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Fostering engagement with the first R and the ELs : teachers' practices withstanding the test of time


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Jones, TA 2002 , 'Fostering engagement with the first R and the ELs : teachers' practices withstanding the test of time', Honours thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Reading has the power to take control of our emotions, to make us laugh and to
bring tears to our eyes. Through reading, we can inhabit and experience worlds and
cultures past, present and of the imagination. Time can pass unnoticed as we
engage \Vith the characters of a book, characters so reai to us that they can vanquish
loneliness, and support us through times of trouble. Reading is also the single most
important tool for learning and so the visionary teachers who can give their
students the gift of a love of reading are equipping them with a potent force.
This case study investigated the practice of four upper pnmary teachers to discover
their motivations and objectives for the implementation of a specific combination
of three literacy practices: reading aloud to students, providing dedicated silent
reading time and engaging students in 'book talk'. The teachers' and students'
perceptions of the benefits to students of the programs were also investigated. As
this study took place in a time of politico-theoretical debate on reading instruction,
and during a time of a change to a values- and futures-oriented curriculum within
Tasmania, this study also sought to determine the relevance of these teachers'
practices in a time of curriculum change.
Results indicated that the teachers' personal love of reading and their understanding
of the importance of well-developed reading skills to the future success of their
students were the primary motivating factors for teachers' programs. Teachers also
had a nai:ve conceptual understanding of the attitude influence model that framed
the boundaries of this study.
This study provides support for the implementation of the practices implemented
by the participating teachers and it shows the power of teacher modelling as a vitaJ
component of pedagogical practice. The teachers' narrative accounts provide access
to their emotional commitment to their work, and their stories suggest that they
implicitly understand the crucial importance of student motivation to any
educational endeavour.

Item Type: Thesis - Honours
Authors/Creators:Jones, TA
Keywords: upper primary literacy, teachers' literacy practices, reading, reading motivation
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2002 the author

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