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Conference Proceeding

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This study describes first-grade teachers beliefs and practices about reading instruction. Drawing from interview and observational data, 16 teachers from four districts were placed on a continuum from skills-based to literature-based in relationship to their use of the basal. Only 2 teachers were found to rely solely on the basal, while 3 teachers enhanced the basal with literature, and 4 teachers used only literature in their reading instruction. Six teachers enhanced their basal use with additional skills and 1 teacher relied on skills only in her reading instruction. This diversity' of teaching beliefs and practices was corroborated by questionnaire data from a larger sample of teachers. Next, a framework developed by Belenky, Clinchy, Goldberger, and Tarule (1986) was used to categorize teachers' ways of knowing. The findings showed 1 teacher to be a "silent knower," 6 were "received knowers," 1 was a "subjective knower," 7 were "procedural knowers," and 1 was a "connected knower." Results challenge Shannon's (1987) hypothesis that basals "deskill" teachers while supporting Sosniak and Stodolskv's (1993) view that teachers are more autonomous in their use of textbook materials.


Hoffman, J.V., McCarthey, S.J., Bayles, D., Price, D., Elliott, B., Dressman, M., Abbott, J. (1995). Reading instruction in first-grade classrooms: Do basals control teachers? (Reading Research Report #43). National Reading Research Center, Athens, GA: Universities of Georgia and Maryland.



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