrete sounds in a word. The student segments the phonemes in the word and determines and writes the letter in the box to represent each of these phonemes. Encoding refers to changing a message into symbols as in encoding oral language into writing. Fluency refers to the ability to read text quickly, accurately, and with proper expression (National Reading Panel, 2000). Frustration reading level refers to the level at which a reader can read text at less than 90% success rate. The readability of material is too difficult to be read successfully by student even with instruction and support (Harris & Hodges, 1995). Genre refers to different kinds of literary texts, such as informational, instructional, mystery, realistic fiction, historical fiction, biography, fantasy, traditional folk and fairy tales, science fiction, etc. (Fountas & Pinell, 1996). Independent reading level refers to the level at which a reader can read text at a 95% or higher success rate (National Reading Panel, 2000).

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7 Instructional reading level refers to the level at which a reader can read text between a 90% and 94% success rate. The material is challenging but not frustrating for students to read successfully with instruction and support (Harris & Hodges, 1995). Miscue refers to an oral reading response that differs from the expected response to written text (Harris & Hodges, 1995). Modeling refers to the act of serving as an example of behavior and or technique (Harris & Hodges, 1995). Oral cloze refers to the procedure of restoring omitted portions of an oral message from its remaining context (Harris & Hodges, 1995). Reading disability refers to reading achievement that is significantly below expectancy for both an individuals reading potential and for chronological age or grade level (Harris & Hodges, 1995). Reading Recovery leveled text refers to reading materials that have been leveled by Reading Recovery based on a gradient of difficulty in order for teachers to make decisions about materials to select for children to read (Clay, 1991). Running record refers to the cumulative account of selected behavior, as of that of a student reading as noted by a teacher over time (Harris & Hodges, 1995). Self-correction refers to the use of knowledge of language and context to correct errors in reading (Harris & Hodges, 1995). Self-efficacy refers to the belief in ones capabilities to organize and execute the sources of action required to manage prospective situations (Bandura, 1986).

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CHAPTER 2 REVIEW OF LITERATURE Introduction This review begins with what researchers have reported about effectively teaching struggling readers. Next is a review of the literature on beliefs and professional knowledge and preand inservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge. Next in the review is research that has been conducted on the influence preand inservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge have on their teaching behaviors. The final section is a review of the limited research that has been conducted related to the influence that preand inservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge have on teaching struggling readers is presented. Reading Instruction Effective teacher education facilitates preservice teachers in their development of content area expertise, research-based knowledge about teaching and learning, and pedagogical skills that will enable them to teach effectively to a diverse population of learners (NCATE, 2000; Ross, Lane, & McCallum, in preparation; Zeichner & Hoeft, 1996). This focus on rigorous content, theory, and pedagogy will prepare exemplary teachers with expectations for all children to develop high levels of thoughtful literacy skills, critical thinking skills, active learning skills, content knowledge application, and problem solving abilities. 8

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9 Emergent Literacy Most literacy researchers and educators agree that learning to read and write is a developmental process that begins long before the commencement of formal schooling (Adams, 1990; Clay, 1991; Snow, Burns, & Griffin, 1998; Spear-Swerling & Sternberg, 1998; Whitehurst & Lonigan, 2001). This theory of emergent literacy supplanted the previous reading readiness approach in which there was a perceived boundary between what constituted pretend reading prior to formal literacy instruction and real reading after formal literacy instruction when students were ready to read (Whitehurst & Lonigan, 2001). The emergent literacy perspective validated the importance of literacy activities such as storybook reading, chanting, singing, print awareness, and word-play activities that occur in homes and preschool settings prior to formal schooling. Young children who experienced more of these kinds of literate activities would benefit more from formal reading instruction and learn to read sooner and more skillfully than children who lacked these types of informal learning experiences (Whitehurst & Lonigan, 2001). For these children, reading acquisition had begun well before the onset of formal instruction (Spear-Swerling & Sternberg, 1998). Many children, however, have had limited or have had no experiences with these types of literacy activities prior to formal schooling. For these children, reading acquisition may be slower and more difficult. Teaching Struggling readers There are many factors that can influence whether a child will have difficulty learning to read including but not limited to instructional influences, socioeconomic status, speaking a non-standard variety of English, having limited proficiency in English, biological deficits, and cultural differences (Snow et al., 1998). The majority of children

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10 who are struggling with reading acquisition at the completion of first grade will continue to struggle with reading acquisition throughout their school careers (Juel, 1988). Literacy researchers and educators are continually searching for effective strategies to ensure that all children will become literate. There is nothing so complicated about learning to read that would keep any child who is not mentally retarded from being able to learn to read near, on, or above grade level, provided this child is given enough instruction and instruction of sufficient quality (Klenk & Kibby, 2000, p. 684-685). In the first half of the twentieth century, the medical model was used to attempt to determine the cause(s) of reading difficulties by studying variables such as visual acuity, auditory acuity, general physical status, neurological factors, emotional/psychiatric factors, and intelligence (Klenk & Kibby, 2000). The belief was that there must be something inherently wrong with a child who was struggling with reading acquisition. This deficit hypotheses argued that the deficit was within the child and caused by environment, experience, or heredity (Johnston & Allington, 1991). Researchers now believe that students who are struggling with reading acquisition do not require qualitatively different instruction than children who are not struggling with reading acquisition (Snow et al., 1998). Instead, children who are struggling with reading acquisition require extra time in quality reading instruction, extensive opportunities to read high-success materials, and specific strategy instruction (Allington, 2001; Strickland, 2000).Therefore, children who are struggling with reading acquisition need more quality reading instruction beginning early in their school careers (Pikulski, 1998). Snow, Burns, and Griffin (1998), in a review of literature for the National Research Council, argued for integrating attention to the alphabetic principle with attention to the construction of meaning and opportunities to develop fluency. The researchers found

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11 that most reading difficulties could be prevented with effective instruction. Their conclusions for effective reading instruction included children reading to obtain meaning from print; frequent opportunities to read; exposure to frequent, regular spelling-sound relationships; instruction on the alphabetic principle; and instruction on the structure of spoken words. Snow et al. concluded that progressing beyond the beginning reading level required an understanding of the alphabetic principle, reading practice, sufficient background knowledge and vocabulary to derive meaning from the text, monitoring strategies, and interest and motivation to read for a variety of purposes. Though criticized for its narrow focus on few topics and for limiting its review to experimental and quasi-experimental evidence (Pressley, 2001), the National Reading Panels Report (2000) outlined evidence for teaching beginning reading skills in their review of research. The conclusions of the panel were that phonemic awareness instruction was effective in promoting early reading and spelling skills; systematic phonics instruction improved reading, spelling, and comprehension skills; guided oral reading and repeated reading of texts increased reading fluency; a variety of methods of vocabulary instruction should be implemented; comprehension strategies instruction improves comprehension; professional development can influence teachers instruction in reading; greater community resources can promote literacy; when children have access to books, children are more likely to engage in literate activities which result in enhanced language and literacy skills; whole language interventions at school may promote some general, beginning understandings about reading and writing; literature-driven instruction increased childrens autonomous reading; instruction with strong connections between literature and concept learning increased interest and engagement and comprehension

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12 strategies; experiences with literature increased understanding of story structures; comprehension of texts increased when children engage in conversations about literature with peers and teachers; and exposure to a second language can have positive implications for literacy development. In his criticism, Pressley (2001) advised that the conclusions reached by the Panel are not enough. Pressley argued that the Panels emphases on discrete skills at specific development levels did not take into account that effective reading instruction occurs over a number of years and changes with the childs development. He contended that effective literacy instruction is a balance and blend of skills teaching and holistic literature and writing experiences (p. 4). Access and Exposure to Print To become a proficient reader one needs the opportunity to read (Allington, 1977). Allington (1980) observed reading group instruction in twenty-four first and second grade classrooms. He discovered that good readers read an average of 539 words during a reading lesson but poor readers read only an average of 237 words during a reading lesson. Allington argued that poor readers needed to read larger quantities of reading material of they were ever going to become good readers. In addition, Allington explained this reading material must be at the childs instructional level and must be contextual reading as opposed to other reading instruction activities. After tracking the effects of print exposure in fourth, fifth, and sixth grade students, Cunningham and Stanovich (1991) found that print exposure is a significant unique predictor of spelling, vocabulary, verbal fluency, word knowledge, and general information even after controlling for differences in general ability and phonological

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13 coding ability. These researchers argued that even the child with limited reading skills would build vocabulary and knowledge structures through reading. Stanovichs (1986) theory of Matthew Effects in reading explained that children who experience early success in reading are likely to read more and become even better readers. Conversely, children who struggle with reading acquisition are likely to spend less time reading and achieve even less progress, falling farther and farther behind their peers. Stanovich suggested, If the development of vocabulary knowledge substantially facilitates reading comprehension, and if reading itself is a major mechanism leading to vocabulary growth which in turn will enable more efficient reading then we truly have a reciprocal relationship that should continue to drive further growth in reading throughout a persons development (p. 380). His theory of Matthew Effects in reading further supports the position that the volume of reading done by students directly affects reading achievement. Stanovich theorizes that the very children who are reading well and who have good vocabularies will read more, learn more word meanings, and read even better while children with inadequate vocabularies who read slowly and without enjoyment read less, and as a result have slower development of vocabulary knowledge, which inhibits further growth in reading. Effective Teachers In a review of research examining students passive failure in reading, Johnston and Winograd (1985) contended that teachers treat less successful students differently than more successful students. These differences in teacher actions for less successful students include giving these children answers, allowing less wait time, interrupting reading more frequently, having lower expectations, paying less attention, and praising less frequently. Johnston and Winograd argued that these differences in teacher actions allow less

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14 successful students to attribute their failure to low ability which, in turn, leads to passive failure in reading. The authors concluded that research and teaching activities should focus on children learning to read rather than the teaching of reading in order to prevent passive failure in reading. Allington (2002) argued that what really matters in reading instruction is effective teachers. While studying exemplary teachers through research at the National Research Center on English Learning and Achievement, Allington found that the most important aspects of effective instruction were time spent in actual reading and writing activities; quality and quantity of easily read materials; active instruction that modeled and demonstrated reading and writing strategies; conversational talk; substantive, challenging tasks; and assessment based on effort and improvement. This type of instruction can only occur with effective, knowledgeable teachers. Allingtons (2002) focus on the teacher and instruction is supported by Darling-Hammonds (1999) review of policy evidence in regard to teacher quality and student achievement. Darling-Hammond found that well-prepared teachers can have strong effects on student achievement ameliorating the impact of student poverty level, language background, or minority status. She also concluded that teacher quality variables were more strongly related to student achievement than class size, overall spending levels or teacher salaries. Early Intervention Educators have increasingly turned to early intervention in order to help accelerate literacy learning of students who are struggling with reading acquisition (Strickland, 2001). While it is crucial that the classroom teacher provide exemplary instruction and take responsibility for all students in the classroom (Walmsley & Allington, 1995), rising

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15 expectations for young literacy learners has shifted the focus to intensive early intervention along with exemplary teaching practices (Strickland, 2001). These short-term, intensive programs of intervention aimed at accelerating literacy development are becoming preferable to extended remediation efforts such as Title I pull-out programs (Strickland, 2001). Fortunately, the majority of children struggling with reading acquisition can become readers if they are provided early and intensive intervention (Vellutino & Scanlon, 2001). Providing this early intervention to children struggling with reading acquisition is a crucial priority among educators. Research has shown many forms of tutoring to be effective with struggling readers (Shanahan, 1998). Reading Recovery is a one-to-one tutorial intervention provided by specially trained teachers developed specifically for children struggling with reading acquisition in the first years of formal schooling (Pinnell, Lyons, DeFord, Bryk, & Seltzer, 1994). Reading Recovery was developed by Marie Clay, a developmental psychologist and teacher of special education in New Zealand, and her colleagues in 1976 in an effort to develop an intervention that would accelerate the reading development of the lowest achieving children up to the reading development of the average achieving children in the classroom. The lesson framework includes reading and rereading familiar texts; analysis of student reading through running record techniques; composing, writing, and reading messages; and reading new and more challenging texts with teacher support. In a study conducted by Pinell et al. (1994) children who received Reading Recovery as an intervention performed significantly higher than other treatment groups and the control group. In an independent analysis of the effectiveness of Reading Recovery, Shanahan and Barr (1995) found Reading Recovery to be less effective and more costly than had

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16 been claimed. Despite these findings, the researchers recommended the continued support of Reading Recovery as a successful intervention strategy. Many researchers have reported that the majority of children struggling with reading acquisition can become readers if they are provided individualized, early and intensive literacy intervention (Hayes, Lane, & Pullen, 1999; Juel, 1991; Pinnell et al., 1994; Vellutino & Scanlon, 2001). These researchers have reported that some students would require longer periods of effective, intensive remediation but that many students could actually be remediated with less intensive and shorter interventions if that intervention was provided early in the childs reading development. Vellutino and Scanlon (2001) concluded that reading difficulties in the majority of children struggling with reading acquisition were caused by experiential and instructional deficits rather than cognitive deficits. Other tutorial intervention strategies that have utilized volunteers or college students have also proven to be effective in helping children who are struggling with reading acquisition (Baker, Gersten, & Keating, 2000; Elbaum, Vaughn, Hughes, & Moody, 2000; Fitzgerald, 2001; Hayes et al., 1999; Invernizzi, 2001; Invernizzi, Juel, & Rosemary, 1998; Juel, 1996). Many of these literacy interventions were based upon the design of the Reading Recovery (Pinnell et al., 1994) framework including rereading familiar texts, word study, writing, and reading an unfamiliar book with the assistance of a tutor who is providing specific strategy instruction. The tutoring models that utilized volunteers or college students offered an affordable form of early intervention that was proven to be successful in raising literacy levels. These studies confirmed that well-designed, reliably implemented interventions could improve the literacy development for

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17 students struggling with reading acquisition. The crucial factor in successful volunteer efforts appeared to be the training and mentoring provided to tutors (Invernizzi, 2001). Elbaum et al. (2000) cautioned that the instruction provided by volunteers or college students was intended to supplement, not replace, the classroom reading instruction. Research consistently supports the effectiveness of tutoring (Shanahan, 1998). However, tutoring is not a perfect solution and does have some potential drawbacks. One criticism of pull-out programs in general is that students who are receiving interventions during the school day lose ten to fifteen minutes of instructional time just traveling between the classroom and the intervention (Cunningham & Allington, 1994). These researchers suggested that it may be difficult or impossible to make up for this lost time regardless of the effectiveness of the intervention. In order to control for these factors, attention must be focused on limiting the loss of instructional time through transitions as well as careful attention to the decision about which classroom activities will be lost during the intervention. Many schools have chosen to add these intervention programs on to their school day either before or after school in order to address these issues and provided extended learning for struggling children. Shanahan (1998) warned that if the person providing the tutoring is ineffective, the intervention will be ineffective. Of course, if the intervention is inappropriate or ineffective, trading exemplary classroom instruction for this instruction would be detrimental to student achievement (Shanahan, 1998). Providing extra time in quality reading instruction, extensive opportunities to read high-success materials, and specific strategy instruction (Strickland, 2000) as previously suggested is appropriate and effective intervention.

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18 The researchers included in this review have reported that there are common elements of effective literacy instruction for all readers in general and struggling readers in particular. These common elements include extra quality reading instruction, extensive opportunities to read high-success texts and useful, specific strategy instruction with an effective teacher. In addition to the described reading instruction occurring within the regular classroom, more intensive, short-term intervention programs may also be implemented to accelerate the learning of some struggling readers. While occurring in a smaller group and a more intensive manner, this intervention instruction should not be qualitatively different than the instruction provided to those children who are not struggling with reading acquisition. Beliefs and Professional Knowledge As human beings we have beliefs about everything whether they are implicit or explicit beliefs. Researchers have argued that these beliefs are the basis for all of the choices that we make as individuals (Bandura, 1986; Richardson, 1996; Rokeach, 1968). Researchers have reported that teachers, like all human beings, make decisions based upon their beliefs (Bandura, 1986; Fang, 1996; Kagan & Smith, 1988; Lonberger, 1992; Richardson, 1996; Rokeach, 1968; Solomon et al., 1996; Stuart & Thurlow, 2000; Winfield, 1986). These decisions and actions have significant impact upon the learning experiences provided for students. Teachers actions are influenced by their attitudes and beliefs, which then influence student learning and student behaviors (Wiest, 1998). Rokeach (1968) theorized that the decisions that people make throughout their lives are based upon their beliefs. His research and theories about beliefs, attitudes and values are often-cited and studied. Rokeach (1968) defined beliefs as any simple proposition, conscious or unconscious, inferred from what a person says or does, capable

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19 of being preceded by the phrase I believe that (p. 113). Rokeach was interested in the structure of belief systems and conducted a quantitative study on 29 subjects belief systems using hypnotic procedures. He concluded that some beliefs are more central than other beliefs and that the more central the belief, the more it will be resistant to change. He also concluded that knowledge is a component of belief. Rokeach warned that beliefs should not necessarily be verbal reports taken at face value, but rather inferences made by an observer about the underlying states based on all the things the believer is doing and saying. Bandura (1986), agreed with Rokeach that beliefs are the best indicator of an individuals decision-making. Beliefs are the basis upon which individuals plan, interpret, and make decisions. Bandura argued that beliefs must be studied in context specific situations in order to be useful, as human beings have beliefs about everything. He also argued that some beliefs are more resistant to change than others and that teacher efficacy beliefs are the strongest predictors of motivation and actions. Pajares (1993) defined preservice teachers beliefs as: the attitudes and values about teaching, students, and the education process that students bring to teacher education attitudes and values that can be inferred by teacher educators not only from what preservice teachers say but from what they do (p. 46). Because of the subjective nature of teaching, Kagan (1990) used beliefs and knowledge interchangeably. Kagan defined teachers cognitions as any of the following: preor inservice teachers self-reflections; beliefs and knowledge about teaching, students, and content; and awareness of problem-solving strategies endemic to classroom teaching (p. 421).

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20 For the purposes of this study, these two definitions will be combined. Preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge will be defined as: The attitudes, values, beliefs, and knowledge about teaching, students, content and the education process that students bring to teacher education. Additionally, Pajares (1993) advice that preservice teachers attitudes and values should be inferred not only from what preservice teachers say but also from what they do will be heeded. Because human beings have beliefs about everything and these beliefs are the basis for decision-making and actions (Bandura, 1986; Rokeach, 1968), belief research is an important field of study. Based upon the theory that beliefs are central to human beings everyday decisions and actions (Bandura, 1986; Rokeach, 1968) and that there need not be any truth or evidence required for a belief (Richardson, 1996), it seems logical that teacher beliefs are central to their classroom decisions and actions. Understanding teachers beliefs is important for understanding teachers actions. Influences of Beliefs and Professional Knowledge on Teaching Researchers have discovered that teachers make decisions based upon their beliefs. These decisions and actions have significant impact upon the learning experiences provided for their students. This section will describe research that has been conducted on the influence of teachers beliefs and professional knowledge on teaching behaviors. In a study of teachers beliefs about self-efficacy, Ashton and Webb (1986) used the quantitative and qualitative methods of questionnaires, interviews, classroom observations, and student records to determine if there was a relationship between teachers self-efficacy and student achievement. Forty-eight high school teachers were included in the study. These researchers found that the teachers self-efficacy was associated with student achievement in both reading and math. Additionally, these

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21 researchers determined that teachers self-efficacy influenced teaching behaviors such as their use of praise and whether or not they were task-oriented. It is an important finding that there is a relationship between teachers self-efficacy beliefs and their teaching behaviors as well as between teachers self-efficacy beliefs and student achievement. Kagan and Smith (1988) examined the relationship between kindergarten teachers self-reported beliefs and their classroom practice. Fifty-one kindergarten teachers completed self-report instruments that assessed cognitive style, teaching ideology, classroom behavior, and occupational stress. They were later observed for two hours teaching their kindergarten students. The researchers were specifically interested in whether the teachers believed in a more child-centered or a more teacher-centered kindergarten classroom. Kagan and Smith found the teachers self-reported beliefs were strongly consistent with the researcher observations and that their beliefs were evident in their classroom practice and classroom environment. The researchers described how the teachers beliefs were reflected in their teaching behaviors. These behaviors included the teachers verbal behavior, teachers position in the room, and students positions and groupings in the room. Kagan and Smith concluded that teachers with a more child-centered approach to teaching kindergarten held a consistent set of beliefs and behaviors. This study is significant in that it reports how teachers beliefs and professional knowledge are reflected in teaching behaviors. Richardson, Anders, Tidwell, and Loyd (1991) studied the relationship between teachers beliefs about teaching reading comprehension and their classroom practices. In the study, thirty-nine intermediate elementary teachers, including 30 females and 9 males, were interviewed to determine their beliefs about reading comprehension and how

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22 children learn to read. These teachers were then observed twice while teaching reading comprehension to determine if their beliefs were consistent with their classroom practices. The researchers concluded that the beliefs of the teachers in the study reflected their classroom practices in the teaching of reading comprehension. In a quantitative study of the relationship between belief systems and the instructional choices of preservice teachers, Lonberger (1992) assessed the beliefs of 37 elementary and special education students enrolled in an introductory reading methods course. The students beliefs about reading, how children read, and teaching a child to read were assessed through informal questions. Responses were classified by philosophy and frequencies of response by belief system were tabulated. Students later designed, implemented, and were observed teaching a lesson for teaching word recognition. The lessons were then judged to be congruent or incongruent with the preservice teachers philosophies. Lonberger reported that 84% of the students made instructional choices that were congruent with their beliefs and theoretical orientations to reading and that these orientations evolved during the reading methods course. These conclusions are important in understanding the nature of preservice teacher beliefs and the manners in which these beliefs influence teaching behaviors. In a quantitative study, Solomon, Battistich, and Hom (1996) assessed the attitudes, beliefs, perceptions and classroom practices of 476 teachers in 24 urban and suburban elementary schools through the use of teacher questionnaires and classroom observations during the course of a school year. The researchers reported that teachers beliefs were consistent with their teaching practices after statistically controlling for school poverty level and students achievement. Among the findings from the data, Solomon et al. found

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23 that teachers in economically disadvantaged schools emphasized teacher authority and control rather than student autonomy and constructivist approaches. They found that teachers in the poor communities provided less engaging activities and saw themselves as having less influence than teachers in more affluent communities. These findings, that teachers interact with students differently based on their beliefs about students, underscore the need for understanding how teachers beliefs influence their teaching behaviors. Stuart and Thurlow (2000) analyzed the beliefs of preservice teachers enrolled in a mathematics and science methods course. Twenty-six students were asked to examine their beliefs and the impact these beliefs had on classroom practice. The researchers included interviews and written responses to journal prompts, mathematics autobiographies, final examination questions, field observations, and semi-structured interviews in their data collection. Stuart and Thurlow challenged the preservice teachers to confront their beliefs through reflection and discussion. They reported that the preservice teachers beliefs about teaching were heavily influenced by their childhood experiences. Stuart and Thurlow concluded that the preservice teachers gained a better understanding of the impact their beliefs would have on classroom practice and how that classroom practice would impact student learning. Stuart and Thurlow described how the preservice teachers thought their beliefs would influence classroom practice. However, they did not describe how preservice teachers beliefs actually did influence their classroom practice. In her review of research on attitudes and beliefs in learning to teach, Richardson (1996) concluded that in an interactive relationship, teachers decisions and actions are

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24 based upon their beliefs. She reported that preservice teachers beliefs about teaching result from personal experience, schooling and instruction, and formal knowledge. However, she concluded that these beliefs could be changed or added to because of experience and reflection upon that experience. She found in her review of research that preservice teachers beliefs are strong and highly resistant to change. Richardson argued that teacher education programs must facilitate the self-identification and self-assessment of preservice teachers beliefs relative to their classroom actions in order to help facilitate positive change in preservice teachers beliefs. In his review of the relationship between teacher beliefs and practices, Fang (1996) reported that teachers theories and beliefs are an important part of their general knowledge. These beliefs can influence teachers expectations of student performance as well as teachers theories about teaching and learning. These, in turn, can have significant impact on academic performance and student learning. Fang called for further research on teacher beliefs that addresses the personal experiences of teachers and their influence on shaping their beliefs. Researchers have reported that inservice and preservice teachers beliefs influence their teaching behaviors (Ashton & Webb, 1986; Fang, 1996; Kagan & Smith, 1988; Lonberger, 1992; Richardson, 1996; Richardson et al., 1991; Solomon et al., 1996; Stuart & Thurlow, 2000; Winfield, 1986). These beliefs and professional knowledge include beliefs about teacher efficacy, responsibility for teaching, pedagogical methods, and issues of authority and autonomy. The researchers have also reported that teachers beliefs are congruent with their teaching behaviors and influence teachers expectations as well as student achievement. Obviously, the decisions and actions that are made by

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25 teachers in the classroom have significant impact upon the learning experiences provided for students. It is, therefore, important to more fully understand preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge and the manner in which these beliefs and knowledge influence their teaching behaviors. Influence of Beliefs and Professional Knowledge on Teaching Struggling Readers As researchers and educators attempt to prepare teachers who are able to teach all children to read, it is be important to understand how preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge about teaching struggling readers influence their teaching behaviors. This section will describe research that has been conducted on the relationship between teachers and preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge about teaching struggling readers in particular and the influence these beliefs and knowledge have on their teaching behaviors. Winfield (1986) studied inservice teachers beliefs about academically at risk students in inner city schools. Winfield studied five inner-urban schools which served predominately minority and low income students. Forty teachers were interviewed for the study, which utilized a case study methodology to examine the schools over a one-year period. Winfield categorized the teachers beliefs based on whether teachers believed some type of instructional assistance could improve the students achievement and whether teachers assumed responsibility for improving instruction or shifted responsibility to someone else. By using a cross-classification, Winfield categorized teachers as either: 1) tutors who believed they were responsible for and provided the necessary instruction to the lowest readers; 2) general contractors who believed the students needed remedial instruction but that it was not their job to provide that instruction; 3) custodians who believed that little or nothing could be done to improve

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26 the students achievement; and 4) referral agents who believed students could not learn in the classroom or remedial program and should be referred for psychological testing or special education. Winfield concluded that teachers beliefs influenced their expectations as well as their instruction for at risk students. This is an important contribution to the study of how teachers beliefs influence expectations, instruction, and assessment. McGill-Franzen (1994) reported on earlier research (Allington & Li, 1990; McGill-Franzen & James, 1990) that investigated the relationship between institutional practices and teachers beliefs about children and their ability to learn to read. Thirty-nine elementary classroom teachers, compensatory education teachers, and special education teachers in six school districts were interviewed about the struggling readers in their classes. The researchers found that special education teachers believed that their students could not perform on grade level and that they could only make six months progress for each year of school. This was reflected in the special education teachers behaviors, which included a slower pace of instruction, easier materials, repetition, and retention of students. McGill-Franzen reported that teachers held different beliefs about remedial students as opposed to special education students. The teachers believed that remedial students would eventually be able to perform on grade level and that they expected these remedial students to make at least one years progress for each year in school. This translated to teaching behaviors that included actual opportunities for reading and writing as the basis for literacy instruction. McGill-Franzen called for challenging the beliefs, expectations and instruction of teachers who work with at-risk children. This is an important study of the influence of teachers beliefs and professional knowledge about teaching struggling readers on teaching behaviors.

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27 Soodak and Podell (1994) investigated teachers decision-making with regard to students experiencing difficulty in reading. The researchers were interested in teachers causal beliefs and sense of efficacy. The researchers distributed questionnaires to 110 participants that included a case study of a third grade student from a divorced family experiencing difficulty in reading with occasional problems with self-control that disrupted the class. Participants were to list possible ways to address the situation, including which they believed would be most effective and what they believed was the cause of the situation. Teachers also completed a teacher efficacy scale. The researchers found that teachers offer a wide variety of suggestions for addressing a students problems and a wide variety of causes for the students difficulties. The teachers did not, however, believe that their efforts would be successful with the student. Additionally, the teachers frequently believed that someone outside of the classroom would be needed to effect change in the situation. The researchers also reported that when teachers believed the home was the cause of the students problems, they sought parental involvement. When the teachers believed the school was the cause of the students problems, they sought outside interventions. Finally, the researchers reported that teachers personal efficacy beliefs influenced their decisions regarding instruction for difficult-to-teach students. This study is an important study that describes the influence of teachers beliefs about efficacy and responsibility on their teaching decisions. Maxson (1996) reported that there is an intricate, interactive relationship between what teachers believe and teachers actions such as curriculum decision-making, planning, and experiences that teachers provide for students. Maxson (1996) used a multiple case study design to explore the influence of teachers beliefs on literacy

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28 instruction for at-risk first graders. The sample included five white, female teachers teaching at different high-risk schools within the same school district. Maxson collected data from interviews, observations, questionnaires, and teacher reflections throughout a school year and made conclusions based upon the constant comparative method. Maxson concluded that there was a direct relationship between the teachers beliefs and their practices and that the teachers held definite beliefs about teaching at-risk students. Maxson found that the teachers functioned within an instructional paradigm that was directly influenced by their individual belief systems. She reported that many external factors such as content and population of students influenced the teachers beliefs. Maxson did not report the teachers beliefs, only that they were related to practice. Nierstheimer, Hopkins, and Schmitt (1996), conducted a study examining preservice teachers beliefs about teaching students who are struggling with reading acquisition. The preservice teachers included 60 female and 7 male participants. These preservice teachers were enrolled in a corrective reading methods course with a tutoring practicum. Features of the Reading Recovery professional development model were incorporated into the program. Data sources included questionnaires, videotapes, interviews, small-group discussions, observations, lesson plans and portfolios. The researchers conducted withinand cross-case analyses to analyze the data. The researchers reported that the preservice teachers assigned responsibility for the cause of reading problems to someone else and assigned the responsibility for teaching struggling readers to read to someone else. The preservice teachers believed it was not the classroom teachers responsibility to teach struggling readers. The preservice teachers included in the study believed that the parents and home environment or the children

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29 themselves were responsible for the reading difficulties. Additionally, the preservice teachers believed it was the responsibility of a resource teacher or parents to teach these struggling readers. This study is important in describing the relationship between preservice teachers beliefs and their sense of responsibility for teaching struggling readers. In a study examining preservice teachers shifting beliefs about struggling literacy learners, Nierstheimer et al. (2000), utilized qualitative methods to re-examine the previously reported (Nierstheimer et al., 1996) study of 67 preservice teachers. The researchers found that after participating in the course, the preservice teachers beliefs shifted toward assuming responsibility for helping children with reading problems rather than assigning responsibility to someone else as they had when the course began (p.1). The researchers concluded that carefully guided tutoring experiences are crucial in preparing effective literacy teachers. Mallette, Readence, McKinney, and Smith (2000) critically analyzed the written work of two preservice teachers who had been tutoring struggling readers. The researchers analyzed the preservice teachers field notes, case studies, reflective writings, and group lesson plans by coding and exploring the relationships in the various sources. Mallette et al. was interested in exploring how the ideologies of the preservice teachers effected the preservice teachers development of knowledge about teaching struggling readers. The researchers defined ideologies as beliefs embedded in hegemonic relations. They discovered that the preservice teachers expectations about reading acquisition, success, parental support, reading difficulties, attitude toward reading, assessment, teaching, and education were based upon their white, middle-class, female identities.

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30 These preservice teachers believed their students would be similar to themselves and struggled with these ideologies when the students were not like them. Mallette et al. concluded that it is important for teacher educators to help preservice teachers understand how their knowledge about education is centered in ideologies that are based on their raced, classed, and gendered identities. The researchers called for an exploration of beliefs of preservice teachers at a deeper level to examine how they reflect ideologies. Researchers have concluded that teachers beliefs about teaching struggling readers influence their teaching behaviors (Mallette et al., 2000; Maxson, 1996; McGill-Franzen, 1994; Soodak & Podell, 1994; Winfield, 1986). Researchers have described how these beliefs and professional knowledge have translated into different expectations and instruction for struggling readers (McGill-Franzen, 1994; Winfield, 1986). These beliefs and professional knowledge also influence teachers sense of responsibility for teaching struggling readers (Nierstheimer et al., 1996; Soodak & Podell, 1994; Winfield, 1986). The Winfield (1986) study is an important contribution to the study of how teachers beliefs about at-risk students influenced their expectations, instruction, and assessment of these students. McGill-Franzen (1994) offered specific details about teachers beliefs and how these beliefs influenced teaching behaviors. Her research was limited to teachers beliefs about special education students as opposed to remedial education students. Soodack and Podells (1994) research described the influence of teachers beliefs about efficacy and responsibility on their teaching decisions. However, the researchers did not observe actual teaching behaviors to determine how these beliefs influenced actual classroom practice. Maxson (1996) concluded that there was a relationship between teachers beliefs and teaching behaviors, however, she did not

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31 provide specific details about this relationship. Nierstheimer et al. (1996) found that teachers beliefs influenced their sense of responsibility for teaching struggling readers, however, they did not explore how this translated into teaching behaviors. Finally, Mallette et al. (2000) were interested in hegemonic relations and the manner in which these influenced preservice teachers beliefs about teaching struggling readers. Again, this research did not attempt to explore the manner in which these beliefs influenced teaching behaviors. Summary Researchers included in this review have demonstrated that teachers beliefs and professional knowledge influence their teaching behaviors in general and their teaching behaviors for struggling readers in particular. However, the research on the relationship between teachers beliefs and professional knowledge about teaching struggling readers is limited. More research is needed in order to more fully understand preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge about teaching struggling readers and how these beliefs and knowledge influence their teaching behaviors. Specifically, more research is needed to explore the relationship between preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge about teaching struggling readers and their expectations, instruction, and evaluation of struggling readers. The current research study attempted to fill this gap in the research. This study of preservice teachers beliefs about teaching struggling readers and their influence on their teaching behaviors should help researchers explore areas for potential preservice teacher program improvement. Researchers in this review reported that teacher education programs could have a significant impact upon preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge. It is, therefore, a challenge for preservice

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32 teacher educators and researchers to identify the beliefs and professional knowledge of preservice teachers and discover the impact of these beliefs on the teaching of struggling readers in order to identify directions for improvement in teacher education. If preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge influence their teaching behaviors, it would seem essential for those teaching, supporting, and supervising preservice teachers to be aware of these beliefs and knowledge and the manners in which these beliefs and knowledge influence teaching behaviors.

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CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY Introduction The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine the beliefs and professional knowledge of preservice teachers about teaching struggling readers. The study was an exploration of the participants beliefs and professional knowledge in the context of tutoring struggling readers in order to discover how these beliefs and professional knowledge influenced the preservice teachers expectations, instruction, and evaluations of these learners. General Research Plan The research plan was to identify six elementary education majors who would be employed as tutors in Project UFLI, a federally funded study of beginning reading intervention, and describe how their beliefs and professional knowledge about teaching struggling readers influenced their teaching behaviors. These descriptions were based on data collected over a four-month period (February 2003 May 2003). Included in the data collection procedures were five sources of data: preservice teachers background information sheets, preservice teachers autobiographies, interviews with preservice teachers, observations of preservice teachers while teaching struggling readers, and preservice teachers written expectations and evaluations of struggling readers (Table 3-1). This methodology was implemented in order to provide multiple data sources for attempting to answer the research questions. These questionnaires, autobiographies, interviews, observations, written expectations and evaluations allowed for triangulation 33

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34 of the data (Table 3-2). The researcher developed a timeline in order to ensure that all methods were applied over a four-month period (Table 3-3). Table 3-1 Methodology Descriptions Methods Source Data Background Information Sheets Preservice Teachers Establish pertinent demographic and background information. Identify preservice teachers educational background and teaching experiences. Help to refine the interview and observation guide. Autobiographies Preservice Teachers Identify preservice teachers beliefs about themselves, family, their own literacy experiences and reading habits. Identify preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge about good readers, how children learn to read, and their beliefs and professional knowledge about why children have difficulty learning to read. Help to refine the interview and observation guide. Interviews Preservice Teachers Explore research questions in depth and corroborate background information, autobiography, and observational data. Observations Researcher Explore research questions firsthand and gain contextual information. Expectations and Evaluations Preservice Teachers Identify preservice teachers expectations and evaluations of struggling readers. Table 3-2 Methodology Matrix Research Methods Beliefs and professional knowledge about teaching reading How beliefs and professional knowledge influence expectations How beliefs and professional knowledge influence instruction How beliefs and professional knowledge influence evaluation Background Information Sheets + Autobiographies + Interviews + + + + Observations + Expectations and Evaluations + +

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35 Table 3-3 Timeline of Research Methodologies Date(s) Instrument February 2003 Autobiography February 2003 Background Information Sheet February 2003 Expectations and Evaluations of Tutored Students February 2003 Observation One February/March 2003 Observation Two March 2003 Interview One March/April 2003 Expectations and Evaluations of Tutored Students March/April 2003 Observation Three April/May 2003 Expectations and Evaluations of Tutored Students April/May 2003 Interview Two A case study approach was utilized with the descriptive data sources from this research. A cross-case analysis was then employed to search for patterns across cases. The researcher generated categories, themes, and patterns and tested emergent understandings while searching for alternative explanations (Marshall & Rossman, 1999). The data collection questions were intended to probe the relationship between preservice teachers beliefs and professional about teaching struggling readers and their teaching behaviors. The following questions guided data collection in this research: 1. What are preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge about teaching reading in general and teaching struggling readers in particular? 2. How do preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge influence their expectations for struggling readers? 3. How do preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge influence their instruction, for struggling readers?

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36 4. How do preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge influence their evaluation of struggling readers? Qualitative Research Patton (1990) described necessary assumptions of qualitative research: 1) A holistic approach that seeks to understand in entirety in order to develop a complete understanding of the person or situation rather than experimental research which seeks to isolate and measure narrowly defined variables with prediction and control, 2) begins with specific observations and moves toward the development of patterns that emerge from the cases under study rather than defining variables and hypotheses prior to data collection, 3) seeks to discover and understand in naturally occurring states rather than under controlled conditions with a limited amount of outcome variables. Miles and Huberman (1994a) included the following in their defense of qualitative methods: Data can be collected in close proximity to a specific situation rather than through mail or over phone; the emphasis can be on specific cases in context; there is the possibility for understanding latent, underlying or non-obvious issues; there is potential for richness, holism, and revealing complexity; data collected over a sustained period makes them more powerful; possibility for locating meanings and for connecting these meanings to the social world. Most of the current research on teacher beliefs has shifted to a qualitative research design (Richardson, 1996). Interviews and observations are the most widely used data collection in research on teacher beliefs (Richardson, 1996). Case studies involve multiple methods such as interviews, observations, and document analysis. The goal of these types of designs is not to predict, but to understand the nature of teachers beliefs.

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37 In the hermeneutic nature of many of the teacher belief studies, researchers were concerned with obtaining rich understandings through an openly dialogic process of repeatedly returning to the text to gain increased understanding and a more compete interpretation (Smith, 1993). There is a relationship between the researcher and the subject matter and the researcher is involved in the explanatory process, which intrudes into the context of the data. According to Richardson (1996), an important trend in these hermeneutic studies of teachers beliefs is that the data collection is used for purposes of teacher change as well as research. For example, the coursework, autobiographies, reflections, and cultural analysis in the qualitative studies above may serve not only for the researchers to understand the preservice teachers beliefs, but also for the preservice teachers to change their beliefs based upon their participation in the activities. Qualitative methods were useful for an in-depth exploration of how beliefs and professional knowledge influenced preservice teachers expectations, instruction, and evaluation in order to fully understand the impact of preservice teachers beliefs on children who are struggling with reading acquisition. Grounded Theory Sociologists Glaser and Strauss introduced the research methodology of grounded theory to researchers in their book, The Discovery of Grounded Theory (1967). In grounded theory the researcher is the primary instrument of data collection and analysis. As such, the researcher takes an inductive stance and strives to derive meaning from the data (Merriam, 1998). The result of this research is the emergence of a theory that is grounded in the data. The theory that emerges is usually substantive theory that is useful to practice (Merriam, 1998).

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38 Research Design The research design is the logic that makes the connections between the collected data and the initial study questions (Yin, 2003). (Table 3-1, Table 3-2). The conceptual framework was designed to answer the question, how do preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge about teaching struggling readers influence their teaching behaviors? The research design for the current study was based on a case study approach. A case study has a distinct advantage when a how or why question is being asked about a contemporary set of events, over which the investigator has little or no control (Yin, 2003) (Yin, 2003, p. 9). Advantages of case study research include providing a means of investigating complex social units consisting of multiple variables; studies are conducted in real world situations; the rich and holistic descriptions offer insight and illuminate meanings; and the case study can advance a fields knowledge base (Merriam, 1998). Case studies can be single or multiple cases. A multiple case study approach may be preferred in order to substantiate conclusions, allow for replication, and expand the external generalizability of the findings (Yin, 2003). The current study employed a multiple case study design and was explanatory, descriptive, and exploratory in nature. Methods and Procedures In this multiple-case study design, data were collected from six participants. These participants were elementary education majors at the University of Florida who were employed as tutors in Project UFLI, a federally funded study of beginning reading intervention. The University of Florida Literacy Initiative is a tutorial intervention designed to improve the literacy development of children struggling with literacy acquisition (Hayes

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39 et al., 1999). This intervention is a comprehensive literacy intervention that combines effective practices from other programs in order to address the needs of children struggling with reading acquisition. The framework of the lesson includes: 1) Gaining fluency through reading high-success familiar texts, 2) measuring progress through running record techniques, 3) writing for reading with an emphasis on analyzing words and constructing their spellings, 4) reading unfamiliar and increasingly challenging text with appropriate instructional coaching from the tutor and, 5) extending literacy with an emphasis on exploring a wide variety of genres. This intervention program trains university students, primarily from the College of Education, to implement the tutoring program. These tutors are trained by university personnel, continuously supervised, and provided with ongoing support through weekly meetings with the authors of the program. Lane and Pullen, the developers of the program at the University of Florida, have conducted internal research on the effectiveness of the program in both one-to-one and small group settings. Based upon their internal research, this intervention program has proven to be consistently effective in improving the literacy development of children struggling with reading acquisition. Data were collected over a four-month period (February 2003 May 2003). Included in the data collection procedures were preservice teachers background information sheets, preservice teachers autobiographies, interviews with preservice teachers, observations of preservice teachers while teaching struggling readers, and preservice teachers written expectations and evaluations of struggling readers. Interviews allow preservice teachers to reflect upon recent behavior as well as beliefs and biases.

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40 Preservice Teacher Background Information Sheet The preservice teacher background information sheet (Appendix A) was designed by the researcher. This questionnaire was designed to provide data describing the preservice teachers educational backgrounds and teaching experiences. This type of document is a stable source that can be reviewed repeatedly and provides background information and details of experiences that may have shaped preservice teachers professional knowledge and beliefs about teaching and learning. Preservice Teacher Autobiography The preservice teacher autobiography sheet (Appendix B) was designed by the researcher. The preservice teachers were asked to identify their beliefs and professional knowledge about themselves, their families, their own literacy experiences and their own reading habits. The preservice teachers were also asked to identify their beliefs and professional knowledge about good readers, how children learn to read, and their beliefs and professional knowledge about why children have difficulty learning to read. This type of document is a stable source that can be reviewed repeatedly and provides background information and details of experiences that may have shaped preservice teachers professional knowledge and beliefs about teaching and learning. Interviews Interviews allow participants to reflect upon recent behavior as well as beliefs and professional knowledge. Interviews also allow the researcher to discuss behaviors, beliefs, and professional knowledge in detail. Multiple in-depth interviews with multiple preservice teachers over time allows triangulation of the data across sources and tests issues of reliability and validity (Dilley, 2000). The data collection can be sufficiently in depth to foster thick description of preservice teachers beliefs and professional

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41 knowledge. Interviews can be useful in order to obtain large amounts of data quickly and allow for immediate follow-up and clarification. Interviews, however, are open to different interpretations, difficult to replicate, dependent on the participants being forthcoming and honest, and highly dependent upon the researcher to be resourceful, systematic, and honest (Marshall & Rossman, 1999, p. 135). Two semi-structured interviews were conducted with each individual participant. The questions for the interviews were generated from the preservice teachers background information sheets, autobiographies, written evaluations of struggling readers and observations of the preservice teachers working with struggling readers (Appendixes C and D). To better understand the beliefs, professional knowledge and understandings of the participants, the questions were designed to be open-ended and focused on the research questions in Chapter 2. The researcher conducted each of the teacher interviews at the University of Florida Literacy Initiative Office or at the elementary school site where the preservice teacher was tutoring struggling readers at a time chosen by the preservice teacher. With the permission of the participants (Appendix G), each interview was audio-taped, transcribed, coded, and critically analyzed. Observations When combined with interviews, observation allows the researcher to understand the meanings that people hold. Observation allows data to be collected in a natural setting and is useful for describing complex social interactions (Marshall & Rossman, 1999). Observation can be useful in obtaining data on nonverbal behavior and communication, providing contextual information, and for obtaining large amounts of data quickly. Observations, however, are open to multiple interpretations, are difficult to replicate,

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42 subject to observer effects, and also dependent upon the researcher to be resourceful, systematic, and honest (Marshall & Rossman, 1999, p. 135). Preservice teachers were observed in the context of tutoring struggling readers. Participants were each observed a minimum of three times while tutoring struggling readers. These observations ranged from 30 to 60 minutes. Field notes were collected during and after the observations using the observation guide (Appendix E). Following each observation, participants were debriefed about the observation. During the debriefing the preservice teachers were asked to clarify their rationale for instructional decisions to determine how their beliefs about teaching struggling readers influenced their teaching behaviors. Each debriefing was audio taped. The audiotapes were transcribed, coded, and critically analyzed. Written Evaluations and Expectations Observations and interviews were supplemented with analysis of documents constructed specifically for this research. These documents include the preservice teachers written evaluations and expectations of struggling readers. These documents provided contextual information and facilitated analysis and triangulation (Marshall & Rossman, 1999). This type of data is easy to manage, administer, and categorize for analysis. Despite these strengths, document analysis can also be open to multiple interpretations and is dependent upon the researcher to be resourceful, systematic, and honest (Marshall & Rossman, 1999, p. 135). Participants wrote three narrative evaluations of the struggling readers they were tutoring (Appendix F). These evaluations included the preservice teachers expectations for student progress. These documents were analyzed to identify preservice teachers expectations and evaluations of struggling readers.These evaluations were written

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43 approximately after the third, seventh, and tenth week of tutoring. These evaluations were coded and analyzed. Data Management The researcher developed a system of data management for the case study early in the data collection process. The researcher transcribed interviews, typed notes, and filed documents into computer folders. The researcher created a data base that allows access of the data by other researchers. The data for this investigation included background information sheet data, autobiography data, transcripts from interviews, observational field notes, transcripts from debriefings, written evaluations and expectations, and researcher comments. Data Analysis Data analysis focused on the research questions to: (a) describe the beliefs and professional knowledge of each preservice teacher; and (b) discover how these beliefs and professional knowledge influenced their teaching behaviors. Data analysis involves organizing what you have seen, heard, and read so that you can make sense of what you have learned (Glesne, 1999). The researcher began with reading and rereading the data sources for each preservice teacher and coding for emerging themes. Coding is analyzing (Miles & Huberman, 1994b) and searching for patterns in the data (Shank, 2002). Each preservice teachers data analysis involved sorting, classifying, and labeling as well as clustering and organizing these emerging classifications. The codes needed to have conceptual and structural order that allowed them to be integrated into a governing structure (Miles & Huberman, 1994b). Open coding was used rather than a predetermined framework in order to ensure themes were not artificially forced onto the data. After initial coding, the data were reviewed again to

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44 search for categories neglected in the initial identification. This process was repeated for each individual participant. These coding structures were compared in order to support the coding system. Each participants data was reviewed again as new codes and themes emerged. Next, the researcher combined the original themes from each case study to search for overarching themes. In making connections across the individual preservice teachers, the researcher was careful not to lose the meaning of any individual participant (Miles & Huberman, 1994b). The next step in data analysis was to extend the description in a systematic manner through identifying, describing and illustrating the themes that emerged (Glesne, 1999). Case Descriptors The cases were arranged around the categories of: (a) preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge about teaching reading, (b) preservice teachers expectations for struggling readers, (c) preservice teachers instruction for struggling readers, and (d) preservice teachers evaluation of struggling readers. In the category of preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge about teaching reading, nine codes were identified: 1) parental involvement, 2) motivation, 3) readiness, 4) access and exposure to print, 5) socioeconomic status, 6) behavior, 7) reading disability, 8) teacher efficacy, and 9) responsibility. In the category of preservice teachers expectations for struggling readers, five codes were developed: 1) text level, 2) grade level, 3) reading strategies, 4) reading disability, and 5) behavior. In the category of preservice teachers instruction for struggling readers, five categories emerged: 1) modeling, 2) wait time, 3) prompting, 4) providing answers, and 5) text. In the category of preservice teachers evaluation of struggling readers, five codes were identified: 1) text level, 2) grade level, 3) reading

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45 strategies, 4) reading disability, and 5) behavior. The grounded theory developed in the current study was data driven and emerged from the exhaustive data analysis. The identification of themes allowed for cross-case analysis. The researcher used the results from the cross-case analysis to identify conclusions and develop recommendations. Validity and Reliability Internal Validity In order to establish construct validity the researcher needs to use multiple sources of evidence (Yin, 2003). In the current study, the triangulation of data was implemented for construct validity by collecting data through multiple sources: preservice teachers background information sheets, preservice teachers autobiographies, interviews with preservice teachers, observations of preservice teachers while teaching struggling readers, and preservice teachers written expectations and evaluations of struggling readers. Findings in a case study that are based upon multiple sources of information that lead to converging lines of inquiry are considered to be more convincing and accurate in case study research (Yin, 2003). The researcher spent four months collecting data through written documents, observations, and interviews. This prolonged engagement adds to the validity of the current study. Reliability Reliability refers to the extent that the research results could be replicated if the study was repeated (Merriam, 1998). The objective of reliability is to minimize the errors and biases in a study (Yin, 2003). Lincoln and Guba (1985) suggested that in qualitative research reliability should be thought about in terms of dependability and consistency. This means that the findings based on the data collected make sense and are consistent and dependable. The researcher in the current study developed a database that

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46 can be the subject of a separate, secondary analysis or inspection of the raw data that led to the study conclusions in order to strengthen the reliability of the study. This database includes all of the collected data, case study notes, narratives, and case study documents. External Validity External validity is concerned with the extent to which the findings can be generalized to other situations (Lincoln & Guba, 1985). The researcher chose a multiple case study approach in order to strengthen the conclusions from the study and expand the external generalizability of the findings. The current study includes six case studies. According to case study method (Yin, 2003), each case study was conducted and analyzed individually and each case report was written individually. Subsequently, cross-case conclusions were drawn and the cross-case report was written. The researcher also included rich, thick descriptions in order to help the reader determine transferability of the findings to another situation (Lincoln & Guba, 1985). Researcher Bias Qualitative research and data analysis are highly time consuming and filled with researcher bias and judgment (Marshall & Rossman, 1999). Interviews do involve personal interaction so cooperation is essential. Interviews require good listening skills, questioning techniques, and probing ability. Interviews also require high participation from the participants in the research. The interviewees may be uncomfortable or unwilling to share all that the interviewer hopes to explore. The researcher may not ask questions that evoke long narratives from participants and at times interviewees have good reasons not to be truthful. Self-report data such as reflections, semantic maps, narratives, and autobiographies may be flawed due to participants responding in a manner they believe desirable by the

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47 researcher. Researchers conducting qualitative research have challenges such as developing a thorough, concise conceptual framework; planning a flexible, yet systematic and manageable design (Marshall & Rossman, 1999). Additionally, the researcher may impose her values through the phrasing of questions or interpretation of data. Studies should triangulate interview data with other data gathered though other methods. Qualitative researchers believe and accept that the investigator can not be separate from what is being studied (Miles & Huberman, 1994a). In fact, in qualitative designs, the researchers presence in the lives of the participants is fundamental to the qualitative paradigm (Marshall & Rossman, 1999). Simply by being present, the researcher is involved in the study. The emphasis is on the socially constructed nature of reality, a close relationship between the researcher and the object of study, and the context that influences the inquiry (MIles & Huberman, 1994). Entry and Access Into the Field The researcher was study coordinator for the University of Florida Literacy Initiative. The researchers position as coordinator made access and entry to the participant preservice teachers and study sites possible. The researcher worked in a supervisory capacity with the study participants. The preservice teacher participants gave their consent to participate in this research study before the researcher began data collection (Appendix G). Investigator Bias The researcher had some previous knowledge of the participants and worked with the participants in a supervisory capacity. This may have limited the participants abilities to be completely forthcoming with responses. The researchers biases could not be separated from the data. These biases included those as a former classroom teacher,

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48 reading resource teacher, graduate student of reading, preservice teacher educator, and researcher of a reading intervention program. These biases also included those of a white, middle-class female. While attempting to describe, analyze, and report the beliefs, professional knowledge, and actions of these preservice teachers, the researchers identity provided the lens through which all the information was processed. Ethical Issues The researcher was responsible for designing and conducting the study and writing the results in an ethical manner. Wellington (2000) has established a set of eight guidelines that were maintained by the researcher for this study. 1) No parties should be involved without their prior knowledge or permission and informed consent. 2) No attempts should be made to force people to do anything unsafe, or do something unwillingly. 3) Relevant information about the nature and purpose of the research should always be given. 4) No attempts should be made to deceive the participants. 5) Avoid invading participants privacy or taking too much of their time. 6) Benefits should not be withheld from some participants or disadvantages imposed upon others. 7) All participants should be treated fairly, with consideration, with respect and with honesty. 8) Confidentiality and anonymity should be maintained at every stage, especially in publication. In this study, participants names and the schools and students names have remained anonymous. The researcher assigned pseudonyms to participants to report study results. All participants signed an informed consent prior to the data collection (Appendix G) which was approved by the University of Floridas Institutional Review Board as required for research projects that involve human subjects. The researcher did not allow bias to interfere with the honest reporting of the results. The researcher believes that the

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49 findings illuminate that beliefs and professional knowledge can impact teaching behaviors.

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CHAPTER 4 RESULTS Introduction The purpose of this qualitative case study was to examine the beliefs and professional knowledge of preservice teachers about teaching struggling readers. The findings presented in this chapter were based on the following data sources: (a) questionnaires, (b) autobiographies of the participants, (c) interviews with the participants, (d) observations of the participants, and (e) participants written evaluations and expectations of struggling readers. Specifically, this study addressed the following questions: 1. What are preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge about teaching reading in general and teaching struggling readers in particular? 2. How do preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge influence their expectations for struggling readers? 3. How do preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge influence their instruction, for struggling readers? 4. How do preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge influence their evaluation of struggling readers? This chapter contains four sections. The first section reports the identification of participants for this case study. The second section describes the participants backgrounds, experiences, and professional knowledge as it relates to reading in general and teaching struggling readers in particular. Section three provides thick descriptions of the interviews, observations, evaluations, and expectations of the participants in a case study format. Section four is the cross-case analysis and a summary of the research. 50

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51 Participant Identification The six participants consisted of University of Florida Literacy Initiative (UFLI) tutors working in the spring semester of 2003. Announcements were made at tutor meetings about the opportunity to participate in this project. All announcements made clear the strictly voluntary nature of participation in this project. All participants were female graduate students in education and were at least 21 years of age. Each participant was compensated $50 for their participation. Each of the participants signed the University of Florida IRB Informed Consent statement (Appendix G) and complied with all IRB and University of Florida guidelines. Participants Background, Experiences, and Professional Knowledge All of the participants were female graduate students in the college of education at the University of Florida. Four of the subjects identified themselves as Caucasian, one as black, and one as white/Hispanic. All of the participants were unmarried and ranged in age from 20 to 24. All of the preservice teachers had completed a pre-internship. Table 4-1 provides a summary of the background information for each of the preservice teachers included in this study. Descriptive information specific to each participant follows in their individual case studies. Pseudonyms are employed to protect the anonymity of the participants. Interviews The preservice teacher participants were interviewed twice at the University of Florida Literacy Initiative office on the University of Florida campus or at the elementary school site based upon the convenience of the preservice teacher. The interviews were conducted in the middle of the study and then again at the end of the study.

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52 Table 4-1 Participants Backgrounds Preservice Teachers Pseudonym Gender Age Race Graduate specialization Semester Hours of Reading Student teaching grade level Other teaching experiences Cindy female 22 white literacy 21 5 pre-internship Erin female 23 white Interdisciplinary (math/science/ reading/social studies) 12 4 pre-internship Nancy female 23 white math/science 6 4 pre-internship Laura female 20 black literacy 6 2 pre-internship Drew female 23 white/ Hispanic math/science 6 1 pre-internship/ private tutor Kerry female 24 white childrens literature 6 4 pre-internship Observations Table 4-2 provides a chronological listing of the observations of preservice teachers made over a period of three months. An observation guide was made based upon the structure of the tutoring program the preservice teachers were implementing. The researcher focused on the research questions during the observations. Preservice teachers were debriefed following the observation to gain more insight into their beliefs and professional knowledge and their teaching behaviors. The researcher took anecdotal notes during each observation. The observations ranged in time from 40 to 45 minutes based upon the tutoring session. The researcher observed each participant at least two times while tutoring struggling readers.

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53 Case Studies The case study method was utilized in order to explore the professional knowledge and beliefs of preservice teachers and how that professional knowledge and beliefs influence their teaching behaviors. Case studies of six preservice teachers were prepared. Table 4-2 Chronological Listing of Observations Date Tutor Length of Time 2/21/03 Erin 40 minutes 2/21/03 Nancy 40 minutes 2/24/03 Drew 40 minutes 2/24/03 Cindy 40 minutes 2/24/03 Erin 40 minutes 2/28/03 Drew 45 minutes 2/28/03 Kerry 40 minutes 2/28/03 Nancy 40 minutes 2/28/03 Laura 40 minutes 3/3/03 Nancy 40 minutes 3/3/03 Cindy 40 minutes 3/7/03 Laura 45 minutes 3/7/03 Laura 40 minutes 3/17/03 Drew 40 minutes 3/17/03 Nancy 40 minutes 3/24/03 Kerry 40 minutes 3/24/03 Cindy 40 minutes 3/24/03 Erin 40 minutes These six case studies were designed to generate knowledge relevant to the research questions with respect to: (a) preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge about teaching reading, (b) preservice teachers expectations for struggling readers, (c) preservice teachers instruction for struggling readers, and (d) preservice teachers evaluation of struggling readers. Each of the case studies was organized around these four categories. The cases were written based on data reduction from the background information sheets of the participants, autobiographies of the participants, interviews with the participants, observations of the participants, and the participants written evaluations and expectations of struggling readers.

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54 These categories of preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge, expectations, instruction, and evaluation of struggling readers assisted the researcher in sorting through the data and were useful in developing the description of each case. For the purpose of this study, preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge are defined as the attitudes, values, beliefs, and knowledge about teaching, students, content and the education process that students bring to teacher education. The individual cases describe each of these categories and the patterns for each preservice teacher. Case Study 1: Cindy Cindy was a twenty-two year old white female in graduate school at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, specializing in literacy education. She had completed twenty-one semester hours related to the teaching of reading including Language Arts for Diverse Learners, Emergent Literacy, Assessment in Literacy, Childrens Literature, Literacy Seminar, and Classroom Reading 2. Cindy had completed field experiences in first, third, and fifth grades. Cindy completed her student teaching in fifth grade. Cindy planned on teaching in grades three to five when she graduated. Beliefs and Professional Knowledge About Teaching Reading Cindys beliefs and professional knowledge were compiled from her autobiography, background information sheet, interviews, observations, written expectations and written evaluations. Parental involvement Cindy believed that parental involvement is important for reading acquisition. She believed that some children struggle with reading acquisition due to a lack of parental involvement. In her autobiography, Cindy recalled that her mother spent a lot of time with her reading, telling stories and doing role-play activities. She credited this involvement with her reading success. In her evaluations of struggling

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55 readers, Cindy often mentioned the family of her students and whether or not they were involved in the academic achievement of her students. She also acknowledged that many parents may be working a great deal and not available to assist their students. Cindy believed that parental involvement makes a huge difference in students reading success. Motivation Cindy believed that children learn to read if they are motivated to read. She wrote that learning to read will be easier for students who are excited about learning to read. She believed her motivation and desire to read were partly responsible for her success in school. Cindy described two of her students as motivated and hard working. Cindy described her other students as having a poor attitude towards reading, feeling unsuccessful about reading, lacking confidence and avoiding reading. Readiness. Cindy believed that children will learn to read when they are developmentally ready. Cindy recalled that she learned to read without formal instruction. She believed that learning to read came easily to her because she was ready to read. She recalled that there was little reading instruction in her kindergarten class. However, because of her readiness to read and her mothers influence at home, she learned to read without instruction. Cindy described some of her students as not being ready for intensive reading instruction due to their lack of prior reading experiences. Access and exposure to print. Cindy believed that children learn to read by being given access and exposure to print. Cindy remembered having many books and literacy toys as a child. She remembered her favorite book as a young child was a book of farm poems that her mother had given her as a gift. She wrote about this belief in her autobiography.

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56 Through my experiences, I feel that children learn to read when they are surrounded by an environment rich in text. In her evaluations of struggling readers, Cindy wrote that many of her students do not have access to books and do not read outside of school. In her autobiography, Cindy wrote about her belief that lack of access to books and reading outside of school are the reasons some children have difficulty learning to read and why she believes they will continue to struggle throughout their lives. When kids dont have many experiences with text they are automatically going to be behind the student who has been read to every night or looks at picture books on a daily basis. It seems sad to think that the kids whose parents or teachers dont provide opportunity for textual experiences are in for a lifelong struggle. Socioeconomic status. Cindy believed that some students struggle with reading acquisition because of the influence of their socioeconomic status. Cindy wrote about her belief in her autobiography. Even more evident are the difficulties experienced by children in poverty. How can kids learn to read when they are busy thinking about survival and where they are going to get their next meal. When asked to describe a student that she found it difficult to teach, Cindy described a child who wasnt encouraged at home either by parents or environment. In an interview, Cindy discussed the reasons that a childs background is important for their reading success. I think that a student who comes from a fairly literate family, you know, who keeps books around, who is doing okay as far as economically, socioeconomics, I think that that student is going to have a much easier time applying what they know and the way that they know how to learn to read. And I think a child who doesnt come from that type of background, who might be poor or might not have access to any kind of text, is going to have a much harder time learning how to read.

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57 Behavior. Cindy believed that another reason students struggle with reading acquisition is because of poor behavior. In her evaluations of struggling readers, Cindy often wrote about behavior. He has issues. I dont know exactly what is going on there except he has some emotional problems. He needs a lot of attention and without it he tends to shut down. This doesnt help his progress in literacy. He gets off task really easy. Im constantly having to redirect him to what hes doing. Cindy believed that a teacher would not be able to teach a student to read until someone was able get his behavior under control. Reading disability Cindy believed that students who continue to struggle with reading acquisition may have a reading disability that prevents them from making progress. Cindy believed these students required additional instruction beyond what she could provide. Cindy did not believe that she could teach a student to read if that student had a reading disability. Teacher Efficacy Cindy did not believe that she was capable of teaching all of her students to read. She wrote about one student, He needs much more help that I am able to provide. In an interview conducted upon completion of the tutoring, Cindy responded that she did not believe that she would be able to teach all of the students in her classroom to read when she became a classroom teacher. I think that Ill be able to teach the majority how to read based on what Ive been taught here and with UFLI and other things. Theres always going to be one student that, you know, Im maybe not going to know how.

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58 As reported previously, Cindy did not believe that she could teach a student to read if that student had a reading disability. Cindy believed these students required instruction beyond what she could provide. Responsibility Cindy believed that it was the responsibility of the resource teachers and the school to teach the struggling students to read. She believed the classroom teacher alone could not teach all of the children in the class to read. Its the responsibility of the resource teachers and also, the responsibility of, you know, the school to make sure that theyre getting the other help that they need like pullouts and things like that. I think the school needs to provide someone who can work one-on-one with him every day whether it be special education or something like that. Table 4-3 summarizes Cindys beliefs and professional knowledge about teaching reading. Expectations for Struggling Readers Cindy submitted three written expectations for the struggling readers she was tutoring. Cindys expectations were low for all of her struggling readers. She expected each of them to make little progress because they had too many obstacles to overcome before becoming a good reader. Text level Cindy did not expect any of her struggling students to improve significantly in their reading text level. She expected them to improve only one to three Reading Recovery reading levels. She expected one of her students to achieve only a Reading Recovery level six. Her highest expectation was for some of her struggling readers to improve from a Reading Recovery level eleven to a thirteen. Grade level Cindy expected all of her struggling readers to remain reading below grade level at the end of the tutoring. Cindy expected her most struggling student to read text at a Reading Recovery level six and her least struggling reader to read text at a

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59 Table 4-3 Cindys Beliefs and Professional Knowledge About Teaching Reading Theme Belief Parental involvement Parental involvement is important for reading acquisition. Children struggle with reading acquisition because of lack of parental involvement. Motivation Children learn to read if they are motivated to read. Children struggle with reading acquisition because they lack motivation to read. Readiness Children learn to read when they are developmentally ready to read. Access and exposure to print Children learn to read through access and exposure to print. Children struggle with reading acquisition if they are not provided access and experience with print. Socioeconomic status Children struggle with reading acquisition because of their socioeconomic status. Behavior Children struggle with reading acquisition because of poor behavior. Reading disability Some children struggle with reading acquisition because they have a reading disability. Teacher efficacy Can not personally teach a student with a reading disability to read. Will not be able to teach every child to read proficiently. Responsibility It is the responsibility of the resource teachers and the school to teach struggling students to read.

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60 Reading Recovery level thirteen by the end of the year. According to Reading Recovery, a first grader would need to read level seventeen to be reading on grade level at the end of the school year (Reading Recovery Council of North America, 2004). Reading strategies Cindy expected all of her students to need additional strategy instruction and practice. She was not specific regarding the type of strategy instruction and practice. She expected that her students would require individualized instruction from a resource teacher in the future in order to make progress. She also did not expect her struggling readers to learn in a group setting. She expected that these students would need individual instruction in order to make progress. Therefore she expected little or no progress from these students. Reading disability Cindy suspected that two of her struggling readers had reading disabilities although they had not been tested for reading disabilities. Cindy expected that these students would require instruction beyond what she could provide. She did not expect these students to make progress with her instruction. She expected these two students to qualify for exceptional education. Behavior Cindy expected the behavior of her struggling readers to interfere with their progress. Cindy described every one of her students as easily frustrated. One student she described as needs a lot of attention, which she expected to interfere with his progress. She described one of her students as having emotional problems that would require much more help that I am unable to provide. She described one students shyness as an obstacle to her progress. Cindy described two of her students as motivated and hard working. Cindy described her other students as having a poor attitude towards reading, feeling unsuccessful about reading, lacking confidence and avoiding reading.

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61 Table 4-4 summarizes Cindys expectations for struggling readers. Table 4-4 Cindys Expectations for Struggling Readers Category Expectations Text Level Students will improve one to three Reading Recovery reading levels. Grade Level Students will remain below grade level. Reading Strategies Students require additional individualized instruction based on student need. Reading Disability Two students will qualify for exceptional education. Make little or no progress. Behavior Students poor behavior will interfere with progress. Influence of beliefs on expectations The influence of Cindys beliefs and professional knowledge on her expectations was evident in her written expectations of struggling readers, her descriptions of her students achievement of her expectations during an interview, and in the debriefing sessions after the observations. Cindys beliefs and professional knowledge influenced both her expectations for struggling readers and her explanations for her students successful or unsuccessful achievement of those expectations. Cindy did not believe she, as a future classroom teacher, was capable of teaching all of her struggling readers to read and that it was the responsibility of resource teachers and the school to assist struggling readers with their reading acquisition. She did not believe she could teach a child with a reading disability to read. Cindys expectations for her struggling readers were directly aligned with these beliefs about teaching struggling readers. She had low expectations for her struggling readers. She expected them to make

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62 small text level reading gains and remain reading below grade level. She expected one student would be diagnosed with a reading disability and would make little or no progress. Cindys beliefs about `socioeconomic status, readiness, reading disability, motivation and poor behavior were also directly aligned with her expectations for her struggling readers. During the first interview, Cindy reported that one student was meeting her expectations. Cindy described the students motivation as the reason for her progress. Cindy also reported that some of her students were not meeting her expectations. Cindy described the possible reasons for their lack of success as low socioeconomic status, lack of developmental readiness, possible reading disability, lack of motivation, and poor behavior. Instruction for Struggling Readers Modeling The researcher observed Cindy modeling throughout the observed tutoring sessions. Cindy modeled fluent reading, using picture clues, decoding, blending, encoding, and rereading strategies. Cindy used the whiteboard, magnetic letters, and Elkonin boxes to model these strategies. Wait time The researcher observed throughout the observed tutoring sessions that when a student miscued, Cindy would immediately interrupt the students reading and prompt the student to figure out the word. Then, before the student could respond, Cindy would immediately interrupt again and decode the word for the student. Cindy did not provide any wait time after a miscue to allow for self-correction during the observed tutoring sessions. She also did not allow wait time after a strategy prompt for the student to apply the strategy.

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63 Prompting The researcher observed that Cindy often prompted students to apply a reading strategy. However, she applied the strategy herself instead of the student. For example, the researcher observed in one tutoring session that a student hesitated on an unknown word and looked at Cindy. Cindy prompted the student, What can we do to figure that word out? Before the student could respond, Cindy again prompted, What if we covered that part up? Before the student could respond, Cindy gave him the correct word. The student repeated the word and Cindy praised him, Good job. The researcher observed Cindy prompt students by rereading the sentence as an oral cloze so the student could guess the word based on context. The students often were able to guess the word with this method. The researcher observed Cindy prompt a student to look at the pictures and pointed to the picture. However, before the student could respond, Cindy supplied the word. Cindy repeated this pattern of instruction throughout the observed tutoring sessions. Providing Answers The researcher observed that Cindy repeatedly supplied the answers to students rather than let the students apply the strategies and skills. While the students read the text, Cindy pointed to the words instead of instructing the child to point to the words. She did not allow the students to figure out unknown words on their own. After prompting a student to decode a word, Cindy would decode the word for him or often just provide the word. In the observed tutoring sessions, Cindy did nearly all of the work for the students For example, in one tutoring session Cindy asked the student to sound out the word make. Before the student could reply, Cindy made the sounds, m k, mmmmm k. After Cindy decoded the sounds and blended it together in

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64 this manner, she then said the word. Cindy then praised the child, Good, very good! even though the child had not responded. When the same student made another miscue, Cindy immediately interrupted, No, what is this word? The student guessed incorrectly. Cindy then sounded the letters out and blended them together. The student did not respond. Cindy gave him the word. During writing or word work, the researcher observed Cindy prompt students to use letter-sound correspondences with Elkonin boxes. However, just as in the reading of text, Cindy did all of the work for the student. She figured out how many sounds there were in the words and what the sounds and letters were for the Elkonin boxes. Each time Cindy asked the student to count the sounds in the word with her, the student held up an incorrect number of fingers. Cindy did not acknowledge the error or help the student practice counting the sounds. Cindy simply did all of the work herself and did not help the student understand how to do it. During one tutoring session, Cindy showed the student a story book for the extending literacy step of the UFLI program. Cindy read the book to the student. Two times during the reading, Cindy prompted the student to make a prediction. However, she did not allow the student time to respond and kept on reading. Text The researcher noted repeatedly in the observed tutoring sessions that Cindy had the student reading text at his or her frustration level rather than instructional level. In one observation, the researcher noted that the student struggled with every two or three words. He did not make it through any sentence without having to work on a word. When the student finished the book, he threw it across the room. Cindy ignored the behavior. In the observation conference after the session, Cindy recalled the students reading.

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65 He did pretty well. And he read the new book without getting frustrated which is a big battle for us. Cindy did not seem to realize the level of frustration the student was experiencing. However, in her final evaluations, Cindy did note that she thought she had all of her students reading text that she estimated to be at least two levels higher than their instructional reading level. Table 4-5 summarizes Cindys instruction for struggling readers. Table 4. Cindys Instruction for Struggling Readers Category Instruction Modeling Fluent reading. Using picture clues. Decoding. Blending. Encoding. Rereading. Materials: whiteboard, magnetic letters, Elkonin boxes, various texts. Wait Time No wait time after miscue. No wait time after questions or prompts. Prompting Prompted strategy use. Providing Answers Supplied the answers to students rather than let the students apply the strategies and skills. Text Provided frustration level text for students. Influence of Beliefs on Instruction The influence of Cindys beliefs and professional knowledge on her instruction while she was teaching children who were struggling with reading acquisition was evident during the observed tutoring sessions. Cindys beliefs about struggling readers were directly aligned with her instruction for struggling readers.

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66 Cindy did not believe that she, as a future classroom teacher, was personally capable of or responsible for teaching all of her struggling readers to read due to the students lack of parental involvement, lack of motivation, lack of developmental readiness, lack of exposure to print, low socioeconomic status, possible reading disability, and poor behavior. These beliefs were directly aligned with her instruction. Cindy did not allow wait time after miscues or strategy prompts and supplied the answers to students rather than allowing the students to apply the strategies and skills. This type of instruction reflects the belief that the students are not capable of achieving reading proficiency due to all of the previous factors. These factors would also prevent her from being capable of or responsible for teaching them to read. Evaluation of Struggling Readers Cindy submitted three written evaluations of the struggling readers she was tutoring. Her evaluations included the strengths and weaknesses of each student. Text level In her final evaluations, Cindy wrote that her most struggling reader was reading at a Reading Recovery text level six. However, she wrote that he should be on a lower level. Although he made it to this level honestly he should actually be on a lower level. The rest of her struggling students were in a group that she had reading text at a Reading Recovery level fourteen. However, she wrote that her students reading levels were probably actually lower than the level on which she had them reading. I would estimate the actual reading ability to be a couple levels lower. Grade level Based on Cindys final evaluations, all of her struggling readers remained reading below grade level at the end of the tutoring. Although Cindys group finished on a level fourteen, she estimated their actual reading achievement was a couple

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67 of levels lower so they would have been reading well below grade level. Cindys other student was significantly below grade level at a Reading Recovery text level six. Reading strategies Cindy described the strengths and weaknesses of each her students reading strategies. Strengths included use of picture clues and storytelling ability. Cindy reported that some of her students had difficulty with the letter-sound relationships, lacked reading strategies, had difficulty recognizing letters, and made careless mistakes. She described some of her students reading strategies as low and slowly progressing. Reading disability Cindy suspected that two of her students had reading disabilities. Neither student had been evaluated for a reading disability. Cindy speculated about possible reading disabilities in her evaluations of struggling readers. One of Cindys evaluations included that the student read or wrote words backwards or out-of-order, was a bit confused most of the time, and spelled a word backwards. Cindy concluded, I think shes dyslexic. I know she hasnt been tested for it. Behavior. Behaviors that Cindy mentioned in her evaluations of her struggling students were distracted, frustrated, hyper, needs a lot of attention, temperamental attitude, and poor attitude. Cindy wrote in her evaluations that all of her students were easily frustrated. This frustration would lead them to become distracted. Cindy described several students as needing a lot of attention. Cindy described one of her students behavior. He needs a lot of attention and without attention he tends to shut down. He has issues. I dont exactly know what is going on there except that he has some emotional problems. His weakness would definitely be his temperamental attitude. He is very hyper.

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68 Cindy concluded that her most struggling reader was frustrated very easily because of the tutoring program. He gets frustrated fairly easily, more so now than when we started tutoring. I attribute this to all of the extra reading instruction he has been given since we began our sessions. He doesnt feel successful in reading and avoids it like the plague. I have to bribe him into reading a book. Table 4-6 summarizes Cindys evaluations of struggling readers. Table 4-6 Cindys Evaluation of Struggling Readers Category Evaluation Text level Students improved one to three Reading Recovery reading levels. Students actual reading level lower than current level. Grade level Students remained below grade level. Reading Strategies Student uses picture clues. Student good at storytelling. Student lacks reading strategies. Student has difficulty recognizing letters. Reading Disability Student reads or writes words backwards or out-of-order. Student might have dyslexia. Student easily confused. Student probably has a reading disability. Behavior Student has emotional problems. Student needs a lot of attention. Student is shy. Student is easily distracted. Student is easily frustrated. Student is hyperactive. Student will not participate. Influence of Beliefs on Evaluations The influence of Cindys beliefs and professional knowledge on her evaluations of struggling readers was discovered in her

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69 written evaluations. Cindys beliefs about teaching struggling readers were directly aligned with her evaluations of struggling readers. Cindy believed that children struggle with reading acquisition because they have a reading disability. This belief is evident in her evaluations of her struggling readers. Cindy included in her evaluations of her two most struggling readers that they probably had a reading disability that interfered with their ability to make progress even though they had not been tested or diagnosed with any type of reading disability. Cindy also believed that she, as a future classroom teacher, was not capable of teaching a child with a reading disability to read. Her evaluation reflected this belief as Cindy believed that the children who were still struggling the most with reading acquisition after her tutoring must have a reading disability and that would explain her inability to teach them to read. Cindy also believed that children struggle with reading acquisition because they lack motivation to read and because of poor behavior. These beliefs about motivation and behavior were directly aligned with her evaluations of her struggling readers. Cindy reported behaviors and motivation factors that interfered with her students reading progress such as having emotional problems, needing a lot of attention, easily distracted, easily frustrated, hyperactive, and not willing to participate. Case Study 2: Erin Erin was a twenty-three year old white female in graduate school at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, with an interdisciplinary specialization including math, science, reading, and social studies. She had completed twelve semester hours related to the teaching of reading including Childrens Literature, Emergent Literacy, Language

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70 Arts Methods, and Classroom Reading 2. Erin completed her student teaching in fourth grade. Erin planned on teaching in grades one to three when she graduated. Beliefs and Professional Knowledge About Teaching Reading Erins beliefs and professional knowledge were compiled from her autobiography, background information sheet, interviews, observations, written expectations and written evaluations. Parental Involvement. Erin believed that parental involvement is important for reading acquisition. She believed that children struggle with reading acquisition because of lack of parental involvement. Erin reported in her autobiography that her mother and grandmother spent a lot of time reading to her and she also attempted to read to them. Erin talked about the influence that the parents had on the students that she tutored during an interview. You can tell that the parents of the kids from the better educated homes read to them. You can tell that they do. Whereas, the other kids dont have that benefit because maybe their moms and dads have to work until way past their bedtime or something. You never know. She believed parents should meet with their childs teacher at least once a month to talk about the different ways you can help your child at home to enhance their school learning. Motivation Erin believed that students who are motivated to read will be good readers. She described the ideal student she hoped to teach as one that is very eager to learn and be successful. She also believed that exposing children to various types of reading material and genres will pique their interest in reading and, therefore, motivate them to become good readers. She recalled that when she learned to read it gave her a

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71 sense of power and confidence in herself which motivated her to become an even better reader. Erin believed that the students she was tutoring were motivated. They get real excited once were into the actual session. I think its mainly that they enjoy feeling like theyre doing something when they read a sentence that they didnt think that they could read. I think thats probably it. Readiness Erin believed that children will learn to read when they are developmentally read. Erin recalled that she learned to read before she began kindergarten. She believed she was ready to read and learned to read without formal instruction because she had been immersed in a print rich environment and was read to on a regular basis. Access and exposure to print Erin believed that children learn to read through access and exposure to print. She believed that children should be exposed to all types of genres and reading materials in order to get them interested in reading. In my opinion, its very important that they are surrounded by a print rich environment all the time because it makes them more comfortable in reading. Socioeconomic status Erin believed that children struggle with reading acquisition because of the influence of their socioeconomic status. She reported that it was obvious which students came from no-so-good homes by the way the recognize letters and their sounds. She believed that students from a low socioeconomic background would not have had prior experience with books and a print-rich environment. Behavior Erin believed that children struggle with reading acquisition because of poor behavior. She reported that two of the students in her group were often off task which affected not only their own achievement, but that of the group. She reported that she had to spend more of her instructional time on their behavior in order to ensure they were on track.

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72 I feel like my teaching is not as good because Im constantly trying to get one kid sit down or stop making noises and faces. And thats a little frustrating. And I feel like I neglect two of the other kids because Im always reprimanding the other two. Reading Disability Erin believed that some children struggle with reading acquisition because they have a reading disability. She believed these students needed more individual instruction. Erin described a child who was difficult for her to teach during her student teaching experience. One student who was classified ESE and reads at a first grade level (in the fourth grade), was difficult to teach because he was very unsure about his abilities and he needed more one-on-one help. When asked why she thought one of her students was struggling so much with reading acquisition, she reported, I think that he has dyslexia. I havent been able to think of any other reason. She believed these students needed more instructional time, not significantly different instruction. Teacher Efficacy Erin believed that she could teach every child to read proficiently. She confidently reported, I think every child can learn to read. She believed she was ready to start teaching and believed the UFLI tutoring model really helped my ability to teach reading a lot. Erin believed that with a combination of ongoing progress monitoring and specific strategy instruction she would be able to teach all of her students to read. Responsibility. Erin believed that it is the responsibility of the classroom teacher to teach struggling readers. She reported that she would like to use the exceptional education teacher as a resource to seek coaching on strategies to help her teach her struggling readers.

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73 Table 4-7 summarizes Erins beliefs and professional knowledge about teaching reading. Table 4-7 Erins Beliefs and Professional Knowledge About Teaching Reading Theme Belief Parental involvement Parental involvement is important for reading acquisition. Children struggle with reading acquisition because of lack of parental involvement. Motivation Children who are motivated to read will be good readers. Children struggle with reading acquisition because they lack motivation to read. Readiness Children learn to read when they are developmentally ready to read. Access and exposure to print Children learn to read through access and exposure to print. Children struggle with reading acquisition if they are not provided access and experience with books. Socioeconomic status Children struggle with reading acquisition because of their socioeconomic status. Behavior Children struggle with reading acquisition because of poor behavior. Reading disability Some children struggle with reading acquisition because they have a reading disability. Teacher efficacy Can teach every child to read proficiently. Responsibility Responsibility of the classroom teacher to teach struggling students to read.

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74 Expectations for Struggling Readers Erin submitted three written expectations for the struggling readers that she was tutoring. Erin included expectations specific to her students reading development. Her expectations were high for all of her struggling readers. Text level Erin expected all of her students to be reading on a Reading Recovery level 14 by the end of the tutoring. However, Erin confirmed in her interview that she believed level fourteen was considered on-grade-level for the end of first grade. Grade level Erin expected all of her struggling readers be reading on grade level at the end of the tutoring. As previously reported, Erin expected all of her students to be reading on a Reading Recovery level 14 by the end of the tutoring. Although this is lower than grade level, Erin believed this to be grade level reading. Therefore, Erin had high expectations that all of her tutored students would be reading on grade level by the end of the tutoring. Reading strategies Erin was very specific in her reading strategy expectations. She expected her students to improve their fluency and decoding. She expected her students to improve their ability to independently identify unknown words. Erin expected her students to increase the number of sight words they were able to quickly and accurately identify. Reading disability. Erin suspected that one of her struggling readers had a reading disability although he had not been tested for reading disabilities. As with all of her tutored students, Erin expected this student to be reading on a Reading Recovery level 14 by the end of the tutoring program. She also expected him to improve his decoding and fluency skills.

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75 Behavior Erin expected her students to become more confident and motivated. She expected all of her students to enjoy reading and participate. Erin expected her students off task behavior to affect their achievement as well as the other students in the tutoring group as her attention was often on behavior rather than instruction. Table 4-8 summarizes Erins expectations for struggling readers. Table 4-8 Erins Expectations for Struggling Readers Category Expectations Text Level All students will read at Reading Recovery level fourteen. Grade Level All students will read on grade level. Reading Strategies All students will improve fluency, decoding, sight words. Reading Disability One student will be labeled dyslexic. Student will make same progress as other students. Behavior Students will become motivated, confident, participate, and enjoy reading. Students off task behavior will affect groups achievement. Influence of beliefs on expectations The influence of Erins beliefs and professional knowledge on her expectations was evident in her written expectations of struggling readers, her descriptions of her students achievement of her expectations during an interview, and in the debriefing sessions after the observations. Erins beliefs and professional knowledge influenced both her expectations for struggling readers and her explanations for her students successful or unsuccessful achievement of those expectations.

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76 Erin believed that she, as a future classroom teacher, was personally capable of teaching all of her struggling readers to read and that she was responsible for teaching them to read. Erins expectations for her struggling readers were directly aligned with these beliefs about teaching struggling readers. She had high expectations for all of her struggling readers and expected all of her students to be reading on grade level and improve their reading strategies. Erins belief that students who continue to struggle with reading acquisition may have a reading disability was reflected in her expectations. Erin expected one of her students to be diagnosed with a reading disability. However, her high teacher efficacy belief influenced her expectation for him as she expected him to be reading on grade level at the end of the tutoring sessions. During the first interview, Erin reported that all of her students except one were meeting her expectations. Erin described several elements of the tutoring instruction and specific strategy instruction as the reasons these students were making progress. Erin also reported that one of her students was not meeting her expectations. Erin described the possible reasons for his lack of success as a possible reading disability and the need for more tutoring instruction. Instruction for Struggling Readers Modeling. The researcher observed Erin modeling throughout the observed tutoring sessions. Erin modeled fluent reading, using picture clues, decoding, blending, encoding, and rereading strategies. Erin used the whiteboard, magnetic letters, and Elkonin boxes to model these strategies. Wait time. The researcher observed throughout the observed tutoring sessions that when a student miscued, Erin would immediately interrupt the students reading and

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77 prompt the student to figure out the word. However, after pointing to the miscue, Erin would allow the student to attempt again or give the student a strategy prompt and wait for the student to attempt the unknown word. Erin usually did not provide any wait time after a miscue to allow for self-correction during the observed tutoring sessions. Erin did always allow wait time after a strategy prompt for the students to apply the strategy. Prompting. The researcher observed that Erin often prompted students to apply a reading strategy. She prompted students to reread, decode, look for little words within the word, look at the pictures, and segment sounds. She prompted students to think about whether a miscue made sense or sounded correct in the sentence. Providing answers. The researcher observed in a later tutoring session, that Erin sometimes supplied the answers to students. During the earlier observed tutoring sessions, Erin coached the students and challenged the students to do the work on their own. During these observations, the students were reading text at an appropriate level for instruction. However, in a later tutoring session, the researcher noted that the text was too difficult for the students, which required Erin to provide extensive assistance. Erin provided more coaching and prompting when a student was not successful right away. She attempted to have the students do the work with multiple prompts. However, when the text was too difficult for the students, Erin had to provide many of the answers. The researcher noted that Erins students still did all of the writing work themselves. Erin let the students apply the strategies and skills during writing. She had the students segment the sounds and write the words on their own. The researcher observed that the students were more successful with this encoding during writing than they were with decoding during reading.

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78 Erin was aware at times that she was providing answers to students rather than allowing the students to apply their knowledge and skills. During one observed tutoring session, after the students read the new book Erin used the whiteboard for decoding practice. Her students were unable to decode the words that she chose. Erin described her frustration after this tutoring session. Sometimes I get a little frustrated because I dont feel like Im able to really help him sound the words out better without giving him the word. Thats something Im really struggling with. Text The researcher noted that during the beginning tutoring sessions, Erins students were reading text at their instructional level. Since the text was as their instructional level, Erin did not have to provide extensive support so that students were able to read the text. The researcher observed Erin coaching the students and providing support so that the students were able to apply the strategies and skills. However, later in the tutoring sessions, the researcher observed students reading books at their frustration level rather than their instructional level. Because the text was too difficult, Erin had to provide extensive support for the students to get through the text. Erin seemed to get frustrated when this would happen as reflected in her words to the student. You should know these words. We read this book yesterday. You should be able to read this. You know that word. During one observed tutoring session the text was so difficult for the student that he was struggling with nearly every word. During the running record the tutor is to simply record the childs reading verbatim with no encouragement, prompting, or input in any way in order to determine if the text is on the students independent reading level, instructional reading level, or frustration reading level. The researcher observed that when Erin took the running record she provided strategy prompts, praised for correct

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79 reading, nodded her head with each correct word, and pointed out miscues. The researcher noted that Erins prompting allowed the student to score instructional level on the assessment rather than frustration level. Erin was not aware that her prompting was allowing the students to perform higher on the running record than their actual reading level. Erin described the students performance in an interview after the tutoring session. He got a 94% on his running record. Overall I think he did fine. Hes usually pretty good. You know, hes a good reader. Table 4-9 summarizes Erins instruction for struggling readers. Table 4 Erins Instruction for Struggling Readers Category Instruction Modeling Fluent reading. Using picture clues. Decoding. Blending. Encoding. Rereading. Materials: whiteboard, magnetic letters, Elkonin boxes, various texts. Wait Time No wait time after miscue. Wait time after questions or prompts. Prompting Prompted strategy use. Providing Answers Allowed students to apply the strategies and skills. Supplied the answers to students when text was too difficult. Text Provided instructional level text for students. Provided frustration level text for students. Influence of Beliefs on Instruction The influence of Erins beliefs and professional knowledge on her instruction while she was teaching children who were struggling with

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80 reading acquisition was evident during the observed tutoring sessions. Erins beliefs about teaching struggling readers were directly aligned with her instruction for struggling readers. Erin believed that she, as a future classroom teacher, was personally capable of and responsible for teaching all of her struggling readers to read. Her belief and professional knowledge that she was capable of teaching all students to read is evident in the type of instruction she provided to her students. Erin allowed time after prompts, allowed students to apply the strategies and skills themselves, and provided instructional level text most of the time. This type of instruction was reflective of her high teacher efficacy and responsibility. She believed that she was capable of teaching her students and, therefore, they would be able to apply the strategies and skills that she taught them. Evaluation of Struggling Readers Erin submitted three written evaluations of the struggling readers she was tutoring. Her evaluations included the strengths and weaknesses of each student. Text level In her final evaluations, Erin reported that her students were reading at Reading Recovery levels 11, 12, 13, and 14. She wrote that one of her students might actually be able to read higher than a level fourteen if he had been tutored individually. Erin believed that one student that she reported at a level fourteen was actually only reading on a level twelve. Grade level In her final interview, Erin reported that maybe two of her students were reading on grade level. She believed this was because they slowed down a lot rather than just kind of guessing on a word just by looking at the first letter. Erin reported that her most struggling reader might be dyslexic and was still below grade level.

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81 Reading strategies Erin described the strengths and weaknesses of each of her students reading strategies. Strengths included decoding strategies, phonemic awareness, increasing sight word vocabulary, using picture clues, and using anchor words. Erin reported that some of her students had difficulty using context clues and often guess at words without closely looking at the word when reading a sentence. She described some students lack of fluency, which prevent them from having good comprehension of the story. She reported that some of her students have a difficult time blending the sounds together to make the whole word. Reading disability Erin suspected that her student who was struggling the most with reading acquisition have a reading disability. She wrote that her most struggling reader might be dyslexic and was still below grade level. Erin speculated in an interview that dyslexia was the reason he was not reading on grade level. So I think he does have dyslexia that would definitely be what is hindering it. I mean I havent been able to think of any other reason why. Behavior. Erin reported that her students off task behavior affected their achievement as well as the other students in her tutoring group. Positive behaviors that Erin reported in her evaluations included having a good attitude, enjoying reading, getting excited about accomplishments, and participating. Negative behaviors that Erin reported included giving up easily, being talkative, goofing off quite a bit, and having a lot of energy. Table 4-10 summarizes Erins evaluations of struggling readers.

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82 Table 4-10 Erins Evaluation of Struggling Readers Category Evaluation Text level Students reading Reading Recovery level 11, 12, 13, 14. Students actual reading levels higher or lower than current level. Grade level Two students reading on grade level. Other students reading below grade level. Reading Strategies Student uses decoding strategies. Student uses phonemic awareness skills. Student increased sight word vocabulary. Student uses picture clues. Student uses anchor words. Student has difficulty using context clues. Student guesses without strategy use. Student lacks fluency. Student has difficulty blending. Reading Disability Student has dyslexia. Behavior Student has a good attitude. Student enjoys reading. Student excited about accomplishments. Student gives up easily. Student off task. Student energetic. Influence of Beliefs on Evaluations The influence of Erins beliefs and professional knowledge on her evaluations of struggling readers was discovered in her written evaluations. Erins beliefs about teaching struggling readers were directly aligned with her evaluations of struggling readers. Erin believed that children struggle with reading acquisition because they have a reading disability. This belief was evident in her evaluations of her struggling readers. Erin included in her evaluations of her most struggling reader that he probably had a reading disability that interfered with his ability to make progress even though he had not

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83 been tested or diagnosed with any type of reading disability. Erins belief that she was capable of and responsible for teaching a child with a reading disability to read was reflected in her evaluation as she wrote that this student needed more time for instruction in order to make progress. Erin also believed that children struggle with reading acquisition because they lack motivation to read and because of poor behavior. These beliefs about motivation and behavior were directly aligned with her evaluations of her struggling readers. Erin reported behaviors and motivation factors that interfered with her students reading progress such as being off task, giving up easily, and being energetic. Erin reported positive behaviors such as having a good attitude and enjoying reading that also reflect her belief that children learn to read if they are motivated. Erins teacher efficacy belief was strong than these beliefs as she believed that she could teach all of her students to read. Case Study 3: Nancy Nancy was a twenty-three year old white female in graduate school at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, specializing in math and science education. She had completed six semester hours related to the teaching of reading including Childrens Literature and Emergent Literacy. Nancy completed her student teaching in fourth grade. Nancy completed field experiences in fifth grade, kindergarten, and sixth through eighth grade ESOL. Nancy planned on teaching middle school or fourth or fifth grades when she graduated.

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84 Beliefs and Professional Knowledge About Teaching Reading Nancys beliefs and professional knowledge were compiled from her autobiography, background information sheet, interviews, observations, written expectations and written evaluations. Parental involvement Nancy believed that parental involvement is critical for reading acquisition. She believed that some children struggle with reading acquisition due to a lack of parental involvement. Her parents believed that school was very important and provided an environment for learning. Nancy believed parents should spend time with their children teaching them to read. Parents should try to spend as much time as possible working with their children to develop the skills that they need to be good readers. Unfortunately, not all students get this kind of help and attention at home. Nancy did not believe that her tutored students parents were involved in their education. I know theyre not getting much encouragement at home. They dont talk about reading with their parents or anything like that. That leads me to believe that they dont really to that very often. It doesnt seem like they are very involved. Motivation Nancy believed that students learn to read if they are motivated to read. In her background information sheet, Nancy described the ideal student. The ideal student would have a hunger for learning. He would be motivated to look beyond what is being taught to him in the classroom and look for other ways to extend his knowledge. This student would be so motivated to learn that there would be no difficulties in getting the child to know that information that I am presenting. Nancy believed that students can improve their reading skills with increased effort. With practice and hard work, students can improve their reading skills. Nancy described this lack of motivation as the reason one student in her internship was difficult to teach.

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85 During instruction, she would not pay attention, then when it came time to do assignments she would raise her hand and ask for help. In the beginning I would help her, but then I realized that I was not helping other students because I was re-teaching the lesson to her. I told her that if she wanted my help, she needed to pay attention while I was teaching the lesson the first time, because I was not going to teach it a second time for her. Sometimes she would follow along with the lessons, while other times she would not. She had no desire to receive good grades and it was hard to find something to motivate her to do her work. Nancy believed that her most struggling reader was not motivated. I pull out a book and he starts moaning. So I say, Too bad, youre going to have to read it. Readiness Nancy believed that children will learn to read when they are developmentally ready to learn. She believed that she learned to read before she entered school with no instruction because she was ready to read. My mom told me that I picked up a book one day and began reading it to her. She thought that I had memorized the book from having it read to me, so she took me to the library. She said that I could read all of the books that she gave me, including books that I had never seen before. Access and exposure to print. Nancy believed that children learn to read by being given access and exposure to print. She recalled having many books in the home and participating in many literacy related activities. I think that to be a good reader you have to be exposed to reading and books at an early age. This exposure should be regular and meaningful. Nancy believed that lack of parental support and lack of exposure to books may be the reasons students struggle with reading acquisition. Students that are poor readers are definitely missing something that does not allow them to read as well as other students in their classes. This reason could be that they do not have the support at home to help them. It could also be that they do not get enough exposure to books.

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86 Socioeconomic status Nancy believed that some students struggle with reading acquisition because of the influence of their socioeconomic status. She described a student she found it difficult to teach during her student teaching experience. This was a fourth grade student who was 12 years old, three years older than most of the other students. She came from a low-income home, in which she lived with her grandmother and four or five other children. After many attempts to contact her grandmother, we realized that she was not getting the support she needed at home. Nancys belief that students from low-income homes would automatically be lower achieving was evident in her background information sheet. Teachers need to be aware of the discrepancy between home environments and try to close the gap between the low and high readers in their class. Behavior Nancy believed that students struggle with reading acquisition because of poor behavior. She described one student as temperamental and giving up too easily. His misbehavior prevents him from doing what he is supposed to do and learning what he should be learning. She believed another students was only pretending not to be able to read in order to get attention. Reading disability Nancy believed that some students who continue to struggle with reading acquisition may have a reading disability. Nancy did not believe that she could teach a student with a reading disability to read. She also did not believe that the classroom teacher could teach a child with a reading disability to read. She believed that one of her students might have a reading disability. She believed that something within the child was preventing the child from reading. The other little girl thats in his class is pretty good at reading so you know its obviously not something the teachers doing. Its just something within him.

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87 Teacher efficacy Nancy did not believe that she was capable of teaching all of her students to read. She repeatedly wrote that her struggling students needed special help. Nancy wrote about her inability to teach one student. I think that he needs a lot of outside help. This special help is not something that I can spend as much time as he needs. Responsibility Nancy believed it was the responsibility of the resource teachers and parents to teach struggling children to read. In an interview Nancy described what she would do if she had a struggling reader in her classroom that was not responding to her instruction. If Ive already tried, maybe hed go to the reading resource teacher or some other resource teacher. And, like, definitely talk to the parents and say, look this is very important for your child to be able to do and try to get that parent interaction so that theyre getting the help they need at home. I would talk to the parents and say, Look, its going to be really helpful for your child if you read with them at home. And just hope that they realize that its a really big deal. In her description of the ideal student she hoped to teach, Nancy placed responsibility for student success onto parental support. He would come from a home in which his parents, or other caretaker, would provide the support that he needs to excel in school and other areas. This parental responsibility for school success was also contained in an evaluation of a tutored student. I think that with continued help from home, she would be caught up to her fellow classmates. And in her autobiography Nancy wrote, Parents should spend as much time as possible working with their children to develop the skills that they need to be good readers. Nancy also believed it was the responsibility of the student to learn to read. She repeatedly mentioned that if the students would only work harder they would learn to read. In her evaluations of tutored students, Nancy repeatedly wrote that if the children would really try to read, they could do it.

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88 As long as she concentrates and really tries to read, she can do very well. She is excited to learn so Im sure that shell catch up. I think he has a lot of promise if he would just concentrate and try to read. Table 4-11 summarizes Nancys beliefs and professional knowledge about teaching reading. Expectations for Struggling Readers Nancy submitted three written expectations for the struggling readers she was tutoring. Nancys expectations were low for all of her struggling readers. Text level Nancy did not expect any of her struggling students to improve significantly in their reading text level. She expected them only to improve a few Reading Recovery text levels. She was not specific with the text levels. Grade level Nancy expected all of her tutored students to remain reading below grade level at the end of the tutoring. She did not expect significant improvement. Reading strategies Nancy expected all of her students to need additional strategy instruction and practice. She expected some of her students to need more instruction on learning the sounds of letters and letter combinations. She was not specific regarding any other type of strategy instruction and practice. However, she described it as being specialized instruction. Reading disability Nancy expected one of her students to be diagnosed with a reading disability. He was in the process of being screened for a reading disability. She expected that this student would require some kind of specialized instruction that neither she nor the classroom teacher could provide. Behavior Nancy expected the behavior of some of her struggling readers to interfere with the reading progress. Nancy described the behavior of two of hers students

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89 Table 4-11 Nancys Beliefs and Professional Knowledge About Teaching Reading Theme Belief Parental involvement Parental involvement is critical for reading acquisition. Children struggle with reading acquisition because of lack of parental involvement. Motivation Children learn to read if they are motivated to read. Children struggle with reading acquisition because they lack motivation to read. Readiness Children learn to read when they are developmentally ready to read. Access and exposure to print Children learn to read through access and exposure to print. Children struggle with reading acquisition if they are not provided access and experience with print. Socioeconomic status Children struggle with reading acquisition because of their socioeconomic status. Behavior Children struggle with reading acquisition because of poor behavior. Reading disability Some children struggle with reading acquisition because they have a reading disability. Teacher efficacy Can not personally teach a student with a reading disability to read. Will not be able to teach every child to read proficiently. Responsibility Responsibility of the resource teachers and parents to teach struggling students to read. Responsibility of struggling reader to learn to read.

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90 as a major problem that holds back progress. She expected these students to make little or no progress until their behavior was kept under control. Table 4-12 summarizes Nancys expectations for struggling readers. Table 4-12 Nancys Expectations for Struggling Readers Category Expectations Text Level Students will improve a few Reading Recovery text levels. Grade level Students will remain reading below grade level. Reading strategies Students will require additional specialized instruction. Reading disability Students will qualify for exceptional education. Students will make little or no progress. Behavior Students poor behavior will interfere with progress. Influence of beliefs on expectations The influence of Nancys beliefs and professional knowledge on her expectations was evident in her written expectations of struggling readers, her descriptions of her students achievement of her expectations during an interview, and in the debriefing sessions after the observations. Nancys beliefs and professional knowledge influenced both her expectations for struggling readers and her explanations for her students successful or unsuccessful achievement of those expectations. Nancy did not believe she, as a future classroom teacher, was capable of teaching all of her struggling readers to read and that it was the responsibility of resource teachers and the parents to assist struggling readers with their reading acquisition. She did not believe she could teach a child with a reading disability to read. Nancys expectations for

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91 her struggling readers were directly aligned with these beliefs about teaching struggling readers. She had low expectations for her struggling readers. She expected them to make small text level reading gains and remain reading below grade level. She expected one student would be diagnosed with a reading disability and would make little or no progress. Nancys beliefs about motivation and poor behavior were also directly aligned with her expectations for her struggling readers. During the first interview, Nancy reported that some of her students were meeting her expectations. Nancy described the students motivation and memory as the reasons for their progress. Nancy also reported that some of her students were not meeting her expectations. Nancy described the possible reasons for their lack of progress as the students lack of motivation, poor behavior, and possible reading disability. Instruction for Struggling Readers Modeling The researcher observed Nancy modeling throughout the observed tutoring sessions. Nancy modeled fluent reading, using picture clues, decoding, blending, encoding, and rereading strategies. Nancy used the whiteboard, magnetic letters, and Elkonin boxes to model these strategies. Wait time Throughout the observed tutoring sessions when a student miscued, Nancy would immediately interrupt the students reading and prompt the student to figure out the word. Then, before the student could respond, Nancy would immediately interrupt again and decode the word for the student. Nancy did not allow any wait time after a miscue to allow for self-correction during the observed tutoring sessions. She also did not allow wait time after a strategy prompt for the student to apply the strategy.

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92 Prompting The researcher observed that Nancy often prompted the student to decode words. This is the only strategy that the researcher observed Nancy prompt students to use. However, after prompting students to decode the word, Nancy would either immediately individual, one-on-one the word or sound the word out for he student and then the student would say the word. Providing answers The researcher observed Nancy repeatedly providing the answers to students rather than allowing students to apply the strategies and skills. While students read text, Nancy did not allow them to figure out unknown words on their own. She would either provide the word immediately for the student or make the sounds in the word for the student and have the student guess the word. In one observed lesson a student was writing on the whiteboard and made a mistake. Nancy took the board, erased the letter and wrote the correct letter herself. During writing work Nancy would segment the words into sounds and make all of the sounds for students. Nancy repeated this pattern of supplying answers through all observed lessons. Text. The researcher noted during every observed lesson, Nancy had the students reading text at their frustration level rather than instructional level. In one observation, the researcher noted that the student struggled with nearly every word in the text. Nancy had to supply the words or make the sounds in the word and blend them together for the student. During this same observed session, the running record book had a pattern that the student had memorized. She was able to read this portion of the book, but not the rest of the text. She made up the words that were not part of the pattern. Nancy recorded this book at her instructional level although the researcher noted it was frustration level. Nancy recalled the students reading of this text after the tutoring session.

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93 She did a pretty good job. Shes really good at remembering words. Shes really good. Nancy did not seem to realize that the text was too difficult for the student. Table 4-13 summarizes Nancys instruction for struggling readers. Table 4 Nancys Instruction for Struggling Readers Category Instruction Modeling Fluent reading. Using picture clues. Decoding. Blending. Encoding. Rereading. Materials: whiteboard, magnetic letters, Elkonin boxes, various texts. Wait Time No wait time after miscue. No wait time after questions or prompts. Prompting Prompted students to decode. Providing Answers Supplied the answers to students rather than let the students apply the strategies and skills. Text Provided frustration level text for students. Influence of beliefs on instruction The influence of Nancys beliefs and professional knowledge on her instruction while she was teaching children who were struggling with reading acquisition was evident during the observed tutoring sessions. Nancys beliefs about struggling readers were directly aligned with her instruction for struggling readers. Nancy did not believe that she, as a future classroom teacher, was personally capable of or responsible for teaching all of her struggling readers to read due to the students lack of parental involvement, lack of motivation, lack of developmental readiness, lack of exposure to print, low socioeconomic status, possible reading

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94 disability, and poor behavior. These beliefs were directly aligned with her instruction. Nancy did not allow wait time after miscues or strategy prompts and supplied the answers to students rather than allowing the students to apply the strategies and skills. This type of instruction reflects the belief that the students are not capable of achieving reading proficiency due to all of the previous factors. These factors would also prevent her from being capable of or responsible for teaching them to read. Evaluation of Struggling Readers Nancy submitted three written evaluations of the struggling readers she was tutoring. Her evaluations included the strengths and weaknesses of each student. Text level At the end of the tutoring sessions, Nancys students were reading on a Reading Recovery text level four through eleven. In her final evaluations, Nancy wrote that her most struggling reader was reading at a Reading Recovery text level four. However, she wrote that he should be on a lower level. He has progressed to the 4 th reading level, however he seems very frustrated when reading books on this level for the first time. He may have to be moved back down to the 3 rd level again. Grade level All of Nancys students completed the tutoring sessions reading below grade level. All of Nancys students were reading level eleven and below. Reading strategies Nancy described the strengths and weaknesses of each of hers students reading strategies. Strengths for some students included using picture clues, decoding, and encoding. Nancy reported that some of her students had difficulty with letter-sound correspondences, sight words, and blending sounds together to form words. Reading disability Nancy suspected that one of her students had a reading disability. He was being evaluated for a reading disability. Nancy described him as

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95 having a lot of troubles with reading and with all the extra help that he gets it seems that he should be progressing more than he is. Behavior Behaviors that Nancy mentioned in her evaluation of struggling readers were energetic, uncooperative, temperamental, unwilling to try, dancing around the table, staring into space, not paying attention, loses interest, gives up easily, shuts down, inattentive, discouraged, and frustrated. Nancy wrote in her evaluations that each of her students became easily frustrated and would stop participating in the lessons. Table 4-14 summarizes Nancys evaluations of struggling readers. Influence of Beliefs on Evaluations The influence of Nancys beliefs and professional knowledge on her evaluations of struggling readers was discovered in her written evaluations. Nancys beliefs about teaching struggling readers were directly aligned with her evaluations of struggling readers. Nancy believed that children struggle with reading acquisition because they have a reading disability. This belief is evident in her evaluations of her struggling readers. Nancy included in her evaluations of her most struggling readers that he probably had a reading disability that interfered with his ability to make progress even though he had not been tested or diagnosed with any type of reading disability. Nancy also believed that she, as a future classroom teacher, was not capable of teaching a child with a reading disability to read. Her evaluation reflected this belief as Nancy believed that the child who was still struggling the most with reading acquisition after her tutoring must have a reading disability and that would explain her inability to teach him to read.

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96 Table 4-14 Nancys Evaluation of Struggling Readers Category Evaluation Text level Students are reading on Reading Recovery text levels four through eleven. Students actual reading level lower than current level. Grade level Students reading below grade level. Reading Strategies Students use picture clues. Student uses decoding skills. Student uses encoding skills. Student has difficulty with letter-sound correspondences. Student has difficulty with sight words. Student has difficulty blending sounds. Reading Disability Student struggles with reading. Student may have a reading disability. Behavior Student is energetic. Student is uncooperative. Student is temperamental. Student is unwilling to try. Student not interested. Student gives up easily. Student shuts down. Student inattentive. Student discouraged. Student frustrated. Nancy also believed that children struggle with reading acquisition because they lack motivation to read and because of poor behavior. These beliefs about motivation and behavior were directly aligned with her evaluations of her struggling readers. Nancy reported behaviors and motivation factors that interfered with her students reading progress such as being energetic, uncooperative, temperamental, unwilling to try, uninterested, inattentive, discouraged, frustrated, and unwilling to put forth effort.

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97 Case Study 4: Laura Laura was a twenty year old black female in undergraduate school at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, specializing in literacy education. She had completed six semester hours related to the teaching of reading including Childrens Literature and Emergent Literature. Laura completed Project Book Talk, a field experience reading to small groups of preschool children. She had completed no other field experiences or student teaching. However, she was currently in a student teaching experience in second grade. Laura planned on teaching second or third grade when she graduated. Beliefs and Professional Knowledge About Teaching Reading Lauras beliefs and professional knowledge were compiled from her autobiography, background information sheet, interviews, observations, written expectations and written evaluations. Parental involvement Laura believed that parental involvement is important for reading acquisition. She believed that children struggle with reading acquisition due to a lack of parental involvement. Laura recalled in her autobiography that her family emphasized the need for education, especially reading. Laura recounted that her mother always encouraged her to learn new things. Lauras father is an avid reader, often reading two to three books simultaneously throughout the week. Laura believed it was important to educate parents about the importance of reading to their children. If the family believes that education is very important and that you cant really go anywhere in life without education, then I think that the parents will strive to read to their child. Motivation Laura believed that children learn to read if they are motivated to read. She believed that good readers are interested in books.

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98 I believe that good readers are curious about books before they read them. They try to find out about some background information about the book, by reading the back or doing some other brief research. Laura also believed that motivation could help a child overcome difficulties with reading acquisition. Its all about motivation. If they want to read, then theyre going to do well. Laura described motivation as the reason one of her tutored students was reading on grade level at the end of the tutoring sessions. I think that she just really enjoys reading. Shes excited about books. She tries to see the positive things. I think that helps. Laura described motivation as the reason one of her tutored students was not reading on grade level at the end of the tutoring sessions. She has problems because she doesnt want to make the effort to try. She just doesnt care about reading so she doesnt get any better. Laura believed that the reading specialists role is to give struggling readers a lot of encouragement and high motivation. Readiness. Laura believed that children will learn to read when they are developmentally ready to read. She believed that she learned to read before she entered school with no formal instruction because she was ready to read. My parents started reading to me soon after I was born. When I began school I already had a good understanding of letters, words, sentences, and the general rules of reading. I remember wanting to read all kinds of books. Access and exposure to print Laura believed that children learn to read by being given access and exposure to print. She recalled that her parents began reading to her as soon as she was born and credits this with her ease of reading acquisition and love of reading. Laura described why she believes some children have difficulty with reading acquisition.

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99 If children are not read to consistently at a young age they may have difficulties understanding the rules of reading: where to begin reading, when to pause and stop, what words need capital letters, etc. Socioeconomic status Laura believed that children struggle with reading acquisition because of the influence of their socioeconomic status. In an interview she described the differences between her students that she considered lower middle class and her students that she considered middle class. I think that background makes a huge difference because the lower middle class dont read as much at home and they want to do something else. And the higher middle class read more and have more and their parents try to help them become more excited about learning. Whereas, the lower middle class have to concentrate on the more practical things and dont worry about learning. They just do what they have to do so they can get on with life. So, I think it makes a huge difference. Behavior. Laura believed that children struggle with reading acquisition because of poor behavior. She believed that the poor behavior of one person in a group setting influenced the others in the group as well. I think behavior makes a huge difference, huge difference. I think they play off of each other a lot too because when one is having a bad day then it affects their motivation to learn and then the others they just get discouraged too. Reading disability Laura believed that some students who continue to struggle with reading acquisition may have a reading disability that prevents them from making progress. Laura did not know what type of instruction these students would require. She did not believe that she could teach a child to read if that student had a reading disability. Teacher efficacy Laura stated in an interview that she believed that she could teach every child to read proficiently. She hesitantly described her ability to teach all of her students to read. I think so. I think that, yeah. I think it would be easier to work with them in smaller groups. Im not sure if Id be able to figure out how to work with struggling readers in a whole class instruction or something like that. But I think Id be able to help them.

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100 Laura stated later in the interview that she did not believe that she could teach a child to read if that child had a reading disability. Responsibility. Laura believed that it was the responsibility of the reading resource teacher to teach struggling readers because the classroom teacher wouldnt have time for that. In an interview, she described the classroom teachers responsibility for struggling readers. They need to make sure there is no public humiliation because that is the biggest problem. They should model the habit of independent reading time and reading with a partner. Laura believed that struggling readers need help with the specific areas that theyre struggling in and that as a classroom teacher she wont have time to help them each with their individual problems. Laura also believed it was the responsibility of the struggling reader to learn to read. She believed that students often just werent trying. She has problems because she doesnt want to make the effort to try. She just doesnt care about reading so she doesnt get any better. Table 4-15 summarizes Lauras beliefs and professional knowledge about teaching reading. Expectations for Struggling Readers Laura submitted three written expectations for the struggling readers that she was tutoring. Laura had high expectations for the student she was tutoring individually and low expectations for the students she was tutoring in a small group. Text level Laura expected one of her students to be reading on grade level by the end of the tutoring session although she was not aware which text level was considered to be first grade level text by the end of the school year. She did not expect the students in her group to make significant progress in text level during the tutoring sessions.

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101 Table 4-15 Lauras Beliefs and Professional Knowledge About Teaching Reading Theme Belief Parental involvement Parental involvement is important for reading acquisition. Children struggle with reading acquisition because of lack of parental involvement. Motivation Children learn to read if they are motivated to read. Motivation is the most important fact in reading acquisition. Children struggle with reading acquisition because they lack motivation to read. Readiness Children learn to read when they are developmentally ready to read. Access and exposure to print Children learn to read through access and exposure to print. Children struggle with reading acquisition if they are not provided access and experience with print. Socioeconomic status Children struggle with reading acquisition because of their socioeconomic status. Behavior Children struggle with reading acquisition because of poor behavior. Reading disability Some children struggle with reading acquisition because they have a reading disability. Teacher efficacy Will not be able to teach every future student to read proficiently. Will not be able to teach a child with a reading disability to read. Responsibility Responsibility of the reading resource teacher to teach struggling readers to read.

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102 Theme Belief Responsibility of the struggling reader to learn to read. Grade level Laura expected one of her students to be reading on grade level by the end of the tutoring session. She did not expect the students in her group to be reading on grade level by the end of the tutoring sessions. Reading strategies Laura expected her students to improve in their use of strategies, self-correction, and reading rate. She expected her students to improve their sight word vocabulary, comprehension, and decoding skills. She expected her most struggling reader to be able to recognize letters and be able to blend the sounds. Reading disability Laura did not expect any of her students to be diagnosed with a reading disability. Behavior Laura expected her students poor behavior to interfere with their individual progress as well as the progress of the group. Laura expected her students to be more interested, put forth more effort and develop a better attitude toward reading Table 4-16 summarizes Lauras expectations for struggling readers. Influence of beliefs on expectations The influence of Lauras beliefs and professional knowledge on her expectations was evident in her written expectations of struggling readers, her descriptions of her students achievement of her expectations during an interview, and in the debriefing sessions after the observations. Lauras beliefs and professional knowledge influenced both her expectations for struggling readers and her explanations for her students successful or unsuccessful achievement of those expectations.

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103 Table 4-16 Lauras Expectations for Struggling Readers Category Expectations Text Level One student will read at least a Reading Recovery reading level seventeen. Other students will make limited progress in reading text levels. Grade Level One student will read at grade level. Other students will remain below grade level. Reading Strategies Students will improve use of strategies. Students will improve self-correction. Students will improve reading rate. Students will improve sight word vocabulary. Students will improve comprehension. Students will improve decoding skills. Most struggling student will be able to recognize letters and blend sounds. Reading Disability Students do not have a reading disability. Behavior Students poor behavior will interfere with individual progress as well as the progress of the group. Students will be more interested. Students will put forth more effort. Students will develop a better attitude toward reading. Laura did not believe she, as a future classroom teacher, was capable of teaching all of her struggling readers to read and that it was the responsibility of resource teachers to assist struggling readers with their reading acquisition. Lauras expectations for her struggling readers were directly aligned with these beliefs about teaching struggling readers. She had low expectations for all except one of her struggling readers. She expected them to make small text level reading gains and remain reading below grade level.

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104 Lauras beliefs about motivation and poor behavior were also directly aligned with her expectations for her struggling readers. During the first interview, Laura reported that some of her students were meeting her expectations. Laura described the students motivation as the reason for their progress. Laura also reported that some of her students were not meeting her expectations. Laura described the possible reasons for their lack of progress as the students lack of motivation and poor behavior. Instruction for Struggling Readers Modeling. The researcher observed Laura modeling throughout the observed tutoring sessions. Laura modeled fluent reading, using picture clues, decoding, blending, encoding, and rereading strategies. Laura used the whiteboard, magnetic letters, and Elkonin boxes to model these strategies. Wait time The researcher observed throughout the observed tutoring sessions that when a student miscued, Laura would immediately interrupt the students reading and prompt the student to figure out the new word. She did not allow any wait time for the student to self-correct. Lauras prompt was always, whats that word? Laura sometimes would pause for the student to respond after the prompt. Other times she would simply provide the word immediately after the prompt. Prompting The researcher observed that when a student miscued, Laura would prompt the student to look at the word again by saying, Whats that word? If the student did not respond or responded incorrectly, Laura would supply the word. If a student hesitated on a word, Laura would prompt the student, You know that word. She did not model, explicitly teach, or prompt the student for other strategies to identify the unknown word. The researcher observed Laura prompting students to encode words

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105 during writing word work. However, each of these times, Laura sounded out the words herself. Providing answers The researcher observed Laura repeatedly providing the answers to the students rather than allowing students to apply strategies and skills. When students hesitated during reading, Laura would say, You know that word. If the student did still did not correctly identify the word, Laura would provide the word. If a student miscued during reading, Laura would say, Whats that word? Again, if the student did not correctly identify the word, Laura would supply the word. During writing, Laura would provide the correct number of sounds and the sounds in each word and the student would simply write the letters. The student only had to know the letter-sound correspondences and did not have to segment the words into sounds. Text. The researcher noted during every observed lesson, Laura had the students reading text at their frustration level rather than instructional level. Because the text was too difficult, Laura had to provide extensive support for the students to read the text. Laura blamed the students lack of ability to read the text on their motivation. During one observed tutoring session a student struggled on every couple of words. Laura explained that the student wasnt even trying and wanted me to give her all of the answers. Laura expressed her frustration at a students lack of ability to read a text. She just doesnt want to make the effort to try. She just gets frustrated and wants to give up instead of trying to work through it. During the running record the tutor is to simply record the childs reading verbatim with no encouragement, prompting, or input in any way in order to determine if the text is on the childs independent reading level, instructional reading level, or frustration reading level. The researcher observed that when Laura took running records, she provided

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106 prompts, praised for correct reading, nodded her head, pointed out miscues, and said yes when words were read correctly. The researcher noted that Lauras prompting allowed the student to score instructional level on the assessment rather than frustration level. Table 4-17 summarizes Lauras instruction for struggling readers. Table 4 Lauras Instruction for Struggling Readers Category Instruction Modeling Fluent reading. Using picture clues. Decoding. Blending. Encoding. Rereading. Materials: whiteboard, magnetic letters, Elkonin boxes, various texts. Wait Time No wait time after miscue. No wait time after questions or prompts. Prompting Prompted strategy use. Providing Answers Supplied the answers to students rather than let the students apply the strategies and skills. Text Provided frustration level text for students. Influence of Beliefs on Instruction The influence of Lauras beliefs and professional knowledge on her instruction while she was teaching children who were struggling with reading acquisition was evident during the observed tutoring sessions. Lauras beliefs about struggling readers were directly aligned with her instruction for struggling readers. Laura did not believe that she, as a future classroom teacher, was personally capable of or responsible for teaching all of her struggling readers to read due to the

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107 students lack of parental involvement, lack of motivation, lack of developmental readiness, lack of exposure to print, low socioeconomic status, possible reading disability, and poor behavior. These beliefs were directly aligned with her instruction. Laura did not allow wait time after miscues or strategy prompts and supplied the answers to students rather than allowing the students to apply the strategies and skills. This type of instruction reflects the belief that the students are not capable of achieving reading proficiency due to all of the previous factors. These factors would also prevent her from being capable of or responsible for teaching them to read. Evaluation of Struggling Readers Laura submitted three evaluations of the struggling readers that she was tutoring. Her evaluations included the strengths and weaknesses of each student. Her final evaluations were also discussed in the final interview. Text level In her final evaluation, Laura reported that one of her students was reading at a Reading Recovery level 20. She did not report the specific text level of the students in her group. She did say in her final interview that the group was at a much lower level than her individual student. Grade level In her final interview, Laura reported that one of her students was reading on grade level. All of the students in Lauras group were reading below grade level. Reading strategies Laura described the strengths and weaknesses of each of her students reading strategies. Strengths included fluent reading, decoding, sight word vocabulary, taking risks, and good comprehension. Weaknesses included not using strategies, guessing, skipping, no sight word vocabulary, no comprehension, and lacks letter recognition.

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108 Reading disability Laura reported that, to her knowledge, none of her tutored students had been diagnosed with a reading disability. Behavior. Laura reported that her students behavior affected their achievement as well as the other students in her tutoring group. Positive behaviors that Laura reported included enjoying reading new books and being excited about getting to read. Negative behaviors that Laura reported included not being focused, not concentrating, fidgeting, getting off topic, does not enjoy reading, gives up easily, gets upset, distracted, ignores instructions, and disrupts the group. Table 4-18 summarizes Lauras evaluations of struggling readers. Influence of Beliefs on Evaluations The influence of Lauras beliefs and professional knowledge on her evaluations of struggling readers was discovered in her written evaluations. Lauras beliefs about teaching struggling readers were directly aligned with her evaluations of struggling readers. Laura believed that children struggle with reading acquisition because they lack motivation to read and because of poor behavior. These beliefs about motivation and behavior were directly aligned with her evaluations of her struggling readers. Laura reported behaviors and motivation factors that interfered with her students reading progress such as not being focused, not concentrating, fidgeting, getting off topic, does not enjoy reading, gives up easily, distracted, and disruptive. Laura reported positive behaviors such as enjoying reading a new book and being excited about reading that also reflect her belief that motivation is the most important factor in reading acquisition.

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109 Table 4-18 Lauras Evaluation of Struggling Readers Category Evaluation Text level One student is reading on Reading Recovery text level twenty. Other students reading non-specific text level significantly lower than twenty. Grade level One student reading on grade level. Other students reading below grade level. Reading Strategies Student reads fluently. Student decodes. Student improved sight word vocabulary. Student takes risks. Student has good comprehension. Student does not use strategies. Student guesses. Student skips words. Student has no sight word vocabulary. Student has no comprehension. Student lacks letter recognition. Reading Disability Students do not have reading disability. Behavior Student is excited about reading. Student not focused. Student not concentrating. Student fidgeting. Student off topic. Student does not enjoy reading. Student gives up easily. Student gets upset. Student is distracted. Student ignores instructions. Student disrupts the group. Case Study 5: Drew Drew was a twenty-three year old white/Hispanic female graduate student at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, specializing in math and science. She had completed six hours related to the teaching of reading including Childrens Literature and

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110 Emergent Literacy. Drew had tutored a middle school student in reading privately for two years. She completed field experiences in first and second grades. She completed her student teaching in first grade. Drew planned on teaching in grades kindergarten through grade three upon graduation. Beliefs and Professional Knowledge About Teaching Reading Drews beliefs and professional knowledge were compiled from her autobiography, background information sheet, interviews, observations, written expectations, and written evaluations. Parental involvement Drew believed that parental involvement is important for reading acquisition. She believed that children struggle with reading acquisition due to a lack of parental involvement. Drew recalled in her autobiography that the closeness and stability of my family are factors that affected my education. Drew credits her parents as the most important part of my literacy experiences. Motivation Drew believed that children learn to read if they are motivated to read. She recalled her own enthusiasm for reading and writing in elementary school. She believes students will be motivated if they have authentic purposes for reading and writing. She recalled that school assignments took the joy out of reading for me. Drews belief in the power of motivation is evident in her description of the ideal student. The ideal student would want to learn. This student would participate in group discussions and have enthusiasm for class activities. The student would be helpful to their classmates and not be physically or verbally abusive to others. This is all I could ask of a student, that they are eager to learn and are respectful of others. Readiness. Drew believed that children will learn to read when they are developmentally ready to read. Drew described that she learned to read without formal

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111 instruction. She wrote that I feel like learning to read was something that just happened because I was developmentally ready. She also believed that children need to have an authentic purpose for reading. I believe that children learn to read when they are developmentally ready to and when they have a need for it. If a child is developmentally ready to read, but has to reason no read why would they have an interest in it. I believe that a purpose and developmental readiness are the underlying reasons children learn to read. Many children exhibiting reading difficulties at an early age may not be developmentally ready to read. When asked why they need to be able to read many children have no other answer than for school purposes, so they see no authentic purpose for reading. Access and exposure to print Drew believed that children learn to read by being given access and exposure to print. She believed that children will struggle with reading acquisition if they are not provided access and experience with books. She recalled that her parents surrounded her with books, tapes, writing materials, and literacy experiences. She credits this with her readiness to read. Socioeconomic status Drew believed that children struggle with reading acquisition because of the influence of their socioeconomic status. She described her belief about the influence of socioeconomic status in an interview. I think its real important. If theyre at home and theres always noise and something going on. Theyre always moving. Theyre always going somewhere. I dont think they have time to sit down and read. I dont think they see anyone else sitting down and reading. They dont realize how important it is. Behavior Drew believed that children struggle with reading acquisition because of poor behavior. She believed that the poor behavior of one student in a group could affect the achievement of the other students. She described her students frustration, reluctance to participate, attitude, and inattentiveness as barriers to their success. Reading disability Drew believed that some students have difficulties with reading acquisition because they have a reading disability.

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112 There are other students that have difficulties reading, because they have learning disabilities that affect their information processing. These students may be developmentally ready and have a purpose for reading, so their difficulties in processing would be very frustrating. She believed that her students who were not reading on grade level by the end of the tutoring sessions should be referred for testing for a reading disability. Teacher efficacy Drew did not believe that she was capable of teaching all of her students to read. She described the reasons that she would not be able to teach all of her students to read in an interview. I think that theres always going to be a few students that I may not get to the level that I want to get them to. I mean it may be for various reasons. They may not be developmentally ready or may have a learning disability that hasnt been identified. Responsibility. Drew believed it is the responsibility of the reading specialist and the special education teachers to teach struggling readers to read. She described her belief about the responsibility of the classroom teacher for teaching struggling readers in an interview. They need to be understanding. They need to modify objectives from them. They need to know that singling them out or having them read alone or aloud or anything like that is going to make them feel embarrassed. Table 4-19 summarizes Drews beliefs and professional knowledge about teaching reading. Expectations for Struggling Readers Drew submitted three written expectations for the struggling readers she was tutoring. Drews expectations were low for all of her struggling readers. Text level Drew expected her struggling readers to make slow progress in the level of text they were able to read. She was not specific with text levels. She expected

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113 Table 4-19 Drews Beliefs and Professional Knowledge About Teaching Reading Theme Belief Parental involvement Parental involvement is important for reading acquisition. Children struggle with reading acquisition because of lack of parental involvement. Motivation Children learn to read if they are motivated to read. Children struggle with reading acquisition because they lack motivation to read. Readiness Children learn to read when they are developmentally ready to read. Access and exposure to print Children learn to read through access and exposure to literature. Children struggle with reading acquisition if they are not provided access and experience with books. Socioeconomic status Children struggle with reading acquisition because of their socioeconomic status. Behavior Children struggle with reading acquisition because of poor behavior. Reading disability Some children struggle with reading acquisition because they have a reading disability. Teacher efficacy Will not be able to teach every child to read proficiently. Will not be able to teach a child with a reading disability to read. Responsibility Responsibility of reading specialist and special education teacher to teach struggling readers to read.

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114 one student in the group would not ever be able to pass a running record even on a familiar book. Grade level Drew expected her struggling readers to be continue to be reading below grade level at the end of the tutoring sessions. Reading strategies. Drew expected her students to continue to struggle with the use of reading strategies. She was not specific except in regard to one students trouble remembering sight words. He will continue to have trouble reading as long as his memory continues to be as episodic as it is now. He often forgets sight words from one page to the next, and looks back onto a page with the word to remember the situation in which he read it earlier. Reading disability Drew expected one of her students to be diagnosed with a reading disability. She expected that he needed individual instruction by the special education teacher in order to make progress in reading. Behavior. Drew expected the behavior of some of her struggling readers to interfere with their reading progress. This negative behavior included temper tantrums, inattentiveness, unwillingness to participate, and lack of confidence. Table 4-20 summarizes Drews expectations for struggling readers. Influence of beliefs on expectations The influence of Drews beliefs and professional knowledge on her expectations was evident in her written expectations of struggling readers, her descriptions of her students achievement of her expectations during an interview, and in the debriefing sessions after the observations. Drews beliefs and professional knowledge influenced both her expectations for struggling readers and

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115 her explanations for her students successful or unsuccessful achievement of those expectations. Table 4-20 Drews Expectations for Struggling Readers Category Expectations Text level Students will make slow progress in the level of text. Grade level All students will be reading below grade level. Reading strategies All students will continue to struggle with use of strategies. Reading disability One student will be diagnosed with a reading disability. Student will require individual instruction by the special education teacher. Behavior Students poor behavior will interfere with reading progress. Drew did not believe she, as a future classroom teacher, was capable of teaching all of her struggling readers to read and that it was the responsibility of resource teachers to assist struggling readers with their reading acquisition. She did not believe she could teach a child with a reading disability to read. Drews expectations for her struggling readers were directly aligned with these beliefs about teaching struggling readers. She had low expectations for her struggling readers. She expected them to make slow progress in their text level reading gains and remain reading below grade level. She expected one student would be diagnosed with a reading disability and would make little or no progress. Drews beliefs about readiness, poor behavior, and reading disability were also directly aligned with her expectations for her struggling readers. During the first

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116 interview, Drew reported that some of her students were meeting her expectations. Drew described the students readiness as the reason for their progress. Drew also reported that some of her students were not meeting her expectations. Drew described the possible reasons for their lack of progress as the students poor memory, poor behavior, and possible reading disability. Instruction for Struggling Readers Modeling The researcher observed Drew modeling throughout the observed tutoring sessions. Drew modeled fluent reading, using picture clues, decoding, blending, encoding, and rereading strategies. Drew used the whiteboard, magnetic letters, and Elkonin boxes to model these strategies. Wait time The researcher observed throughout the observed tutoring sessions that when a student miscued, Drew would immediately interrupt the students reading and prompt the student to figure out the unknown word. She did not allow wait time for the student to self-correct. The researcher observed that Drew also did not allow wait time after strategy prompts and questions. She would provide the answer or prompt again or ask another question. If the student did not respond immediately, Drew would supply the answer or prompt again or ask another question. Prompting The researcher observed Drew prompting students for strategy use. She prompted students to decode, look at the pictures, use the context, break the word into parts, and reread. The researcher also observed Drew prompt students by rereading the sentence as an oral cloze so that the students could guess the word based on context. Providing answers The researcher observed that Drew usually supplied the answers to students rather than allowing students to apply the strategies and skills. The researcher observed that if the student did not respond right away, Drew would supply

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117 the answer herself or sound out the word for the student. The researcher noted that Drew supplied more answers for the students at the lower text levels than the students at higher text levels. During one observed lesson, the researcher observed Drew helping a student read a new book. The student was struggling on nearly every word. After a miscue Drew did not allow any time for self-correction. She immediately pointed to the word and began to sound it out. There was no wait time in between her prompts or questions. Look at that word. Thats a b sound. That says b an-d. So what is the word? What is the word? The word is band. The researcher noted that the student was not even looking at the text during this interaction. Text The researcher noted that Drews students were reading text at their frustration level. During the running record, the researcher observed that Drew recorded the childs reading verbatim with no encouragement, prompting, or input in any way. The student did not pass the running record. However, later in the lesson the researcher observed the child reading in a text so difficult for him that in one eight word sentence he only knew two of the words. Drew had to provide extensive assistance in order to finish the text. The child was clearly frustrated smashing his hands into his face, pulling his hair, and sucking his fingers. Drew did not seem to realize that the book was too difficult for the child. After the session she explained why she thought the student would pass the running record on this book the next day. I chose it because I knew he wasnt going to pass the running record today at a level seven. This book had fewer words and it seemed to be a lot easier level seven than the one he was reading for the running record today. So hopefully hell be able to pass this running record tomorrow. He struggled with a lot less words than he did the other one.

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118 Table 4-21 summarizes Drews instruction for struggling readers. Table 4-21 Drews Instruction for Struggling Readers Category Instruction Modeling Fluent reading. Using picture clues. Decoding. Blending. Encoding. Rereading. Materials: whiteboard, magnetic letters, Elkonin boxes, various texts. Wait Time No wait time after miscue. No wait time after questions or prompts. Prompting Prompted strategy use. Providing Answers Supplied the answers to students rather than let the students apply the strategies and skills. Text Provided frustration level text for students. Influence of Beliefs on Instruction The influence of Drews beliefs and professional knowledge on her instruction while she was teaching children who were struggling with reading acquisition was evident during the observed tutoring sessions. Drews beliefs about struggling readers were directly aligned with her instruction for struggling readers. Drew did not believe that she, as a future classroom teacher, was personally capable of or responsible for teaching all of her struggling readers to read due to the students lack of parental involvement, lack of motivation, lack of developmental readiness, lack of exposure to print, low socioeconomic status, possible reading disability, and poor behavior. These beliefs were directly aligned with her instruction. Drew did not allow wait time after miscues or strategy prompts and supplied the answers

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119 to students rather than allowing the students to apply the strategies and skills. This type of instruction reflects the belief that the students are not capable of achieving reading proficiency due to all of the previous factors. These factors would also prevent her from being capable of or responsible for teaching them to read. Evaluation of Struggling Readers Drew submitted three written evaluations of the struggling readers she was tutoring. Her evaluations included the strengths and weaknesses of each student. Text level In her final evaluations, Drew reported that one of her students was reading a Reading Recovery text level 12, one student a level 19, and the four students in her small group a level 9. Drew reported that two of the students in the small group were actually reading below level 9 if they were not in the group. Grade level Drew reported that one of her struggling readers was reading on grade level. The four students in Drews small tutoring group were all reading well below grade level at a level 9 or below and one student was near grade level at a level 12. Reading strategies Drew described the strengths and weaknesses of each of her students reading strategies. Strengths included using picture clues and decoding. Weaknesses included phonemic awareness, semantics, memory, self confidence, letter-sound correspondences, blending, self-correcting, sight word vocabulary, and fluency. Reading disability Drew suspected that her student who was struggling the most with reading acquisition had a reading disability. She wrote about her future expectations for him in her final evaluation. I expect that he will stay below grade level in reading and will be placed in a class where he will receive more individual attention.

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120 In the final interview Drew talked about the kind of instruction this student will need. I think hes going to need some further help. He probably needs pretty intensive or small group help. He may end up being in special education for a learning disability or maybe even emotional because I think he might need some emotional help. Behavior Drew reported that her students behavior affected their progress in reading. Positive behaviors that Drew reported included that her students enjoyed reading and had a good attitude when they were successful. Negative behaviors that Drew reported included getting frustrated and discouraged easily during reading, inattentiveness, refusing to participate, lack of self-confidence, attitude, temper tantrums, and throwing books. Table 4-22 summarizes Drews evaluations of struggling readers. Influence of Beliefs on Evaluations The influence of Drews beliefs and professional knowledge on her evaluations of struggling readers was discovered in her written evaluations. Drews beliefs about teaching struggling readers were directly aligned with her evaluations of struggling readers. Drew believed that children struggle with reading acquisition because they have a reading disability. This belief is evident in her evaluations of her struggling readers. Drew included in her evaluations of her most struggling reader that he probably had a reading disability that interfered with his ability to make progress even though he had not been tested or diagnosed with any type of reading disability. Drew also believed that she, as a future classroom teacher, was not capable of teaching a child with a reading disability to read. Her evaluation reflected this belief as Drew believed that the child who was still struggling the most with reading acquisition after her tutoring must have a reading disability and that would explain her inability to teach him to read.

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121 Table 4-22 Drews Evaluation of Struggling Readers Category Evaluation Text level Reading Recovery levels 19, 12, and 9. Two may be reading lower than current group level of 9. Grade level One student reading on grade level. Five students reading below grade level. Reading Strategies Student uses picture clues. Student decodes. Student lacks phonemic awareness. Student does not use semantics. Student has poor memory. Student lacks letter-sound correspondences. Student can not blend. Student does not self-correct. Student has small sight word vocabulary. Student lacks fluency. Reading Disability Student probably has reading disability. Student will qualify for special education. Behavior Student has enjoys reading. Student has a good attitude. Student gets frustrated. Student gets discouraged. Student is inattentive. Student refuses to participate. Student lacks confidence. Student has a bad attitude. Student has temper tantrums Student throws books. Drew also believed that children struggle with reading acquisition because they lack motivation to read and because of poor behavior. These beliefs about motivation and behavior were directly aligned with her evaluations of her struggling readers. Drew reported behaviors and motivation factors that interfered with her students reading progress such as being frustrated, discouraged, inattentive, lacks confidence, bad attitude, and refusal to participate. Drew reported positive behaviors such as enjoying reading and

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122 having a good attitude that also reflects her belief that children learn to read if they are motivated. Case Study 6: Kerry Kerry was a twenty-four year old white female graduate student at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, specializing in childrens literature. She had completed six semester hours related to the teaching of reading including Emergent Literacy and Language Arts for Diverse Learning. Kerry completed her student teaching in fourth grade. She completed field experiences in first, second, and fifth grades. Kerry planned on teaching in first grade upon graduation. Beliefs and Professional Knowledge About Teaching Reading Kerrys beliefs and professional knowledge were compiled from her autobiography, background information sheet, interviews, observations, written expectations, and evaluations. Parental involvement Kerry believed that parental involvement is important for reading acquisition. Kerry believed that good readers begin with parent involvement before formal schooling begins. As the youngest member of the family, Kerry remembered that her mother was able to spend a lot of time with her during the days before she went to school. Reading was always valued in Kerrys house. She credited this parental involvement with the ease of her reading acquisition. She believed that some children struggle with reading acquisition due to a lack of parental involvement. She believed that both of her tutored students parents were involved in their childrens education. I know that one student takes all of his stuff home with him and he works on stuff at home. He told me that he practices with his mom and stuff like that. I think the

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123 other student gets practice reading at home. I know his parents are involved in his education. Motivation Kerry believed that children learn to read if they are motivated to read. Kerry recalled that reading came very easily to her and that she has always enjoyed reading. She believed this was probably because she never had to struggle with reading. Kerry believed that children need to have positive experiences with reading and books so that they will be motivated. I also think that to be a good reader, you have to have positive experiences with books and reading. Children who are forced to read or who are reading things that they are not interested in will not make as much progress. Kerry believed that both of the students she was tutoring were motivated to learn. I would say I have one that is very motivated and one I think is motivated. One student is very self-motivated. He enjoys what hes doing and he loves the extending literacy when we bring in all kinds of things. And the other its kind of hard to tell because he kind of holds back a lot. But I think he is motivated also. Readiness Kerry believed that children will learn to read when they are developmentally ready. She recalled that as she first began reading, she was actually reciting books she had memorized. She does not remember when she actually connected the words on the page with what she was saying, but was able to read on her own by the time she was four without formal instruction. She believes this is because she was developmentally ready to read. Access and exposure to print Kerry believed that children learn to read by being given access and exposure to print. Kerry strongly believed that reading to children will help them to become better and avid readers. She recalled everyone in her family reading to her before she learned to read. I believe that a good reader first begins in the home. Children who are read to, sung to, and talked to as much as possible will have it much easier when it comes to learning to read.

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124 Kerry believed that children will struggle with reading acquisition if they are not provided access and experience with books. Many children have not been exposed to books and texts before. These early experiences (or lack of) keep snowballing until the child is virtually unable to pass due to a lack of reading skills. Socioeconomic status Kerry believed that children struggle with reading acquisition because of the influence of their socioeconomic status. She believed that parents of low-income students would not be able to assist their children. I see kids that come in and they dont know how to look through a book or how to find things in a book. And the parents are not educated enough to help. Behavior. Kerry believed that children struggle with reading acquisition because of poor behavior. She believed that lack of attention and problems staying focused would limit reading achievement. Reading disability Kerry believed that some students who continue to struggle with reading acquisition may have a reading disability that prevents them from making progress. Kerry believed these students needed practice and someone to listen to them read. She believed that she could teach a child to read if that student had a reading disability. Teacher efficacy Kerry believed that she would be able to teach all of her future students to read proficiently. I think with a combination of reading instruction and then being able to work with small groups and use these strategies that will be helpful for struggling readers in my classroom so that they can catch up. I feel that many children have problems with reading because most classrooms teachers teach one way of reading and if that way doesnt work, too bad. It is important that students are taught a variety of steps and strategies they can use to get through words and books.

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125 Responsibility. Kerry believed that it is the responsibility of the parents and the classroom teacher to teach struggling readers to read. Im a big believer that it starts at home. If kids dont have exposure to songs and nursery rhymes and books at home, its going to be a lot harder for them when they get to school. And I dont think it necessary should be all the classroom teachers responsibility. I think parents need to step up and help too. Table 4-23 summarizes Kerrys beliefs and professional knowledge about teaching reading. Expectations for Struggling Readers Kerry submitted three written expectations for the two struggling readers that she was tutoring. Kerrys expectations were high for both students. Text level Kerry expected her students to be able to read grade level text by the end of the tutoring sessions. She expected their progress in text levels to slow as they texts became longer and more difficult. Grade level. Kerry expected both of her students to be reading on grade level by the end of the tutoring sessions. Reading strategies Kerry expected her students to improve their reading strategies as they began to pay better attention. She also expected their sight word vocabulary to improve with more reading practice. Reading disability Kerry did not expect any of her students to be diagnosed with a reading disability. Behavior Kerry expected her students to remain easily distracted and need to be reminded to stay focused. She expected her students to become more confident.

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126 Table 4-23 Kerrys Beliefs and Professional Knowledge About Teaching Reading Theme Belief Parental involvement Parental involvement is important for reading acquisition. Children struggle with reading acquisition because of lack of parental involvement. Motivation Children learn to read if they are motivated to read. Children struggle with reading acquisition because they lack motivation to read. Readiness Children learn to read when they are developmentally ready to read. Access and exposure to print Children learn to read through access and exposure to print. Children struggle with reading acquisition if they are not provided access and experience with print. Socioeconomic status Children struggle with reading acquisition because of their socioeconomic status. Behavior Children struggle with reading acquisition because of poor behavior. Reading disability Some children struggle with reading acquisition because they have a reading disability. Teacher efficacy Will be able to teach every student to read proficiently. Responsibility Responsibility of parents and classroom teacher to teach struggling readers. Table 4-24 summarizes Kerrys expectations for struggling readers. Influence of beliefs on expectations The influence of Kerrys beliefs and professional knowledge on her expectations was evident in her written expectations of struggling readers, her descriptions of her students achievement of her expectations

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127 during an interview, and in the debriefing sessions after the observations. Kerrys beliefs and professional knowledge influenced both her expectations for struggling readers and her explanations for her students successful or unsuccessful achievement of those expectations. Table 4-24 Kerrys Expectations for Struggling Readers Category Expectations Text level Students will read grade level text. Progress in text levels will slow as text becomes longer and more difficult. Grade level Students will read on grade level. Reading strategies Students will improve their use of strategies. Sight word vocabulary will improve. Reading disability Students do not have a reading disability. Behavior Students will remain easily distracted. Students will become more confident. Kerry believed that she, as a future classroom teacher, was personally capable of teaching her struggling readers to read and that she was responsible for teaching them to read. Kerrys expectations for her struggling readers were directly aligned with these beliefs about teaching struggling readers. She had high expectations for both of her struggling readers and expected both of her students to be reading on grade level and improve their reading strategies. During the first interview, Kerry reported that both of her students were meeting her expectations. Kerry described the tutoring as the reason for their progress. This expectation illustrates the influence of her teacher efficacy belief on her expectations.

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128 Instruction for Struggling Readers Modeling. The researcher observed Kerry modeling throughout the observed tutoring sessions. She modeled fluent reading, using picture clues, decoding, blending, encoding, and rereading strategies. Kerry used the whiteboard, magnetic letters, and Elkonin boxes to model these strategies. Wait time. The researcher observed throughout the observed tutoring sessions that when a student miscued, Kerry would immediately interrupt the students reading and prompt the student to figure out the word. However, after pointing to the miscue, Kerry would allow the student to attempt again or give the student a strategy prompt and wait for the student to attempt the unknown word. Kerry usually did not provide any wait time after a miscue to allow for self-correction during the observed tutoring sessions. Kerry did always allow wait time after a strategy prompt for the students to apply the strategy. Prompting. The researcher observed that Kerry often prompted students to apply a reading strategy. She prompted students to reread, decode, look for little words within the word, look at the pictures, and segment sounds. She prompted students to think about whether a miscue made sense or sounded correct in the sentence. Kerry always allowed time for the student to apply the strategy. Providing answers The researcher observed that Kerry rarely supplied the answers to students. Kerrys students did the work themselves and Kerry let the students apply the strategies and skills. She had the students figure out unknown words on their own. Kerry would provide more coaching when a student was not successful right away. However, she only gave the students the word once or twice when it seemed the student was not going to be able to figure out the word. During the writing portion of an observed lesson, the researcher observed that the student was not participating when Kerry was working

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129 on segmenting the word into sounds. Kerry immediately stopped and told the student, Oh, no, you do it with me. Kerry and the student did the segmenting together and then Kerry had the student segment the word on his own. Text. The researcher noted that Kerrys students were reading text at their instructional level. Since the text was at their instructional level, Kerry did not have to provide extensive support so that the students were able to read the text. During the running record, Drew recorded the childs reading verbatim with no encouragement, prompting, or input in any way. The researcher noted that this correct implementation of the assessment technique allowed Kerry to know the students correct instructional level. Table 4-25 summarizes Kerrys instruction for struggling readers. Table 4-25 Kerrys Instruction for Struggling Readers Category Instruction Modeling Fluent reading. Using picture clues. Decoding. Blending. Encoding. Rereading. Materials: whiteboard, magnetic letters, Elkonin boxes, various texts. Wait Time No wait time after miscue. Allows wait time after questions or prompts. Prompting Prompted strategy use. Providing Answers Tutor did not provide the answers to students. Students apply the strategies and skills. Text Provided instructional level text for students. Influence of Beliefs on Instruction The influence of Kerrys beliefs and professional knowledge on her instruction while she was teaching children who were struggling with reading acquisition was evident during the observed tutoring sessions.

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130 Kerrys beliefs about teaching struggling readers were directly aligned with her instruction for struggling readers. Kerry believed that she, as a future classroom teacher, was personally capable of and responsible for teaching all of her struggling readers to read. Her belief and professional knowledge that she was capable of teaching all students to read is evident in the type of instruction she provided to her students. Kerry allowed wait time after prompts, allowed students to apply the strategies and skills themselves, and provided instructional level text. This type of instruction was reflective of her high teacher efficacy and responsibility. She believed that she was capable of teaching her students and, therefore, they would be able to apply the strategies and skills that she taught them. Evaluation of Struggling Readers Kerry submitted three written evaluations of the struggling readers that she was tutoring. Her evaluations included the strengths and weaknesses of each student. Her final evaluations were also discussed in the final interview. Text level In her final evaluation, Kerry reported that one of her students was reading at a Reading Recovery level 20 and the other student was reading at a level 17 at the end of the tutoring sessions. Grade level. Both of Kerrys students were reading on grade level at the end of the tutoring sessions. Reading strategies Kerry described the strengths and weaknesses of her students reading strategies. Strengths included good memory, good decoding, reads with expression and intonation, good reading rate. Weaknesses included rushing through reading, not self-correcting, small sight word vocabulary, and difficulty understanding letter blends and vowel combinations.

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131 Reading disability Kerry reported that, to her knowledge, none of her tutored students had been diagnosed with a reading disability. Behavior Kerry reported that her students behavior affected their reading achievement. Kerry reported that being determined was a positive behavior. Negative behaviors that Kerry reported included being frustrated, having difficulty concentrating, becoming easily distracted, having anxiety, and a reluctance to read. Table 4-26 summarizes Kerry evaluations of struggling readers. Table 4-26 Kerrys Evaluation of Struggling Readers Category Evaluation Text level Students reading on Reading Recovery levels 17 and 20. Grade level Students reading on grade level. Reading strategies Student has good memory. Student decodes. Student reads with prosody. Student has good reading rate. Student rushes through reading. Student not self-correcting. Student has small sight word vocabulary. Student has difficulty with letter blends and vowel combinations. Reading disability Students do not have reading disability. Behavior Student is determined. Student becomes frustrated. Student having difficulty concentrating. Student easily distracted. Student has anxiety. Student is reluctant to read. Influence of Beliefs on Evaluations The influence of Kerrys beliefs and professional knowledge on her evaluations of struggling readers was discovered in her

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132 written evaluations. Kerrys beliefs about teaching struggling readers were directly aligned with her evaluations of struggling readers. Kerry also believed that children struggle with reading acquisition because they lack motivation to read and because of poor behavior. These beliefs about motivation and behavior were directly aligned with her evaluations of her struggling readers. Kerry reported behaviors and motivation factors that interfered with her students reading progress such as being frustrated, having difficulty concentrating, easily distracted, and reluctant to read. Kerry reported positive behaviors such being determined that also reflect her belief that children learn to read if they are motivated. Kerrys teacher efficacy belief was stronger than her beliefs about motivation and behavior as she believed that she could teach all of her students to read. Cross-Case Analysis The case study approach utilized in the present study was a multiple case study design. As described in Merriam (1998), the researcher performed two stages of analysis in this multiple case study. First, the researcher performed a within-case analysis, where each case was viewed as a comprehensive case in and of itself. The researcher began cross-case analysis upon completion of the analysis of each individual case. In this cross-case analysis the researcher attempted to see processes and outcomes that occur across many cases, to understand how they are qualified by local conditions, and thus develop more sophisticated descriptions and more powerful explanations (Miles & Huberman, 1994b). Comparative analysis of the six cases yielded similar as well as discrepant cases and were used to form more general explanations among the cases of the preservice teachers.

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133 The following research questions were answered based upon the analysis of the data collected from the background information sheets of the participants, autobiographies of the participants, interviews with the participants, observations of the participants, and the participants written expectations and evaluations of struggling readers. Research Question 1: What are preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge about teaching reading in general and teaching struggling readers in particular? The participants beliefs and professional knowledge identified in the data collected were classified into nine categories. These categories are: 1) parental involvement, 2) motivation, 3) readiness, 4) access and exposure to print, 5) socioeconomic status, 6) behavior, 7) reading disability, 8) teacher efficacy, and 9) responsibility. Because it is necessary to classify and organize the preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge in a manageable system for data analysis, the interpretation included in these descriptions of preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge may be simplified representations of complex belief systems. The researcher has attempted to describe and represent the beliefs and professional knowledge of these preservice teachers accurately while attempting to understand the influence of these complex interactions. All of the preservice teachers shared some common beliefs and professional knowledge about teaching readers. Some of the common beliefs shared by all participants included the beliefs that parental involvement is important for reading acquisition, children learn to read if they are motivated to read, children learn to read if they are developmentally ready to read, and children learn to read through access and exposure to

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134 print. They also shared the beliefs that children struggle with reading acquisition without one of the aforementioned conditions or because of their socioeconomic status, poor behavior, or because they have a reading disability. These common beliefs and professional knowledge were probably based upon their similar experiences learning to read, successful school careers, and their similar professional preparation as students in a teacher education program at one public university. The participants differed in some of their other beliefs and professional knowledge. Some participants believed that it was the classroom teachers responsibility to teach struggling readers. Some participants believed it was the responsibility of the resource teachers to teach struggling readers. Still others believed parents were at least partially responsible for this task. One participant believed that the struggling reader was responsible for learning to read. Only two of the participants believed that they would be able to teach all of their students to read proficiently. The other four participants believed that they would be able to teach the majority of their students to read proficiently. They did not believe that they would be able to teach all of their struggling readers to read and they did not believe they would be able to teach a student with a reading disability to read. Table 4-27 summarizes the beliefs and professional knowledge of the six participants. Research Question 2: How do preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge influence their expectations for struggling readers? The participants expectations for struggling readers were classified into five categories. These categories are 1) text level, 2) grade level, 3) reading strategies, 4)

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135 Table 4-27 Preservice Teachers Beliefs and Professional Knowledge about Teaching Reading Beliefs and Professional Knowledge Cindy Erin Nancy Laura Drew Kerry Parental involvement is important for reading acquisition. + + + + + + Children struggle with reading acquisition because of lack of parental involvement. + + + + + + Children learn to read if they are motivated to read. + + + + + + Children struggle with reading acquisition because they lack motivation to read. + + + + + + Motivation is the most important factor in reading acquisition. + Children learn to read when they are developmentally ready to read. + + + + + + Children learn to read through access and exposure to print. + + + + + + Children struggle with reading acquisition if they are not provided access and experience with print. + + + + + + Children struggle with reading acquisition because of their socioeconomic status. + + + + + + Children struggle with reading acquisition because of poor behavior. + + + + + + Some children struggle with reading acquisition because they have a reading disability + + + + + + Can not personally teach a student with a reading disability to read. + + + + Will not be able to teach every child to read proficiently. + + + + Can teach every child to read proficiently. + + Responsibility of the classroom teacher to teach struggling students to read. + +

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136 Table 4-27. Continued Beliefs and Professional Knowledge Cindy Erin Nancy Laura Drew Kerry Responsibility of the resource teachers to teach struggling readers to read. + + + + Responsibility of the school to teach struggling readers to read. + Responsibility of the parents to teach struggling readers to read. + + Responsibility of the struggling reader to learn to read. + + reading disability, and 5) behavior. Participants expectations were classified as high expectations or low expectations based upon their expectations for text level progress and grade level reading achievement. Two of the participants had high expectations for all of their struggling readers. Three participants had low expectations for all of their struggling readers. One of the participants had high expectations for the individual student she was tutoring and low expectations for the students she was tutoring in a small group. Table 4-28 summarizes the six participants expectations for struggling readers. Table 4-28 Preservice Teachers Expectations for Struggling Readers Expectations Cindy Erin Nancy Laura Drew Kerry All students will make significant improvement in reading text levels. + + All students will be reading on grade level. + + One or more students will be diagnosed with a reading disability. + + + + Poor behavior will interfere with progress. + + + + + + The influence of the preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge on their expectations was evident in their written expectations of struggling readers, their

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137 descriptions of their students achievement of their expectations during an interview, and in the debriefing sessions after the observations. Preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge influenced both their expectations for struggling readers and their explanations for their students successful or unsuccessful achievement of those expectations. The two preservice teachers who believed that they were personally capable of teaching all of their struggling readers to read also expected all of their struggling readers to learn to read on grade level. These two preservice teachers had high expectations for all of their students and believed they were responsible for teaching them to read. When the students met their expectations, these preservice teachers believed that their instruction was responsible for the students progress. When the students did not meet their expectations, these preservice teachers believed that they were responsible for providing the students more instruction to meet their needs. This illustrates the influence of preservice teachers teacher efficacy and responsibility beliefs on their expectations for struggling readers. The four preservice teachers who did not believe that they were personally capable of teaching all of their struggling readers to read also expected their struggling readers to remain below grade level at the end of the tutoring sessions. These preservice teachers had low expectations for almost all of their students and believed that it was the responsibility of a resource teacher or the parents to help these students learn to read. Two of the preservice teachers believed that the struggling reader shared the responsibility for learning to read. When the students met these preservice teachers expectations, the preservice teachers believed that the student was ready and motivated to learn. When the students did not meet these preservice teachers expectations, the

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138 preservice teachers described reasons intrinsic to the students such as not motivated to learn to read, low socioeconomic status, lack of developmental readiness, possible reading disability, or poor behavior. The preservice teachers teacher efficacy beliefs and beliefs about responsibility were directly aligned with their expectations for struggling readers. When the preservice teachers believed that they were capable of and responsible for teaching all of their struggling readers to read, they had high expectations for their struggling readers. When the preservice teachers believed that they were not capable of or responsible for teaching all of their struggling readers to read, they had low expectations for their struggling readers. When the students met these preservice teachers expectations, the preservice teachers believed that the student was ready and motivated to learn. When the students did not meet these preservice teachers expectations, the preservice teachers described reasons intrinsic to the student such as not motivated to learn to read, low socioeconomic status, lack of developmental readiness, possible reading disability, or poor behavior. Table 4-29 illustrates the relationship between the preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge and their expectations for struggling readers. Research Question 3: How do preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge influence their instruction for struggling readers? The preservice teachers instruction for struggling readers was classified into five categories. These categories are 1) modeling, 2) wait time, 3) prompting, 4) providing answers, and 5) text. After analyzing the preservice teachers instruction, the researcher then classified the participants as coaches or supplier. The coaches provided instruction that allowed for student application and challenged students to apply the new strategies

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139 and skills at higher levels. The students tutored by the coaches were active and engaged in the activities. The suppliers provided all the answers for students and did not allow students to practice and apply the strategies and skills. The students tutored by the coaches were passive learners. Table 4-29 Relationship between Preservice Teachers Beliefs and Professional Knowledge and their Expectations for Struggling Readers High Teacher Efficacy = High Expectations Low Teacher Efficacy = Low Expectations Student meeting expectations Tutor responsible Instruction responsible Student motivated Student ready to read No learning disability Student responsible Student motivated Student ready to learn Student not meeting expectations Tutor responsible Need additional instruction May have learning disability Student responsible Resource teacher responsible Parent responsible Student not motivated Student has low socioeconomic status Student not ready to read Possible reading disability Poor behavior Only one preservice teacher included in the study, Kerry, could be classified as a full-time coach. Kerry modeled and prompted for strategy use and allowed wait time after prompts for student application of the strategies and skills. She did not, however, provide wait time after a miscue for a student to possibly self-correct. Kerry provided instructional level text for her students so that they were able to read and practice skills at the appropriate level without becoming frustrated.

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140 One other preservice teacher, Erin, was classified as a part-time coach as she modeled and prompted for strategy use and allowed wait time after prompts for student application of the strategies and skills. Like Kerry, she did not provide wait time after a miscue for a student to possibly self-correct. However, unlike Kerry, Erin did not provide instructional level text for her students throughout all of the tutoring sessions. In the earlier tutoring sessions, Erin did provide instructional level text so that her students were able to read and practice strategies and skills. However, by the end of the tutoring sessions, Erin was providing frustration level texts to her students. While using frustration level texts, Erins students were not able to read and practice skills at the appropriate level without becoming frustrated. This caused Erin to provide higher and higher levels of support and provide more of the answers to her students as the text was too difficult for them to read and apply their knowledge and skills. She continued to prompt students to apply strategies and skills themselves. However, the frustration level of the text made this difficult. For this reason, Erin was classified as a part-time coach. The remaining four preservice teachers were all classified as suppliers. All four of these preservice teachers modeled and prompted for strategy use. However, they did not provide wait time after prompts or miscues for student application of the strategies and skills. These preservice teachers did not provide instructional level text for their students. Because of this, students were not able to read and practice skills at the appropriate level without becoming frustrated. All four of these preservice teachers provided extensive levels of support and supplied answers to their students rather than allowing them to read and apply their knowledge and skills. For these reasons they were classified as suppliers. Table 4-30 summarizes the six participants instruction for struggling readers.

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141 Table 4-30 Preservice Teachers Instruction for Struggling Readers Instruction Cindy Erin Nancy Laura Drew Kerry Model + + + + + + Prompt strategy use + + + + + + Allow wait time after miscue Allow wait time after prompt + + Allow students to apply strategies and skills + + Provide instructional level text +/+ The influence of the preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge on their instruction while they were teaching children who were struggling with reading acquisition was evident during the observed tutoring sessions. The preservice teachers beliefs about teaching struggling readers were directly aligned with their instruction for struggling readers. The two preservice teachers who believed that they were personally capable of teaching all of their struggling readers to read were the two participants classified as coaches, who allowed wait time after prompts, allowing students to apply the strategies and skills, and providing instructional level text most of the time. These two preservice teachers were also the participants who believed that they were responsible for providing the students instruction to meet their needs. This type of instruction was reflective of their high teacher efficacy and responsibility. These preservice teachers believed that they were capable of teaching their students to read. Therefore, their students would be able to apply the strategies and skills that they taught them. This illustrates the influence of their teacher efficacy and responsibility beliefs on their instruction for struggling readers.

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142 The four preservice teachers who did not believe that they were personally capable of or responsible for teaching all of their struggling readers to read were the four participants classified as suppliers. These preservice teachers did not believe that they were personally capable of or responsible for teaching all of their struggling readers to read due to the students lack of parental involvement, lack of motivation, lack of developmental readiness, lack of exposure to print, low socioeconomic status, possible reading disability, and poor behavior. These beliefs were directly aligned with their instruction. These preservice teachers did not allow wait time after miscues or strategy prompts and supplied the answers to students rather than allowing the students to apply the strategies and skills. This type of instruction reflects the belief that the preservice teachers would not be able to teach the students to read due to all of the previous factors. These factors would prevent the preservice teachers from being capable of or responsible for teaching the students to read. This illustrates the influence of their teacher efficacy beliefs and responsibility beliefs on their instruction for struggling readers. The preservice teachers teacher efficacy beliefs and beliefs about responsibility were directly aligned with their instruction for struggling readers. When the preservice teachers believed that they were capable of and responsible for teaching all of their struggling readers to read, they provided instruction that allowed for student application and challenged students to apply the new strategies and skills at higher levels. When the preservice teachers believed that they were not capable of or responsible for teaching all of their struggling readers to read, they supplied all of the answers for students and did not allow students to practice and apply the strategies and skills.

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143 Table 4-31 illustrates the relationship between the preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge and their instruction for struggling readers. Table 4-31 Relationship between Preservice Teachers Beliefs and Professional Knowledge and their Instruction for Struggling Readers Coach Supplier Preservice Teacher Belief or Professional Knowledge Able to teach all students to read Responsible for teaching all students to read Not able to teach all students to read Not responsible for teaching all students to read Preservice Teacher Instruction Model Prompt strategy use Allow wait time after prompt Allow students to apply strategies and skills Model Prompt strategy use Do not allow wait time after prompt Do not allow students to apply strategies and skills Research Question 4: How do preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge influence their evaluation of struggling readers? The preservice teachers evaluations of struggling readers were classified into five categories. These categories are 1) text level, 2) grade level, 3) reading strategies, 4) reading disability, and 5) behavior. The preservice teachers reported the strengths and weaknesses of their students in these written evaluations. The participants included in their evaluations the text level, whether or not the student was reading on grade level, and the strengths and weaknesses of their reading strategies. All of the participants also included evaluations of student behavior in their reports including conclusions that behavior had interfered with student progress. Four of the preservice teachers included in

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144 their evaluations that their students who continued to struggle with reading acquisition probably had some type of reading disability. The influence of the preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge on their evaluations of struggling readers was discovered in their written evaluations. The preservice teachers beliefs about teaching struggling readers were directly aligned with their evaluations of struggling readers. All of the preservice teachers believed that children struggle with reading acquisition because they lack motivation to read and because of poor behavior. These beliefs about motivation and behavior were directly aligned with the preservice teachers evaluations of their struggling readers. All of the preservice teachers reported behaviors and motivation factors that interfered with their students reading progress such as being distracted, frustrated, uncooperative, temperamental, discouraged, disruptive, unwilling to try, giving up easily, or unwilling to participate. The preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge was reflected in these evaluations of struggling readers motivation and behavior. All of the preservice teachers believed that some children struggle with reading acquisition because they have a reading disability. This belief is evident in their evaluations of their struggling readers. Five of the six participants had students who continued to struggle with reading acquisition at the end of the tutoring sessions. Of those five participants, four of them included in their evaluations that their most struggling readers probably had a reading disability that interfered with their ability to make progress even though they had not been tested or diagnosed with any type of reading disability. The preservice teachers belief that children who continue to struggle with

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145 reading acquisition must have a reading disability would explain for the preservice teachers the students lack of progress and their inability to teach them to read. This is significant because of those five participants who believed at least one of their students had a reading disability, only one of those believed she was capable of or responsible for teaching a child with a reading disability to read. As reported in the previous sections, when the preservice teachers did not believe they were capable of or responsible for teaching a child to read, their expectations were low and their instruction provided excessive support with little opportunity for student growth in reading achievement. This illustrates the complex relationship between preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge and their expectations, instruction, and evaluation of struggling readers. Table 4-32 illustrates the relationship between the preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge and expectations, instruction and evaluation of struggling readers. Summary The preservice teachers included in this study had both distinct and common beliefs and professional knowledge about teaching struggling readers. The researcher has attempted to describe and represent the beliefs and professional knowledge of these preservice teachers accurately while attempting to understand the influence of the complex interactions on teaching behaviors.

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146 Table 4-32 Relationship between Preservice Teachers Beliefs and Professional Knowledge and their Expectations, Instruction, and Evaluations of Struggling Readers Preservice Teacher Beliefs Able to teach all students to read Responsible for teaching all students to read Not able to teach all students to read Not responsible for teaching all students to read Preservice Teacher Behavior High expectations Instruction with opportunity for student practice and application Challenge students Accept responsibility for progress Low expectations Instruction with no opportunity for student practice and application Do not challenge students Responsibility of students for progress (motivation, readiness, socioeconomic status, behavior, reading disability) Common beliefs shared by all participants included the beliefs that parental involvement is important for reading acquisition, children learn to read if they are motivated to read, children learn to read if they are developmentally ready to read, and children learn to read through access and exposure to print. They also shared the beliefs that children struggle with reading acquisition without one of the aforementioned conditions or because of their socioeconomic status, poor behavior, or because they have a reading disability. The preservice teachers also differed in some of their beliefs and professional knowledge. Some participants believed that it was the classroom teachers responsibility to teach struggling readers. Some participants believed it was the responsibility of the resource teachers to teach struggling readers. Still others believed parents were at least partially responsible for this task. Two of the preservice teachers believed that the struggling reader shared the responsibility for learning to read.

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147 Only two of the participants believed that they would be able to teach all of their students to read proficiently. The other four participants believed that they would be able to teach the majority of their students to read proficiently. They did not believe that they would be able to teach all of their struggling readers to read and they did not believe they would be able to teach a student with a reading disability to read. The preservice teachers teacher efficacy beliefs and beliefs about responsibility directly influenced their expectations for struggling readers. When the preservice teachers believed that they were capable of and responsible for teaching all of their struggling readers to read, they had high expectations for their struggling readers. When the preservice teachers believed that they were not capable of or responsible for teaching all of their struggling readers to read, they had low expectations for their struggling readers. The preservice teachers efficacy beliefs and beliefs about responsibility also directly influenced their instruction for struggling readers. When the preservice teachers believed that they were capable of and responsible for teaching all of their struggling readers to read, they provided instruction that allowed for student application and challenged students to apply the new strategies and skills at higher levels. Their students were active and engaged in the activities. This type of instruction was reflective of their high teacher efficacy and responsibility. These preservice teachers believed that they were capable of teaching their students to read. Therefore, their students would be able to apply the strategies and skills that they taught them. When the preservice teachers believed that they were not capable of or responsible for teaching all of their struggling readers to read due to the students lack of parental involvement, lack of motivation, lack of developmental readiness, lack of exposure to

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148 print, low socioeconomic status, possible reading disability, and poor behavior, they supplied all of the answers for students and did not allow students to practice and apply the strategies and skills. Their students were passive learners. This type of instruction reflects the belief that the preservice teachers would not be able to teach the students to read due to all of the previous factors. These factors would prevent the preservice teachers from being capable of or responsible for teaching the students to read. This illustrates the influence of preservice teachers teacher efficacy beliefs on instruction for struggling readers. The preservice teachers beliefs that children struggle with reading acquisition because they lack motivation to read and because of poor behavior directly influenced the preservice teachers evaluations of their struggling readers. All of the preservice teachers reported behaviors and motivation factors that interfered with their students reading progress such as being distracted, frustrated, uncooperative, temperamental, discouraged, disruptive, unwilling to try, giving up easily, or unwilling to participate. The preservice teachers belief that children struggle with reading acquisition because they have a reading disability also influenced their evaluations of their struggling readers. Five of the six participants had students who continued to struggle with reading acquisition at the end of the tutoring sessions. Of those five participants, four of them included in their evaluations that their most struggling readers probably had a reading disability that interfered with their ability to make progress even though they had not been tested or diagnosed with any type of reading disability. This is significant because of those five participants who believed at least one of their students had a reading disability, only one of those believed she was capable of or

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149 responsible for teaching a child with a reading disability to read. As reported in the previous sections, when the preservice teachers did not believe they were capable of or responsible for teaching a child to read, their expectations were low and their instruction provided excessive support with little opportunity for student growth in reading achievement. This illuminates the complex relationship between preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge and their expectations, instruction, and evaluation of struggling readers.

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CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION This chapter is a review of the current study. First, the purpose, literature, and methods are reviewed. A summary of the results related to the research questions is included and the limitations of the present study are presented. Implications for teacher education are discussed. And finally, recommendations for further research conclude this chapter. Overview of the Study In this study, the researcher identified six elementary education majors, who would be employed as tutors in Project UFLI, a federally funded study of beginning reading intervention. The researcher described the preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge about teaching struggling readers. The researcher described the preservice teachers expectations, instruction, and evaluation of struggling readers. The researcher then detailed how the preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge about teaching struggling readers impacted their teaching behaviors. Common beliefs and teaching behaviors were illuminated. The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine the beliefs and professional knowledge of preservice teachers about teaching struggling readers. This study was an exploration of the participants beliefs and professional knowledge in the context of tutoring struggling readers in order to discover how these beliefs and professional knowledge influenced the preservice teachers expectations, instruction, and evaluations of these learners. 150

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151 Specifically, this study addressed the following questions: 1. What are preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge about teaching reading in general and teaching struggling readers in particular? 2. How do preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge influence their expectations for struggling readers? 3. How do preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge influence their instruction, for struggling readers? 4. How do preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge influence their evaluation of struggling readers? Review of Literature The literature review for this study was grounded in research that investigated teaching struggling readers, beliefs and professional knowledge, preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge, influence of beliefs and professional knowledge on teaching behaviors, influence of beliefs and professional knowledge on teaching struggling readers, and influence of beliefs and professional knowledge on teacher expectations. A need for further research on the manner in which preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge about teaching struggling readers impact their teaching behaviors was established. Review of Methods The methods used for this study consisted of case studies of six preservice teachers who were employed as tutors in Project UFLI, a federally funded study of beginning reading intervention, and describe how their beliefs and professional knowledge about teaching struggling readers influenced their teaching behaviors. These descriptions were based on data collected over a four-month period (February 2003 May 2003). Included in the data collection procedures were five sources of data: preservice teachers background information sheets, preservice teachers autobiographies, interviews with

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152 preservice teachers, observations of preservice teachers while teaching struggling readers, and preservice teachers written expectations and evaluations of struggling readers. This methodology was implemented in order to provide multiple data sources for attempting to answer the research questions. A case study approach was utilized with the descriptive data sources from this research. A cross-case analysis was then employed to search for patterns across cases. The researcher generated categories, themes, and patterns and tested emergent understandings while searching for alternative explanations (Marshall & Rossman, 1999). The data collection questions were intended to probe the relationship between preservice teachers beliefs and professional about teaching struggling readers and their teaching behaviors. The researcher subjected all of the data from all of the data sources to data reduction. Miles and Huberman (1994b) define data reduction as the process of selecting, focusing, simplifying, abstracting, and transforming the data that appear in written-up filed notes or transcriptions (p. 10). The researcher identified patterns that emerged during coding, reduction, and analysis (Appendix H). These patterns became the basis for the descriptive case study narratives written by the researcher and the findings reported about the research questions. Findings The findings included in this section relate to the four research questions presented in Chapter 3. These findings are based upon the case studies of the six preservice teachers as described in the individual case studies and cross-case analysis presented in Chapter 4. The findings support previous research presented in Chapter 2. In addition, new knowledge was gained from the current study.

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153 Question One What are preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge about teaching reading in general and teaching struggling readers in particular? All of the preservice teachers shared some common beliefs and professional knowledge about teaching readers. These common beliefs and professional knowledge were probably based upon their similar experiences learning to read, successful school careers, and their similar professional preparation as students in a teacher education program at one public university (Richardson, 1996; Stuart & Thurlow, 2000). Some of the common beliefs shared by all participants included the beliefs that parental involvement is important for reading acquisition, children learn to read if they are motivated to read, children learn to read if they are developmentally ready to read, and children learn to read through access and exposure to print. They also shared the beliefs that children struggle with reading acquisition without one of the aforementioned conditions or because of their socioeconomic status, poor behavior, or because they have a reading disability. The participants differed in some of their other beliefs and professional knowledge. Some participants believed that it was the classroom teachers responsibility to teach struggling readers. Some participants believed it was the responsibility of the resource teachers to teach struggling readers. Still others believed parents were at least partially responsible for this task. Two of the preservice teachers believed that the struggling reader shared the responsibility for learning to read. This is consistent with the findings of other researchers (Nierstheimer et al., 1996; Soodak & Podell, 1994; Winfield, 1986). Only two of the participants believed that they would be able to teach all of their students to read proficiently. The other four participants believed that they would be able

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154 to teach the majority of their students to read proficiently. They did not believe that they would be able to teach all of their struggling readers to read and they did not believe they would be able to teach a student with a reading disability to read. This is consistent with the findings of Soodak and Podell (1994). The current study adds to the strength of this conclusion through observational data not included in the previous study. Question Two How do preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge influence their expectations for struggling readers? Preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge influenced both their expectations for struggling readers and their explanations for their students successful or unsuccessful achievement of those expectations. This is consistent with the findings of other researchers (McGill-Franzen, 1994; Winfield, 1986) The two preservice teachers who believed that they were personally capable of teaching all of their struggling readers to read also expected all of their struggling readers to learn to read on grade level. These two preservice teachers had high expectations for all of their students and believed they were responsible for teaching them to read. When the students met their expectations, these preservice teachers believed that their instruction was responsible for the students progress. When the students did not meet their expectations, these preservice teachers believed that they were responsible for providing the students more instruction to meet their needs. This illustrates the influence of preservice teachers teacher efficacy beliefs and responsibility beliefs on their expectations for struggling readers. The four preservice teachers who did not believe that they were personally capable of teaching all of their struggling readers to read also expected their struggling readers to

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155 remain below grade level at the end of the tutoring sessions. These preservice teachers had low expectations for almost all of their students and believed that it was the responsibility of a resource teacher or the parents to help these students learn to read. Two of the preservice teachers believed that the struggling reader shared the responsibility for learning to read. When the students met these preservice teachers expectations, the preservice teachers believed that the student was ready and motivated to learn. When the students did not meet these preservice teachers expectations, the preservice teachers described the reasons intrinsic to the student such as not motivated to learn to read, low socioeconomic status, lack of developmental readiness, possible reading disability, or poor behavior. This illustrates the influence of preservice teachers beliefs about teacher efficacy and responsibility on their expectations for struggling readers. The preservice teachers teacher efficacy beliefs and beliefs about responsibility were directly aligned with their expectations for struggling readers. When the preservice teachers believed that they were capable of and responsible for teaching all of their struggling readers to read, they had high expectations for their struggling readers. When the preservice teachers believed that they were not capable of or responsible for teaching all of their struggling readers to read, they had low expectations for their struggling readers. Question Three How do preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge influence their instruction, for struggling readers? Consistent with the research reviewed in chapter two, the preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge influenced their instruction for struggling readers in

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156 several ways (Johnston & Winograd, 1985; McGill-Franzen, 1994; Winfield, 1986). The two preservice teachers who believed that they were personally capable of teaching all of their struggling readers to read allowed wait time after prompts and allowed students to apply the strategies and skills. Their students were actively engaged learners. These two preservice teachers were also the participants who believed that they were responsible for providing the students instruction to meet their needs. This type of instruction was reflective of their high teacher efficacy and responsibility. These preservice teachers believed that they were capable of teaching their students to read. Therefore, their students would be able to apply the strategies and skills that they taught them. The conclusions of the current study are strengthened through observational data not included in previous studies. The four preservice teachers who did not believe that they were personally capable of or responsible for teaching all of their struggling readers to read due to the students lack of parental involvement, lack of motivation, lack of developmental readiness, lack of exposure to print, low socioeconomic status, possible reading disability, and poor behavior did not allow wait time after strategy prompts and supplied the answers to students rather than allowing the students to apply the strategies and skills. Their students were passive learners. Their beliefs were directly aligned with their instruction. This type of instruction reflects the belief that the preservice teachers would not be able to teach the students to read due to all of the previous factors. These factors would prevent the preservice teachers from being capable of or responsible for teaching the students to read. This illustrates the influence of preservice teachers beliefs about teacher efficacy and responsibility on their instruction for struggling readers.

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157 The preservice teachers teacher efficacy beliefs and beliefs about responsibility directly influenced their instruction for struggling readers. When the preservice teachers believed that they were capable of and responsible for teaching all of their struggling readers to read, they provided instruction that allowed for student application and challenged students to apply the new strategies and skills at higher levels. When the preservice teachers believed that they were not capable of or responsible for teaching all of their struggling readers to read, they provided all the answers for students and did not allow students to practice and apply the strategies and skills. Question Four How do preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge influence their evaluation of struggling readers? The influence of preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge was evident in their evaluations of struggling readers. This is consistent with the conclusions of Winfield (1986). All of the preservice teachers believed that children struggle with reading acquisition because they lack motivation to read and because of poor behavior. These beliefs about motivation and behavior were directly aligned with the preservice teachers evaluations of their struggling readers. All of the preservice teachers reported behaviors and motivation factors that interfered with their students reading progress such as being distracted, frustrated, uncooperative, temperamental, discouraged, disruptive, unwilling to try, giving up easily, or unwilling to participate. The preservice teachers who believed that they were capable of and responsible for teaching all of their students to read believed that they would be able to teach their students to read proficiently in spite of these behavior and motivation factors. These beliefs about behavior and motivation contributed to the other preservice teachers low

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158 teacher efficacy for teaching struggling readers as they believed that these factors would prevent them from being able to teach all children to read proficiently. This illustrates the influence of preservice teachers beliefs about teacher efficacy and responsibility on their evaluations of struggling readers. All of the preservice teachers believed that children may struggle with reading acquisition because they have a reading disability. This belief is evident in their evaluations of their struggling readers. Five of the six participants had students who continued to struggle with reading acquisition at the end of the tutoring sessions. Of those five participants, four of them included in their evaluations that their most struggling readers probably had a reading disability that interfered with their ability to make progress even though they had not been tested or diagnosed with any type of reading disability. This is significant because of those five participants who believed at least one of their students had a reading disability, only one of those believed she was capable of or responsible for teaching a child with a reading disability to read. When the preservice teachers did not believe they were capable of or responsible for teaching a child to read, their expectations were low and their instruction provided excessive support with little opportunity for student growth in reading achievement. These findings illuminate the complex interrelationship between preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge, expectations, instruction, and evaluation. Conclusions The following conclusions are based on the findings of the current study. 1. The majority of the preservice teachers did not believe they were capable of or responsible for teaching all of their students to read.

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159 Four of the six preservice teachers believed it was the responsibility of someone other than the classroom teacher to teach struggling readers. Each of these preservice teachers who assigned responsibility to someone else for teaching struggling readers also had low teacher efficacy. These preservice teachers believed that they could not teach all struggling readers to read and that they could not teach a child with a reading disability to read. 2. When the preservice teachers believed that they were capable of and responsible for teaching all of their struggling readers to read, they had higher expectations. The two preservice teachers who believed that they were personally capable of teaching all of their struggling readers to read also expected all of their struggling readers to learn to read on grade level by the end of the tutoring sessions. These two preservice teachers had high expectations for all of their students and believed they were responsible for teaching them to read. 3. When the preservice teachers believed that they were not capable of or responsible for teaching all of their struggling readers to read, they had lower expectations. The four preservice teachers who did not believe that they were personally capable of teaching all of their struggling readers to read expected their struggling readers to remain below grade level at the end of the tutoring sessions. These preservice teachers had low expectations for almost all of their students and believed that it was the responsibility of a resource teacher or the parents to help these students learn to read. Two of the preservice teachers believed that the struggling reader shared the responsibility for learning to read.

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160 4. The preservice teachers who believed that they were capable of and responsible for teaching all struggling readers to read accepted responsibility when the students made significant progress in reading. These preservice teachers believed that their instruction was responsible for the students progress in reading. They did not cite student factors as the reason for the students achievement. 5. Preservice teachers who did not believe that they were capable of or responsible for teaching all struggling readers to read did not accept responsibility when the students made significant progress in reading. These preservice teachers cited causes intrinsic to the student as the reason for progress in reading. These preservice teachers believed that the student was ready and motivated to learn when the students made progress in reading. They did not cite their instruction as a reason for the students achievement. 6. The preservice teachers who believed that they were capable of and responsible for teaching all of their struggling readers to read accepted responsibility when students did not make significant progress in reading. These preservice teachers cited teacher and instruction as the reasons for the lack of achievement. When the students did not make progress, these preservice teachers believed that they were responsible for providing more instruction to meet their students. They did not cite student factors as the reason for the lack of reading progress. 7. The preservice teachers who did not believe that they were capable of and responsible for teaching all of their struggling readers to read did not accept responsibility when students did not make significant progress in reading.

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161 These preservice teachers placed the responsibility for lack of achievement on the students. They cited student factors when the students did not make progress in reading. These preservice teachers described the possible reasons for lack of achievement as the struggling readers were not motivated to learn to read, had low socioeconomic status, lacked developmental readiness, possibly had a reading disability, or had poor behavior. They did not cite their instruction as a reason for the students lack of achievement even though they often had placed students in frustration level texts and failed to allow students the opportunity to practice targeted strategies. 8. When preservice teachers believed that they were capable of and responsible for teaching all of their struggling readers to read, they provided support that challenged students and allowed them to be active, engaged learners. The two preservice teachers who believed that they were personally capable of teaching all of their struggling readers to read allowed wait time after prompts and allowed students to apply the strategies and skills. This type of instruction was reflective of their high teacher efficacy and responsibility. These preservice teachers believed that they were capable of teaching their students to read. Therefore, their students would be able to apply the strategies and skills that they taught them. 9. When preservice teachers believed that they were not capable of or responsible for teaching all of their struggling readers to read, they provided excessive support during instruction and created passive learners. These preservice teachers did not allow wait time after miscues or strategy prompts and supplied the answers to students rather than allowing the students to practice and apply the strategies and skills themselves. These preservice teachers did not believe

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162 that they were personally capable of or responsible for teaching all of their struggling readers to read due to the students lack of parental involvement, lack of motivation, lack of developmental readiness, lack of exposure to print, low socioeconomic status, possible reading disability, and poor behavior. This type of instruction reflects the belief that the preservice teachers would not be able to teach the students to read due to all of the previous factors. Therefore, the preservice teachers would need to provide excessive support due to the students lack of ability to apply these strategies and skills. 10. Preservice teachers assigned the blame to a reading disability when students who were struggling with reading acquisition made little or no progress. Five of the six participants had students who continued to struggle with reading acquisition and had made little or no progress by the end of the tutoring sessions. Of those five participants, four of them included in their evaluations that their most struggling readers probably had a reading disability that interfered with their ability to make progress even though they had not been tested or diagnosed with any type of reading disability thus shifting the responsibility for failure to an undocumented trait. 11. Preservice teachers believed that children struggle with reading acquisition because they lack motivation to read and because of poor behavior. All of the preservice teachers reported behaviors and motivation factors that interfered with their students reading progress. The reported behavior and motivation factors included being distracted, frustrated, uncooperative, temperamental, discouraged, disruptive, unwilling to try, giving up easily, or unwilling to participate.

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163 Implications Implications for Preservice Teachers and Teachers Several recommendations were determined from the results of the current study. Preservice and inservice teachers should explore their own beliefs and professional knowledge and how they influence their teaching behaviors. By examining their own beliefs, professional knowledge, and practice they can make changes that lead to more effective instruction for our struggling readers. Preservice teachers and inservice teachers should consider how their own backgrounds, prior school experiences, professional preparation, and experiences shape their own belief systems and how these belief systems interact with their own expectations, instruction, and evaluation of struggling readers. Preservice and inservice teachers should specifically examine their teacher efficacy beliefs and beliefs about responsibility. Determining their teacher efficacy beliefs and beliefs about responsibility for teaching struggling readers is an important aspect of understanding how their beliefs and professional knowledge influence their teaching behaviors. Implications for Teacher Educators Teacher educators continually strive to better prepare preservice teachers to teach all children to read. The current study provides a descriptive analysis of preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge and how those beliefs and professional knowledge influence teaching behaviors. This description of preservice teacher beliefs and professional knowledge provides a framework for understanding some preservice teacher behaviors. The influence of these beliefs and professional knowledge on teaching behaviors is likely to have consequences for the learning outcomes of students who are struggling with reading acquisition.

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164 In order to promote growth among preservice teachers, teacher educators should challenge preservice teachers to make their beliefs explicit, to challenge the adequacy of those beliefs, and provide extended opportunities for preservice teachers to examine and integrate new information into their existing belief systems. As the preservice teachers included in this study were graduating the month the study concluded, it would be unlikely that there would be any change in their beliefs about responsibility or teacher efficacy prior to their entry into the classroom. It is, therefore, important for teacher educators to identify preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge early in their preparation program and provide experiences for students to understand and reflect and inform these beliefs and professional knowledge. If preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge about teaching struggling readers are developed based upon their professional preparation and their personal experiences, teacher educators can utilize this information to design more effective teacher education programs. If teacher educators are going to develop teachers who are able to effectively teach all children to read, they must work to ensure that preservice teachers feel confident in their ability to teach all readers. Every teacher needs to feel personally capable of and responsible for teaching every one of their students to read. By empowering all of our preservice teachers with the knowledge and skill and responsibility to teach all readers, teacher educators will help to improve teacher efficacy and responsibility of our preservice teachers. While further study is needed into preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge and the manner in which they influence teaching behaviors, the current study

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165 will contribute to the knowledge base and assist others in developing and improving teacher education programs. Recommendations for Further Study Research on the manner in which preservice and inservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge influences their teaching behaviors exists, however, it is not extensive. Specifically, there is little research on the manner in which preservice teachers beliefs and professional knowledge influence their teaching behaviors for struggling readers. There are several research options that would enhance the findings of the current study. Researchers could investigate in greater depth a more specific aspect of teachers beliefs and professional knowledge, such as teacher efficacy and the manner in which it influences teaching behaviors. This research might focus on inservice teachers in order to determine what is happening in existing classrooms. Researchers could examine the complex interaction between teachers beliefs and professional knowledge, teaching behaviors, and reading achievement. Researchers could increase the number of participants in order to strengthen the generalizability of the findings. This type of research might include some quantitative measures such as checklists, surveys, and teacher beliefs inventories in addition to the qualitative instruments in order to possibly draw stronger

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APPENDIX A BACKGROUND INFORMATION SHEET Name_____________________________________________________________ Age______________ Race ____________________________________________ Telephone______________________ e-mail ______________________________ Area of graduate specialization: How many semester hours have you taken that relate to teaching reading? Describe briefly each course, field experience, or training you have taken that were specifically related to literacy. Please describe any other experiences you have had learning about reading, teaching reading, or tutoring reading. In what school did you complete your student teaching? In what grade(s) did you complete your student teaching? Were there some children that you found difficult to teach? Describe one of those children in detail. 166

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167 In what other school(s) have you had field experiences? (Indicate grades you worked with at each school.) In what grade(s) do you want to teach during your first five years? Describe the ideal school you hope to teach in. Describe the ideal student you hope to teach.

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APPENDIX B AUTOBIOGRAPHY GUIDE Please write an autobiography describing yourself and your family. Please describe your own experience learning to read and your school literacy experiences. Please describe your life as a reader and your reading habits. Describe your beliefs about good readers and how children learn to read. Finally, describe your beliefs about why children have difficulty learning to read. 168

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APPENDIX C INTERVIEW ONE GUIDE Name: _____________________________ Date______________ Do you have any students who are meeting or exceeding your expectations? How? What do you think accounts for that? Do you have any students who are not meeting your expectations? How? What do you think accounts for that? What do you believe needs to be done to help this (these) student(s) meet your expectations? Do your students like reading? How do you know? What do you think accounts for that? Do you have students who are able to read a word one time and not the next? 169

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170 What do you think accounts for that? Are your students motivated to learn? How? In what ways? What do you think accounts for that? Do you believe your students are able to sound out words independently in order to identify unknown words? Why or why not? What do you think accounts for that? Do you believe your students are capable of using various strategies independently in order to identify an unknown word? Why or why not? What do you think accounts for that? Do you think you have influenced your tutored students reading achievement? Explain.

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171 Do you think the classroom teacher has influenced your tutored students reading achievement? Explain. What type of home backgrounds do your tutored students come from? How do you think their background influences their reading achievement? Explain.

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APPENDIX D INTERVIEW TWO GUIDE Now that you have completed the tutoring experience, do you believe that as a classroom teacher you will be able to teach all of the students in your classroom to read proficiently? If not, why not? And who will be responsible for teaching the children you are not able to teach to read proficiently? If yes, describe how. Do you have any tutored students that you now believe are reading approximately on grade level? Who? Why do you think they made such good progress? Do you have any tutored students that you believe are still not reading on grade level? 172

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173 Who? Why do you think these students did not make sufficient progress to be reading on grade level? From your perspective, what do you think these students need in order to become proficient readers? Some tutors have tutored students that they felt had too many obstacles to overcome in order to become proficient readers during the tutoring program. Some of these students have been referred to ESE. Whose responsibility do you think it is to teach these struggling students to read? What do you think these students need in order to become proficient readers? Do you think classroom management is important when teaching students to read? Why or why not? In what ways?

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174 Tell me about your classroom management skills. Describe your expectations for future school progress for each of the students that you tutored. Do you think that youve made a difference in your tutored students future school success? Explain. Describe what you believe is the role of the reading specialist in regard to struggling readers? Describe what you believe is the role of the special education teacher in regard to struggling readers? Describe what you believe is the role of the classroom teacher in regard to struggling readers? How important is a childs background for reading success? Explain. As a classroom teacher, do you think you will be able to teach all of your children to read proficiently regardless of their background?

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175 If so, how? If not, why not? From your perspective, describe what you believe are the strengths and weaknesses of the UFLI tutoring program for teaching struggling readers. Why do you believe that?

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APPENDIX E OBSERVATION GUIDE Tutor: Date: School: Student: Session #: Gaining Fluency: Measuring Progress: 176

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177 Writing for Reading: Reading a New Book: Extending Literacy:

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178 Observation Debriefing: Tell me about your students performance today. What do you think accounts for that? Did your student meet your expectations today? How/Why not? Tell me about your teaching today.

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179 Did you have to make any modifications to the lesson today? Why? Why did you ____________(anything that stood out)?

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APPENDIX F WRITTEN EVALUATION AND EXPECTATION GUIDE Describe your student and his or her reading abilities. Include the students strengths, weaknesses, and your expectations for this students progress in reading development. 180

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APPENDIX G CONSENT FORM FOR PARTICIPANTS Dear Student: I am a graduate student in the Department of Teaching and Learning at the University of Florida, conducting research on the beliefs of preservice teachers under the supervision of Dr. Richard Allington. The purpose of this study is to analyze preservice teachers beliefs about struggling readers. If you choose to participate in this study, I will collect all data from a short autobiography written by you, a background information sheet, two interviews with you, observations of you while you are teaching struggling readers, debriefing sessions following the observations, and your written evaluations of struggling readers. The data will be collected from January through May 2003, while you are tutoring struggling readers. The focus of these activities is preservice teachers beliefs about struggling readers. If you participate, the interviews and debriefing sessions will be audiotaped. You will not have to answer any question you do not wish to answer. Interviews will be conducted at the UFLI office after I have received a copy of this signed consent from you. Only I will have access to the tape, which I will personally transcribe, removing any identifiers during transcription. Your identity will be kept confidential to the extent provided by law and your identity will not be revealed in the final manuscript. If you participate, your name will be removed from all data records, a pseudonym will be assigned to protect your confidentiality, and all audiotapes will be destroyed after data analysis is complete. All background information, autobiographies, observations, written evaluations, and interviews will remain confidential to the extent provided by law. There are no known risks for your participation in this study. Potential benefits may include identifying your beliefs about struggling readers and the opportunity to reflect upon these beliefs. Your participation is strictly voluntary, and you are free to withdraw from this study at any time without consequence. For your participation in this study, you will receive $50 compensation. I expect that your participation will not require more than four hours of your time. I will be willing to discuss this study with you at any time and will answer any questions that arise. Please call me at (407) 695-2728 or my supervisor, Dr. Richard Allington, at 2403 Norman Hall, (352) 392-9191 with any questions or concerns. At the completion of this study, I would like to discuss the findings with you. If you would like to participate in this study, please sign and return to me this copy of the letter. The second copy is for your records. By signing this letter, you give me permission to report your responses anonymously in the final manuscript to be submitted to my faculty supervisor as part of my dissertation. Any questions or concerns about research participants rights may be directed to the UFIRB Office, Box 112250, Gainesville, FL 32611-2250; phone (352) 392-0433. Your participation is voluntary and you may withdraw your participation at anytime without penalty. 181

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182 Sincerely, Tabatha Scharlach I have read the procedure described above for the study of preservice teachers beliefs about struggling readers. I agree to participate in the study, and I have received a copy of this description. ___________________________________ __________________ Signature of Participant Date

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APPENDIX H CODES Beliefs Parental involvement Motivation Readiness Access and exposure to print Socioeconomic status Behavior Reading disability Teacher efficacy Responsibility Expectations Text level Grade level Reading strategies Reading disability Behavior Instruction Modeling Wait Time Prompting Providing answers Text Evaluation Text level Grade level Reading strategies Reading disability Behavior 183

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REFERENCES Adams, M. J. (1990). Beginning to read: Thinking and learning about print. Cambridge: Bradford. Allington, R. (2002). What I've learned about effective reading instruction from a decade of studying exemplary elementary classroom teachers. Phi Delta Kappan, 83(10), 740-747. Allington, R., & Li, S. (1990). Teacher beliefs about children who find learning to read difficult. Miami, FL: Paper presented at the National Reading Conference. Allington, R. L. (1977). If they don't read much, how they ever gonna get good? Journal of Reading, 57-61. Allington, R. L. (1980). Poor readers don't get to read much in reading groups. Language Arts, 57(8), 872-875. Allington, R. L. (2001). What really matters for struggling readers: Designing research-based programs. NY: Longman. Ashton, P. T., & Webb, R. B. (1986). Making a difference: Teachers' sense of efficacy and student achievement. NY: Longman. Baker, S., Gersten, R., & Keating, T. (2000). When less may be more: A 2-year longitudinal evaluation of a volunteer tutoring program requiring minimal training. Reading Research Quarterly, 35(4), 494-519. Bandura, A. (1986). Social foundations of thought and action: A social cognitive theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Clay, M. M. (1991). Becoming literate: the construction of inner control. Aukland, New Zealand: Heinemann. Cunningham, A. E., & Stanovich, K. (1991). Tracking the unique effects of print exposure in children: Associations with vocabulary, general knowledge, and spelling. Journal of Educational Psychology, 83, 264-274. Cunningham, P. M., & Allington, R. L. (1994). Classrooms that work: They can all read and write. NY: HarperCollins. 184

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Tabatha Dobson Scharlach was born in Jacksonville, Illinois, to Robert and Sharon Dobson. She graduated from the University of Central Florida with a bachelors degree in elementary education. She returned to the University of Central Florida to receive a Master of Education degree in elementary and early childhood education. Tabatha was previously a primary classroom teacher in Lake County, Florida, and Seminole County, Florida. She has worked as a reading resource teacher for children in grades two through five. Tabatha has taught preservice teachers in undergraduate coursework and has worked as a reading researcher and as a professional developer. Tabatha, her husband, and two children reside in Orlando, Florida. She is currently the Research Coordinator for Reading First Professional Development and Florida Literacy and Reading Excellence at the University of Central Florida. 190