Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Teaching & Learning
The purpose of this study was threefold: (1) to examine the epistemological stances of the two teacher participants, that is, to determine their attitudes toward student literacy and their beliefs about the purposes of English as a discipline; (2) to describe the interplay between their epistemological stances and their pedagogical practices, in particular with respect to their use of research-based literacy strategies; and (3) to arrive at a means of supporting them in their use of more effective pedagogical strategies, in this case including more in-depth discussion in their classes for the purpose of furthering their students' critical literacy. The study used a combination of qualitative and formative research methods to accomplish these aims. As a result of multiple interviews with the teachers and observations of their classes, I concluded that they had similar epistemological stances with respect to literacy and the purpose of teaching English; that is, both felt it important to instill both functional and critical literacy in their students. Despite these beliefs, however, both teachers neglected a strategy shown by extensive research to be an effective means of fostering higher level thinking skills in students: having them engage in meaningful, in-depth discussion of the processes and ideas engendered by their studies. Thus, I chose urging the teachers to include such discussion as the intervention designed to help improve their literacy pedagogy, and I supported their efforts to do so by offering my help with both planning and instruction. Nevertheless, neither teacher seemed able to implement the suggested intervention to a considerable extent. Both teachers cited curricular restraints and classroom management issues as obstacles to doing so. Based on my observations of their classes, I concluded that it was not so much the nature of their epistemological stances that precluded their use of research-based literacy strategies as it was the contextual constraints of curriculum, administrative policy, and certain cultural features of the school and surrounding community.
Sugioka, Stephanie K..
"Secondary English Teachers' Attitudes Toward disciplinary and Literacy Learning Implications for Pedagogical Praxis and Reform"
(2010). Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Dissertation, Teaching & Learning, Old Dominion University, DOI: 10.25777/2jkf-fj89