Self-reported sources of literature teachers' practical knowledge
AuthorVandergriff, James Harley
AdvisorAmes, Wilbur S.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis dissertation is a study of what selected literature teachers report to be their sources of practical knowledge. The data for the study was collected through open-ended interviews with three practicing public school literature teachers in two school districts in a large southwestern city between 1996 and 1998. The informants were selected more on the basis of convenience of access than any other criteria, though I also considered their length of time in the profession and limited the study to persons who were actually teaching literature at the time of the study. The interviews followed an extended observation. After the interviews were transcribed, I analyzed them by the "constant comparison" method (Merriam, 1988, p. 138), using a set of data codes derived from the interview data, then sorted the data according to the codes. That permitted me to bring together pieces of conversation from various points in the interview in a way that is most useful to me (Rubin and Rubin, 1995, pp. 238--241). While the selection and data collection methods were such that I cannot extrapolate the findings to other literature teachers, the data shows quite clearly that, for these teachers, there is a disjuncture between what the research literature assumes are teachers' primary sources of practical knowledge and what the teachers themselves think it to be. Both their statements about their sources of practical knowledge and the metaphoric language they use to describe themselves argue that, for these three teachers, alternative sources of practical knowledge---self, publisher-generated materials, reading in the professional literature, conversations with colleagues, and professional conferences and staff development workshops---are more important sources of their practices than are the sources upon which the research literature puts its primary focus---the apprenticeship of observation, content courses, and pedagogy courses. This finding suggests to me that a broader, more detailed study of this question is warranted.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Teaching and Teacher Education