Date of Award

1-1-2002

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Education

Faculty

Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Dr Marion Milton

Second Advisor

Dr Mary Rohl

Abstract

This study investigates the ways in which four Year One children engage in the literacy events of their regular and Reading Recovery classrooms. It explores how these children perceived their beginning reading instruction and possible relationships between the children's perceptions and the ways in which they ‘did' literacy in each setting. The study draws on research in beginning reading instruction from both a psychological and socio-cultural perspective, as well as research into withdrawal programs for children experiencing difficulty in learning to read and the Reading Recovery program itself. A case study approach was used in this study and data collection methods included videoetaped observations of the children in their two classrooms, interviews and examination of artefacts. Observation data was categorised into two main groups of reading and writing behaviours and literacy related behaviours. Results showed similarities in the children's reading and writing behaviours across the two settings, with some differences noted in their literacy-related behaviours from one setting to the other. The differences were particularly marked in the children's dispositions to literacy learning, with two of the children showing a more active learning stance in Reading Recovery than in the classroom setting. These results are interpreted in light of previous research literature on classroom learning, continuities and discontinuities between classroom and withdrawal settings, and the effectiveness of the Reading Recovery program. It is suggested that while the withdrawal reading program may assist children to develop their reading and writing skills it may not necessarily develop in children an active learning stance and a positive disposition for literacy learning. The study points towards the need for both classroom and withdrawal teachers to work collaboratively to carefully monitor the individual reading and writing behaviours, literacy learning behaviours and learning stances of at-risk Year One children.

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