Kindergarten and first grade teachers' decision-making for literacy instruction in diverse schools

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Date

2003

Authors

DeCourcey, Catherine Maureen

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Abstract

The purpose of this qualitative study was to learn how teachers in culturally and linguistically diverse, low socioeconomic status schools explained their decision-making for literacy instruction at the kindergarten and first grade level. Two urban elementary schools served as sites for the study; one rated exemplary by the state educational agency, the other rated acceptable. Four teachers from each school participated. Data sources included: classroom observations, semi- structured interviews, post observation debriefings, teacher surveys and descriptive self-portraits, and document reviews. Themes emerged regarding their decision-making: teachers’ varied understanding of literacy, teachers’ perceptions of their teaching ability and efficacy, and teachers’ perceptions of students and their abilities. Dimensions of excellence, characteristics and contexts of competency are discussed. Implications and suggestions for future research are proffered.

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