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Reading Instruction Beliefs and Practices of Early Elementary School Teachers
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by Christy M. Byrd - Agnes Scott College
This study examines the beliefs and practices of 30 kindergarten through third grade teachers in a suburban school district. Participants completed an online survey about their beliefs, classroom practices, and familiarity with certain terms. Results showed that the participants were more whole-language oriented in philosophy and used more whole-language practices than phonics practices. The curriculum was not a primary source of conflict as the participants felt they had control over their reading programs. Knowledge base did not vary by demographic factors. Finally, achievement data showed how successful this district was, which supported the participants’ beliefs that their programs were effective. Instead of continuing the “great debate,” teachers may be exploring what works best for their students by combining both approaches.