An examination of the complex nature of engaging in the teaching and learning of reading by Pre Service Teachers

Year: 2018

Author: Moore, Criss, Evans, David

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Academic and media debate is ongoing about the pedagogy of teaching reading in our primary schools. The depth of specialised content and procedural knowledge that teachers bring to the classroom setting is a high predictor of student success in learning. This relationship is particularly important for engaging Aboriginal and non Aboriginal students in learning to read. 
Reports over the past two decades have agreed on the key content knowledge required for teaching reading (e.g., Hempenstall, 2016; National Reading Panel, 2002; Snow et al., 2005). That is; oral language: phonological awareness: alphabetic principle: vocabulary: fluency and comprehension. However, teaching these elements alone does not produce a reader. Key procedural knowledge requires student and teacher engagement for teaching and learning.
The most recent Australian PIRLS and NAPLAN Data has alarmed Educational leaders and NSW Government bodies propelling them into finding and implementing research based content knowledge in schools While there is considerable research around in-service teachers, and their ongoing support in being prepared to teach students to read, little exists about how pre-service teachers (PST) develop their knowledge and understanding of how to engaging students in learning (Meeks et al., 2017). That is; relational, behavioral and curriculum engagement Especially so for those students who struggle to learn to read within traditional classrooms.
This paper will report a study that examined the teaching and learning of reading (content and procedural knowledge) and the role engagement plays when intertwining the subject specific content knowledge being olearned to make it usable by the learner.
Final year pre-service teachers were paired with a primary school student who was significantly behind their peers in learning to read for seven weeks (twice weekly for 1 hour). While the broader study involved the use of mixed methods design that incorporated interviews, observations, case studies and a pre-post teacher questionnaire. the small section of the study being discussed in this presentation reports the results of a smaller, yet vital section of the broader study.
Observational data using the manual Revised Edition of the School Observation Coding System (REDSOCS) visually reported the teaching and learning and engagement by the teacher and student required for reading.
The findings indicated that the relational engagement (belonging), behavioural engagement (learning to learn) are intertwined within curriculum elements required for the teaching and learning of reading.