Teachers and whole language: Providing occasions for having wonderful ideas
AdvisorGoodman, Yetta M.
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.
AbstractThe purpose of this study is to examine the beliefs of teachers in the process of developing a whole language philosophy. It is a descriptive interpretive study of seven teachers interacting with their instructor as they come to know whole language theory and apply it in their classrooms during a graduate education course, "Whole Language: Learning and Teaching." The study focuses on the use of dialogue journal/learning logs as an interactive tool to help the teachers examine their own beliefs about children, learning, and teaching; consider relevant theory and research; and change their teaching practice. Answers were sought to two questions: What demonstrations of perceiving, ideating, and presenting are evident in the dialogue journal/learning logs as these teachers come to know whole language, and how does the instructor utilize these journals to facilitate the ways in which she collaborates with the teachers in their efforts to become whole language teachers? The topics introduced and recycled by the teachers and instructor became the primary units of discourse analysis that revealed how the individual teachers and the instructor interpreted the events and experiences of the course. The analysis revealed that the instructor's use of mutuality building discourse and use of statements that build bridges between the perceptions expressed by the teachers and her own understanding of whole language contributed to the unique learning experience of each of the informants. Those teachers who responded to the instructor's request for reflection in their journals were the teachers who changed the most. They expressed personal concerns about their teaching or their students, posed pertinent questions and initiated personal inquiry to find solutions to those concerns. When they wrote reflectively they expressed their own thinking or ideating most freely. As they expressed their "wonderful ideas," they gained confidence to try them out with their students in their classrooms. The study concludes with strategies for engaging all teachers in reflection on their classroom practice and for intentionally building mutuality and seeking to build more conceptual bridges with each of them. These strategies would enhance the use of dialogue journal/learning logs for supporting change in teaching practice.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Language, Reading & Culture