Negotiating guided reading decisions: Making connections and growing through reflection

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A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of DOCTOR of PHILOSOPHY in CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi in Corpus Christi, TX.
Teachers are keys to the success of their students. This study is significant because it provides an in-depth understanding of the experiences of teachers and how their self-efficacy influenced their practices as they engaged in the teaching of guided reading with struggling readers. The participants in the study participated in Coaching Effective Guided Reading Sessions under the RTI Umbrella training and coaching sessions. This approach differed from the traditional approach to guided reading because it is an intervention that falls under the Response to Intervention umbrella. An interpretivism framework informed this case study inquiry along with the substantive framework of Bandura's Social Cognitive Theory and the concept of self-efficacy. The study explored how two elementary teachers negotiated their instructional decisions while conducting guided reading sessions with struggling readers. The study took place in two elementary schools in a South Texas district and data was collected through interviews, observations, and collected artifacts. Participants rated their abilities for each of the 24 indicators in the Teacher Sense of Efficacy Scale (TSES) at the beginning and at the end of the study. The results indicated that both participants had a high sense of efficacy in the areas of instructional strategies, student engagement, and classroom management at the beginning and at the end of the study. These findings were further supported in the themes that emerged for each participant from the data analysis. The implications of this study raised questions about how the continuous support teachers receive through staff development influences the instructional decisions they make in guided reading and the ways in which teachers' interpretation of their experiences influences their self efficacy. Some questions to consider for further research include: How does the continuous support by an instructional coach influence the efficacy of teachers as they implement this guided reading approach? What are the experiences of middle school language arts teachers as they implement guided reading? In conclusion, when teachers have a high sense of self-efficacy in their ability to help all their students, they seek and implement different strategies and interventions that lead to student reading achievement.
Educational Leadership, Curriculum & Instruction
College of Education and Human Development

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