The knowledge and beliefs of elementary school teachers in the area of English literacy development

Julia Denise Mortley, Fordham University

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to identify, examine, and describe the knowledge and beliefs of five elementary school teachers and compare their perspectives to the expectations outlined in the Standards for Reading Professionals, a document that was developed by the International Reading Association (1998). ^ The participants of this study were selected from a pool of teachers enrolled in graduate education programs at a private university. Data collection for this study was accomplished through interviews, a literacy beliefs profile, and a questionnaire. Research inquiry related to the 5 research questions of this study sought to identify: (a) the theoretical perspectives of the participants on English literacy, (b) the knowledge base competencies of each participant on English literacy development, and (c) the knowledge and beliefs of each participant on reading difficulties and individual differences. ^ An analysis of the findings of this study showed that there were more similarities than differences in the participants' theoretical perspectives, knowledge base competencies, and beliefs on individual differences and reading difficulties. In comparing the knowledge and beliefs of the participants to the expectations outlined in the Standards for Reading Professionals (IRA, 1998) under the category entitled Knowledge and Beliefs, there were some differences in the expressed knowledge and beliefs on the following: (a) understanding how reading should be taught and learning the role of language in learning to read, (b) being aware of the principles of second language acquisition, (c) having knowledge on how school programs affect literacy acquisition, (d) understanding emergent literacy and the experiences that support them, (e) how they deal with mistakes made by children when they are reading, and (f) what components of the literacy process they should focus on first. ^ The findings of the study revealed that elementary school teachers can benefit from more knowledge and training on the role of language in literacy acquisition, and acquiring a wider repertoire of specific strategies to deal with reading difficulties of individual students. ^

Subject Area

Education, Language and Literature|Education, Elementary

Recommended Citation

Julia Denise Mortley, "The knowledge and beliefs of elementary school teachers in the area of English literacy development" (January 1, 2004). ETD Collection for Fordham University. Paper AAI3151172.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI3151172

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