An analysis of what and how reading literacy components are included and taught within a foundation phase teacher preparation programme
Van der Merwe, Zelda Elizabeth
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National and international studies indicate that the preparation of teachers to teach reading is inconsistent across universities worldwide. Teacher preparation programmes lack rigorous research based findings and recommendations point to the fact that evidence–based research and integrated approaches should be incorporated to address this inconsistency. There is a need for a comprehensive curriculum to guide pre–service teachers toward a coherent knowledge base for the effective teaching of reading as teachers do not have an understanding of what to teach or how to teach it. Literature identifies that the inclusion, and explicit teaching of the five reading literacy components (phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary knowledge and text comprehension) form the essential components which should be instructed to enable teachers to teach reading. This study analysed a teacher preparation programme to identify what reading literacy components are taught as well as how the reading literacy components are taught within the programme. The results reflect that the reading literacy components are included haphazardly within the teacher preparation programme and there is no evidence–based research incorporated. It is clear that the pre–service teachers are not taught “how” to teach the reading literacy components as the science of reading is not focused on in the teacher preparation programme studied. The findings of this study support the literature base requiring teachers to be equipped with a disciplinary knowledge base to teach reading. Furthermore, teachers should be provided with a rigorous, research–based curriculum which will enable them to become expert reading literacy teachers who will be well prepared to implement research–based programmes and practices.
- Education