The influence of prekindergarten teacher education level on early reading instruction beliefs
Adair, Samantha Lynn
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Research indicates early reading ability influences later academic achievement. The literature remains mixed, however, with regard to the best way to implement early literacy instruction in the classroom, and whether to employ a phonics-based, whole language-based, or balanced approach. This study seeks to examine the relationship between a teacher’s educational level and his or her endorsement of beliefs for specific literacy practices. It was hypothesized that a higher level of education would be connected with beliefs about a balanced approach to early literacy practices. Fifty-seven prekindergarten teachers and paraprofessionals completed the Teacher and Paraprofessional Information Form; specific questions were used to determine both highest level of education and endorsement of a particular early literacy instructional approach. Results indicated that differences do exist between education levels, yet no significant relationship was reported between employing balanced approaches and higher degree attainment. Future research should examine student outcomes in relation to these findings.