Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Curriculum and Instruction

First Committee Member

John E. Readence

Number of Pages



This study focused on the learning to teach process of a beginning kindergarten teacher in the area of literacy through the investigation of her pedagogical content knowledge. Shulman (1986) described pedagogical content knowledge as "the ways of representing and formulating the subject that make it comprehensible to others" (p. 9). The purpose of the study was to explore how this teacher transformed her knowledge of literacy into pedagogy for the diverse students she taught. The participant in this study, Nancy Green, was a white female, aged, 43 with two children. Data were collected using multiple data sources including interviews, observations, Nancy's literacy autobiography, and teaching evaluations. Data were analyzed qualitatively using both an analytic coding system and a descriptive coding system. Through the dual analysis of data, I was able to gain an understanding of how Nancy both constructed what it meant to teach literacy to diverse learners and explored the outside factors that both helped and hindered her development as a teacher of literacy. The findings indicated that, in attempting to understand Nancy's process of learning to teach literacy, pedagogical content knowledge was the very thing Nancy needed. While Nancy's pedagogical content knowledge did develop in some ways throughout the course of the study, there were many factors in the structural organization of schools, based on power relations, that both inhibited and enhanced her growth. As a beginning teacher Nancy was marginalized and, thus, the development of her pedagogical content knowledge suffered. While Nancy is only one beginning teacher, the implications of this study suggest important considerations be placed on the decontextualized and fragmented nature of reading methods in teacher education, the placement of beginning teachers, and the support offered to beginning teachers.


Beginning Teachers; Content; Developing; Kindergarten; Literacy; Learning To Teach; Pedagogical Content Knowledge; Teachers

Controlled Subject

Individualized reading instruction; Education, Elementary; Teachers--Training of

File Format


File Size

3706.88 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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