Open Access Dissertation
Date of Award
BELIEFS AND INSTRUCTIONAL PRACTICES OF TWO DEVELOPMENTAL READING INSTRUCTORS AT AN OPEN-ADMISSION COLLEGE
LYNNE MORGAN-BERNARD August 2015
Advisor: Dr. Karen Feathers
Major: Reading, Language, and Literature Degree: Doctor of Education
Given the changing demands of the 21st century workplace, it is important that all high school graduates have access to a college education, but many students do not have college-level reading skills. Thus, developmental education is an important component of open-admission institutions. It is important that instructors of developmental courses be effective in order to promote student success. However, we have little information about the factors that affect instructional practices in developmental classrooms. Therefore, this study examined the beliefs and instructional practices and the resulting learning environment of two developmental reading instructors in an open-admission college.
The study investigated three questions:
1) What are instructors’ beliefs about teaching developmental reading and developmental reading students, and how do their instructional practices reflect these beliefs? 2) How do instructors’ beliefs and practices about developmental reading and developmental reading students reflect behaviorist, cognitivist and/or constructivist theories? and 3) How do instructors’ beliefs and instructional practices affect the learning environment of the developmental reading classroom?
The procedures included analyzing classroom observational data, interviews of subjects, their journals, and two beliefs’ surveys. To address these questions, teachers completed a survey of their beliefs, they kept instructional journals that were read, theyTo address these questions, teachers completed a survey of their beliefs, they kept instructional journals that were read, they were observed across five complete classes, and were interviewed various times. Data were analyzed using the constant comparative method.
The results demonstrated that instructors’ beliefs about teaching did not always match their practices, thus suggesting that beliefs alone do not explain instructional practices. In addition to beliefs, three additional factors emerged as playing a major role in creating the learning environment: the institution’s mandated curriculum, the instructors’ training and experience, and the instructors’ perception of developmental reading students. These data indicate that multiple factors transact to create unique learning environments in each classroom.
Morgan-Bernard, Lynne, "Beliefs And Instructional Practices Of Two College Developmental Reading Instructors At An Open-Admission College" (2015). Wayne State University Dissertations. 1347.