Exploring How Language Art Teachers Bring Their Experiences and Knowledge into Teaching Foundational Literacy



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This dissertation study explored how early elementary teachers form their identities by bringing their personal experiences and applying pedagogical content knowledge to teach foundational reading to emergent readers in the early elementary classroom (kindergarten – second grade). Through Identity Theory, coupled with the concepts of Pedagogical Content Knowledge and Funds of Knowledge, the study focused on how teachers make sense of teaching foundational reading based on their personal experiences with learning to read and through the knowledge they gain through their teaching experiences. Participants for the study included two teachers of early elementary aged students (first and second grades). Data sources included teacher interviews, artifacts, audio-recorded observations, and reflective journals that were collected throughout the first semester of the school year. The data was coded and organized by theme to uncover connections between the teachers’ funds of knowledge with reading, their pedagogical content knowledge of teaching reading, and their identities as teachers in the foundational reading classroom. This dissertation study contributes to the body of knowledge of teacher identity and how identity impacts foundational reading instruction.

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foundational literacy, teacher identity, funds of knowledge, pedagogical content knowledge