Relationship Between Third Grade Teachers’ and Students’ Reports on Frequencies of Interactivity During Reading Instruction
Type of Degreedissertation
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According to many educators “formal education is essentially a social process” (Weinstein, 1991, p. 295) that is most effective when there is a two-way interaction that results in discourse among and between teachers and students. Observations of reading instruction, in particular, suggest that student-teacher interactions may play a major role in students’ literacy learning. Research from two separate, large scale studies revealed that effective reading teachers of elementary age students shared common characteristics that encouraged student-teacher interactivity (Allington & Johnston, 2002; Pressley, Allington, McDonald, Block, & Morrow, 2001). Some of the characteristics included the following: (a) incorporation of many and various reading-related activities; (b) teachers’ engagement with students on a personal basis; (c) respectful exchanges in which teachers allow students to function independently; and (d) freedom for students to discuss ideas about texts and literacy tasks with peers. This study draws on interactive characteristics of effective reading instruction identified primarily in first and fourth grade classrooms (Allington & Johnston, 2002; Pressley et al., 2001) to examine similarities and differences in students’ and teachers’ perceptions about the extent to which reading instruction in third grade classrooms includes interactivity. Parallel questionnaires for teachers and students were administered, and data were compared and contrasted on interactivity in reading instruction.