Social construction of preservice teachers' instructional strategies for reading

Catherine M O'Callaghan, Fordham University


This multiple case study investigated the social construction of four female preservice teachers' instructional strategies for reading. Data collection consisted of DeFord's (1989) Theoretical Orientation to Reading Profile, literacy narratives, teaching metaphors, and think-aloud protocols for six vignettes of primary grade reading problems. Miles and Huberman's (1994) data reduction techniques were utilized. Cross-case analysis indicated that all participants engaged in increased levels of reflective thinking and procedural reasoning. In addition, two participants also engaged in reflective thinking while teaching (Schon, 1983). A skills orientation to reading was the predominant approach to instruction. Only one participant shifted her theoretical orientation from a phonics orientation to skills-based instruction. Finally, it was determined that all four participants' instructional strategies for reading were rooted in their own literacy histories. Finally, it was hypothesized that engaging in narrative inquiry, coupled with instructional problem solving, generated cognitive conflict among participants. Increased cognitive conflict resulted in changes in preservice teachers' reflection and procedural reasoning.

Subject Area

Literacy|Reading instruction|Teacher education|Curricula|Teaching

Recommended Citation

O'Callaghan, Catherine M, "Social construction of preservice teachers' instructional strategies for reading" (1998). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9830596.