Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Primary teachers' theoretical orientations towards the teaching of literacy
Author: Burrell, Andrew Vincent
ISNI:       0000 0004 2704 1283
Awarding Body: Institute of Education, University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2002
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
This thesis examines teachers' beliefs or orientations in relation to literacy teaching. Two studies are presented. The first is a small-scale, in-depth study which examines Reception teachers' beliefs of how children learn to read and how these relate to classroom practice. Furthermore, it examines the relationship between academic theories of how children learn to read, including instructional practices, and teachers' own beliefs. While recognising the debate which has characterised the teaching of reading in polemic terms, the author argues that teachers' beliefs have largely been neglected within this debate. An attempt is made to discover whether this dichotomy applies to teachers' own beliefs and their practice. Researchers studying teacher cognition acknowledge difficulties in eliciting beliefs. In the present study due consideration was given to validity and reliability issues. A triangulation of methods including a Statement Sorting Task, classroom observation and assessment of children was employed to address weaknesses identified in previous research. Whilst it was possible to identify the existence of some shared beliefs between teachers who agree with certain propositions pertaining to a particular theoretical position, none of the classrooms observed typified practice that could be considered exclusive to one theoretical orientation. Nevertheless, in some classrooms practice reflecting one theoretical stance predominated. Some cases of 'mismatches' between teachers' elicited beliefs and their observed practice were also found to exist. The Statement Sorting Task was also used in the second study. This examined 10 Reception and 12 Y5 teachers' beliefs in relation to the National Literacy Strategy (NLS). The findings suggest teachers' views are in line with the content of the NLS in some respects. However they are much less in favour of the pedagogy which the NLS propounds. Reception teachers in particular did not find any of the statements about the NLS pedagogy came close to their views. By contrast, Y5 teachers' views were more in line with statements about NLS pedagogy. Response patterns suggest that, after almost a year's experience of the NLS, primary teachers show a degree of acceptance towards its content, but not to its pedagogy.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available