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Abstract

The teaching of reading is a core priority across the education sector. In an attempt to better prepare our next generation of professional teachers of reading, academic staff at an Australian university implemented coursework changes that were designed to enhance the phonological awareness and orthographic knowledge of first-year preservice teacher education students. All students were asked to complete written surveys measuring phonological awareness and orthographic knowledge during class-time at the start and end of their first semester of study. During the semester, students were expected to complete two online modules on phonological awareness and orthographic conventions and pass an online quiz (worth 10% of their grade) as part of their course on the Teaching of Reading and Writing. Education students’ performance in phonological awareness and orthographic knowledge improved significantly over the course of the semester. However, a significant percentage of students failed to achieve mastery level in phoneme-level awareness. Implications and future directions for current higher education practices are presented

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