Becoming a teacher of early reading: charting the knowledge and practices of pre-service and newly qualified teachers

Hendry, Helen (2019). Becoming a teacher of early reading: charting the knowledge and practices of pre-service and newly qualified teachers. Literacy (Early Access).

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/lit.12184

Abstract

Education policy in England requires student teachers to demonstrate effective teaching of early reading, including systematic synthetic phonics, in order to qualify to teach. Although there is a range of literature about initial teacher education, little is documented about how pre‐service or ‘student’ teachers develop specific knowledge and practices for teaching early reading and how they apply these in their first term as newly qualified teachers (NQTs). This research used a primarily qualitative longitudinal, collective case study design involving seven lower primary (3–7 years) postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) students enrolled at one university in the East Midlands of England. Semi‐structured interviews, classroom observations and documentary analysis with the students and their teacher mentors were used to gather data from entry onto the course to the participants' first term as qualified teachers. A thematic analysis was applied in conjunction with deductive observation codes developed from a previous study. Findings indicate a broad continuum of progression in student and newly qualified teacher knowledge and practice for teaching early reading which could be used to inform university organisation, mentoring and school participation. They highlight the influence of school cultures on the experiences of student and pre‐service teachers.

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