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Title: The role of Initial Teacher Education in the formation of adult literacy teachers' beliefs and practices in the teaching of reading
Author: Schwab, Irene
ISNI:       0000 0004 7226 0434
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2017
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This qualitative study investigated adult literacy teachers' beliefs and pedagogic practices in relation to teaching reading, and considered how these were shaped by their Initial Teacher Education (ITE) and by the realities of the context in which they were working. The issues were explored through interviews with, and observations of, 12 adult literacy teachers in two Further Education (FE) colleges in inner London. The fieldwork took place between December 2013 and October 2014. Findings showed tensions between the teachers' strongly held views about learner-centred pedagogy and their employment context in which the focus on exam success demanded a content-centred approach. Furthermore, the superdiversity of the multicultural and multilingual learner cohort challenged traditional notions of adult literacy learners and their learning needs. The dominant discourse of their various ITE programmes was of a socially situated pedagogy which draws on learners' Funds of Knowledge and their everyday literacy practices. The teachers enjoyed their ITE and found it useful but struggled both to recall theories and relate them to their current context. Examination washback affected all aspects of teaching reading, including a move away from literacy as social practice towards a skills-led approach. The exigencies of exams also led to a concentration on the subskills to be assessed rather than reading for meaning. Additionally, adult literacy teachers had mixed feelings about addressing the language needs of multilingual learners, and used a variety of approaches. The findings further suggest amendments that could be made to teacher education programmes to reflect the realities of the learner cohort and the current FE context. The thesis concludes with some implications for teacher education and contributes to a deeper understanding of literacy teachers’ learning and development.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available