Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Supporting Literacy Learning in a Whole Language Kindergarten Classroom: Where the Conditions for Learning and Opportunities for Play are in Place
by Schultz, David P., Ed.D., Hofstra University, 2014, 281; 3633851
Abstract (Summary)

This teacher research study examined the pedagogical practices and conditions for learning that supported the literacy learning of the children in my kindergarten classroom during the 2006-2007 school year. An additional focus was to determine the meaning-making strategies employed by effective young beginning readers in this classroom.

The participants were 21 children, 12 girls and nine boys, who were students in my kindergarten. They were also representative of the primarily Caucasian population within a school district on eastern Long Island that included a small percentage (less than 5%) of other ethnic groups.

Data collection included ethnographic observations (kidwatching), along with still and video, digital photography. These data were examined within the literacy events in the classroom that included reading to children, reading with children, and children reading by themselves or to others. Portions of the video collection included the children reading the morning message with me. Video of children reading to me was also transcribed and examined using miscue analysis to determine the meaning-making strategies used by five effective young beginning readers.

Findings indicate that the tenants of whole language, along with Cambourne's (1988) conditions for learning, were in place and supported the pedagogical practice during the literacy events studied. Miscue analysis of the readings done by the children indicated that the children avoided any reliance on the surface features of text (phonics) and employed complex, meaning-making miscues to produce a reader's text that also maintained a high syntactic and semantic relationship with the author's text.

The implications are that similar literacy development could be realize for children within other classrooms where this pedagogy and conditions for learning are in place.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Flurkey, Alan D.
Commitee: Goodman, Debra, Henry, Jeanne, Kabuto, Bobbie, Smith, Sally
School: Hofstra University
Department: Literacy Studies
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 76/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Early childhood education, Elementary education, Educational psychology, Literacy, Reading instruction
Keywords: Beginning readers, Complex miscues, Conditions for learning, Kindergarten, Miscue analysis, Whole language
Publication Number: 3633851
ISBN: 9781321139839
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