Award Date

5-1-2013

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Educational & Clinical Studies

First Committee Member

Jeffrey I. Gelfer

Second Committee Member

Michelle T. Tannock

Third Committee Member

Sherri C. Strawser

Fourth Committee Member

Paul W. Jones

Number of Pages

292

Abstract

First grade teachers play a critical role in shaping the foundation for early literacy skills acquisition of primary students. Past research studies have indicated that primary students whose teachers followed the Big 5 Ideas to teach reading had higher reading abilities when compared to other students. The purpose of this current research was to address a gap in the literature by examining first grade teachers' perceptions of the Big 5 Ideas, their levels of knowledge of the literacy concepts, the frequency with which these teachers use their knowledge of the Big 5 Ideas, and the possible influence of the use of the Big 5 Ideas on their routine reading instructional practices. A mixed methodology of cross-sectional and observational design was used in this research, which consisted of two phases. Phase One was conducted using a developed questionnaire that was composed of necessary components of the Big 5 Ideas in reading instruction to be completed by the 780 selected first grade teachers. Quantitative data were collected through an established online survey company (Qualtrics) and analyzed using descriptive statistics, one-way multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA), and one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA). Phase Two was completed using a developed observational checklist and visual analysis (i.e., five research assistants observed and collected qualitative data from five selected first grade classrooms).

The findings related to Phase One of this research indicated: (a) universal agreement on the importance of implementing the Big 5 Ideas in daily reading instruction, (b) relatively adequate levels of knowledge of the Big 5 Ideas of all first grade teachers, (c) relatively high percentage of implementation of the Big 5 Ideas during daily reading instruction, (d) no statistically significant differences between first grade teachers' perceptions of the Big 5 Ideas and their degree types, number of years teaching, or types of licensure, (e) statistically significant differences in first grade teachers' implementation of the Big 5 Ideas based on the number of literacy courses taken during teacher preparation programs for phonics, vocabulary, and fluency, and (f) no statistically significant differences in first grade teachers' implementation of the Big 5 Ideas based on the number of literacy courses taken during teacher preparation programs for phonemic awareness and comprehension.

The findings related to Phase Two of this research revealed that there were strong relationships between the observed first grade teachers' (e.g., teacher one and teacher five) perceptions of the Big 5 Ideas and their actual implementation of the Big 5 Ideas. Conversely, there were weak relationships between these teachers' (e.g., teacher two, teacher three, and teacher four) perceptions of the above five strands of effective reading instruction and their daily observed reading instructional practices.

Keywords

First grade (Education); Reading (Primary); Teachers; Teachers – Training of

Disciplines

Education | Elementary Education and Teaching | Liberal Studies

Language

English


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