Sustaining balance: What, why, and how early career literacy teachers utilize sources of information when planning for small guided reading group instruction within a balanced literacy approach

Date

2022-08

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

Abstract

As soon as they start their career, early career literacy teachers (ECLTs) must assume all teaching responsibilities and handle just as many responsibilities as their higher-paid colleagues. However, these individuals lack the years of experience and contextual knowledge as their peers. Previous experiences in their teacher education programs enable them to be in an apt state for cognitive growth once they enter the teaching profession. They have a prior understanding of how to plan for small group reading instruction; however, they may still need scaffolding to fully accomplish this task within their own classroom with specific students. To reduce the cognitive complexity of planning for this type of high-demand instruction, ECLTs may seek scaffolds within their school's social environment.

However, as novices in the teaching profession, ECLTs may struggle to select quality sources to curate a successful small guided reading group lesson plan. Therefore, this dissertation study explored early career teachers' decision-making and thought processes (ECLTs) when curating lesson planning for instruction within a balanced reading approach. More specifically, this qualitative case study sought to uncover what, how, and why ECLTs select and utilize sources to support their navigation of the complexities of the first years of teaching and planning guided reading instruction. This study adds to the body of literature on research-based literacy frameworks, on-site professional development, and healthy collaborative experiences that support new teachers in planning the what and the how within their instructional plans.

The study explored: (1) what sources of information ECLTs utilize when planning small guided reading group instruction within a balanced reading approach. (2) why ECLTs decide to utilize sources of information when planning small guided reading group instruction within a balanced reading approach; and (3) the extent ECLTs reflect a balanced literacy approach as they curate small guided reading group lesson plans. The data collected from this study primarily came from fourteen transcribed teacher interviews and 128 collected teacher lesson plans. The findings from this study revealed the influence of Richardson's Assess-Decide-Guide Instructional Literacy Framework on the ECLTs selection and use of planning sources. In addition, they presented a strong argument for the need for healthy collaboration within their social environment around a research-based literacy framework to support new ECLTs in planning small guided reading group instruction.

This study's findings reveal how the robustness of Richardson's Assess-Decide-Guide Instructional Literacy Framework supported the two ECLTs in their own learning and intentional lesson design decisions, while also influencing other sources to draw from when planning small guided reading group instruction. Furthermore, the collaborative experiences and on-site professional development of the ECLTs within their social environment led to opportunities for new understanding, new learning, constructive feedback, and emotional support. Recommendations include ways for teacher education faculty who teach reading methods to foster the habit of critical consumption and provide situated experiences for preservice teachers to engage with an instructional literacy framework. In addition, this study prompted ways for school administrators to select educative curriculum materials and foster healthy

collaboration for ECLTs to sustain a balanced reading approach that includes small group guided reading.


Embargo status: Restricted until 09/2023. To request the author grant access, click on the PDF link to the left.

Description

Keywords

Balanced Literacy Approach, Early Career Literacy Teachers, Guided Reading, Instructional Literacy Framework, Lesson Planning

Citation