Qualitative Case Study of Read-Aloud Expository Text Strategies, Grades K-2

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The problem at one inner-city elementary school is students continue to lag in reading proficiency, and implementation of research-based, district-mandated teaching strategies is not well understood. The purpose of this study was to explore teachers’ perceptions of mandated, read-aloud expository text strategies in k-2 classrooms. The conceptual framework was Vygotsky’s social constructivism model of learning which envisions students learning by interacting with teachers and peers, in this case, using read-aloud strategies, until they become autonomous, expository readers. The research questions focused on benefits and challenges of the implementation of read-aloud expository text by K-2 teachers who were given a 5-year mandate by the school to use 4 specific strategies: scaffolding, graphic organizers, think-alouds, and text talk. Data were gathered from 5 volunteer participants, who were trained in the 4 strategies, using individual interviews, collaborating interviews, reflective journals, and field notes. Open coding and thematic analysis identified 6 themes of teacher perceptions of: (a) benefits, (b) situational strategies, (c) explanations for use, (d) challenges, (e) support, and (f) implementation. Throughout the data collection process, teachers suggested the use of Text Talk Kit materials. These Kits, in use by other districts, may be beneficial to all teachers, and lead to social change by allowing teachers to access materials to better instruct all struggling readers; a benefit across all curricular areas, for all students.

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