The Literacy Assistance Project: A case study of an early intervention reading program
AuthorLohff, Elizabeth Ann, 1960-
AdvisorAnders, Patricia L.
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 multiple-case study examines the Literacy Assistance Project, an early intervention reading program for "at-risk" students in the Tucson Unified School District. First, this study seeks to thoroughly describe the programmatic, administrative, theoretical and pedagogical framework of LAP and document how these concerns are reflected in the context of LAP lessons. The LAP program claims to be a holistic, or constructivist, reading program. Cambourne's (1988) eight conditions of learning are descriptors of literacy events and activities that are consistent with a constructivist perspective of learning. As a second goal, the study determines the extent to which LAP meets Cambourne's eight conditions of learning, and thirdly, the ways that two LAP teachers' beliefs and practices are consistent with those eight conditions. Whole language proponents are often concerned with aspects of Reading Recovery and other reading intervention programs. In Chapter 1 whole language concerns with reading intervention programs such as Reading Recovery and LAP are addressed and responses to those concerns by Reading Recovery and LAP follow. Data for the study was collected in two elementary schools over a five-month period. They include researcher field notes of lesson observations, interviews with two LAP teachers, eight LAP students, one principal, the LAP designer, and current director. They also include audiotaped transcriptions of lessons and children's writing samples. Analysis of the data was conducted by observing Glaser and Strauss's (1967) grounded theory technique. The data indicate that, notwithstanding the constructivist nature of the reading intervention program, teachers themselves determine how holistic, or constructivist, LAP lessons are. Both teachers reported constructivist teaching and learning beliefs about literacy, but only one teacher practiced those beliefs consonant with Cambourne's (1988) eight constructivist conditions. This finding evidences the critical importance of understanding how teacher beliefs shape teachers' classroom practice. Because teacher beliefs about language, learning, and literacy in great part determine the nature of teachers' practices, and because teachers' reported claims about teaching, reading, and writing strategies may not actually be what they practice due to the influence of those beliefs, it is recommended that pre-service and continuing teacher education programs and in-services carefully examine the foundation and efficacy of teacher beliefs. It is further recommended that educators who instruct pre-service and continuing teacher education coursework make the examination and understanding of teacher beliefs a major curricular emphasis.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Language, Reading & Culture