Title page for ETD etd-10222012-094356

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Stanley, Shalanda
URN etd-10222012-094356
Title An Investigation into Urban Elementary Teachers' Educational Beliefs in Regards to Teaching Writing: Comparing Experiences and Self-Reported Beliefs to Teacher Practices
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Educational Theory, Policy, & Practice
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Cheek, Earl Committee Chair
Blanchard, Pamela Committee Member
Mitchell, Roland Committee Member
Monroe, Pamela Dean's Representative
  • writing methods
  • reading methods
  • writing as a process
  • literarcy strategies
Date of Defense 2012-09-26
Availability unrestricted
This six week study investigated six urban elementary teachers’ educational beliefs in regards to teaching writing, comparing their personal histories as writers with their self-reported beliefs on writing and teaching writing, with that of their teacher practices. A further analysis examined how closely aligned their teacher practices were to research-validated practices. During this ethnographic case study, three questions were explored. These questions were: (a) How do teachers’ personal histories with writing inform their beliefs regarding writing in general, as well as their beliefs on teaching writing?, (b) How do teachers’ educational beliefs in regards to teaching writing inform their instructional decisions?, and (c) What impact do teachers’ personal histories with writing and their educational beliefs in regards to teaching writing have on how closely aligned their teacher practices are to research-validated practices? The participants in this study were six primary grade teachers, a first, second, and third grade teacher respectively, from two Title 1 schools in neighboring school districts.

This ethnographic case study followed the Developmental Research Sequence Method, an ethnographic method of analysis designed by James Spradley (1980), in his book The Participant Observer. The data collected included written autobiographies concerning the teachers’ histories as writers, interviews, and classroom observations. There was evidence to suggest that teachers’ histories with writing informed some general held beliefs regarding writing, as well as beliefs regarding teaching writing. There was an indication that the histories and beliefs then informed the teachers’ instructional decisions in the classroom and how closely aligned those practices were to current, research-validated practices.

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