Usage of Whole-Language Instruction in Elementary-School Classrooms: a Case Study

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This qualitative research study examined the usage of whole-language instruction in the classrooms of four self-professed whole-language teachers. Data were collected from the following sources: classroom observations; interviews with the teachers and their principals; and a study of lesson plans, student work, textbooks, and curriculum guides. The following conclusions were drawn from the study. The teachers' pre-existing philosophical views regarding language instruction influenced the effectiveness with which they implemented whole-language instruction more than any other single factor. These philosophical bases also determined, to a large extent, the kinds of whole-language practices and strategies the teachers used in their instruction. The ... continued below

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iii, 329 leaves

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Miller, Frank J. (Franklin Joe), 1943- August 1992.

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  • Miller, Frank J. (Franklin Joe), 1943-

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Description

This qualitative research study examined the usage of whole-language instruction in the classrooms of four self-professed whole-language teachers. Data were collected from the following sources: classroom observations; interviews with the teachers and their principals; and a study of lesson plans, student work, textbooks, and curriculum guides. The following conclusions were drawn from the study. The teachers' pre-existing philosophical views regarding language instruction influenced the effectiveness with which they implemented whole-language instruction more than any other single factor. These philosophical bases also determined, to a large extent, the kinds of whole-language practices and strategies the teachers used in their instruction. The skills-oriented teachers most often stated that they used whole-language instruction in order to review or reinforce skills. The more holistic teachers most often stressed language development, language appreciation, and self expression. The data collected in this study led to the conclusion that teachers must become knowledgeable of whole-language principles and make a personal commitment to the whole-language philosophy in order to develop integrated, coherent whole-language instructional programs. The data also led the researcher to conclude that assessment of whole-language instruction was an area of ambiguity and uncertainty for the teachers involved in the study. The following recommendations were made from the study. Teachers should make conscious efforts to become cognizant of their basic philosophies and beliefs regarding how children learn and develop. Teachers should then ensure that their practices are consistent with their beliefs. Increased emphasis should be placed on developing appropriate means for assessing the effectiveness of whole-language instruction. School districts should provide adequate in-service opportunities and support services and receive the commitment of the teachers before initiating district-wide whole-language programs. Further research should be conducted on how teachers are affected when they are required to teach in ways which are inconsistent with their basic philosophies and/or teaching styles.

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iii, 329 leaves

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  • August 1992

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  • March 26, 2014, 9:30 a.m.

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  • March 13, 2015, 1:38 p.m.

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Miller, Frank J. (Franklin Joe), 1943-. Usage of Whole-Language Instruction in Elementary-School Classrooms: a Case Study, dissertation, August 1992; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278860/: accessed September 24, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .