Date of Award

2017

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Department

Languages, Literatures and Cultures

Sub-Department

College of Education

First Advisor

Diane Stephens

Abstract

In this study, I sought to understand how naming one’s beliefs about teaching reading and writing impacted reading and writing practices. I used action research design (McNiff & Whitehead, 2010; Mills, 2011) to examine three teachers’ journeys as they gave name to their beliefs. I made audio recordings and transcriptions of small group sessions and interviews, observed teachers, asked for and collected teacher reflections, and kept a researcher’s journal. I used thematic analysis to identify patterns across data points. What I found varied for each participant, influenced by the degree that each participant was present and reflective throughout the process. One participant named her beliefs and doing so impacted her practices; another became consciously aware of the relationship between her beliefs and practices and fine-tuned her practices; and the third participant did not seem to distinguish beliefs from practices and maintained the same practices throughout the semester. Based on the data, I developed a theoretical model to show the impact naming beliefs has on practice. I concluded that the conditions needed to foster teacher agency and self-efficacy to enact change to practice are awareness, presence, reflection, and time.

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