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Teachers' beliefs about the teaching of reading in early years settings

By Angeliki Kostopoulou


Although the necessity for the young child to become a confident reader in the early years of schooling is indisputable, we are less in agreement about the ways in which teachers might best achieve that. Approaching reading as part of subject matter knowledge, and providing a hierarchy of the concepts, understandings and skills that children need to acquire in order to read successfully, may be one way of facilitating practitioners’ ‘reflection in action’. (Schön, 1987).\ud \ud With this in mind, the project reported here studied the beliefs held by various types of early years teachers/workers about the teaching of reading and the relationships between these beliefs and their teaching practices.\ud \ud Through the use of one hundred and sixty questionnaires, nine interviews and nine observations, this thesis discusses the following questions: Do early years teachers use a theoretical framework in their instructional approach to teaching reading? If so, is there a relationship between their theoretical orientations toward reading development and their pedagogical practices?\ud \ud This study suggests that offering subject-matter related training to early years practitioners, that for the scope of this study includes an understanding of the reading process, could lead them to make informed decisions about curriculum content. This in turn could enable them to offer a clear rationale behind what they consider as developmentally appropriate practice and what they actually do in the classroom

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