Early childhood educators' perceived and actual metalinguistic knowledge, beliefs and enacted practice about teaching early reading
Taylor and Francis Inc.
Results of influential reports on early literacy have drawn attention to the need for early childhood educators to take up a more explicit, teacher-directed approach to beginning reading. Positive classroom results however are in part dependent upon teacher knowledge and this study investigated the relationship between early childhood educators' linguistic knowledge, beliefs and enacted practice about teaching reading. Results indicate that while early childhood educators believe knowledge about teaching reading is ‘very important’ to their role, their understanding of literacy precursor skills was generally low. When observed teaching beginning reading, most participants demonstrated some capacity to plan and teach in an explicit way; however, their enacted practice was inconsistent with their teacher knowledge results. This suggests the ability to reflect on the sound structure of spoken words and apply this knowledge to learning to read is a different skill to planning instructional sequences to teach these literacy precursor skills explicitly.