Effects of Field Experience on Pre-Service Teachers’ Knowledge of Basic Language Constructs and Preparedness for Teaching Reading
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According to the National Education Association, a knowledgeable, well-prepared teacher can be more influential on a child’s academic success than any other resource; however, little empirical evidence exists to define effective teacher preparation. In the context of reading teacher preparation, abundant evidence documents the skills children need in order to become successful readers, yet few studies examine how educators learn to teach those skills. This study considered effects on pre-service teachers’ (n = 71) knowledge of basic language constructs and perceptions of preparedness for teaching reading after participation in a reading specific field experience that was closely integrated into university content. Instruments for data collection include a previously validated assessment of basic language constructs and a researcher developed survey of perceptions (10 constructs, Cronbach’s α = .977). The knowledge assessment was given at the beginning and end of the semester, and the perceptions survey was given at the conclusion of the semester. In addition to descriptive statistics, findings from quantitative analysis found statistically significant differences in perceptions of knowledge, preparedness, and confidence between the experimental group that taught concepts to elementary students during a field experience and a comparison group that practiced teaching concepts to university classmates. Further analysis found large effect sizes for both independent and paired sample t tests. No statistically significant differences were found in knowledge of basic language constructs between the experimental and comparison groups. Results of this study support the inclusion of field experiences that are carefully integrated into university content for increasing participants’ perceptions of knowledge, preparedness, and confidence for teaching reading. The large effect sizes for within group differences also validate use of situational learning theory, the study’s theoretical framework. Ultimately, findings contribute to the body of knowledge surrounding effective teacher preparation, especially in reading.
Practice-based teacher preparation
Reading teacher preparation
Structured participation experience
Wilkins, Gwendolyn Mays (2018). Effects of Field Experience on Pre-Service Teachers’ Knowledge of Basic Language Constructs and Preparedness for Teaching Reading. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from