The Phenomenon of Negotiating Early Literacy Instruction: A Kindergarten Teacher's Narrative

Buckrop, Jordan, Education - Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Invernizzi, Marcia, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia

In this post-intentional phenomenological study, I explored how one kindergarten teacher negotiated different knowledge-based claims around early literacy. Educational researchers have long attempted to model how teachers’ knowledge develops over the course of their careers (e.g., Alexander & Fives, 2000; Snow, Griffin, & Burns, 2005). Those existing models depicted knowledge development as a technical, sequential progression as teachers accumulate greater amounts and better forms of knowledge. I questioned these rational descriptions of teacher growth through iterative, responsive close readings of multiple sources of data. Data included classroom observations, grade-level team meeting observations, interviews, written reflections, and documents. Results were presented in the form of 13 extended narrative vignettes paired with relevant conceptual interpretation. Jane’s narrative illustrated the complexity of the teaching profession – a teacher develops a professional judgment, or a practical wisdom, by making instructional decisions in multiple contexts influenced by others, values, and power (Flyvbjerg, 2001). Implications are not a set of recommendations or observable behaviors but rather a set of reflective questions intended to encourage a deeper, value-driven consideration of what it means to be teacher.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
early literacy, instruction, teacher decision-making, phenomenology
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