An assessment of university instructors' and their pre-service teachers' knowledge of basic language constructs before and after university instructor professional development
MetadataShow full item record
Reading is a basic skill for survival and those who have reading difficulties in early grades continue to struggle in school and later in life. Previous studies have shown that instructional procedures that incorporate basic language constructs with literacy instruction are helpful in improving reading skills. It has also been shown that many teachers and reading professionals are not familiar with such concepts. The purpose of this research is to explore reasons for classroom teachers' poor preparation to teach literacy skills and how this situation might be improved. First, a basic language constructs survey assessing self-perception, knowledge, and ability (46 items, Cronbach's a = .903) and based on recommendations by the National Reading Panel and reading research was administered to university instructors of EC-4 reading education (n=114). Forty-eight of these university instructors completed the survey after at least two years of participation in a professional development program (Higher Education Collaborative, HEC) geared towards the incorporation of scientifically-based reading research (SBRR) and research-based reading instruction (RBRI) into teacher preparation. The other sixty-six university instructors completed the survey prior to their participation in the professional development program (HEC). Second, the same survey was administered to pre-service EC-4 teachers (n=173) at the completion of their reading education coursework. Fifty-five of these pre-service teachers had been taught by the "HEC university instructors." The other 118 pre-service teachers had been taught by "non-HEC university instructors." Results indicate non-HEC university instructors and their pre-service are not familiar with basic language constructs and how to teach these concepts to primary level children. However, while room for improvement exists, HEC university instructors and their pre-service teachers did perform statistically significantly better on the survey than their counterparts. This study indicates pre-service teachers need better preparation in teaching the basic language constructs of the English language and university instructors often lack the knowledge to prepare teachers with such information. However, professional development programs designed for university instructors might be one way to help improve the situation.
Binks, Emily Suzanne (2008). An assessment of university instructors' and their pre-service teachers' knowledge of basic language constructs before and after university instructor professional development. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from