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The Nature of Questioning Moves Us ed by Exemplary Teachers During Reading Instruction by Melinda M. Lundy A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy Department of Childhood Educa tion and Literacy Studies College of Education University of South Florida Major Professor: Kath ryn Laframboise, Ph.D. David Allsopp, Ph.D. Roger Brindley, Ed.D. Susan Homan, Ph.D. Date of Approval: May 21, 2008 Keywords: teacher talk, discourse scaffo lds, one-to-one conferences, engagement, professional development Copyright 2008, Melinda M. Lundy
Dedication To Jeff Lundy, my devoted husband, w ho has unshakeable confidence in my abilities.
Acknowledgements Throughout my journey in the doctoral pr ogram, I have often marveled at my good fortune. I have been surrounded by people who care about me, and they have been genuinely supportive. I wish to acknowledge my Major Professor Kathryn Laframboise, and my committee members Roger Brindle y, Susan Homan, and David Allsopp with admiration, appreciation, and gr atitude for their wisdom, me ntorship, and support. Their scholarly expertise, constr uctive feedback, and thought pr ovoking challenges opened my eyes to many facets of research and writing. I am also deeply appreciative of Darl ene DeMarie, Linda Evans, and the many friends I made in the College of Edu cation who supported me along the way. I was fortunate to have met P. David Pearson and am grateful for the time he gave to listen to my thoughts. His valuable insights and the thought-provoking questions he asked helped me think through the design of my study. I would like to acknowledge the dedicated teachers with whom this study was conducted. They welcomed me into their cla ssrooms, and selflessly gave of their time. Their willingness and interest to participat e in my study is sincerely appreciated. A heartfelt thanks goes to Brian Flynn a nd the staff at Rowlett Elementary School and Linda Guilfoyle and my friends and colle agues on the Curriculum Team for their tremendous support. Also, to the many pe ople who touched my life throughout this journey in ways that were unexpected and cherished, I will always be grateful.
I would like to acknowledge th e support of my trusted friends and colleagues who have more faith in me than I have in my self. Katie Fradley, Beth Severson, and Ruby Zickafoose, collectively have been a source of encouragement, inspiration, and strength. They had a knack to reframe potential breakdow ns into breakthroughs and helped to keep my head above water. Also, Anne Juola-Rushtons calming presence helped me keep things in perspective. She demonstrated ma ny acts of thoughtfulness th at I treasure with a thankful heart. I am so appreci ative of all their efforts to celebrate the baby steps and the milestones accomplished along the way. Additionally, my dear friends Marlene Moran and Valerie Ellery deserve special menti on. Marlene kept me grounded, and Valerie was a faithful prayer warrior on my behalf. I am grateful to all the me mbers of my family who offered their love and support. I am especially thankful for my husband Jeff, for without his gene rous love and daily understanding, this journey would have been mi serable, if not impossible. My children Kaleigh and Josh showed unconditional love and endured numerous sacrifices. They pulled together to fill in th e gaps I left open in our ev eryday life, and forgave my unavailability. They are an everyday blessing to my life and I love th em with all of my heart. Above all, I acknowledge Gods mercy and fa ithfulness. He is a consistent source of love, comfort, and strength.
i Table of Contents List of Tables iv Abstract v Chapter One. Introduction 1 Statement of the Problem 5 Statement of the Purpose 6 Research Questions 7 Significance of the Study 8 Design 9 Theoretical Framework 11 Definition of Terms 13 Limitations 15 Delimitations 15 Organization of Remaining Chapters 16 Chapter Two. Review of Literature 17 Core Reading Programs 18 Historical Overview of Core Reading Programs 18 NCLB and its Reading First Initiative 23 Developing Competencies of Tw enty First Century Readers 26 Summary 27 Impact of Questioning on Reading Comprehension 28 Question Types 28 Generating Questions 33 Discussion Approaches 37 Reciprocal Teaching 38 Questioning the Author 38 Transactional Strategy Instruction 39 Collaborative Reasoning 40 Instructional Conversations 41 Elaborative Interrogations 42 Summary 43 Directive and Supportive Discourse Scaffolds 44 Directive Scaffolds 45 Supportive Scaffolds 48 Summary 52 Teacher Stance 53
ii Stance 53 Theoretical Perspectives 55 Modernist Perspective 56 Transactional Perspective 57 Critical Perspective 57 Summary 59 Conclusions 59 Chapter Three. Method 62 The Purpose of the Study and Research Questions 62 Research Design and Provisions for Trustworthiness 63 Case Study 64 Provisions of Trustworthiness 66 Participants and Sites 68 Researcher Biases and Ethical Consider ations 77 Ethics 79 Data Collection Methods and Data Analysis Procedures 80 The Role of the Researcher 84 Data Analysis 85 Pattern Analysis 85 Interview Analysis 86 Conversation Analysis 86 Chapter Four. Results 88 Introduction 89 Participants and School Sites 90 Carla 94 Instructional Context 95 Strategy Lesson 98 Independent Reading with One to One Conferences 100 Read Aloud 103 Instructional Materials 105 Explanation of the Patterns that Emerged 107 What is the Nature of the Questioning Moves Exemplary Teachers Use in Fourth-Grade Classrooms During Reading Instruction? 107 What do Exemplary Fourth-Grade Teachers Describe as Influencing Their Use of Questioning Moves With in the Reading Program? 112 Martha 114 Instructional Context 115 Word Study 116 Strategy Lesson 117 Differentiated Reading 119 Instructional Materials 124 Explanation of the Patterns that Emerged 126
iii What is the Nature of the Questioning Moves Exemplary Teachers Use in Fourth-Grade Classrooms During Reading Instruction? 126 What do Exemplary Fourth-Grade Teachers Describe as Influencing Their Use of Questioni ng Moves Within the Reading Program? 129 Cross Case Analysis 130 What is the Nature of the Questioning Moves Exemplary Teachers Use in Fourth-Grade Classrooms During Reading Instruction? 130 What do Exemplary Fourth-Grade Teachers Describe as Influencing Their Use of Questioning Moves With in the Reading Program? 135 Common Themes 137 Summary 139 Chapter Five. Discussion 140 Overview of the Research Study 140 Discussion of the Studys Results and Intersection with the Literature 142 Implications for Reading Teachers and Educators 145 Recommendations for Future Research 147 References 150 Appendices 166 Appendix A: Literacy Orientation Survey 167 Appendix B: Outline of Proposed Study 175 Appendix C: Timeline for Data Collection 178 Appendix D: Phases of Study 179 Appendix E: Interview Protocol A 180 Appendix F: Interview Protocol B 181 Appendix G: Discussion Parameters 182 About the Author End Page
iv List of Tables Table 1 Data Collection Methods and Data Analysis Procedures 81 Table 2 Questioning Moves 132
v The Nature of Questioning Moves Us ed by Exemplary Teachers During Reading Instruction Melinda M. Lundy ABSTRACT This study examines and desc ribes the nature of questioning moves used by two exemplary fourth-grade teachers during r eading instruction. Questioning moves are defined in this study as the ways in which teachers use scaffolding questions to engage students in talk about text. A nother point of interest in th is study was to determine how teachers perceive the influence of instruc tional materials on the language they use to engage students in talk about text. This study was situated within a constructivist paradigm of inquiry and drew from the case study tradition for its design. Naturalistic methods of data collection were employed including transcripts of teacher and student talk, field not es, videotapes, and interviews with the teachers. Data analysis was conducted in two stages. First data were analyzed separately within each case to loca te emerging patterns to build each teachers profile. Then data were juxtaposed for the purpose of compar ison to illuminate similarities and differences in patterns that cut across cases. In general, results show that while qu estioning moves used by exemplary fourthgrade teachers are different, they are simple and subtle. The questioning moves used provided scaffolding for the purpose of increasing the students responsibility for constructing meaning from text and signaled teachers high exp ectations in their students
vi ability to read and interact with text. Teachers use of questioning moves was determined by the instructional focus and hinged on th e nature, intensity, and support of their professional development opportunities and expe riences. Additional findings, indirectly related to teachers use of questioning moves, and the influences on their use, were themed around the nature of attention that t eachers gave to their classroom environment and instructional design. Implications of the results of this study fo r reading teachers and educators are themed around issues of professional development and time.
1 Chapter One Introduction To a great extent within classrooms, th e language used by teachers and students determines what is learned and how learning takes place. (Wilkinson & Silliman, 2000 p. 337) I was a classroom teacher for eight years. As a reading teacher, I had the goal of engaging students with text in strategic and deliberate ways to promote thoughtful reading and content learning. I clung to the notion that providing students with opportunities to experience and respond to literature as they read deepened their understanding of text and cultiv ated a strong reading habit. In my years spent teaching, I engaged my students in discussions about text on a daily basis, but reflecting back I realize that I predominat ely adopted a teaching stance that encouraged affective responses to text. I adopted this stance in an effort to generate emotional connections that would compleme nt and embellish the cognitive aspects of reading. Throughout our discussi ons I made a series of decisions to afford students opportunities to express their id eas and to hear the ideas e xpressed by their classmates. I often reflected on the nature of our convers ations. The engagement manifested in my students discourse told me they were intere sted, but now I realize that I really did not have a commanding knowledge of the what an d the how in regard to scaffolding my students ability to construct meaning from text. Often, I wonder if the decisions I made
2 and the discussions we engaged in achiev ed the goal of deepening my students understanding of text or sacrificed it to ill-structured discussion approaches. The reflective nature of my practice as a re ading teacher fueled an interest in the complex field of reading. I obtained a Mast ers degree in readi ng and engaged in a plethora of learning opportuni ties focused on literacy at the national, state, and local level. My insatiable desire to learn and grow in the field of literacy resulted in my becoming a literacy coach, and later a district curriculum specialist in the area of language arts for K-5 teachers. The concept for this study evolved from my experiences as a curriculum specialist, liter acy coach, and classroom teacher. My experiences in the field of literacy have taken me in and out of many classrooms to work along side teachers. My observations in multiple classrooms have allowed me to see a wide array of reading in struction that employs various instructional materials and calls on various areas of pr ofessional development. I find the format teachers choose for discussion about text also varies and affects discourse features, such as the amount of time spent on teacher talk a nd student talk, the fr equency of students interruptions, the character of the questions asked by the te acher and students, and the cognitive processes manifested in students ta lk. I have noticed that just as there is a range of discussion approaches and activities that can be attended to during reading instruction to engage students in talk about text, there is a range of attitudes about making time for it. Researchers have long argued for the n eed to incorporate discussions into classroom practice (Beck, Hamilton, & Ku can, 1997; Brown, Pressley, Van Meter, & Schuder, 1996; Goldenberg, 1991; Palincsar & Brown, 1984; Pre ssley & McDonald,
3 1997; Rosenshine & Meister, 1994), and there is a strong theoretical ba se to substantiate the use of talk to shape students le arning (Cazden, 2001; Gilles & Pierce, 2003; Nystrand, 2006). With specific regard to read ing instruction, the language teachers use to engage students in talk about text is critical. Their la nguage use sets the tone for discussion, determines the length of discussion time, and is inst rumental in facilitating the depth and breadth of students conversati ons. Researchers contend that teachers facilitation of classroom discussions that promote talk about text impacts students reading comprehension by virtue of the texts chosen, the lang uage used, and the literacy experiences they provide (Tierney & Pearson, 1981; Duke & Pearson, 2002). Taking into account the teacher s instructional goals, two paradigms of discourse are evident in the literature. One stems from principles of behaviorism, and the other stems from principles of constructivism. The literature frequently suggests that traditional classrooms embrace principles of learning rooted in behaviorism. These traditional classrooms tend to focus on observable and meas urable behaviors of skill acquisition and application (Cazden, 2001; Mehan, 1979, Ny stand, 2006, Wells, 1993). Teaching in this paradigm is geared to the transmission of knowledge and skills from the teacher to the student. Generally, the dominant discourse pattern is triadic dialogue, which is defined as a three-part sequence of teach er initiation, student response, and teacher evaluation (IRE) (Cazden, 2001; Nystrand, 2006). With this inte raction, student learni ng is demonstrated by giving a correct answer in response to a spec ific stimulus, which is usually in the form of a question. Upon answering a question, stude nts immediately know the correctness of their response. Typically, scripted programs th at offer a structured approach to teaching employ the IRE framework.
4 In regard to constructivism, the literatur e is extensive and yields many dimensions of constructivist theory (Bruner, 1990; Kuhn, 1962; Phillips, 1995; Piaget, 1959; von Glasersfeld, 1989; Vygotsky, 1978). It is importa nt to recognize these dimensions are complex and differ in regard to the deve lopment of knowledge. Some constructivists focus on the minds of individual learners, ot hers focus on public subject matter domains, few tackle both (see Phillips, 1995). While constructivism is a theory about learning not a description of teaching (Fosnot, 1996, p. 29), attempts have been made in the field of reading to operationally define constructivist teachers so that classroom teachers can more rapidly apply constructivist theory to classroom prac tice (Lenski, Wham, & Griffey, 1997). For example, Lenski, Wham, & Griffey (1997) defi ne the constructivist teacher as one who uses whole text and integrated instruction, teaches using primarily an inquiry approach, and views students as using prior knowledge to construct meaning to learn. Important here is the central idea that knowledge is socially constructed. As one approach to broader constructivist ideas of subjective ontology, the social constructivist model emphasizes the importance of the relationship between the teacher, th e learner, and the environment. Social constructivism embraces Russian psychologist Lev Vygotsky as the quintessential theorist. From this perspect ive, common understanding in the literature reflects the notion that teaching, learning, and the environment in social constructivist classrooms is founded on principles of learning focused on building personal interpretations based on experiences and in teractions. Simply stated, classrooms supporting the principles of social cons tructivism structure learning around broad
5 concepts and embed learning in a social context (Cazden, 20 01; Chin, Anderson, & Waggoner, 2001; Gilles & Pi erce, 2003, Mehan, 1979). With the use of less scripted, or non-script ed programs, teaching in this paradigm is geared to supporting know ledge construction by modeling and scaffolding within students zones of proximal development (V ygotsky, 1978). Discussion in this paradigm is the everyday implementation of the principl e that students must be active participants in their own learning (Chin et al., 2001). Therefore, discour se is highly responsive and extends beyond the traditional IRE framew ork to allow a discussion format where students are free to respond to another students comment, ask a question, extend another students idea, or introduce a new topic (Chi n et al., 2001). With specific regard to reading instruction, both paradigms of discour se have a place in classroom discussions (Fisher, 2005; Gilles & Pier ce, 2003; Nystrand, 2006), but the latter supports the notion that the language teachers use during readi ng instruction enhances students ability to produce meaning from their engagement w ith text (Chin et al., 2001; Nystrand, 2006; Taylor, Pearson, Peterson, & Rodriguez, 2003; Skidmore, 2000; Wilkinson, Murphy, & Soter, 2005). Statement of the Problem Talk in the classroom is both a way for st udents to learn as well as a window to what learning takes place (Gilles & Pierce, 2003). While the inte rrogational nature of classroom talk to ensure knowledge of st ory has been well documented (Cazden, 2001; Fisher, 2005; Gilles & Pier ce, 2003; Mehan, 1979; Nyst rand, 2006; Wells, 1993) the questioning moves embedded in conversations that engage students in talk about text is under researched (Taylor et al., 2003 ; Wilkinson, Murphy, & Soter, 2003, 2005).
6 Questioning moves are defined in this study as the ways in which teachers ask questions to scaffold students understanding of text. The authenticity of teachers questioning plays a crucial role in engaging students in constructing meaning from text, which is a precursor to promoting reading comprehens ion. However, in response to political pressures resulting in state mandates, elementa ry teachers frequently are forced to adopt instructional practices and stat e adopted programs that focus on raising standardized test scores (Serafini, 2003). Ofte n as a result, teachers auth entic communication with their students takes a back seat to scripted program s. Mindful of the dominance of teacher talk that occurs spontaneously with the recitation format of scri pted programs, but weary of the unrelenting pressures for student achievement in reading, exemplary teachers face the professional responsibility of making decisions regarding the nature of their language use to engage students with texts, and their use of materials to foster higher level teacher/student and student/student talk as a means to promote reading comprehension. Statement of the Purpose The purpose of this case study was to ex amine and describe the nature of questioning moves that exemplary fourth-gra de teachers use during reading instruction. This study uses the notion of exemplary as described by Allingtons framework of common features observed in exemplary f ourth grade classrooms (2000, 2002). Another point of interest was to determine how teach ers perceive the influe nce of instructional materials on the language they use to engage students in talk about text. Drawing upon current research conducted by Taylor et al (2003) and Wilkinson, Murphy, and Soter (2003, 2005) (discussed in chapter two), the intent of this st udy was to fortify theory on the teachers discourse role in regard to student engagement th at leads to talk about text.
7 This study provides a window into exemplary teachers fourth-grade classrooms during reading instruction for a discussion of the t eachers language use to engage students with text, and addresses gaps in th e extant literature identified in Nystrands (2006) historical review in regard to the teachers discourse role. This was a useful focus because empirical research on classroom discourse is especially ample, and has recently document ed how the teachers di scourse role affects different types of student learning (Nystra nd, 2006; Fisher, 2005; Taylor et al., 2003). Focal attention was placed on understanding that learning takes place in a social context in which students are actively engaged in constructing meaning from their own experience and the ways in which teachers interact with th em (Fisher, 2005). Additionally, this study was timely given the pr ivileged status of scripted programs to drive reading instruction in many schools. Research Questions Consistent with qualitative inquiry, the research questi ons addressed in this study are broad in scope. They provi ded a close analysis of wh at exemplary teachers said during reading instructio n to engage students in talk about text. 1. What is the nature of the questioning moves exemplary teachers use in fourthgrade classrooms during reading instruction? 2. What do exemplary fourth-grade teachers describe as influencing their use of questioning moves within the reading program? The first question was of primary importance to my study. It focused on what the teachers said during reading instruction to enga ge students in talk about text. It required descriptive observations and anal ysis of digital recordings an d videotape to determine the
8 relationship of the teachers questioning move s to student engagement. The answers to the second question were integral to r eaching conclusions. Specifically, the second question sought answers to the influence of instructi onal materials and teachers professional development opportunities on their use of questioning moves. These answers illuminated how the use of inst ructional materials was relate d to the teachers language use, the teachers perceptions of their use of materials, and the decisions made about their delivery of instruction. The second question jo ined interview questions with observations and surveys to explore teachers perceptions, knowledge base, and de livery of instruction. Significance of the Study This study examined the language exempl ary fourth-grade teachers used as a medium for promoting reading comprehens ion through deeper student engagement. While a number of researchers have c onducted and reviewed studies on classroom discourse as a precursor to reading comprehension, they mainly focused on middle and high school populations, resulti ng in a gap in the literat ure. This study expanded on researchers (Taylor et al., 2003; Wilkin son, Murphy, & Soter, 2003, 2005) current line of thinking by applying what is known about teachers languag e use in regard to student engagement that leads to talk abou t text to fourth-grade classrooms. This view suggested opportunities for learning afforded to students while simultaneously examining how teachers used language to shape the nature of teaching and learning. The findings from this study pr ovide an opportunity for reading teachers and educators to better unders tand the nature of talk teach ers use in classrooms during reading instruction, and give voice to the teacher regarding her perceptions, knowledge base, and instructional decision ma king that is her own phenomenology.
9 Design The design of this qualitative study is Na turalistic Inquiry. This design allowed me to observe naturally unfolding phenomen a that emerged in the non-manipulated context of the participants cl assrooms (Patton, 2002). I collec ted data within a case study tradition (Creswell, 1998). A case study traditi on is a qualitative inqui ry approach that offers a holistic portrayal of the particularity and complexity of a single case (Creswell, 1998; Patton, 2002; Stake, 1995; Yin, 2003). In addition to the in-depth description and analysis of each case, this study includes cross-case analysis of each case study participant. To determine cas e study participants, I interv iewed principals within a diverse Southwest Florida school district to identify teachers who are considered exemplary. Allingtons (2000, 2002) framew ork of common features observed in exemplary fourth-grade classrooms was used to help guide the identification of exemplary reading teachers. Once teachers were identified for possible selection for this study, I gave them each a Literacy Orientation Survey (Lenski, Wham, & Griffey, 1997). The survey illuminated each teachers theo retical orientation to reading. From the surveys, I used purposeful sampling to select one teacher from each school who indicated practices and beliefs similar to a constructivist view of t eaching and learning. Because of the likelihood that more than one teacher at each school would meet selection criteria, the selection process was aided by a preliminar y observation of each teacher who indicated similarities to a constructivist view of teaching and learning. As previously stated, a common notion theoretically advocated by the co nstructivist view is that learning is a social activity that requires student inte raction and engagement in the classroom. Therefore, the preliminary observation fo cused on the ways in which the teacher
10 interacted with and engaged the students in learning as a means to confirm a constructivist view as define d by the survey. Once study par ticipants were confirmed, the questioning moves these teachers used to e ngage students in talk about text were plumbed, analyzed, and compared in an effo rt to provide a bette r understanding of the nature of the language teachers us e during reading instruction. Throughout the study, I employed various and overlapping data collection methods. I used interviews supported by a di gital recorder, observations supported by field notes, and videotapes supported by ex tended interviews w ith the teachers. I collected data in depth and de tail, and was the instrument for the data collection process (Patton, 2002). Within the data collection period, I e ngaged each teacher in two recorded interviews. The first interview employed a protocol that included open-ended focus questions to gain insight into each teachers literacy beliefs, pr actices, and philosophies and was conducted during the first week of the study. The second interview was responsive to the first interview as well as identified gaps in data collection. The second interview was conducted after the videotaping and all classroom obser vations took place. I observed each teachers classroom at three different times throughout the study. The observations took place during the 90-minut e reading block and included field notes that were recorded on a laptop computer. Th e 90-minute reading block, as described by the districts K-12 comprehensive reading plan, requires a protect ed uninterrupted 90 minutes of time per day for reading instruc tion. The first 30 minutes of the required 90minute block is intended for whole group in struction supported by the core reading program. The remainder of the block is inte nded for teachers to provide differentiated
11 instruction using the core reading program or supplemental reading materials. In the district where this study was conducted, the co re reading program was purchased with the allowance of flexibility in its application. At the time of this study, teachers were not required to read the script, nor were they accountable to fide lity checks associated with using the core reading program Rather, the core reading pr ogram was viewed as one of many instructional resources w ithin a balanced literacy fr amework. The data collected during the 90-minute reading block was iden tified by teacher name, date, time, and context. In addition to the observations, a videot ape of each teachers 90-minute reading block was recorded on two separate occasions. I shared segments of the videotapes with each teacher to glean a deep er understanding of their inst ructional decisions for the questioning moves used. The interviews, obs ervations and videotapes combined to provide rich data ripe for analysis. Theoretical Framework The lens through which I studied my resear ch questions is cons tructivism. While I recognize there are many dimensions of cons tructivist theory, I conducted this study from the viewpoint of Phillips (2000). In his view, co nstructivism is concerned with the social processes that facilitate the psychologi cal dynamics that pr oduce understanding in learners. In simple terms, constructivism de scribes how a learner incorporates knowledge into existing mental framew orks, structures or schemas. Constructivism supports an interactional, mediated styl e of reading and includes scaffolding that encourages applications of cognitive opera tions and internalization of written language through social interactions (Wilkinson & Silliman, 2000).
12 From a constructivist view, the goal of e ducation is to help students construct their own understandings. This view leads to an emphasi s on learning rather than teaching, and on facilitative environments ra ther than instructional goals. The potential result of participating in a social situation involving readi ng and thinking about texts is that individual students can draw upon the teacher and other students to help them construct not only an understand ing of text ideas, but also an understanding of what it means to read and think about text (Kucan & Beck, 1997). Much of the research on the pedagogical role of classroom discourse draws from Vygotsky's (1978) theory that is grounded on th e central idea that knowledge is socially constructed. A major contribu tion of Vygotskys theory ha s been to present cognitive growth as a socially interactive byproduct de veloped by children as they learn within their zones of proximal development. Language plays a central role in students development. In regard to reading, the i ndividuals in a group form an interpretive community within which meanings of text ar e jointly constructed. This social context influences individual attending, talking, thi nking, and learning (Chin et al., 2001). Vygotsky (1978) asserts that the zone of proximal development is important when we realize that the more capable other can mediate learning for the student. Scaffolding activates the zone of proximal development; therefore, scaffolding until the student is capable and successful is critical, as an i ndividual students cognitive growth is more likely when one is required to explain, elabor ate, or defend ones pos ition to others, as well as to oneself (Berk & Winsler, 1995; Nystrand, 2006). In Vygotskys view, teaching is not a stagnant stance in developing understanding and skill acquisition, rather a dynamic customized process that self perp etuates learning further and higher for
13 individual learners. Effective teaching within this framework requires teachers to identify students zones of proximal development that define the immediate context for learning and to appropriately scaffold instructiona l activities as well as classroom discourse (Nystrand, 2006). Scaffolded instruction unders cores both the role of the teacher and the role of the student as co-participa nts in negotiating meaning (Many, 2002). Instructional activities that align with a social constructivist perspective generally involve whole class or small group discus sion. The focus is on sharing individual interpretations of a particular text within communities of readers to come to a deeper understanding. Throughout the discussion th e teacher supports the ongoing dialogue, entering into conversations with students and helping them reach more complex understandings about the text, their world, and their identity (Gee, 1999). The teacher becomes a member of the discussion, suppor ting the conversation, not simply asking comprehension questions and evalua ting responses (Serafini, 2003). Definition of Terms To assist in the interpre tation of this proposal, the fo llowing terms are defined to clarify their meaning: 1. Exemplary : Allington (2000, 2002) describes ex emplary fourth-grade reading teachers as those who: (a) f acilitate classroom talk that is process oriented and fosters teacher/student and student/student interaction; (b) use multiple sources for instruction and ensure appropriate complexity in reading materials; (c)routinely give direct, e xplicit demonstrations of th inking strategies; (d) engage students in extensive reading and writing ac tivities; (e) evaluate student work and
14 base grades more on effort and improveme nt than achievement of an a priori standard; and (f) allocate time for extensive practice in reading. 2. Mentor Text : a book that serves as an exempl ary model for readers and writers. Mentor texts have the ability to boos t language development, promote active listening, model fluency, support learning, and encourage deeper thinking (Hoyt, 2007). 3. Phenomenology : the study of lived or existe ntial meanings described and interpreted to a certain degree of de pth and richness (Van Manen, 1990, p. 8). 4. Questioning Moves : the ways in which teachers use scaffolding questions to engage students in talk about text 5. Scaffolding: a metaphorical term used to de scribe the support that enables a learner to complete a task or achieve a goal that would have been unattainable without assistance (Wood, Bruner, & Ross, 1976). 6. Scripted program: a program characterized by an explicit teachers manual with instructions for teachers to follow verbat im when using the program with their students (Moustafa & Land, 2005). When usi ng a scripted program, all activities are to be followed in the order presen ted and the teachers language use is dictated, word-for-word from the manual (Meyer, 2002). 7. Zone of Proximal Development: The distance between the actual development level as determined by independent probl em solving, and the level of potential development as determined through probl em solving under adult guidance or in collaboration with more capable peers (Vygotsky, 1978, p. 86). Inherent in this
15 definition of the zone of proximal developm ent is the feature of social interaction between a learner and an i ndividual with expertise. Limitations I engaged in a naturalistic inquiry with the intention of considering specifically how exemplary fourth-grade teachers use language during reading instruction. The instrument of choice for data collection in a naturalistic inquiry is the human (Patton, 2002). Given human nature and the fact that this inquiry was conducted from the perspective of a literacy specialist and former classroom teacher, I had to be mindful of my biases so as not to color bot h data collection and da ta analysis. This study used surveys, interviews, di gital recordings, videotapes, and observational field notes. While I used a number of tools to collect data, the research tools that I employed provided limited bits of reality a nd the findings are interpretive. The limitations on this study also include th e need to recognize that this study was conducted from the perspective of a research er in literacy educa tion, not a linguist. Therefore, while contributions were made re garding the nature of the language teachers used during reading instructi on, I was not able to contribut e to understandings of speech in the classroom, nor could I differentiate be tween syntactical uttera nces that may have impacted the teaching of reading. Delimitations The delimitations of this study center around the fact th at this study focused on fourth-grade teachers considered exemplary by their principals. While teachers were considered exemplary, their levels of experi ence and expertise in th e teaching of reading were disparate due to the nature of the prof essional development they have engaged in
16 and the number of years they have taught f ourth-grade. Additionall y, since this study was conducted in fourth-grade classrooms dur ing reading instruction, it was bound by time frames and the conclusions drawn from this study do not extend to other grade levels or contexts. Organization of Remaining Chapters There are four remaining chapters of this dissertation. Chapter Two provides a comprehensive review of the literature to position the re search questions. The areas reviewed are the use of core reading progr ams in reading instruction, the impact of questioning on reading comprehension, directiv e and supportive discourse scaffolds, and the teachers stance. Chapter Three descri bes how the study was conducted and justifies the methods I employed to collect and analyze data. Chapter Four presents the description and the analysis of data. Chapter Five is a discussion of the study, concluding with recommendations for future research.
17 Chapter Two Review of Literature Talk is the central tool of teachers trade. With it th ey mediate students activity and experience and help them make sense of le arning, literacy, life, and themselves. (Johnston, 2004 p. 4) The questions that guided this qualitative study concern the nature of teacher talk that exemplary teachers use dur ing reading instruction. Anothe r point of interest was to determine how teachers perceive the influence of instructional materials on the language they use to engage students in talk about text In order to best situate this study, several domains of research were explored. These dom ains include the history of core reading programs, the impact of questioning on stude nts reading comprehension, the teachers discourse role, and the stance the teac her adopts in reading instruction. The literature presented in this chapter is organized by these four domains in sections identified with headings and subhead ings. Each section is introduced with a purpose statement to establish relevance to the proposed research study. The first section gives a brief history of core reading programs to provide background in reading instruction in the years prior to the twenty-f irst century. This overv iew is necessary in order to establish the privile ged status of core reading programs in classrooms across America and to establish a link to the No Child Left Behind Act and its Reading First Initiative. The second section discusses vari ous questioning techniqu es and their impact on students reading comprehens ion. In this section I examin e studies relating to question
18 type, question generation, and discussion appr oaches that foster students thinking and meaning making. The third section discusses th e teachers discourse role in regard to student engagement that leads to talk about text. Focal attentio n is placed on research that suggests learning takes place in a social context in which students are actively engaged in constructing meaning from their own experience and the ways in which teachers interact with them. The final section discusses the in fluence of the stance a teacher adopts on the interaction students have with text during re ading instruction. This chapter concludes by situating the proposed study in previous research. Core Reading Programs The purpose of this section is three fol d. First the research will establish the prominence of core reading programs in classrooms across America by providing a historical context of readi ng instruction. Next, the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 and the implications of its Reading First initiative is discussed. This section concludes with a discussion on developing competencies of twenty-first century readers. Historical Overview of Core Reading Programs Core reading programs, typically referred to as basal readers, have a rich and long-standing history. Basals have served as the base for reading instruction in American classrooms since the mid 1800s. Among the first basals was a series called the McGuffey Reader. The McGuffey Reader originat ed in the Midwest at the request of a small publishing company interested in a seri es of books adapted to Western schools. The series consisted of four grade level text s and relied on the phonics method to teach beginning readers. The McGuffey readers cam e into immediate popularity and quickly extended beyond the Midwest to impact schoo ls throughout the country. The McGuffey
19 Readers were used until the early twentieth century and are credited for molding American literary tastes and mo rality (Smith, 2002; Westerhoff, 1978). By the 1920s textbook publishers combined business principles of efficiency with Thorndikes (1903) laws of learning (effect, exercise readiness, and identical elements) to standardize teaching practice acco rding to scientific principles. It was thought if the most frequently used word s in written English were taught with Thorndikes four laws of learning, students w ould learn to read (H iebert, 2005). With the advent of obtaining scientific information a bout the effectiveness of reading methods and materials, and administrative arrangements fo r teaching reading in the classrooms, basals became the official technology of reading inst ruction (Smith, 2002). To ensure efficiency in and control over the quality of student lear ning, the basal series offered a set of grade level anthologies, practice books of skills fo r students, and a teachers manual outlining the correct use of the anthologies, the skills to be taught, and the correct answers to skill acquisition and applic ation (Shannon, 1983). In the 1930s the popularity of basals so ared with Scott Foresmans series publication starring two characters named Dick and Jane (Elson & Gray, 1930). For many years, the characters in this series singularly depicted suburban, white, and middleclass culture. But when the series peaked in its popularity, it began reflecting the changing cultures of a progressive country (S mith, 2002). Rather than phonics instruction for beginning readers, the Dick and Jane series emphasized whole word reading and repetition, a method which came to be known as look and say (Ravitch, 2001). This method of teaching came under attack in the mid 1950s, with the publication of Rudolf Flesch's (1955) Why Johnny Cant Read His book highly criticized the look and say
20 method, and called for a return to teaching th at stressed phonics instruction for beginning readers. The public responded by shifting em phasis to phonics methods for beginning reading instruction. Publishing companies re sponded by shifting emphasis in basals to more phonics based methods. Shifts in teachi ng methodologies found in basals as a result of public attention have been metaphor ically linked to a swinging pendulum. Because of their promise to produce read ers, basals gained rapid popularity in Americas public schools. By the mid 1960s basal readers were in more than 90% of public school classrooms across America (S hannon, 1983). During the same timeframe, B. F. Skinner developed programmed instruct ion, introducing the prot otype of scripted programs. Skinner suggested lessons organized in a series of small, simple steps that provided learners with immediate reinfor cement after each succe ssful step would transform education. The practice of programme d instruction received wide attention and attracted many reading educators who conc luded such programs have a positive but overall limited impact on increasing student achievement (Halff, 1988; Kausmeier, 1975; Kulik, Cohen, & Ebeling, 1980; Paris, Wixon, & Palinscar, 1986). In 1965 concern for the ability of low-income children to engage successfully in the education system prompted the Elemen tary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). This federal law brought standards and account ability that affect ed education from kindergarten through high school. Shortly thereafter, Direct Instruction for Teaching and Remediation (DISTAR) was published with the primary goal of systematically increasing student learning through exp licit teaching (Becke r & Gersten, 1982). Direct instruction was conceptualized as a set of behavior al principles for in struction advocating demonstration, guided practice, and indivi dual practice (Rosenshine, 1979). The
21 instructional emphasis placed on teaching methodologies for beginning readers was spurred by the publication of Learning to Read: The Great Debate (Chall, 1967), which presented a review of research compari ng phonics methods with the look and say method. Challs findings sugge sted learning to read was a developmental process and advocated an early, focused, and systematic emphasis on phonics for beginning readers. Consequently, skill based programs came to define the goals of reading and reading instruction. During the 1970s and early 1980s, th e pendulum rested on a more phonicsbased approach to reading in struction. Focus on systematic phonics instruction produced students who were better at decoding words but highlighted deficiencies in comprehension and meaning making activit ies (Durkin, 1978/1979). This deficit was explored by researchers promoting compre hension strategy instruction as well as pioneering theorist Louise Rosenblatt who resear ched the role of childrens literature in promoting a relationship between the reader and the text (1968, 1978). In 1983 a Nation at Risk (The National Commissions Nation at Risk) was published proclaiming that America was in the midst of a literacy crisis that would threaten the nations technological, m ilitary, and economic supremacy. The report pointed to poor pedagogies as the cause for low literacy ra tes and motivated changes in the ways in which teaching occurred in K-12 classrooms. During the latter part of the 1980s focus was on comprehension instruction. Based on a cognitive view of the reading process, comprehension instruction emphasized teaching a set of strategies that students could use to comprehend text. The goal of co mprehension instruction was to develop in students a sense of conscious control, or metacognitive awareness, over a set of strategies
22 that could adapt to any text (Dole, Duffy, Roehler, & Pearson, 1991). Basal usage declined and whole language pedagogies em erged. With this swing of the pendulum, the reading wars raged. Whole language brought r eading for meaning to the foreground and placed a heavier emphasis on childrens literature and trade books fo r the authentic development of skills, rather than on basals focuse d on building skills th rough direct, explicit instruction (Goodman, 1989; Pearson, 2004) During the whole language movement, motivation and engagement perspectives garnered the attent ion of the field. To bridge the gap between phonics base d methods and whole language methods, balanced approaches of reading instruction be came a mediating force in the reading wars. A balanced reading approach contains a mi x of instructional a nd practice activities sufficient to build strong word reading skills as well as the ability to construct meaning from text. Basals of the early 1990s were rest yled to reflect this approach. Publishers coupled the skills of the prev ious era with the strategies and philosophies of whole language, which created more complex core reading programs (Pearson, 2004; Stahl, 1998). The conventional wisdom of whole language methods was challenged in the late 1990s. This was partly because of the rise in non-English speaking students in American schools and partly because of the infusion of technology into schools. These external challenges and cries from business leaders fo r skilled workers to occupy high wage/high skill jobs (Guthrie & Springer, 2004) stimulat ed Congress to call for a national panel to assess the status of research-based knowle dge, including the effectiveness of various
23 approaches to teaching children to read. Fi ndings were later published in the National Reading Panel report (NRP) (Na tional Reading Panel, 2000). This report included a review of past empirical studies concerning reading and offered suggestions for future educational po licy. The NRP found five critical areas that warranted focus for reading instruction: (a) phonemic awareness instruction, (b) systematic phonics instruction, (c) fluency in struction (d) explicit a nd indirect vocabulary instruction, and (e) comprehens ion strategy instruction (Nat ional Reading Panel Report, 2000). Consequently, the pendulum began to swing back toward more phonics based methods. Armed with the NRP and a promise to ensure a reasonable standard of quality teaching, the early years of the 21st century brought the landma rk No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) of 2001. NCLB and its Reading First Initiative NCLB is based on the following guiding prin ciples of instruction: (a) ensure learning for all students, (b) make school systems accountable for student learning, (c) provide information and available options re garding students lear ning, and (d) improve the quality of teachers. Along with the NCLB legislation came a reading initiative that renewed interest in skill acqui sition and application and the reestablishment of standards and accountabilities, which sparked resu rgence in basal dominance for reading instruction. NCLB and its Reading First initiative reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965. Reading First is the largest and most focused federal reading initiative this country has ever undertaken. All 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico have the unpreced ented challenge to implement a tightly
24 prescribed accountability model with the goal of all students achieving at or above gradelevel proficiency in reading by 2012 as eviden ced by standardized state assessment tests (www.ed.gov). The Reading First initiative builds on the findings of years of scientific research, such as those published in the NRP report (2000). Federal funding to implement the Reading First initiative is provided to states, districts, and schools. States must apply to the Department of Education (DOE) in the form of formula grants that are submitted to State Education Agencies (SEAs) for approval. The key to this funding is monies must be used for districts to purchase and implement core reading programs that are fully aligned with scientifically based reading research (SBRR). Reading First defines the core reading progr am as the primary instructional tool a teacher uses during reading instruction. Readi ng First assures that core reading programs address the literacy needs of the majority of the students. Strong core programs provide a prioritized sequence and schedul e of learning objectives, explic it strategies, and support for students initial learning and transfer of knowledge and skills to other contexts. Scripted lessons from the core reading program help focus instruction by providing consistent language and maintaining fidelity to the lessons objectives. Reading First declares that while it is true that scripted lessons may be particular ly beneficial to less experienced or less knowledgeable teachers, scri pted lessons may also be used effectively by experienced teachers to help them shar pen and focus their instructional language (www.fcrr.org). To implement the core read ing program, a protected uninterrupted 90 minute block of time per day for reading instruction is ensured (www.justreadflorida.com) In addition to being a require ment of all Reading First
25 schools in the nation, it is the philosophy of the Just Read Florida office in the state of Florida to ensure that all Fl orida schools use a core readi ng program based on scientific evidence found in the NRP and in the NCLB legislation. Since its inception, the NCLB legislati on has been critiqued on a number of fronts regarding the nature of the law itself and its problematic application. In addition to criticism made about measures of accountabil ity tied to a single assessment of student performance, critics argue that federal NCLB funding requirements, state adopted textbooks and testing mandates, and district curriculum re forms combine to prescribe what instructional materials teachers use and how teachers te ach reading (Stevens, 2003). The Reading First in itiative has also come under scrutiny. Although initial signs of effectiveness in helping to boost reading instructi on were reported, in September 2006 a scathing report by the Office of Inspector Ge neral of the United States Department of Education revealed that several members of the panel who award Reading First grants may have had conflicts of interest with publishing companies that promoted specific reading materials with a sp ecific philosophy of how to be st teach reading (2006). Reading instruction and reading research has been shaped by political forces desiring to privilege particular approaches to instruction for many years (Pearson, 2004). Since the 1920s, teachers and administrators have increasingly relied on basal reading series as the primary instructional tool fo r developing readers. The teachers manuals found in basal reading programs are accepted as the correct stimulus to evoke the appropriate standard response to ensure that students rece ive businesslike, scientific instruction (Shannon, 1983). In th e earlier years of implemen tation, researchers criticized basal programs for their deskilling effect on teachers practices (Apple, 1995; Shannon,
26 1983, 1987). Many criticisms were made about te achers use of basals such as: reading instruction was reduced to the application of commercial materials, commercial materials were applied regardless of the instructional situa tion, and the distribut ion and explanation of the materials filled the majority of tim e designated for readi ng instruction (Durkin 1978/1979; Shannon, 1983). In the current climat e of educational reform, these same criticisms are echoed. Developing Competencies of Tw enty First Century Readers With penalties looming under NCLB, res earchers now contend that teachers are frequently being forced to use state adopted reading programs that script how to teach, regardless of their beliefs and understandings (Serafini, 2003). This contention has fast become the topic of debate. Those research ers supporting the widespread use of such programs argue on one hand that scripted programs found in basa l series provide a mechanism for standardization, th ey supply a hierarchical set of testable goals, and they certify student attainment of these goals, which increases public c onfidence in reading instruction. On the other hand, those who are not in support argue that classroom teachers are being robbed of their professional judgmen t due to an overreliance on standardized curriculum and that students are passive pa rticipants in their learning (Apple, 1995; Darling-Hammond, 2002; Jaeger, 2006; Dudl ey-Marling & Murphy. 2001; Moustafa & Land, 2002; Shannon, 1983). Researchers further contend that teac hers need to understand contemporary theories of reading and liter acy development and be able to articulate their theoretical perspectives concerning children s literature, the reading process, and their instructional practices, so they do not fall vi ctim to the political pressures associated with NCLB such
27 as high stakes standardized tests, state mandates, and commercial reading programs (Coles, 1998; McQuillan, 1998). In regard to reading instruction, the gr eat debate in the early years of the 21st century is whether or not students will beco me thoughtful, discriminating readers who are able to negotiate the meaning of texts on th eir own, talk about text in thoughtful ways, and challenge others interpretations, as well as accept the challenge of others. These are competencies readers need to develop in a de mocratic society in or der to participate as fully literate, informed c itizens (Holcomb, 2005; Luke, 1995) This view represents a significant departure from the traditional and familiar instructional models that focus on the transmission of facts and information (Garet, Porter, Desimone, Birman, & Kwang, 2001; Nystrand, 1997; Richards on & Placier, 2001). Researchers suggest instructional practices that will lead students to develop such competencies include fostering student involvement and extended, collaborative discourse (Chin, et al. 2001; Fall, Webb, & Chudowsky, 2000; Jimenez & Gersten, 1999; Nystrand, 1997). Such practices create new ro les for teachers that come with different and strenuous intellectual demands (Hammer & Schifter, 2001, p. 442). Summary. The literature reviewed in this se ction highlights that within reading classrooms across America, teachers are required to implement core reading programs that are fully aligned with scientifically based reading research as part of their instructional routine. To ensure a reasonable standard of quality te aching, current reading initiatives are in full support of such instruction. This em phasis on core reading programs that script how to teach reading is debated in the research as it confronts teachers perceptions, knowledge base, and instructional decision making about developing the
28 competencies of twenty-first century readers. To info rm the proposed study it is important to also consider the question-answer sequences that impact students construction of meaning from text. The next section of the literature review discusses research on the impact of questioning on reading comprehension. Impact of Questioning on Reading Comprehension The purpose of this section of the literatur e review is to uncover research findings on the impact of questioning on reading comp rehension. There are three areas discussed. First, discussion is on various levels of questioning. Next discussion is on generating questions that foster studen t engagement with text. Then discussion approaches that embody question-answer sequences found to be effective in promoting reading comprehension are described. Question Types With specific regard to reading compre hension, skill approaches found in basal readers have influenced instruction for near ly a century (Paris, Wixon, Palincscar; 1986). Given the influence of basal readers on reading instruction, Durkin (1978/1979) conducted an observational study in a Midw estern school district to see whether individual schools differed in the amount of time they gave to comprehension instruction. Schools selected to participate in the study o ffered a broad view of teaching and learning. One school was traditional, the second school was consider ed open (pg. 505), and the third school had made special effort to improve its reading program. Durkin focused her observations on teachers in 3rd 6th grade classrooms to learn the extent of comprehension instruction provided to student s. Twelve teachers were observed three
29 successive days, resulting in a total of 2,174 mi nutes of reading instruction. The class size of the observed classrooms averaged 23 student s. To strengthen th e study, Durkin also observed 1,119 minutes of comp rehension instruction in so cial studies and science. Taken together, findings revealed that almo st no comprehension instruction was being taught. Durkin found that teachers asked students many questions regarding completing workbook assignments related to text conten t, but spent little time teaching students strategies for answering the many questi ons asked or comprehending the texts. Throughout the observational study, teachers we re observed as being mentioners, assignment givers and checkers, and interroga tors (pg. 523). Conseque ntly, students were observed as being listeners and doe rs of written assignments (p. 515). In a follow-up study, Durkin (1981) examined the manuals of five basal reader programs used in grades K-6 to see if what they recommended for teaching students how to comprehend text matched the observed teachers behavior. The manuals examined were those with a current copyright date (1978-1979) and those widely promoted by the state. Publishers included Allyn a nd Bacon, Ginn and Company, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Houghton Mifflin Company, a nd Scott Foresman and Company. A quantitative method of analysis was used to collect frequency data to determine the degree to which the basals attended to comp rehension instruction. Durkin found a close match between the teachers observed behavi or and the manuals examined. Like the teachers in her earlier study (1978-1979), the manuals asked vast amounts of questions. The manuals gave far more attention to wo rkbook practice and the a ssessment of answers to questions than to direct, explicit instruc tion in comprehension. Notably absent from the comprehension instruction were explanations about what it means to answer a question
30 and strategies that may be used to answ er it. This finding placed importance on the effectiveness of various levels of ques tions upon comprehension and stimulated the research agenda. Winne (1979) reviewed eight een experimental and quasi-experimental studies to determine if the use of higher level questi ons promoted student achievement. Studies were selected based on two criteria: the study had to contrast student s achievement after exposure to teaching dominated by lower leve l, and then higher level questions, and purposeful attempts were made to manipul ate teachers questioning behavior. Studies selected were grouped by either training experiment or skills experiment The independent variable in th e training experiment group was teacher training. The independent variable in the skills experi ment group was teache rs skillful use of questioning. The dependent variable for both was student achie vement. The training group consisted of studies where the teacher s received training and used what they learned in their classroom at their own disc retion. The skill group consisted of studies where teachers received no trai ning and were tracked by the researchers for the frequency and manner in which they used skillful questioning. Each study reviewed teachers instructional use of levels of questions in relation to student achievement. Quantitative methods of analysis were used to determine the impact. Then studies were sorted into three categories: those yielding significant results, those yielding either positive or negative results, and those yielding non-signi ficant results. The categories were then compared. Winnes findings suggest that teach ers use of higher level questions had little effect on student achievement. Noteworthy is the fact that Winnes study represents a wide range of teacher experience, conten t areas, instructional time, and age of
31 participants. While Winne provides summaries of each selected study to provide a frame for the conclusions drawn and offers various ta bles to illustrate th e findings, evidence of reliability is unclear. For instance, it is diffi cult for the reader to ascertain specifics about the types of questions asked, th e proportion of questions aske d, and the behaviors specific to each group. Interpretive analysis is also questionable. Without reducing the teachers use of questions to a script or programmed lesson it is unlik ely that the teachers studied asked the same questions about the same topics in the same sequence using the same phrasing. Also, the reader is unaware of the teacher-student interaction that surrounded the question/answer sequences that may have or may have not contributed to students achievement. In a follow-up study, Redifield & Rousseau (1981) conducted a meta-analysis of experimental research on teacher questi oning behavior to further investigate the relationship between teachers use of highe r and lower level questions and student achievement. Twenty studies were selected for review, which included the eighteen previously examined by Winne (1979). While Redifield and Rousse au report using the same set of studies as Winne, there appears to be discrepancy in se lection criteria. For instance, Winne selected studies where st udents achievement was contrasted after exposure to instruction, Redifi eld and Rousseau selected studies where the measure of contrast was an achievement test. Both Winne and Redifield and Rousseau used quantitative methods, but the techniques they employed for data analysis differed and therefore yielded different results. The re sults of the meta-analysis conducted by Redifield and Rousseau do not support earl ier findings by Winne. Instead, conclusions drawn from their study suggests, regardless of the type of study reviewed teachers
32 predominate use of higher level questions has an overall positive impact on student achievement. The visibility of the analysis techniques used by Redifield and Rousseau supports their conclusions and helps the reader interpret their findings. Utilizing Blooms (1956) hierarchy of ques tion types, researchers have worked fervently for nearly three decades to id entify the impact of questioning on reading comprehension (Anderson & Biddle, 1975; A ndre, 1979; Duke & Pearson, 2002; Hansen, 1981; Medley, 1977; Nystrand, 1997, 2006; Re dfield & Rousseau, 1981; Wilkinson, Murphy, & Soter, 2003, 2005; Winne, 1979). Resear ch efforts have unc overed different levels of questions and a myriad of questions types. The level of a question refers to the nature of cognitive processing required to answer it. The type of a question refers to variations in how students in teract with the text. The mo st common types of questions asked of text are factual and detail questions with the answer given directly in the text, questions requiring inference fr om information given in the text, clarifying questions about vocabulary and phrases in the text, que stions eliciting connections to text, and higher level thinking questions asking for inte rpretations of the text (Andre, 1979; Duke & Pearson, 2002; Rapheal & Wonnacott, 1985). Unsurprising, the overall finding is that the types of questions teachers ask shape students understanding of te xt. For example, asking student s lower level questions leads students to focus on remembering facts or de tails. Students cognitive engagement with text is low as answers typically consist of a word or short phrase and requ ires relatively little thought. Conversely asking higher level questions, such as those that encourage students to interpret, evaluate, and connect with text, lends interp retive authority and
33 requires higher level thinking (Nystrand, 1997; Redfield & Rousseau, 1981; Wilkinson, Murphy, & Soter, 2003, 2005). Generating Questions While much is known about question types and teacher-student interaction, much is still to be learned. Since Durkins (1978-1979) seminal study and the subsequent research attention, the question is seen as a pedagogical devi ce that can be manipulated by a teacher in order to foster student engage ment with text. Attention has shifted from engaging students in the process of differentia ting the types of ques tions typically asked of texts (Rapheal & Wonnacott, 1985) to enga ging students in meaningf ul talk about text to enable them to generate their own questions. Research that elaborates on engaging students in the process of generating questions about texts was conducted by Nystrand (1997) and later extended by Wilkinson, Murphy, & Soter (2003, 2005). Nystra nd examined data collected in hundreds of observations of 8th and 9th grade English and social studies classrooms in 25 Midwestern middle and high schools. Nystrand us ed discourse event history analysis to code question types as well as the teacher-s tudent interaction su rrounding the question. Nystrand found that asking authentic questions for which there is no prespecified answer signals to students that their th inking is valued. Further, stud ent engagement with text is fostered when they are asked open-ended quest ions requiring explanati on, elaboration, or defense of text ideas to themselves as well as to others. He conc luded that open-ended, authentic questions also signal receptivity fr om the teacher or from another student and indicates interest in what st udents have to offer. By build ing students previous remarks
34 into ongoing conversation (uptake), student s gain interpretive authority. Nystrand suggests examination of the ways teachers a nd students interact as evidenced by authentic questions, uptake, and discussion is necessary to explaining the impact of instructional practice. Nystrand presents a strong study. St rengths include a large sample size and diverse samples of classes, sc hools, and communities. Also, deta iled explanations of data collection, analysis, and interpretation met hods aid the reader in making interpretive judgments. Wilkinson, Murphy, and Soter (2003, 2005) tested Nystrands (1997) use of questions as part of a three year exploratory study funded by the Institute of Education Sciences under the Program of Research on Reading Comprehension. One area studied and analyzed was teacher-student interactions for the incidence of students generation of authentic questions. Following Nystrands le ad, the researchers coded and analyzed hundreds of question/answer sequences. Findi ngs suggest where authentic questions represent over half of the total questions as ked by teacher and students, there appears to exist a classroom context where students are given the floor for extended periods, where there is a strong presence of uptake in both teacher and student questions, and, therefore, where student contributions are se en as vital to the learning that is to occur. According to Wilkinson, Murphy, and Soter, the findings on higher level thinking as elicited by authentic questions suggest that student generated questions can indeed foster analysis, generalizations, and speculation. Findings al so suggest a relationship between teacher and/or student generated authentic questions and high level thinki ng. These findings are consistent with conclusions drawn by Ny stand. Among the strengths noted of the researchers of this study is that the res earchers thoroughly descri be and explain data
35 analysis and interpretation techniques. The fruits of their labor are sh ared with the reader in the form of many comprehensive charts, graphs, and diagrams. These lend interpretive understanding to the reader. The sharing of da ta and explicit explan ation and description of the study provides insight on the effectiveness of vari ous questions and discussion parameters that enable students to engage in talk about text. In a review of studies with a similar focus, Skidmore (2000) found that when elementary students are encouraged to take on a wider range of speaking roles, they challenge and counter each others thinking and encourage the consideration of multiple view points, which results in attaining a richer understandi ng of story. Skidmore asserts that when classroom interaction and dialogue between and among students allows social discussion, students develop indi vidual powers of reflection a bout texts as opposed to the ability to reproduce a canonical inte rpretation of the text (p. 289). Higher level thinking and talk about te xt was also investigated by Taylor, Pearson, Peterson, & Rodriguez (2003). These re searchers used a framework for effective literacy instruction based on previous re search conducted by Knapp, Adelman, Marder, McCollum, Needels, Padilla, Shileds, Tur nbull, and Zucker (1995) and Guthrie, Cox, Knowles, Buehl, Mazzoni, and Fasulo ( 2000) to investigate curricular and teaching variables that account for growth in r eading comprehension. The framework used consisted of four dimensions: (1) supporting hi gher level thinking in both talk and writing about text, (2) encouraging independent us e of word recognition and comprehension strategies, (3) stressing active student involvement, and (4) promoting active involvement in literacy. Nine high povert y schools across the United Stat es participated in the study that was conducted over a school year. Data collection consisted of interviews and
36 classroom observations during the time devoted to literacy instructi on. Hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) was used to determine the effect of teacher variables on students growth in reading. Descriptive analysis was also used to elaborate on the findings. Since their study looked at the overall curricular and teaching variables that account for growth in reading comprehension, the findings repres ent many levels relativ e to the framework of effective reading instructi on. In regard to higher level questioning and talk about text, the researchers overarching c onclusion was that asking high er level thinking questions matter. Teachers who emphasized higher le vel thinking either through the questions asked or the tasks they as signed promoted greater read ing growth. The researchers explain, when students are enga ged in higher level thinking about text they are making connections to their prior knowledge, consid ering thematic elements of the text, interpreting characters motives, and so on (p. 6). To unpack the findings on higher level thinking, the researchers enga ged in comparative analysis of the observations and interviews. After rereading all the data, they co ded all activities related to talk about texts to add depth to the analysis. This provided insight about the compar ison of higher versus lower level questions. The researchers provide d pages of tables to illustrate the HLM analysis and provided descriptive narratives to offer a clearer picture of what the results looked like in classroom pract ice. However, while higher le vel comprehension instruction was recognized, the researchers admit that it is an under-em phasized aspect of reading instruction, particularly in grades 2-5. The researchers found that teachers who did ask a high proportion of higher level que stions also encouraged stud ents to take responsibility for story discussions, tended to be guided by the theme or main idea of a text, related the process of the interpretation of text to students lives, refrained from asking many low
37 level questions on story events, and they expr essed a high level of commitment to reading comprehension. Discussion Approaches With specific regard to reading instructi on, the questions teachers ask to engage students in talk about text is deemed critical by research ers (Chin et al., 2001; Nystrand, 1997, 2006; McKeown & Beck 2004; Taylor, et. al. 2003; Skidmore, 2000). Further developing our understanding of the role of questions as they affect reading comprehension, Nystrand (2006) identified di scussion approaches that exhibit a high degree of reciprocity in instru ction. In his comprehensive re view, he brings to light a synthesis of 150 years of research on clas sroom discourse as it affects reading comprehension, with emphasis on empirical re search since the 1970s. The research was conducted largely by the Center for the Study of Reading (CSR) and the Center for the Improvement of Early Reading Achievemen t (CIERA). Nystrand found that providing social space for students to take on more activ e and vocal roles in discussions helps to deepen their understanding of text. Those discussion approaches identified by Nystrand (2006) that have overlap with other prominent researcher s investigating the role of questioning on reading comprehension are described in this review of the literature: reciprocal teaching (Palincsar & Brown, 1984, 1985) que stioning the author (Beck, et al. 1997), transactional strategy instruction (B rown, et al. 1996), collaborativ e reasoning (Chin et al., 2001), instructional conversations (Goldenberg, 1991; Tharp and Gallimore, 1988), and elaborative interrogations (Pressley, Symons, McDaniel Snyder, & Turnure, 1988). Although the goals of these approaches are no t identical, all purport to help students
38 develop high level thinking and talk about te xt. Each discussion approach described has an instructional frame that influences the interpersonal context of the classroom and the way that students engage in reading, l earning, and thinking (Green, Weade, & Graham, 1986). The questions embodied in these di scussion approaches give increasing responsibility to students for holding their own discussions ab out text, and they maintain high student interaction. Reciprocal teaching. Reciprocal teaching is a disc ussion approach characterized as a dialogue that takes place between and amon g teacher and students that results in the internalization of flexible strategy use. In the tradition of cognitive strategy instruction, reciprocal teaching affords students gui ded practice in generating questions, summarizing, clarifying word meanings or points of confusion, and in predicting. In a meta-analysis of 16 studies on reci procal teaching conduc ted at a range of grade levels, Rosenshine and Meister (1994) found that teache rs model, prompt, provide cues, and offer feedback specific to each st rategy to foster students comprehension of text. The goal of reciprocal teaching is for te achers to gradually transfer control of the dialogue to students and to become a s upportive observer. Rosenshine and Meister concluded that reciprocal teach ing is effective at improving comprehension of text. This was evident from both experimenter-develop ed comprehension tests and, to a lesser extent, from standardized tests of comprehension. Questioning the Author. Questioning the author, also known as QtA (Beck, et al. 1997) is a discussion approach designed to enco urage sustained interactions with texts to build students understa nding of what they read. McKeow n & Beck (2004) explain that QtA addresses students inter actions with text through a unique constellation of four
39 features: (a) it addresses text as the product of a fallible author ; (b) it deals with the text through general probes for meaning directed toward making sense of ideas in the text; (c) it takes place in the context of reading as it initially o ccurs; and (d) it encourages collaborative dialogue toward the construction of meaning. Teachers ask inviting questions to nudge students to consider potential meaning of text. They ask initiating questions to get students involved in disc ussion. They also ask follow up questions to help students connect emerging meaning with their perceptions of the authors intention and with other ideas in the text. The expectation is that students who engage with text in this manner will develop improved understanding of texts discussed collaboratively as well as ones they read independently. While QtA has promising outcomes and offers focused discussion to develop students thinking and unders tanding of texts, employing this discussion approach requires time for teachers to analyze text sele ctions for potential points of confusion and support so understanding is re ached (Beck, et al. 1997). Pr ofessional development that sharpens teachers skill of ef fective facilitation increases the likelihood of teachers using QtA to afford students opport unities to grapple with ideas and to co-construct and extend meaning (McKeown & Beck, 2004). Transactional Strategy Instruction. Transactional strategy instruction (TSI) is a highly interactive discussion appr oach. It is transactional in the sense that it links text content to prior knowledge, requires co-constr uction of meaning, and socially determines responses (Brown, et al. 1996). The short-term goal of this discussion approach is to foster students ability to appl y strategies that result in shar ed interpretations of text. The
40 long-term goal is students internalization a nd adaptive use of strate gies. Both goals are promoted by teaching students to emulate th e thinking strategies used by the teacher (Brown, et al.). This approach offers teach ers a menu of comprehension strategies to support students understanding of text. The di alogue that takes place between teacher and students is responsive and stems from teachers explanation and modeling of the strategies used. Typically a few potent stra tegies are emphasized such as associating, visualizing, and self-ques tioning (Brown et al.). Collaborative Reasoning. Collaborative reasoning is a discussion approach that pertains to granting interpretive authority to students by enga ging them in critical reading and thinking (Chin et al., 2001). In collabo rative reasoning, students take positions on a central question raised in the text, and then they present reasons and evidence for and against these positions (Chin et al.). This di scussion approach stimul ates critical reading and thinking by requiring that students use textual evidence to s upport their positions about a text and to challenge or corroborate other readers interpre tations. Students have local control of turn taking and discussion topics. Teachers ask questions to scaffold students reasoning and model th e articulation of clear arguments and counter arguments (Chin et al.). In a study conducted by Chin, Anderson, and Waggoner (2001) in fourth-grade classrooms, the researchers f ound that discussions that stre ssed collabora tive reasoning fostered greater student enga gement and higher level thi nking about text. Discourse features such as the amount of teacher and st udent talk, the frequenc y of interruptions, the character of teacher and student questions, and the cognitive processes manifested in the students talk were analyzed. The research ers suggest that students who have more
41 control over and engagement with text disc ussions will have deeper understanding. These findings point to instructional practices in which teachers engage students cognitive functioning rather than simply c over key curricular components. Wilkinson, Murphy, & Soter (2003, 2005) exte nded Chin et al.s (2001) study as another part of their three year project to fu rther investigate discus sions that promote high level thinking and talk about te xt. In regard to Chin et al. s study, these researchers added discussion parameters that captured important variations among discussion approaches. The discourse parameters added were: choice of text, genre, time of reading, size of group, ability of group, leader of group, and in terpretive authority. These researchers concluded that most variations in discussion ap proaches are in the degree of the teachers control of topic, interpretive authority, turn taking, and choice of te xt. It should be noted, however, these conclusions are based on preliminary findings as the data is still in the process of analysis to more fully add to the growing knowledge base of discussion approaches. Instructional Conversations. Instructional conversations pertain to guiding students to increasingly sophist icated levels of understand ing by encouraging expression of students' ideas, and by building upon information students provide regarding experiences they have had (Goldenbe rg, 1991; Tharp and Gallimore, 1988). Instructional conversations take plac e within students zones of proximal development. The critical form of assisting learners is through dialogue, questioning, and the sharing of ideas and knowledge (Tharp & Gallimore, 1988). The teachers thoughtful use of language is called on to broaden and deepen students unders tanding. Instructional conversations are highly inter active. Students play an importa nt role in constructing new
42 knowledge and in acquiring new understandings The teacher is a strategic discussion leader who encourages expression of st udents' own ideas, builds upon information students provide, and generally guides students to increasingly sophisticated levels of comprehension (Goldenberg, 1991; Nystrand, 2006; Wilkinson & Silliman, 2000). In a seven month naturalistic study, Many (2002) examined instructional conversations between teachers and student s and between peers to described the scaffolding that occurred as st udents constructed meaning from texts. Participants were third-fourth grade and fifth-sixth grade multiage classrooms in a large urban city in the southeastern United States. Data consisted of observational field notes, interviews, and student artifacts. Constant comparative an alysis was used to determine findings. The findings suggest that instruct ional conversations function in diverse ways and support students learning within their zone of proximal development (Vygotsky, 1978). To thrive, the context for instru ctional conversations must provide ample time and support for rich discussion. Strengths of the study incl ude the thick narrative descriptions of the nature of teaching observed. Although the sample size is small, the methods of analysis are clearly described and the data is shared to allow transferability of the findings to other settings. The researcher notes, more research is needed to explore more specifically how meaning is negotiated. Elaborative Interrogations. Elaborative interrogation is a discussion approach that requires students to relate a nd elaborate connections between the text read and their own experiences and prior knowledge (Pressle y, Symons, McDaniel, Snyder, & Turnure, 1988). The activation of prior knowledge makes this a particularly effective approach. With the activation of prior knowledge, elabor ative interrogations facilitate learning by
43 asking students to construct a reason to a why question that is typically factual. It is unclear, however, what prior knowledge is needed. Some resear chers suggest that students need prior knowledge about the subjec t. Others suggest stud ents need abstract knowledge in the form of rules or princi ples (Seifert, 1993). Teachers use probing questions to encourage students to explain th eir thinking. Giving explanations encourages students to clarify and reorgani ze the material in new ways to make it understandable to others and, in the process, he lp them develop new perspectiv es and recognize and fill in the gaps in their own understanding (Webb, Farivar, & Mastergeorge, 2002). Summary This section of the literature review focused on studies that established connections between questions asked by teach ers and students ability and achievement. While many studies were found on questioning in general, limited current studies were found specific to the proposed studys focu s. The studies that were found extended findings from previous research and used quantit ative analysis to illustrate the impact of questioning on students achievement. While researchers agree that authentic que stions engage students in high level thinking and talk about text (Nystran d, 1997; Wilkinson, Murphy, & Soter, 2003, 2005; Taylor, Peterson, Rodriques, & Pearson 2002), fe w discussions of this type are observed in classrooms. A reason for this may be th at in our current cl imate of high-stakes accountability, taking time to talk about texts requires a conscious effort on behalf of the teacher. From a practical perspective, teachers have to decide whethe r their interaction in teaching reading reflects an authoritative stance well-suited to cultural reproduction and the meeting of pre-set targets, or whether th ey adopt a dialogic form of interaction that allows for a more fluid and open interp retation of text (Fisher, 2005, p. 25).
44 Teaching is a complex activity. Clearly, it is beneficial to engage and sustain students in discussions about texts. But em ploying a discussion approach with a high degree of reciprocity is more difficult that one would think. Meaning is realized only in the process of active, re sponsive understanding. Wh at counts as knowledge and understanding in any given classroom is larg ely shaped by teacher-student interactions, and the structure of pedagogical activ ities (Beck& McKeown, 2001; Fisher, 2005; Nystrand, 2006). More research is needed to comb out the question-answer sequences that will allow such interaction. Collecting and analyzing examples of such talk in classrooms could sensitize teac hers to what it sounds like to engage students in higher level thinking and talk about text. The next section of the literature review w ill look at the teachers discourse role in regard to student engagement that leads to ta lk about text. Focal a ttention is placed on research that suggests learning takes place in a social context in which students are actively engaged in constructing meaning from their own experiences and the ways in which teachers interact with them. Directive and Supportive Discourse Scaffolds The purpose of this section is to identif y and describe the dichotomous ways in which teachers talk to their students. Specifi cally, this section will discuss two types of discourse scaffolds as they relate to the questions teachers ask students about texts. Questions play a central role in shaping th e character of classroom discourse. As such they significantly regulate the extent to which teacher-student interaction is either monologic or dialogic. Monologi cally organized classrooms ar e characteristic of the teacher asking students questions with a pred etermined answer. Dialogically organized
45 classroom are characteristic of the time devoted to discussion, authentic questions, uptake, and high-level teacher evaluation (Nystrand, 1997, 2006). Question-answer sequences reveal impor tant features of teacher-student interaction and hence the character of instru ction. As a pedagogical device, questions can both accommodate and exclude student voices in the classroom. The character of classroom discourse is identified in the litera ture by two types of discourse scaffolds, directive and supportive (Cazde n, 2001; Fisher, 2005; Wilkinson & Silliman, 2000). Each has its own structure of social interaction as patterned by the discourse of teaching, and each provides varying degrees of support to students (Wilkinson & Silliman, 2000). Directive Scaffolds Directive scaffolds are widely recognized as the traditiona l discourse pattern commonly found in classrooms across America (Cazden, 2001; Chin, Anderson, & Waggoner, 2001; Fisher, 2005; Nystrand, 2006; Sk idmore, 2000; Wilkinson & Silliman, 2000). Exemplified by question/answer evalua tions, directive scaffolds stem from behaviorism with the principles of lear ning focused on observable and measurable behaviors of skill acquisition and application. The nature of this discourse is a three-part sequence of teacher initiation, student respons e, and teacher evaluation (IRE) or teacher feedback (IRF) (Cazden, 2001; Wells, 1993). Directive scaffolds are primarily used when the teachers goal is to transmit knowledge to the students and generally involves scripted lessons based on skill acquisition (Wilkinson & Silliman, 2000). Student learning is demonstrated by giving a correct answer in response to a specif ic question. Students immediately know the correctness of their response. Th is traditional discourse pattern is routinely identified as
46 the recitation script (Tharp and Gallimore, 1988). This discourse patt ern is also defined, as the training of the mouth (Luke, 1992) and as the talk of traditional lessons (Cazden, 2001; Mehan, 1979; Nystrand, 2006; Wells, 1993; Fisher, 2005; Wilkinson & Silliman, 2000). The most common criticism of the traditiona l lesson structure is that the teacher dominates classroom talk by asking multitude s of lower level questions with a known answer, consequently minimizing opportunities for students to engage in higher level thinking. (Cazden, 2001; Mehan, 1979). The teach er controls discussion topics through questions that have a single correct answer and does a considerable amount of work constructing ideas. Beck, et al. (1997) asserts th at while students are invited to react to the teachers ideas, their reac tions are less cognitively challenging than if they were invited to engage in co-constructing meaning. From a structural viewpoint, teachers cont rol verbal traffic in IRE/IRF cycles by asking students to raise their hand and then selecting a student to respond (Cazden, 2001). After each student turn, the teacher regains the floor to comment on the students contribution, often interjecting his or her own ideas, then directs questions back to the whole-class. When teachers ask questions and accept only those answers they believe to be right, they hold interpretive authority (Chin et al., 2001). Given the dominance of teacher talk, some researchers suggest that instructional focus is on the development of a topic rath er than on deepening students understanding of text (Fisher, 2005; Wilkinson & Silliman, 2000). Others suggest that without the teachers dominating voice students may be either reluctant to talk on one extreme or monopolize the floor on the ot her (Chin et al., 2001).
47 Researchers investigating di scourse structures claim th at in classrooms where the teachers voice dominates, the students thinking time is minimal (Cazden, 2001; Mehan, 1979; Skidmore, 2000). Researchers arguably s uggest that students are given less wait time for thinking so the teacher can im port his or her knowledge onto students. Researchers find that teachers typically wait only one s econd for a students response after asking a question, and then only one more second before prompting an answer with a rephrased question or an swer clue (Mehan,1979; Ny strand, Gamoran, Kachur, & Prenergast 1997; Rowe, 1974). Rowe (1986, 1996) contends that if teachers wait three seconds or more after posing a question ther e are pronounced changes in the students use of language and logic as well as in student and teacher attitu des and expectations. Carlsen (1991) revealed a slow pace of teacher que stioning and extended wait times correlate with greater numbers of student responses, as well as more su stained student responses of greater complexity and higher-order th inking. Johnston (2004) proposes extended thinking time is positively related to more st udent talk, more sustained talk, and more higher order thinking. He contends that when a teacher waits for a student to think it conveys the message the student is expected to be able to accomplish the task. Failure to wait conveys the opposite message. While directive scaffolds are widely r ecognized as prototypical and serve the purpose of ensuring story content, such di scourse patterns are thought to generate considerable inertia and are criticized for compromising students autonomous ability to engage in literate thinking (Cazden, 2 001; Mehan, 1979; Nystrand, 2003; Skidmore, 2000). Cazden (2001) asserts directive scaffold s deregulate classroom discourse, and like deregulation in other domains of social life, lead to inequa lity. Similarly, Mehan (1979)
48 asks whether students who are taught to c onform to adult authority through passive participation can become active participants in a democratic society and the workplace. Conversely, Wells (1993) argues the use of directive scaffo lds can be beneficial to students if the teacher incorporates feedb ack to reinforce and extend the students response, rather than to merely evaluate the correctness of the students response (Cazden, 2001; Fisher, 2005; Wilkinson & Silliman, 2000). Supportive Scaffolds Supportive scaffolds stem from constructiv ism with the principles of learning focused on building personal interpretations based on experiences and interactions. Classroom environments employing supportive s caffolds deviate from the triadic pattern of directive scaffolds by bala ncing conversational turns to stimulate and support higher order thinking (Cazden, 2001; Many, 2002). Mo re conversational turns allow teachers and students to make contri butions toward deepening unde rstanding (Beck e t al. 1997; Nystrand, 2006). Learning is embedded in a so cial context and cons tructing knowledge is an active process. In regard to reading co mprehension, the notion behind teachers using supportive scaffolds is to keep students enga ged in the constructive work of building understanding of text (Beck, et al. 1997). Supportive scaffolds embody non-traditional discourse patterns that promise to engage students in the co-construction of m eaning and promise to offer teachers a variety of discussion approaches (B eck, et al.; Cazden, 2001; Go ldenberg & Patthey-Chavez, 1995; Palincsar & Brown, 1984). Research shows teachers who use supportive scaffolds offer students an increased understanding of text as compared to those who default to the
49 traditional recitation method in pursuit of the right answer (Cazden, 2001; Chin et al., 2001; Mehan, 1979). The most valuable aspect of co-constructi ng meaning of text may be that children talk through ideas, emotions, understandi ngs, and reactions beyond their immediate experiences (Eeds & Wells, 1989). This type of interaction acknow ledges interpretation of text is not just about right answers, but also about the authors intentions (Fisher, 2005). Researchers (Beck & McKeown, 2001; Eeds & Wells, 1989; Hansen, 2004; Jewel & Pratt, 1999; Sipe, 2000; Skidmore, 2000) consistently find, given functional and supportive literacy environments where voices are valued and respected, students respond to text in a variety of ways and are h eavily influenced by the teachers discourse. From an instructional viewpoint, the sequencing of supportive scaffolds is responsive to the student in the search for understanding (Wilkinson & Silliman, 2000). Teaching is geared to supporting knowledge construction by modeling and scaffolding comprehension strategies w ithin students zones of pr oximal development (Vygotsky, 1978). Supportive discourse scaffolds mirror V ygotskys (1978) notion of constructivist teaching and are directly related to Pa lincsar & Browns (1984) initial work on comprehension-fostering and comprehension-monitoring. Specifically looking at classroom discour se and student learning, Cazden (2001) explains that supportive scaffolds vary in scope from individual scaffolds to group scaffolds. In regard to individual scaffolds, she describes the one-t o-one teacher-student interaction put forth in the careful design of reading r ecovery (Clay, 1993) as highly supportive and honoring the stud ents zone of proximal development (Vygotsky, 1978). The Reading Recovery program, developed in partnership by developmental psychologist
50 Marie Clay and experienced primary teacher s, exemplifies supportive scaffolding by the nature of the reciprocating teacher-child dialogue. In regard to small group instruction, C azden (2001) describes how the teacher uses supportive scaffolds with a group of four to five students using a well-designed literacy program known as reciprocal t eaching (Palincsar & Brown, 1984). As previously discussed, reciprocal teaching is a discussi on-based learning approach designed to teach cognitive strategies such as question ge neration, clarificati on, summarization, and prediction. The discussions that take pl ace between and among teacher and students allows the co-construction of meaning from text, and encourages students to monitor their understanding (Cazden, 2001; Fisher, 2005; Rosenshine & Meister, 1994; Wilkinson & Silliman, 2000). Like Reading Recovery, reciprocal te aching is highly supportive and offers interactional help with the internal cognitiv e actions expert readers perform (Rosenshine & Meister, 1994). While reciprocal teaching is widely recognized as an effective program to foster and monitor comprehension of text Kucan and Beck (1997) suggest the success of reciprocal teaching could be due to either focused instruction in specific strategies or to the time devoted to discussion and the requir ement of readers to reflect on what they read. Cazden (2001) suggests group scaffolds constructed for small group instruction become incorporated into whole group in struction with a comm unity of learners. Supportive scaffolds integrate inquiry into cycles of collaborativ e conversations to support the development of new ideas and understandings. The basic form of supportive
51 scaffolds for whole group instruction is in structional conversati ons (Goldenberg, 1991; Tharp & Gallimore, 1988). Wilkinson and Silliman (2000) report four types of supportive scaffolding cycles: explicit modeling, where the teacher verbally de monstrates thinking; direct explanations and re-explanations, where the teacher makes e xplicit statements to assist students in understanding underlying concepts; invitations to participate in c onversation, where the teacher elicits students reasoning or reque sts students to expand on meaning; and verifying and clarifying stude nt understanding, where the teacher gives explicit and positive feedback to guide students in evaluating or sharing perspectives. Wilkinson and Silliman (2000) suggest that effective discourse scaffolds provide support at the edge of a students competence. The type and quality of scaffolding used conveys to students the teachers expect ations in regard to their overlapping communicative roles as listeners, speakers, read ers, and writers, and influences their selfdefinition as learners. Teach ers use of directive and supportive scaffolds sets the parameters for teacher-student interactions, wh ich play a central role in shaping students learning. Sustained interactions allo w the teacher and students opportunities to co-construct meaning and stimulate and nourish students understanding of text. In a review of research perspectives over the past 25 y ears, Fisher (2005) cons iders teacher-student interactions in the teaching of reading. He found, for the most part, the interactions between teacher and students have been and continue to be indi cative of the use of directive scaffolds. In such focused interac tions, students interact with the teacher upon request as the teacher seeks fixed meanings in regard to interpreting texts. Fisher
52 contends the nature of the teachers expect ation for proficient as well as struggling readers dictates interaction. Nystrand (2003) ve rifies that any given classroom interaction is shaped by interactions of previous lessons. Fisher (2005) also states, while there is a call for high-quality teacher-student interactions, agreement has yet to be reached as to what high-quality interaction looks like. In the meantime, he argues, classroom s are dominated with focused interactions where little constructive meaning making is obs erved. In such focused interactions, the requirement for predetermined outcomes seems to militate against reflection and exploration of ideas (p.22). It is suggested that interactions of this type stifles students thought processes which supports Wells (1986) finding that students are active meaning makers but are traditionally not afforded the opportunity of sustaine d interaction in the classroom. Sustained interaction requires the teac hers skillful faci litation as students thoughtfully contribute their ideas toward ma king meaning (Jewell & Pratt, 1999). The most valuable aspect of co-constructing meani ng of text may be that children ta lk through ideas, emotions, understandings, and reactions beyond their immediate experiences (Eeds & Wells, 1989). This type of interaction acknow ledges interpretation of text is not just about right answers, but also about the author s intentions (Fisher, 2005). Fisher (2005) claims there is evidence throughout the lite rature of a conflic t between classroom discourse intended to engage students and l ead them to pre-determined outcomes and classroom discourse in which meanings are less fixed and intended to empower. Summary This section of the literature revi ew described dire ctive and supportive scaffolds as two very different ways in which teachers talk with students. One
53 exemplifies behaviorism with the principl es of learning focused on observable and measurable behaviors of skill acquisition and application (Cazden, 2001; Mehan, 1979, Nystand, 2006, Wells, 1993). The other exemplifies constructivism with the principles of learning focused on building personal inte rpretations based on experiences and interactions. Researchers agree both disc ourse scaffolds have a place in classroom discussions (Fisher, 2005; Gilles & Pierce, 2003; Nystrand, 2006), but the latter supports the notion the language teachers use during reading instructio n is critical in engaging students in higher level thinking and is better suited to enhancing students ability to produce meaning from their engagement w ith text (Chin et al., 2001; Nystrand, 2006; Pearson, 2003; Skidmore, 2000; Wilkinson, Murphy, & Soter, 2005). The next section addresses how the stance the teacher adopts infl uences the ways in wh ich he/she interacts with students. Teacher Stance The purpose of this section of the literat ure review is to describe the various stances a teacher may adopt when discussing text with students and to understand how teachers theoretical perspective influences the stance adopted. Understanding the different ways text is encountered and the theoretical perspectives that influence the stance adopted is important to informing the proposed study. Stance Teacher stance, defined as the mode of interaction between a teacher and his or her students, is related to the nature of th e questions teachers ask, the reading instruction they provide, and the responses they enc ourage from students (Tay lor et al., 2003). The
54 teachers attitude, use of in structional materials, and discussion approach are also influenced by stance (Beck & McKeow n, 2001; Eeds & Wells, 1989; Hansen, 2004; Jewel & Pratt, 1999; Sipe, 2000; Skidmore, 2000). With any given text, teachers may adopt an efferent, aesthetic, or critical stance, or a combina tion of stances (Chin et al., 2001). An aesthetic stance refers to attention t eachers place on such things as the favorite parts of the story, descriptions of how the st ory was visualized, associations or emotions the story evoked, hypotheses regarding story ev ents, extensions of story events, and reactions to the story (Cox and Many, 1992). Taking an aesthetic stance, the teacher strives for students to identify with characters have personal affective responses to story circumstances, and link the story world with their own life. Teachers asks questions that elicit emotive connections and pay attention to the associations, feelings, attitudes, ideas, and actions of a storys charac ter in a way that allows immersion in the story world for a lived-through experience (Rosenblatt, 1978, p. 25). From an efferent stance, the teacher presen ts text as a source of information and directs students to knowledge and facts. Voice is used to emphasize and clarify meanings of words, concepts, and structural elements From an efferent stance, teachers ask questions that focus students attention on ac quiring information from the text, such as story facts and details (Rosenbl att, 1978; Chin et al., 2001). From a critical stance, teachers focus st udents attention on a problem facing a character, a consideration to be made for different courses of action, and appeals to the text for evidence to support interpretations (Chin et al., 2001). The questions teachers ask from a critical stance are focused on reasons and evidence, challenges and rebuttals.
55 In the three year project conducted by Wilkinson, Murphy, & Soter (2003, 2005) previously discussed, a rela tionship was found between the degree of control exerted by the teacher versus the students in terms of t opic, interpretive author ity, turn taking, choice of text, and the realized stance. Discussions in which students had more control tended to be those encouraging aesthetic (renamed expressive) responses to text. Conversely, discussions in which teachers had more cont rol tended to be thos e in which teachers adopted an efferent stance. Discussions in which the teacher and students shared control led to a critical stance. In discussion approaches giving pr ominence to a critical stance, the teacher had considerable control over te xt and topic but studen ts had considerable interpretive authority. These researchers conclude a reasonable degree of focus on the efferent and aesthetic stance need s to be in place in order fo r discussions to foster higher level thinking and talk about text. Findings, however, are tentative as more research needs to be conducted on factors such as pre-discussion activity, the culture of the discourse community, and the kinds of questions teachers ask. Theoretical Perspectives In an effort to better understand how th e stance a teacher adopts, consequently determines the interaction students have w ith text, it is important to understand the theoretical views associated with reading a nd literacy education. It is the theoretical perspective a teacher holds that largely determines the stance he or she adopts (Serafini, 2003). Theoretical perspectives associated w ith reading and literacy education can be broadly categorized as modernist (Eagleton, 1996), transactional (R osenblatt, 1978), or critical (Luke & Freebody, 1997).
56 Modernist Perspective. The modernist perspective is based on the belief that meaning resides in the text. Inst ructional practices are conceptu alized as a set of universal skills taught in a direct, sequent ial manner that students apply to text in order to uncover its meaning (Serafini, 2004). An eclectic a pproach, which is often referred to as a balanced reading approach, is often associated with a modernist pers pective (Pressley, 1999). The primary instructional focus is on establishing an a ppropriate pedagogical blend of phonics and skills instructio n and the use of authentic texts. Instructional reading materials primarily used in this perspective often include commercial reading programs and workbooks focusing on some selections of childrens literature in a basal anthology. The recitation format aligns with a modernist perspective in that teachers use the same text in a whole class setting and adopt a predominately efferent stance. The teacher maintains control of the topic, control of talking turns, and interpretive authority (Chin et al., 2001). Th e questions teachers ask and the activities they provide students center more on details, facts, and information to be carried away and less on interpretive responses supporte d by the text (Serafini, 2003). Chin and colleagues (2001) add that while an efferent stance dominates teaching, other stances may also emerge occasionally as teachers as k for students affective reaction to story events, or for evidence for or against a part icular claim. Standardized tests are the primary measure of a students reading ability and instructional level. Serfani argues while these instructional practices may in f act match the requirements of standardized tests, they have narrowing effects that re duce the use of childrens literature to an instructional device for teaching d ecoding and literal comprehension.
57 Transactional Perspective. The transactional perspective is based on the belief that meaning does not reside in the text or in the reader. Instead, meaning is constructed in the transaction between a pa rticular reader and a particul ar text (Rosenblatt, 1978). Readers bring their pr ior knowledge and experi ences to bear on the reading event, and meaning is constructed in the internal, cogni tive space of the individual reader. Theorists who align with a transactiona l model view reading as an active, constructive, social experience and embrace interpretive communities. With a transactional perspective, the effe rent and aesthetic stances are viewed as endpoints on a continuum. During any reading event the teachers attention may fluctuate along that continuum, containing more or less of an aesthetic or efferent emphasis at given points depending on the learning outcome s. The purposes defined for aesthetic reading are to focus on the associations, emotions, and ideas the story evokes. The purposes defined for efferent reading are dire cted towards learning how to use facts in order to analyze, evaluate, and synthesize information rather than directed towards learning the facts for the sake of remembering them (Serafini, 2003). The instructional practices that align w ith a transactional perspective focus on sharing individual interpretations of texts within communities of readers. Open-ended questions serve as a guide as the local contex ts of the reading even t are considered (Chin et al., 2001). The process of allowing student s to build, express, and defend their own interpretations has become a revalued goa l of text discussions (Eeds & Wells, 1989; Raphael & McMahon, 1994). Critical Perspective The critical perspective is seen as a social practice of constructing meaning that canno t be separated from the cultural, historical, and political
58 context in which it occurs. The reading practices associated with critical perspectives are intended to support students understanding of the variety of meanings available during the transaction between read er, text, context, and syst ems of power affecting the constructed meaning (Serafini, 2003). Instructional practices are constructe d from carefully selected childrens literature. The literature is us ed to invite students to make connections to their lives and their communities. Instructional focus is on students understanding of how different meanings are constructed and how as readers, students themselves are positioned by various interpretations. Teachers who adopt a critical stance in their classroom understand the political, historic al, and cultural implications i nvolved with the texts they read and the meanings they construct (Chi n et al., 2001; Wilkinson, Murphy, & Soter, 2003, 2005). There is an overlap in transactional and critical perspectives. Both perspectives reject the notion that meaning resides within th e text and both value childrens literature as a vehicle to provide a social space for talk about texts. The shift from a transactional to a critical perspective is often associated with a shift from a focus on the local context to a focus on the larger contexts influencing the way texts are constructed, readers are positioned, and meanings are made available during the act of reading (Serafini, 2003). Wilkinson, Murphy, & Soter (2003, 2005) suggest if teachers have control over choice of text, topic, and turn taking but students have considerable interpretive authority, then a critical stance is achieved. They further suggest shared control between teacher and students helps to give rise to the efferent and aesthetic re sponses necessary for a critical stance to achieve prominence thereby promoting higher level thinking an d talk about text.
59 Summary This section of the literature re view reveals how different stances engage readers with text. In discussions about text, teachers may adopt an aesthetic, an efferent, or a critical stance. To cultivate higher level thinking, a shared focus on the efferent and aesthetic stances needs to be in place. Regardless of whether teachers can explicitly articulate their theoretical perspec tives influencing stance, their beliefs play a dominant role in the resources they choose, the instructi onal practices they employ, the environment they create in their classrooms, and the stance they adopt (Eisenhart, Cuthbert, Shrum, & Hard ing, 1988; Serafini, 2002) Conclusions This chapter presents a review of the lit erature to position the research questions. Findings pertaining to the history of core r eading programs, the impact of questioning on students reading comprehension, the teachers discourse role, and the stance the teacher adopts in reading instruction are offered. Thes e topics were addresse d in accordance to the ways in which teachers engage students in ta lk about texts. The intent of this review of the literature was to integrate what is known and unknown about the ways in which teachers use language to deepen students unde rstanding of texts. To that end, certain discussion approaches have been found that result in measurable gains in reading comprehension. The question/answer seque nces residing within these discussion approaches embody nontraditional discourse. To contribute to the knowledge base, we want to know more specifically what th ese questions sound like. Following is a summation of how the literature reviewed informed this study. The literature reviewed reveals that sin ce the 1920s core reading programs have served as the primary instruc tional tool for readi ng instruction. Historically, their wide-
60 spread use garners both support and criticis ms from reading educators and the general public. With specific regard to engaging student s in talk about text, researchers suggest reading instruction is more than acquiring a sk ill set and learning take s place in a social context in which learners ar e actively constructing meaning from their own experiences and their classroom interactions. Researchers have worked for thirty years to identify discussion approaches offering students an in creased understanding of text and have long argued for the need to incorporate discussi ons into classroom pr actice that go beyond the traditional recitation format (Beck, et al.1997 ; Brown et al.1995; Cazden, 2001; Chin et al., 2001; Goldenberg, 1991; Palincsar & Brown, 1984; Pressley & McDonald, 1997; Mehan, 1979; Rosenshine & Meister, 1994) However discussion approaches hinge largely on the social context for talk along with the supportive and fac ilitative role of the teacher. Social space must be created with di scussion parameters taking into account the social nature of reading a nd its relationship to comprehe nsion, thinking, and learning. Clearly it is beneficial to engage and sustain students in discussions about texts, but there are many factors to consider. Meaning is realized only in the process of active, responsive understandin g. In some discussion formats, students respond only to teacher questions and have little cont rol over what they say. In other discussion formats, students are free to respond to anothers comment, ask a question, extend anot her students idea, or introduce a new topic. As a pedagogical device, questions can both accommodate and exclude student voices in the classroom. In discussions of text without instructional frames, often only the most vocal students get to share their th inking. To involve all students, teachers must employ learning structures that ensu re that every student has a voice.
61 Question-answer sequences reveal impor tant features of teacher-student interaction and hence the character of inst ruction (Beck& McKeown, 2001; Fisher, 2005; Nystrand, 2006; Wilkinson, Murphy, & Sote r, 2003). We know certain discussion approaches actively engage students in talk a bout text, but we need to comb out and make more specific the questions re siding within these discussion approaches. In regard to promoting talk about text, the asking of auth entic questions is recognized as key, but we still need to know what they sound like and how and when best to ask them. Researchers current attention is on deve loping a fuller understanding of classroom discourse that facilitates authentic questions Identifying the impact of th e questions asked on shaping students ability to generate their own questions from text, as well as what impact this more generative behavior might have on s ubsequent comprehension warrants further study. These studies will make contributions to theory by the way the dialogue is interpreted and the lens through which it is viewed (Fisher, 2005; Pearson, 2004; Wilkinson, Murphy, & Soter, 2003, 2005). With the full weight of the status quo and the unrelenting pressures of accountability looming overhead, teachers need to interrogate the th eoretical assumptions supporting their instructional prac tices in reading. This revi ew of the literature reveals that researchers have argued for over a century about the best method for teaching students how to read. Researchers now suggest we should shift focus from trying to find the right method for teaching students how to read, to determining whether the reading practices and experiences constructed in cla ssrooms are addressing the broad repertoire of practices required in t odays society (Cazden, 2001; Ch in et al., 2001; Fisher, 2005; Nystrand, 2006).
62 Chapter Three Method Not everything that can be counted count s and not everything that counts can be counted. (Albert Einstein) This chapter describes how the study was conducted. There are five main sections in this chapter. The first section explai ns the purpose of the study and the research questions. The second section details th e research design and provisions for trustworthiness. Study particip ants and their school sites are described in the third section. The fourth section discusses researcher bias and ethical considerations. The final section reports data collection and anal ysis procedures. The Purpose of the Study and Research Questions The purpose of this qualitative research study was to examine and describe the nature of questioning moves that exemplary fourth-grade teachers use during reading instruction. Questioning moves are defined in this study as the wa ys in which teachers use scaffolding questions to engage students in talk about text. Anot her point of interest was to determine how teachers perceive the influence of instructional materials on the language they use to engage students in talk about text. Specifically, this study sought to provide a window into exemplary fourth-g rade teachers classrooms during reading instruction for an analysis of how teachers que stion students to engage them in talk about text to construct meaning. According to the literature reviewed, op timal understanding of how teachers engage students in constructi ng meaning from text is best gained by
63 investigating the nature of question-answer sequences (Nystrand, 1993, 1997, 2006; Wilkinson, Murphy, & Soter, 2003, 2005; Taylor et al., 2003). The nature of the questions asked were examined in this study by analyzing the questioning moves exemplary teachers used during reading inst ruction. Close analysis of the teachers questioning moves in reading instruction adds to the knowledge base about how teachers use language to shape the nature of teach ing and learning afforded to students. The following questions guided the research study: 1. What is the nature of the questioning moves exemplary teachers use in fourthgrade classrooms during reading instruction? 2. What do exemplary fourth-grade teachers describe as influencing their use of questioning moves within the reading program? Research Design and Provisions for Trustworthiness The design of this qualitative study is Na turalistic Inquiry (Lincoln & Guba, 1985). Naturalistic Inquiry is guided by the following assumptions: (a) the study takes place in a natural classroom setting; (b) the rese archer is the primary instrument for data collection; (c) data collection is qualitative; (d) purposeful sampling is used for increased scope; (e) implied and proposit ional knowledge helps uncover the nuances of multiple realities; (f) findings and resu lts are negotiated with participants to provide an accurate depiction of reality; and (g) trustworthiness underscores the research (Lincoln & Guba, 1985). This design allowed me to observe naturally unfolding phe nomena that emerged in the non-manipulated context of the part icipants classrooms (Johnson & Christensen, 2004; Patton, 2002).
64 The aim of this study was to illuminate the questioning moves exemplary fourthgrade teachers used during reading instruction. To provide a close analysis of exemplary fourth-grade teachers questioning moves in re ading instruction, I collected data within a case study tradition (Cre swell, 1998). Case studies are often employed in qualitative research to provide particul ar, exacting accounts of specifi c situations (Merriam, 1988; Yin, 2003). The design of this study offers a holistic portrayal of the particularity and complexity of each case as well as compar isons across cases (Creswell, 1998; Patton, 2002; Stake, 1995; Yin, 2003). Case Study Qualitative methodologists offer various de finitions and explanations for what it means to conduct a case study. Stake (1995) de fines case study as a detailed study of a single case to understand its inherent comple xities. Merriam (1998) defines case study as an intensive, holistic description and anal ysis of a single bounde d unit. According to Merriam, case study plays an important role in advancing a fields knowledge base and is particularly suited for the field of educa tion. Creswell (1998) defines case study as an exploration of a bounded system over time through detailed, in-depth data collection involving multiple information rich sources. Berg (2007) defines case study as a method involving systematically ga thering enough information a bout a unit to permit the researcher to effectively understand how the subject operates or f unctions. The power of the case study, according to Berg (2007), is its sensitivity to nuances, patterns, and other more hidden elements that other research approaches might overlook. Yin (2003) defines case study as a comprehensive research strate gy used to investigate an empirical topic within its real-life context. Many units can be considered for case analysis including
65 individuals, groups, programs, large corpor ations, events, activities, or processes (Creswell, 1998; Merriam, 1988; Yin, 2003). Taken together, these various definitions suggest that case study is an approach capable of examining simple or complex phenomenon, with varying units of analysis. While many definitions exist for what it means to conduct a case study, this study was conducted in line with Yins (2003) definitions and explan ations. Yin suggests that conducting a case study within its real-life context entails usi ng a variety of sources in data collection that can meaningfully make use of and contribute to the application of theory. Yin further suggests having at le ast a two-case case study for drawing more powerful findings and analytic conclusions. This study sought answers to questions about how exemplary fourth-grade teachers use questioning moves to engage stude nts in talk about text. Therefore, the question-answer sequences in exemplary teach ers classrooms during reading instruction were plumbed, analyzed, and compared for in cidence of authentic open-ended questions requiring explanation, elaboration, or defense of text ideas. In terviews, digita l recordings, videotapes, and classroom observations inform ed the development of each case in an effort to provide a better understanding of the nature of the language teachers use to engage students in talk about text. In addition to the holistic description a nd analysis of each case, this study includes cross-case analysis to illuminate similarities and differences in patterns that cut across cases (Joh nson & Christensen, 2004; Patton, 2002).
66 Provisions of Trustworthiness In qualitative research naturalistic inquiry must meet provisions of trustworthiness as defined by credibility, dependability, tr ansferability, and confirmability (Lincoln & Guba, 1985). Therefore, in designing this study several steps were taken to ensure trustworthiness, as described below. Credibility pertains to confidence in the research findings (Lincoln & Guba, 1985). Given that the focus in qua litative research is data, one way I address credibility is to make the data visible. Where possible I use ex amples from that data that are illustrative of authentic open-ended question-answer sequenc es. Direct quotations are also visible. By having access to the data, r eaders of this study are able to judge the accuracy of my interpretations and are able to see how they were formed. Triangulation is another strategy I used to address cred ibility. I triangulated my methods of analysis by comparing the data generated from interviews, transc ripts, and field notes Also, feedback and discussion of my interpretations in the way of member checks (Stake, 1995) were instituted for verification and insight. Furthe r, I discussed my findings with peers in my field who are not involved with the study. These peer s included fellow doctoral candidates in childhood education, teachers with whom I work, and professional colleagues. Peer debriefing pr ovided an outside lens with which to view the emerging data. I described what I saw and my peers challenged me to provide clear and solid evidence for my interpretations. In order to make this study transparent, I strove for dependability by leaving an inquiry trail (Lincoln & Guba, 1985, p. 317). Lincoln and Guba recommend an inquiry
67 trail so reviewers can examine the consistenc y of both the process and the product of the research. I kept researcher notes in regard to the methods I used to record and analyze data and used language from the interviews and direct quotations from the field notes. I overlapped my data sources and analysis procedures. I also gave thick descriptions of the context within which the research occurred. Transferability refers to the degree to whic h the results of qualitative research can be transferred to ot her contexts. Careful consideration was given to data collection methods to ensure that the data collected woul d be representative of the study and that the knowledge gained from this study could be a pplied to other environments. To enhance transferability, I strove to capture a comp rehensive picture of how and why exemplary fourth-grade teachers use questioning move s during reading instruction thus allowing others to make transferability judgmen ts based on their own experiences. Confirmability refers to the degree to wh ich others can confirm the results of a study. Lincoln and Guba suggest confirmability is the degree to which the researcher can demonstrate the neutrality of the interpre tations. This means providing an audit trail consisting of (a) raw data such as videot apes, written notes, and survey records; (b) analysis notes; (c) data reconstruction a nd synthesis products; (d ) process notes; (e) personal notes; and (f) preliminary developmental information (pp. 320 -321). To address confirmability, I documented the procedures I used for checking and rechecking the data throughout the study. I left a deta iled audit trail, which Lincol n and Guba (1985) consider crucial. Using this technique, I collected a nd maintained extensive data. I described in detail how data were collected, how categorie s in data analysis were derived, and how decisions were made throughout the study.
68 Participants and Sites I sought three fourth-grade teachers at th ree different schools in one southwest Florida school district to pa rticipate in my study. To dete rmine case study participants, two criteria were considered: (a) principals identify teachers as exemplary, and (b) teachers beliefs and practices align with a constructivist vi ew of teaching and learning. After a school district meeti ng, I met with five principals to outline the intent of my study. According to Booth and Rosewell (2002), pr incipals develop a schools capacity to have an impact on student achievement by k eeping a clear focus on the quality of the teaching, the literacy curriculum, and instruct ion and assessment. The principals with whom I selected to meet were those known to me to value this focus. They are concerned with the organizational cond itions in which teaching and learning occur and work to provide instructional and curri cular support for reading instru ction. They allow teachers to assume greater professional responsibil ity for developing proficient readers, and preserve the school climate from state standard ized tests. After I outlined the intent of this study (see Appendix A), three principals made the commitment to identify exemplary fourth-grade teachers. Principals used data collected from their regular classroom walkthroughs (Richardson, 2001) in conjunction with Allingtons (2000, 2002) framework of common features observed in exemplary fourth -grade reading classrooms to guide their identification of teachers. A walkthrough is an informal way for prin cipals to collect and record data about effective instruction and the schools success in achieving its instructional goals. In response to the current readi ng initiative that impacts ev ery Florida school, and in adherence to the school districts comprehensiv e reading plan, principa ls are required to
69 conduct classroom walkthroughs on a regular basis. Teachscape, a technology enabled professional development se rvices company, provides pr incipals the technology and training for collecting data while walking through a teachers classroom (www.teachscape.com). Data is collected using an online platform and is used to identify trends and patterns that assist in targ eting professional deve lopment. Certified Teachscape trainers prepare principals for conducting walkthroughs. As standard practice following the training, principals are required to walk through teachers classrooms to look for the following categor ies that promote student achievement: (a) focus on curriculum, (b) focus on instruction, (c) fo cus on the learner, (d) focus on classroom environment, and (e) focus on the needs of all learners. Data collected from the classroom walkth roughs are based on standard look-fors within certain categories that are describe d in detail and prompted by guiding questions. The look-fors include but are not limited to th e following: identific ation of the learning objective, identification of the instructional practices, identificati on of student grouping format, identification of instructional material s, determining the level of student work in regard to Blooms (1956) taxonomy, determin ing levels of class engagement, and determining elements in the classroom envi ronment that support the lesson and are generally conducive to learning. These look-fors are not weighted a nd do not place value judgments on teachers. Rather, they represen t categories of general characteristics of effective teaching. Allingtons (2000, 2002) framework of co mmon features observed in exemplary fourth-grade reading classrooms was used in conjunction with the walkthroughs to guide principals identification of exemplary four th-grade teachers. According to Allington,
70 exemplary fourth-grade reading teachers: (a) facilitate classroom talk that is process oriented and fosters teacher/student and student/student interaction; (b) use multiple sources for instruction and ensure appropria te complexity in reading materials; (c) routinely give direct, explicit demonstrations of thinking strategies; (d) en gage students in extensive reading and writing activities; (e) ev aluate student work and base grades more on effort and improvement than achievement of an a priori standard; and (f) allocate time for extensive prac tice in reading. The schools these principals serve vary in type and demographics to offer a broad picture of teaching. One school serves preK through fifth grade and is embarking on implementing the Internationa l Baccalaureate Primary Years Program (PYP). The PYP combines research and practice from a range of global education systems. The focal point is to promote the use of inquiry to drive the focus of instruction. The school provides rigorous academic research projects as well as foreign language studies to support the international perspective of the curriculum. The school is located in a low socioeconomic suburban area and classified as Titl e I because it serves a high percentage of students who are on free or reduced lunch. Currently 400 students, ranging from prekindergarten to fifth grade, are enrolled in the school. There are four fourth-grade classrooms with approximately 15 student s each. The schools student population consists of 45% Hispanic, 37% African American, 13% Caucasian, and 4% Multicultural. Ninety-two percent of students are on free or reduced lunch. All classrooms ranging from pre-kindergarten to fifth-grade have access to the latest technology tools. The mission of the school is to devel op inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young
71 people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. Another school is consider ed a traditional elementary school and is located in a middle class suburban area. The school curr ently serves 585 students of which 74% are Caucasian, 14% are Hispanic, 6% are African American, and 6% are multicultural. Thirty-five percen t of students are on free or reduced lunch. The school is divided into grade level teams that work together to plan integrated units of st udy that support district goals and challenge students to become critical thinkers and problem-solvers as they apply their knowledge to real life situations. Te achers are responsible for teaching and assessing Language Arts, Math, Social Studies, and Science. There are four fourth-grade classrooms at this school, each with a cl ass size of approximately 22 students. The third school is a suburban magnet elementary school of arts and communication. The mission of the school is to fo ster a love of lear ning in all students by promoting creativity and excellence in acad emics through a communications and arts theme. The districts curriculum is taught with an emphasis on the development of strong communication skills and the enhancement of each childs creativity. The staff nurtures the innovative, creative spirit in every child and is committed to the exciting and unique opportunities that communication and creative arts provide as a vehicle for mastery of academic learning. Both oral and written co mmunication are emphasized by integrating activities such as broadcasting, computer ap plications, journalism, writing, and foreign language. Students receive specialized in struction in drama, visual arts, vocal/instrumental music, and dance. The school is located in a low socio-economic suburban area and currently serves 849 stude nts of which 114 are in the fourth-grade.
72 These fourth-grade students are equally dispersed into five fourth-grade classrooms. The schools diverse student populat ion consists of 44% Caucasian students, 27% Hispanic students, 21% African American students, a nd 8% Bi-racial students. With 66% of the student body attending by choice, this is one of the most highly requested choice schools in the district. Cumulatively, principals identified a tota l of seven exemplary teachers as possible study participants. Once teachers were identifi ed, I contacted them personally to advise them of my research study a nd of the data collection pro cedures that would valuably inform it. I explained to teachers that I w ould be observing and examining their reading instruction because of my intere st in how teachers and students interact with each other. I did not mention the studys theoretical framew ork or the special interest I had in the questions teachers ask to engage students in talk about text. Theoretically, this study is grounded in so cial constructivism, which stems from the work of Vygotsky (1978). As discusse d in Chapter One (pp. 3-5), from this perspective common understand ing in the literature reflec ts the notion that teaching, learning, and the environment in social constr uctivist classrooms is founded on principles of learning focused on building personal in terpretations based on experiences and interactions. Social constructi vism focuses on the social natu re of learning on the bases that knowledge is socially constructed. With in the social constructivist frame, Phillips (1995) emphasizes the learners active part icipation and heightens recognition given to the social nature of learning. From his pers pective, coming to know something is not a spectator sport. Rather, coming to know is a participant sport, requiring each individual to become actively involved in his or her own learning. In this line of thinking, students
73 must talk about what they are learning, write about it, relate it to past experiences, and apply it to their daily lives. Teaching in a constructivist classroo m is geared to supporting knowledge construction by modeling and scaffolding within students zones of proximal development (Vygotsky, 1978). Dialogue is th e mode of discourse in constructivist classrooms. Dialogue is seen as a way for students to share their knowledge and thereby facilitate each others cons truction of knowledge (Vygotsky) Such discussion is the everyday implementation of the pr inciple that students must be active participants in their own learning (Chin et al., 2001). Constructiv ist teachers mediate th e community of the classroom so the discussion enables students to develop intellectually, and they put in place scaffolds that enable students to devel op within their zone of proximal development (Moll, 1990). Simply stated, classrooms supporting the principles of social constructivism structure learni ng around broad concepts and embed learning in a social context (Cazden, 2001; Chin, Anderson, & Waggoner, 2001; Gilles & Pierce, 2003, Mehan, 1979). While constructivism is a theory about learning not a description of teaching (Fosnot, 1996, p. 29), attempts have been made in the field of reading to operationally define constructivist teachers so that classroom teachers can more rapidly apply constructivist theory to classroom prac tice (Lenski, Wham, & Griffey, 1997). For example, Lenski, Wham, & Griffey define th e constructivist teacher as one who uses whole text and integrated instruction, teach es using primarily an inquiry approach, and views students as using prior knowledge to cons truct meaning to learn. Important here is the central idea that knowledge is socially c onstructed. To explore te achers beliefs about
74 literacy learning and classroom practic es these researchers developed a Literacy Orientation Survey (L.O.S.) (see Appendix A) based on te n principles consistent with a constructivist view of teaching and learning: (1) the teacher views literacy as a meaningmaking process; (2) the teacher facilitates ch ild-centered instruction; (3) the teacher creates an environment conducive to developi ng literacy skills; (4) the teacher provides effective instruction in strategic reading pr actices; (5) the teacher facilitates student writing; (6) the teacher employs flexible grouping; (7) the teacher provides instruction through a thematic approach that integrates subject matter across the curriculum; (8) the teacher employs meaningful assessment; (9) the teacher encourages parental involvement; and (10) the teacher enga ges in ongoing reflection (pp. 5-9). The L.O.S. was designed in two stages to measure the construct of teachers literacy beliefs and practices. The first stage of the survey consists of 15 theory based belief statements. The second stage of the survey consists of 15 statements that translate belief into classroom practice. The statements are designed to reflect the ten principles of constructivist approach es to literacy instruction. Stat ements include: I encourage my students to monitor their comprehension as th ey read; Reading inst ruction should always be delivered to the whole cl ass at the same time; I hold parent workshops or send home newsletters with ideas about how parents ca n help their children with school; When planning instruction, I take into account the needs of children by includ ing activities that meet their social, emotional, physical, and a ffective needs; and Students should be treated as individual learners rather than as a group. Response to each statement in the survey is plotted on a five point Likert scale anchored by descriptors su ch as strongly disagree and strongly agree or never and alwa ys. At the end of the survey response values are totaled.
75 The combined score from the survey aligns to principles in lear ning that distinguish whether the teachers beliefs and practices are consistent with a traditional or constructivist philosophy, or an eclectic mix of the two. Although the L.O.S. was field tested by its developers on 235 different teachers and factor analyzed to determine validity, I administered it to 12 different colleagues consisting of classroom teachers, reading co aches, and fellow doctoral students to gain a sense of confidence for the purpose of my study. Before completing the survey, I asked each of my colleagues to read the descriptors for traditional, constructivist, and eclectic teachers provided by the survey and to pred ict the orientation with which they would most closely align (Lenski, Wham, & Gri ffey, 1997). In terms of literacy learning put forth by the survey, the traditional teacher is described as one who uses traditional reading methods such as basal reading instruct ion, teaches primarily by direct instruction, and views students as vessels to be filled. Th e constructivist teacher is described as one who uses whole text and integrated instru ction, teaches using primarily an inquiry approach, and views students as using prio r knowledge to construct meaning to learn. The eclectic teacher is described as on e who uses some traditional and some constructivist reading methods, fr equently basalizes literatu re selections, and combines traditional and constructivist views about student learning. After my colleagues completed the survey, we scored and interpreted the survey in partnership. The L.O.S. accurately predic ted the theoretical orientation presupposed by 10 out of 12 colleagues. There were two disc repancies. One colleague felt she aligned more with behaviorist beliefs and practices but actually aligne d with the eclectic description. The other felt she aligned more with constructiv ist beliefs and practices but
76 actually aligned with the beha viorist description. While I can only speculate reasons for the discrepancies, the first colleague was pr eviously a reading intervention teacher who recently became a literacy coach frequently asked to reflect on literacy learning. The other was a teacher who was engaged in an in tense coaching cycle with her literacy coach revolving around inquiry based teaching and l earning which may have caused a shift in beliefs that have yet to translate to practice. As a viable way to determine the theore tical orientation of the seven possible study participants, each candida te was given the survey. Rese arch supports that teachers beliefs about literacy influence their in struction and assessmen t practices in the classroom. What is read, how it is read, whet her and how it is discussed, and the teachers beliefs about reading, learning and literature all influence the experiences students have with text (Galda, Ash, & Cullinan, 2000). I nvestigating exemplary teachers questioning moves during reading instruc tion, this research study sought a constructivist view of teaching and learning, opposed to a traditiona l or eclectic view. Th erefore, teachers who indicated their beliefs and pr actices align with a construc tivist view of teaching and learning, as described by the survey, were essential. While I recognize that a constructivist view does not guarantee a teacher will be inclined to more sophisticated questioning m oves, this study is designed on the premise that teachers who align with a constructivi st view of teaching and learning are more likely to engage students in talk about text. In simple terms, a constructivist view values the process of learning more than the final product and theoretically advocates that learning is a social activity that requires student interaction and engagement in the classroom. Conversely, a traditional vi ew is deeply rooted in behaviorist philosophy and
77 advocates teaching primarily by direct instru ction and valuing produc t over process. I used purposeful selection (Pa tton, 2002) to select one te acher from each school who indicated on the survey an alignment with a constructivist view of teaching and learning. Purposeful selection is a process research ers use to select a sample from which they can learn the most in regard to a partic ular area of interest. The benefit of purposeful selection is that it provides information-rich cases from which detailed information can be obtained (Berg, 2007; Merriman, 1998; Pa tton, 2002). The selection process was aided by a preliminary observation of each teacher who indicated a constructivist view of teaching and learning. A common notion theoretically advocated by the constructivist view is that learning is a soci al activity that requires stud ent interaction and engagement in the classroom. The preliminary observation focused on the ways in which the teacher interacted with and engaged the students in learning as a means to confirm a constructivist view. Once study participants were confirme d, the questioning moves they used to engage students in talk about text were plumbed, analyzed, and compared in an effort to provide a better understanding of th e nature of the language teachers use during reading instruction. Researcher Biases and Ethical Considerations This naturalistic inquiry was designed to provide close analysis of exemplary fourth-grade teachers questioning moves duri ng reading instruction. As such, I was the primary instrument for collecting and an alyzing data. Given human nature, it was important to identify myself, my perspective, and to recognize my biases in regard to teaching and learning.
78 I am a district curriculum specialist fo r language arts and former reading coach and classroom teacher in the district in which this study was conducted. As such, I hold certain values and beliefs in regard to teaching and learning. I value inquiry-based learning where students thinki ng and points of view are appr eciated. I value students as partners in learning and view literacy as a meaning making process. I believe the classroom climate is of paramount importa nce and should be conducive to developing strategic readers. My long-standing employme nt with the school district affords me familiarity with the three school sites, and I have a positive professional relationship with all three principals. This prof essional relationship allowed me to have confidence that the principal of each site is the instructional leader and mainta ins a clear focus on the quality of the teaching, the literacy curriculum, and instruction and assessment. To keep my biases in check, I kept a researchers reflec tive journal. I wrote in my reflective journal about the data collection process and data anal ysis process. I record ed thoughts and ideas generated during data collecti on and analysis as well as in sights and questions. I also engaged in reflexivity, a process of se lf-reflection about pot ential biases and predispositions (Johnson & Christensen, 2004). I heeded Pattons (2002) suggestions and constantly asked myself, What do I know? and How do I know what I know? Data collection and analysis were mediated through my perspectives and biases. However, I made extensive provisions for trustworthiness and committed myself to accurately and objectively portraying the nature of the questioning moves used by each teacher. To further minimize my biases, I had a fellow doctoral candidate specialized in reading and trained in qualit ative research methods examine randomly selected portions of transcripts and videotapes for each teacher This co-rater was asked to first identify
79 teachers questions, then to verify my identi fication of categorical codes. To determine interrater reliability, we combined our prel iminary identification of questioning moves and discussed how each fit into the identif ied categories. For questioning moves that presented discrepancies, we reanalyzed th e questioning move identified and resolved discrepancies by revisiting our interpretations as supported by evidence in the data. Of the questioning moves identified, we retained those with 100% agreement. I collected data via observational field not es, videotapes, and interviews in order to analyze the questioning moves of exempl ary teachers. The observations, videotaped lessons, and follow-up interviews and their tr anscripts were combined to triangulate the data (Denzin, 1970). Triangulation further decr eased the possibility of researcher bias and increased credibility because data were confirmed by multiple data sources. Further, investigator triangulation was employed b ecause I had a second person trained in qualitative methods examine transcripts and vi deotapes to cross-ch eck categorization of the questioning moves used (Johnson & Christensen, 2004). Ethics Ethical considerations were of param ount importance in designing this study. I considered appropriate levels of accountabi lity, informed consent, and professionalism. This study was conducted with exemplary four th-grade teachers in their classrooms. Following the code of ethics for conducti ng such a study, I went through Institutional Review Board (IRB) training to ensure that I understood the consid erations of human studies. Then I applied for IRB approval. I also received approval from the appropriate gate keepers in the school district within which this study was conducted. I did this by requesting a meeting with the superintendent of schools. At the meeting we discussed the
80 proposed research investigation along with the potential risks a nd benefits of asking teachers to participate in the study. To guide the discussion, an outline of the proposed research was presented. The outline consisted of the proposed purpose, participants, data collection methods, significan ce of the study, and potential risks and benefits (see Appendix B). Questions and concerns were appropriately addressed. Once necessary approval to conduct the study was obtained and study participants were identified, I set up a meeting with the principals and teachers to describe my research plan and to obtain informed consent. I gave consent forms that outlined the potential risks and benefits of participating in the study to teachers to send home with each student. Once approval was granted from the parents of these children, I met with the class to explain that I would be ob serving, taking notes, a nd videotaping their classroom during reading instruction and re porting what I learne d in a descriptive narrative account. Confidentiality was mainta ined for the duration of the study. Participants and school sites were given pseudonyms. These pseu do names were used when discussing the data with peers and in reporti ng the findings. All data is stor ed in a locked office in my home to further ensure confidentiality. Data Collection Methods and Data Analysis Procedures To build a comprehensive picture of each case, I employed various and overlapping data collection methods. Accordi ng to Yin (2003) a major strength of case study data collection is employing multiple so urces. For each case in this study, data collection consisted of two in terviews supported by a digita l recorder, three classroom observations supported by field notes, a nd two videotapes supported by extended
81 interviews with the teachers to glean a d eeper understanding of their instructional decisions for the questioning moves used. Thro ughout the study I collected data in depth and detail, and was the instrument for the data collection proce ss (Patton, 2002). Given that the primary purpose of th is study was to investigate and describe the nature of questioning moves that three exemplary f ourth-grade teachers used during reading instruction while demonstrating the research process of a doctoral dissertation, a timeline for data collection was illustrated (see Appe ndix C) along with the phases in which this study would be conducted (see Appendix D). The data collection methods employed during this time frame allowed explicit attention to the research focus. Table 1 illustrates data collection methods and data analysis procedures that I used for each guiding question. Table 1: Data Collection Methods and Data Analysis Procedures Question Data Collection Data Analysis What is the nature of the questioning moves exemplary fourth-grade teachers use during reading instruction? Classroom observational field notes, video tape, digital recorder, interview transcripts Conversation Analysis (Moerman, 1988); Pattern Analysis (Miles & Huberman, 1994; Patton, 2002); Interview Analysis (Hycner, 1985; Rubin & Rubin, 2005) What do exemplary fourthgrade teachers describe as influencing their use of questioning moves within the reading program? Individual interviews, classroom observation field notes Pattern Analysis (Miles & Huberman, 1994; Patton, 2002); Interview Analysis (Hycner, 1985; Rubin & Rubin, 2005)
82 Within the data collection period, I engaged each teacher in two focused interviews. Interviews were conducted personto-person at the part icipants school site, were digitally recorded, and lasted appr oximately one hour. The first interview was guided by focus questions and was conducted in a conversational styl e to encourage and sustain active participati on (Denzin & Lincoln, 2005; Pa tton, 2002). An interview protocol was used as the data collection t ool and was given to study participants in advance of the interview. The protocol used for the first interview (see Appendix E) was designed to include open-ended focus questio ns to gain insight into each teachers literacy beliefs, practices, and philosophies and was conducted prior to classroom observations. The second interview (Appe ndix F) was conducted in an informal conversational style to allow flexibility in pur suing identified gaps in data collection and responsiveness to each teacher (Patton, 2002) The second interview was conducted after all classroom observations took place. In both interviews, probes were used to draw out additional information. With each interview, I requested permission for using a digital recorder. These recordings were used to cap ture all talk from the interviews and to provide accuracy for analysis. I immediatel y transcribed the recordings into a word processing document. The transcribed interviews were sent to each study participant for member checking to ensure accuracy of their responses. After the transcribed interviews were checked, I used open coding (Patton, 2002) to identify initial categories and broad themes. I looked for patterns in direct quotes and common themes. The themes and patterns that emerged were compared with my field notes to check for congruency. Observations of the uninterrupted 90 -minute reading block were conducted throughout the data collection period. The 90-minute readi ng block, as described by the
83 districts K-12 comprehensive reading pla n, requires a protected uninterrupted 90 minutes of time per day for reading instruc tion. The first 30 minutes of the required 90minute block is intended for whole group instru ction from the core reading program. The remainder of the block is intended for te achers to work with students to provide differentiated instruction us ing the core reading program or supplemental reading materials. In my field notes I strove for t hick descriptions (Geer tz, 1973) of what I observed to maximize data discovery and to allow for transferabi lity. I recorded field notes on a laptop computer and identified data collection by teacher name, date, time, and context. Field notes were entered into a word processing document and followed the format described by Patton, (2002), with desc riptive, concrete, and detailed notes recorded on the right side of the page, a nd with feelings, reactions, insights, and interpretations recorded on the left. To uphold descriptive validity (Johnson & Christensen, 2004) I used discussion parame ters developed by Wilkinson, Murphy, and Soter (2003, 2005) (see Appendix G) to guide the observations. As suggested by Merriam (1998) field notes were recorded in detail immediately following each observation to form the database for analysis. Data collection also involved videotaping two additional uninterrupted 90-minute reading blocks for each teacher. Videotapes pr ovide rich data for the study of talk and interaction (Denzin & Lincoln, 2005). Data co llection focused on the language teachers used to engage students in talk about text. Thus, close attention wa s given to teacher and students verbal interactions surrounding text. Following my review of each taping, I shared pertinent segments of the videot ape with each teacher to glean a deeper understanding of their instruc tional decisions for the ques tioning moves used. I created
84 elaborated field notes based on the discussi ons I had with each teacher regarding the stimulated recall prompted by the videotapes These field notes served clarification purposes. Additionally, a second observer trai ned in qualitative methods viewed the videotaped segments for each teacher to veri fy the categorization of teachers questioning moves. The Role of the Researcher The role a researcher adop ts to conduct observations is conceptualized on a continuum with two end poles ranging from complete participant to complete observer (Merriman, 1998; Patton, 2002; Yin, 2003). In this study, I was a non-participant observer conducting direct observations in each classroom (Patton, 2002). As such, I openly took notes while experiencing the activ ities of the classroom but did not overtly participate in any activities. According to Patton (2002), c onducting direct observations provides many benefits to the researcher incl uding: (a) the researcher is better able to understand and capture the context within which people interact; (b) the first hand experience enables researchers to be open, discovery oriented, and inductive; (c) the opportunity for the researcher to see impor tant nuances that may routinely escape awareness among the people in the setting becau se their routines are taken for granted; (d) a chance to learn information on sensitiv e topics that study pa rticipants would be unwilling to discuss in an interview; (e) the opportunity to move beyond the selective perception of others to give a more comprehe nsive view of the set ting being studied; and (f) the ability to draw on personal knowledge during the fo rmal interpreta tion stage of analysis (pp. 262-264).
85 While I made every effort to keep the observations casual and unobtrusive in nature, my presence was known to the class, which may have influenced, at least to a small degree, teacher-student and student-st udent interactions. Merriam (1998) cautions regardless of the role the researcher adopts, one cannot help but affect and be affected by the setting, and this in teraction may lead to a distorti on of the researched situation. Therefore, the effect of my presence was ta ken into consideration in the analysis and interpretation of the data. Data Analysis As a qualitative study, the goal of this research was to gain an in-depth understanding of the questioning moves used by exemplary fourth-grade teachers during reading instruction. Therefore, data anal ysis was inductive and ongoing and I employed a range of interconnected interpretive pract ices. I used pattern analysis (Miles & Huberman, 1994; Patton, 2002), interview an alysis (Hycner, 1985), and conversation analysis (Moerman, 1988) to make sense of data gathered from interviews, observational field notes, digital recordings, and videotapes. Data analysis was conducted in two stages. First data were separately analyzed within ea ch case to build each teachers profile. Then data were juxtaposed for the purpose of co mparison. When I refer to data in Chapter Four, I identify the data source. For example, I refer to interview transcripts as either Interview A (IA) or Interview B (IB). Simila rly, I refer to observa tional field notes as Observation 1 (O1), Observation 2 (O2), or Ob servation 3 (O3), and videotapes as either Videotape 1 (V1) or Videotape 2 (V2). Pattern analysis. Pattern analysis (Miles & Huberman, 1994; Patton, 2002) was used to organize data into meaningful components. Identification of the questioning
86 moves required careful observat ion and line by line analysis of transcripts. I looked for patterns by coding direct quotes and by bri nging together common ideas. I reviewed raw data several times to locate emerging patterns. This process is often referred to as open coding (Patton, 2002; Strauss & Corbin, 1990). The purpose of coding is to reach an understanding of the topic of interest Throughout data collection, I named and expounded upon tentative patterns in an effort to group data into cate gories. According to Patton (2002), the goal is to create descrip tive, multi-dimensional categories that form a preliminary framework for analysis. Throughout data analysis redundant patterns were eliminated and ambiguous patterns were refine d. Patterns were pieced together to form a comprehensive picture of each case. Interview analysis Interview analysis was used to organize participants responses in such a way that overall patterns emerge. I gene rated open-ended questions to ask the study participants at the beginning of the study to get to teachers underlying philosophy and asked responsive questions at the end of the study. I used Hycners (1985) suggestions to guide the analysis of data obtained from the interviews. I organized responses so that overall patte rns emerge. I used inductive an alysis to recognize concepts and themes central to the resear ch topic (Rubin & Rubin, 2005). Conversation analysis Conversation analysis is a method that studies the social nature of everyday talk in interaction. This method was used for its promise to provide a thick context for describing the questioning m oves exemplary fourth-grade teachers use. The data collected captured as much of the conversation as possible between the teacher and her students. The analysis process involve d carefully reading the transcripts for each case several times to gain a holistic sense of the data. Data were analyzed line by line
87 first for the identification of units of m eaning. These units of meaning were assigned construct names that came directly from the data. Constructs that developed from the emerging data were then deductively analy zed. Discussion parameters such as those identified by Wilkinson, Murphy, and Soter ( 2003; 2005), which include control of topic, interpretive authority, and control of turn-taking, provi ded the basis for examining the participants conversation. This allowed for a careful, deta iled look at teacher/student interaction. Questioning moves were identi fied within and among these interactions. Using talk as data allowed me to examine s ubtle discussion parameters in the classroom, as well as participation structures that determined the verbal traffic flow. All forms of data were reviewed i mmediately upon collection. To develop a successively deeper understanding of each case during the study, I engaged in interim analysis (Miles & Huberman, 1994), meaning that data collection and analysis worked in a cyclical fashion throughout the study to both manage the data and to refine my developing understanding.
88 Chapter Four Results Weve taught you that the earth is round That red and white make pink, And something else that matters more Weve taught you how to think. Hooray for Diffendoofer Day! (Dr. Seuss) This chapter presents the description and the analysis of data. After a brief introduction, it begins with identification of the participating teacher s and a description of their school sites. Next, a ho listic portrayal of each case is presented. To understand the nature of the questioning moves used during re ading instruction to e ngage students in talk about text and what influences teachers use of questioning moves, it is necessary to first describe the instructional cont ext; therefore, I describe bo th the classroom where reading instruction occurred and the instructional ma terials used. Then an explanation of the patterns that emerged in the inst ructional context is presented. This section of the analysis presents the patterns and characteristics uni que for each teacher. Within the analysis presentation of each case, I address the research questions separately and in order. After I present the results for each case separately, th e data from each case is brought together for comparison of their similarities and differences. The chapter concludes with a summary of the results.
89 Introduction The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine and describe the nature of questioning moves used by exemplary fourth-g rade teachers during reading instruction. Another point of interest was to determin e how teachers perceive the influence of instructional materials on the language they us e to engage students in talk about text. Two broad questions guided this study to provide a window into exemplary teachers fourth-grade classrooms dur ing reading instruction: 1. What is the nature of the questioning moves exemplary teachers use in fourthgrade classrooms during reading instruction? 2. What do exemplary fourth-grade teachers describe as influencing their use of questioning moves within the reading program? The intent was to closely analyze the teach ers use of questioning moves to engage students in talk about text. Questioning moves are defined in this study as the ways in which teachers use scaffolding questions to engage students in talk about text. The first question focused on the questioning moves exemplary fourth-grade teachers used during reading instruction to enga ge students in talk about text. It required descriptive observations and anal ysis of digital recordings an d videotape to determine the relationship of the teachers questioning m oves to student engagement with text. Additionally, teachers were provided 2-3 minut e segments of video recordings of their interaction with students to prompt reflection of their in structional decisions for the questioning moves used. The second question sought answers to how the use of instructional materials was related to the teachers language use, the teach ers perceptions of th eir use of materials,
90 and the decisions made about their delivery of instruction. The s econd question joined interview questions with observations and surveys to explore teachers perceptions, knowledge base, and delivery of instruction. To fully answer the research questions data analysis techniques included interview analysis, pattern analysis, and c onversation analysis. Throughout the analysis process, data sources were triangulated to decr ease the possibility of researcher bias. To increase credibility, findings were confirme d by multiple data sources. Further, a second person trained in qualitative methods examined transcripts and videot apes to cross-check the questioning moves used. Participants and their School Sites Three teachers were proposed for particip ation in this study. However, this study is comprised of only two teachers. Due to this studys research design, three fourth-grade teachers considered exemplary by their princi pals and who align with a constructivist view of teaching and learning as determined by a Literacy Orientation Survey (L.O.S.) (Lenski, Wham, & Griffey, 1997) were sought. Principals identified a total of seven exemplary teachers as possible study partic ipants. Although three teachers out of the seven were initially identified by their L.O.S. score as aligning with a constructivist view of teaching and learning, only two of the three teachers demonstrated instructional practices that mirrored their professe d beliefs about teaching and learning. While the third teacher was considered ex emplary by her principal and considered herself to align with constr uctivist views of teaching and learning, the selection process was aided by a preliminary observation that focused on the ways in which the teachers interacted with and engaged students in le arning. Within the instructional time observed
91 for the third teacher, prompted writing seem ed to take preceden ce over reading which limited opportunities for reading and discussions about text. Therefore, the preliminary observation for the third teacher was exte nded. I observed this teachers 90-minute reading block for a period of ten-days, wh ich yielded 900 minutes of observational field notes and transcripts. These da ta sources were supported by a digital recorder to capture the essence of teacher-student interactions. The data collected revealed that key beliefs and practices with which this teacher strongly agreed or disagreed on the L.O.S. were not evident in her teaching, nor were they evid ent in the learning experiences she provided her students. For example, the teacher strongly agreed with the statement I schedule time every day for self-selecte d reading and writing experi ences and strongly disagreed with the statement Reading instruction should always be delivered to the whole class at the same time. But observations of the 90-minute reading block revealed teacher directed reading and writing experiences w ith learning opportunities provided primarily in whole group settings. In terms of reading experiences, one example I observed that indicated a mismatch for the purpose of this study was that every st udent (including those identified as struggling read ers and second-language learners ) read the same grade-level reading sheet (a story written on a f ourth-grade reading level followed by comprehension questions). Students were dire cted to read the sheet independently and to answer the questions that followed. In subsequent observations the teacher passed the graded reading sheet back to students. Sh e asked students to look at their graded performance and challenged them to reread th e story to find the correct answer read the question over until you understa nd it, then reread the paragr aph to find the answer (O1). During this time, the teacher pulled a small gr oup of students to bring attention to the low
92 grade they received on the reading sheet and to briefly discuss with them why they might have missed a question. I did not observe studen ts self-selection of text so I questioned the teacher about time given to self-selected read ing material. She suggested, because of time restrictions in class, students read self-selected books at home. In terms of writing experiences, I obse rved students contributing to a story constructed by the teacher in re sponse to a prompt. In a whole class setting, the teacher asked the students to consider the prompt and to contribute their thinking to add to the story. Students raised their hand, the teacher called on a student to respond, the student responded and the teacher evalua ted the students thinking; e ither accepting or rejecting the students input. Another example of a mismatch was in regard to read alouds. The teacher strongly agreed with the statement Teacher s should read aloud to students on a daily basis. However, I observed read alouds conducted by various students, each reading portions of the text directed by the teacher. After each student read aloud their portion of the text, the teacher audibly offered r ecommendations to enhance their reading performance in regard to fluency and stra tegy use before signaling the next reader. The intention of the pr olonged observational period wa s not to evaluate this teachers instructional practices. Rather, to confirm her as a match for study participation. Concerns raised from 900 minut es of observational field note s and related transcripts in regard to this teachers match to the criteria for study participation were shared with the Major Professor of the doctoral committee. The Major Professor reviewed fieldnotes and transcripts, and listened to digital record ings of teacher-student interactions, and subsequently confirmed that the data colle cted supported a mismatch for the purpose of
93 this study. The teachers reported instructiona l beliefs on the L.O.S. were incompatible with the instructional practices observed. Thus her alignment with a constructivist view of teaching and learning as identified by the L.O.S. was disconfirmed. Since this studys design aligns with a constructivist view of teaching and learning, the entire doctoral committee was advised of this limitation. Afte r consultation, I focu sed data collection efforts on the other two teachers who exhibi ted compatible beliefs and practices. The two participating teachers in this st udy are from separate school sites. Both teachers and school sites have been given pse udo names. The first teacher, Carla, teaches fourth-grade at Mangrove Elementary. This school serves pre-K through fifth grade and is embarking on implementing the Interna tional Baccalaureate Primary Years Program (PYP). The PYP combines research and pr actice from a range of global education systems. The focal point is to promote the use of inquiry to drive th e focus of instruction. The school provides rigorous academic resear ch projects as well as foreign language studies to support the internati onal perspective of the curriculum. The school is located in a low socio-economic suburban area and is classi fied as Title I because it serves a high percentage of students who are on free or reduced lunch. Currently 400 students, ranging from pre-kindergarten to fi fth grade, are enrolled in the school. The schools student population consists of 45% Hispanic, 37% African American, 13% Caucasian, and 4% Multi-cultural. Ninety-two percent of a ttending students are on fr ee or reduced lunch. The mission of the school is to devel op inquiring, knowledgeable, and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.
94 There are four fourth-grade classrooms at this school serving approximately 15 students each. Of the 15 stude nts in Carlas class, 4 are African American, 4 are Caucasian, 5 are Hispanic, and 2 are multicultu ral. Although this is Carlas first year teaching in this school district, she has taught fourth-grade for 10 years. She brings teaching experiences from Title 1 schools in both California and North Carolina. The second teacher, Martha, teaches four th-grade at Palm Elementary school. This school is considered a tr aditional elementary school and is located in a middle class suburban area. The school currently serves 585 students of which 74% are Caucasian, 14% are Hispanic, 6% are African America n, and 6% are multicultural. Thirty-five percent of attending students are on free or reduced lunch. The school is divided into grade level teams that work together to plan integrated units of st udy that support district goals and challenge students to become critical thinkers and problem-solvers as they apply their knowledge to real life situations. Te achers are responsible for teaching and assessing Language Arts, Math, So cial Studies, and Science. There are four fourth-grade classrooms at this school, each with a class size of approximately 22 students. Mart has class is made up of 18 Caucasian, 2 Hispanic, and 2 multicultural students. There are no African Am erican students in her class. Martha has served this school as a fourth-grade teacher fo r 4 years and has been in this school district for 18 years serving at one other school si te located across town in a lower socioeconomic neighborhood. Carla Carla is a tall and slender Caucasian woman with kind eyes and a soft-spoken voice. She has a calming presence and dresse s comfortably to atte nd to the work of
95 teaching. Carla teaches fourth-grade at Mangrove Elementary School. Her teaching experiences span 10 years and mostly co me from working with children from lowincome families and in schools with high num bers of non-English speaking students. In addition to being inviting and approachable, I found Carla to have an easy, confident way about her. Carla feels her responsibility in regard to teaching reading in fourth-grade is to enrich students language by talking with them in ways that promote deeper levels of engagement with texts. She says, I have th e responsibility to transfer the responsibility for reading to students and to provide opportunities for them to do that. I can do that by putting different genres in front of them a nd by teaching them about behaviors they need as readers and guiding their attempts (IA). Carla believes reading is interactive. She says, I believe students need to interact with text, stop and think, act metacognitively, and need to have the opportunity to respond to reading and to reflect on what theyre learning from reading (IA). Instructional Context I observed Carlas reading instruction from 10:30 A.M. to 12:00 P.M. on five separate occasions, which yielded 450 mi nutes of observational field notes and transcripts. Two of the five observations were supported by videotape. For reading instruction, Carla employs an instructional model similar to that of a reading workshop, which extends beyond the states required 90 minutes of daily uni nterrupted reading instruction. The model she employs provides a consistent routine of 30 minutes for a whole group strategy lesson to identify the purpose for reading, 45 minutes of independent reading with one-to-one reading conferences, and 30 minutes of read aloud.
96 Word study takes place for 15 minutes directly after reading workshop but was outside the 90 minute data collection window so was therefore not observed. Reading instruction predomin ately takes place in two ma in areas of the classroom. One area is devoted to whole-group literacy instruction and takes up half of the classroom. One-fourth of this space makes up the gathering area where the whole class meets for strategy lessons and read alouds. A ll talking and sharing in regard to the strategy lessons and read alouds take place in partnerships at the gathering area. When students are called to the gathering area, they sit with their thinking partner in staggered pairs on the carpet. Thinking part ners are established early in the year and are determined according to their reading level, which is derived from the Developmental Reading Assessment (Beaver, 1997) and periodically confirmed by running r ecords (Clay, 1993) to ensure a close match. Carla explains that students learn the responsibility they have to each other through thinking partner conversa tions that are modeled, practiced, and reinforced (V1). As a central meeting ground, the gathering area has a rug, an easel with both a white board and chart paper st and, colored markers, a supply bin full of Post-it notes, and a large book basket with purposef ully selected texts for strategy lessons and read alouds. One wall bordering the gathering area reflects what students are working on. Carla posts current thinking charts and purpose statements in regard to reading, as well as talking agreements to ensure equity in discussion tim e. The area also has furniture, plants, lamps, and a short stool for Carla to sit on while r eading aloud or writing on the easel. The other fourth of this space is made up of bookshelves. On the shelves are many organized baskets of books. The books are marked by leve l and reflect a wide range of genres and
97 interests. The baskets are labeled by the type of book they house (i.e. Spanish books, nonfiction natural disasters, science, Ne wberry Award Winners, humorous fiction, fictional animals, fantasy, science fiction, fa vorite authors, and books that will touch your heart). The bookshelves are at a height that is easily accessible by students. Near the bookshelves is a sign up sheet for book shopping . Each day at a devoted time outside the reading block four or five students si gn up to go shopping for a weeks worth of books. Stacks of magazines and newspa pers are also in this area. The other instructional area is in the second half of th e room, which is flanked by two tables. One is a kidney-shaped table with a teacher chair and four student chairs at the back of the room. The other is a rectangular table at the front of the room that holds the Elmo, LCD projector and teaching materi als pertinent to the lesson. The students desks are grouped in between these tables in teams of six. There is lamp-light and more plants on this side of the room. Also a me dia cart that houses the television and the student editions of the basal series. Students spend 45 minutes of instructional reading time at their desk where they engage in independent reading and one-to-o ne conferencing with Carla. Beside each students desk is a book basket that is filled with five or six self-selected texts and a reading response journal (RRJ) that houses their thinking shee ts. The thinking sheet is a graphic organizer that captures students thoughts about what they are reading and it is used in conferences with Carla, conversa tions with other readers, and it serves accountability purposes for their reading work. On top of each students desk are supply bins, a mini garbage can for trash, and a cli pboard to aid organizat ion. Carla roams this area to conference with individual st udents during their independent reading.
98 Carla articulates a thorough knowledge of the reading experiences she wants to provide her students (IA). Next, I describe in detail each component of her reading instruction; strategy lesson, i ndependent reading with one-to-one conferences, and read aloud. I discuss Carlas role in promoting and sustaining talk about text, and the characteristics of students talk. I also illustra te instruction with transcripts that pull the purpose for reading from the strategy lesson to the independent reading and one-to-one conferences, to the read aloud. Strategy Lesson. To launch reading instructi on, Carla invites students to the gathering area for a 30-minute strategy lesson. Students quickly and quietly assemble on the carpet next to thei r thinking partner. Carl a sits on a low portable stool at the head of the group and leans in to connect with students and to orient students to the reading work at hand. She introduces the purposefully select ed text for the stra tegy lesson and holds it in her lap so it seems more like a read aloud than a lesson. With this text, Carla demonstrates a general strategy that can be a pplied to other texts. Throughout the strategy lesson Carla utilizes the easel and chart paper to emphasize teaching points and to capture students thinking. The texts c hosen by Carla for strategy less ons are considered by her to be exemplary models of childrens lite rature, referred to as mentor texts. During the data collection period, I observed strategy lessons on character analysis using the book Mufaros Beautiful Daughters by John Steptoe, how characters change over time using the book Mirette on the High Wire by Emily Arnold McCully, recognizing the setting and its importance to understanding the story using the books Night in the Country by Cynthia Rylant and Marios Mayan Journey by Michelle McCunney, and plot line using the The Story of Hungbu and Nolbu retold by Kang
99 Tae-hyon While the instructional focus of each st rategy lesson differs, the flow of the lesson follows a consistent structure as c onfirmed by field notes and videotapes. The structure witnessed for each strategy lesson is setting the purpose for reading, thinking aloud to demonstrate the use of the strategy, providing talk time for students, and restating the purpose for reading in a way that is generalizable to the students selfselected texts. To set the purpose for reading, Carla begins by telling the students the purpose for their reading work to orient their focus; fo r example, readers infe r about characters and support their thinking with evidence from th e text (O1). Carla says, I believe the purpose for reading should always be grounded in text, and I orient our reading each day by stating and clarifying the purpose for reading. I believ e building the foundation for this is necessary to bring students up to a le vel where they can be active readers, and I work hard to establish such an environment (IA). The texts Carla uses for strategy lessons are purposely chosen to explicitly model the purpose for reading and to set expectations for the students independent reading work. To demonstrate the use of a strategy in the reading moment, Carla makes her thinking public by saying what is coming into her mind as she reads. She pauses to say what she is thinking, highlight s the strategy connection, then she debriefs the strategy use and connects it to their purpose for reading. To provide talk time for students, Carla strategically plans stopping points during her strategy lesson that promise students ac tive engagement with text. Stopping points to solicit student-student talk are marked in the text with Post-it notes. To signal talk time she says 1-2-3, knee to knee and indicates whic h thinking partner shares first to initiate
100 student-student discussions about text (1-2-3, knee to knee, Bs share first). Students turn to face their thinking partner. Sitting in clos e proximity of their th inking partner allows students a quick transition from listening to ta lking. While students discuss the text, Carla roams partnerships and listens in on stude nts conversations. She does not interrupt student-student talk. Rather, she listens in on what students say to their thinking partner and jots notes about what she hears in her conferring notebook To allow equal talk time Carla says, 3-2-1 B is done, its As time to share. After the allotted talk time, Carla says, 3-2-1 talking is done and the students readjust to fa ce her. The first thing Carla does when the students are back in whole group is echo what she heard from the student partnerships. She also charts students thinki ng which signals that sh e values it (O1; O2; O3; V1; V2). To restate the purpose for reading in a way that is generalizable to students selfselected texts, Carla restates the purpose of the strategy lesson, tells what she explicitly modeled and how it can transfer to the text they are independ ently reading, and then sets expectations for students independent reading time. Independent Reading with One-to-One Conferences. As a way to meet individual students needs, a substantial portion (45 minutes) of Carlas reading instruction is devoted to differentiated teaching in indivi dualized reading conferences. Most often Carla holds these one-to-one teacher/student reading conferences at the students desk where students are reading their self-selected te xt. She carries her low stool with her from student to student. She positions the stool along side the student so she is sitting at the students eye level. Like th e strategy lessons, Carlas reading conferences follow a predictable structure. She obser ves the students reading work for use of strategies; asks
101 subtle questions in a quiet tone; decides what to emphasize; names what reading work the student did; and highlights su ccessful attempts, reminding the student to do this with other texts read in the future. Carla consults her conferring notes be fore engaging students in a reading conference. She begins each conference by asking the broad question, What have you been working on today as a reader? The stude nt responds and Carla listens intently and appears fascinated by what she hears. During each conference, she allows the student to direct where the conference will go. She listens intently and thinks about what she knows about each reader and how much support she th inks the reader needs. While conferencing Carla stays within the students line of thinking. She softly as ks a few questions to gently nudge the student toward the purpose for reading. Once the question is posed she offers extended wait time, which puts the responsibil ity for thinking on the reader. She coaches the student through difficulties with text to build toward independence. She uses phrases like Im noticing and what you just told me is to strategically call attention and add detail to the students reading work so th e student knows more about what he/she has done well that will benefit his/her future re ading work. Carla jots her conferencing notes on a form attached to her clipboard (the fo rm is later transferre d to her conferencing notebook). Between conferences, Carla roams the room to check in on other readers. She carries her conferencing note book to jot down assessment information and observations. Conferences last 5-7 minutes and appear to be efficient as Carla gleans information from readers to inform future instruction. Carla sa ys conferencing is an important component of my reading instruction because it gives me insight to each student as a reader. She
102 also explains, what I learn from the one-toone conferences often drives the formation and instruction of the invita tional small group lessons (IB). Carla uses a warm tone during reading conferences and there is a te nder relationship evident with each student. At the end of each conference Carla compleme nts the student and reinforces their selfmonitoring behaviors. She also clarifies the dire ction they will take next (V1; V2). At the end of the independent reading time Carla reconvenes the cla ss at the gathering area. She uses information gleaned from the reading conferences, in regard to students experiences with text, as a way to illustrate the reading purpose. For example: Roman noticed he has to go back in the text to be very specific about his thinking. He thought one of his characters was sad but he realized that he had to go back into the text to support his thinking as a reader. So, o.k., think about that when you read. Ask yourself are you really r eading and thinking about focusing on using the text to support your thinking? You always have to go back to the text and prove it, prove it, prove it! Also when I was talking to Dora, we noticed that sometimes characters have names from other countries and when we read an unfamiliar name like that of a character from another country, we sometimes just skip on over that and we kind of dont rec ognize it. Dora had to go back to the text to clarify who the characters were. Devin was noticing that the character in the story was called by two names. He sai d, oh, I noticed that the character has two different names in the story. One is like her nickname that her family uses at home, and one is her real name. Nola not iced something else, the text told her straight out that one of th e characters was cross and spiteful, but Nola was a little unsure of what that meant so she read on and then she recognized what that meant by how the characters spoke like, I hate you!, I hate you!, like they were in a rage, it helped Nola to determine that sp iteful and cross meant mean and hateful. So, good job, good thinking readers! (O1). Ground rules for independent reading a nd one-to-one conferencing are firmly established as students exhib it sustaining reading behaviors driven by reflection on their reading behaviors and goals. No off-task be haviors were observed (V1; V2). While Carla holds one-to-one conferences, the other stude nts work independently on the task of reading their self-selected text and recording their reading wo rk on their thinking sheet or
103 in their (RRJ). To ensure readability and students ability to focus on the text, Carla previews students self-selections. I mmediately following the debriefing from independent reading time, Ca rla conducts a read aloud. Read Aloud. Carla places importance on planning for the read aloud. The choice of text is her first important decision. Sh e considers the purpose for reading and how the text can support or lead the reading work students do independently. For example, when the purpose for reading was inferring about ch aracters the class engaged in strategy work on using evidence from the text to support th eir thinking about a character. Carla knows students are thinking along those lines so she marks the text accordingly and weaves that line of thinking into her read aloud. The chap ter book Carla used to connect the reading purpose was Lawn Boy by Gary Paulsen. Carla sits on th e edge of her low stool and leans in to connect with students and keep them in the reading moment. She positions her stool next to the easel so she can record her thinking, the student s thinking, and their lingering questions. During her read aloud, Carla models profic ient reading behaviors, conducts think alouds, clarifies unfamiliar phrases and voca bulary, and provides students opportunities to talk deeply about the characters base d on evidence from the text. One reading behavior Carla modeled to connect to the reading purpose is rereading. For example: Weve been talking about character tra its and using clues from the text to determine how we can put a word on a character, how we can infer about characters (flips chart paper to thinking recorded from previous chapter), and some things weve inferred about Duane is that he is confused and scared because hes unsure about how to tell his parent s about the money. He s been keeping a big secret from them. It didnt tell us in the text that Duane was confused and scared but you inferred that based on how he was talking about this. So Im going to go back and reread a little bit about that because remember readers, its always good to go back and kind of remind yourself what you were reading about. Then
104 were going to continue to work on iden tifying ways we can infer about Duane and record what evidence we have from the text to support our thinking. But first lets go back to hear why you inferred th at he was confused and scared (V1). In addition to modeling strategies like rereading, Carla models think alouds and provides opportunities during the read aloud for st udents to turn and talk to their thinking partner about the text. She st rategically marks the book she is reading with Post-it notes to help her remember where to pause and th ink aloud and where to provide students time to talk. She uses think aloud as a method of instruction to demonstrate building an understanding of text ideas. For example: Wow! Readers, did you hear that? Do you know what Im thinking right now? Im going to share my thinking with you a nd I want you to be ready to share your thinking with your thinking partner (as Carl a begins to tell what shes thinking she records her thinking on the chart paper). Im thinking, wow! 12 year old Duanes lawn mowing business has expanded to over $50,000. Im thinking maybe Arnold isnt such a bad guy, maybe he isnt cheating Duane because hes telling him about how much money he ha s. He tells him he has $50,000. If Arnold wanted to cheat Duane he wouldnt be tel ling him that. He wouldnt give him that information at all. I have to support my th inking so I check the text. Listen to this, Duane says can I see it? He wants to see the money. Arnold says, of course, I can pull your account up on the comput er. No, the money, can I see the money? Arnold shook his head, its not like that. First you have to sell all of your investments and get a check and then you ha ve to take the check to the bank and cash it and then you can see the money (O1). During read aloud, Carla provides students opportunities to voice their views about characters, events, and the authors language. She engages students emotionally by rereading and by voicing the t houghts she has as she reads, and then she offers students talk time with the same verbal prompt used in strategy lessons. Prior to issuing the prompt she says, I can tell by the look on your faces that you have thoughts running through your brains so Im going to give you a chance to share those. I want you to turn to your thinking partner and share what you re thinking (O1). Like during strategy
105 lessons, Carla roams thinking partnerships and listens in. As evidenced by the videotapes, students appear to enjoy the talk time that not only seem to build student-student relationships, but also pushes them to c onstruct meaning from text (V1; V2). When talk time is over Carla echoes what she heard back to the whole group. For example, Ok, this is what I heard when I wa s listening in... (O1; O2; O3). As she tells what she heard she records students th inking on chart paper. She honors students thinking and credits them for how they suppor ted their thinking with evidence from the text. Then she returns to r eading aloud, periodically stoppi ng where indicated by Post-it notes to think aloud and invite students to share their th inking with their thinking partners. Carla wraps up th e read aloud session by recording lingering thoughts and questions to consider for next time. It is noteworthy here to mention that Carl a told me in her interview that reading time is sacred (IB). I saw evidence of this when a woman entered the room during Carlas read aloud. The woman leaned into the gather ing area and looked intently at Carla but Carla did not interrupt her re ad aloud for the intrusive visitor. She continued to read aloud without giving attention to the visi tor. When Carla stopped to think aloud, she still maintained focus on the students. It wasnt until she gave the students talk time that she acknowledged the visitor and then she did so with nonverbal communication. As a result, the visitor took a student and left the room. Instructional Materials Carla uses a variety of tools to carry out her reading instru ction within the 90minute reading block. As mentioned, the gather ing area has an easel with both a dry erase board and chart paper. Next to the easel, Carl a keeps a basket of in structional tools such
106 as dry erase markers, chart markers, Post-it notes, pointers, and ment or texts. This is where the purpose for reading is set for th e day and where Carla keeps the bulk of her instructional materials. Carla reports her mo st important instructional materials are the mentor texts she purposefully selects as exem plary models of childrens literature. These texts are used for strategy lessons and read aloud and are heavily marked with Post-it notes. The texts used predominately come from Carlas personal collection and some come from the school library. Like Carlas reading basket, the basket s of books on the bookshe lves accessible to students consist of Carlas own books and books from the schools library selections. Leveled books from the core reading program are also included. Materials from the core reading program are co-mingled with other te xts but do not appear to be a primary source of instruction. Rather, the co res learning objecti ves are considered, incorporated, and referenced (IB). Both Carla and her students utilize Post-it notes to mark places in the text that stimulate thinking and support their reading wo rk. Additionally, the students use thinking sheets, which are often graphic organizers, a nd their RRJ to record reading work. Carla refers to the reading work captured in stude nts RRJ as their mi nd work and considers it one of her most important instructional ma terials. Carlas confer encing notebook is also a valuable instructional tool as it gives her in sight into each student as a reader. She refers to it to hold individualized one-t o-one reading conferences (IA). The whole group time at the gathering ar ea generates pages of chart paper to capture students thinking around text duri ng strategy lessons and read alouds. These pages reflect current thinking and cover the wa ll so students can easily refer to them, or
107 they are saved on the chart stand for future re ference. Also posted on the walls are pages of chart paper that serve to remind students of the agreements made in regard to sharing and talking about texts. When I asked Carla about the use of the basal from the core reading program as an instructional tool, she told me that she culls the basals teacher edition for essential learnings to ensure those strategies are ta ught, and then uses it as a reference guide. However, if it is a good fit for a strategy lesson, Carla will use selections from the students basal reader. The student editions of the basal reader are housed on a media cart. The teachers edi tion is shelved (IB). Explanation of the Patterns that Emerged Based on the results of the analysis proce dures, this section pr esents the patterns and characteristics found in re gard to each research questi on. The research questions are addressed separately and in order. Observ ational field notes, interviews, and video segments reveal that questioning moves ar e predominately used during one-to-one reading conferences. Therefore, this instruc tional context was the fo cus of analysis. First I address question one which focuses on the questioning moves exemplary teachers use in fourth-grade classrooms during re ading instruction to engage students in talk about text. Then I address question two which sought an swers to how the us e of instructional materials was related to the teachers language use, the teachers per ceptions of her use of materials, and the decisions made about her delivery of instruction. What is the Nature of the Questioning Moves Exemplary Teachers Use in FourthGrade Classrooms During Reading Instruction? Questioning moves are defined in this study as the ways in which teachers use scaffo lding questions to engage students in talk
108 about text. Questioning moves were analyzed by investigating the na ture of the questionanswer sequences for incidence of auth entic open-ended questions that require explanation, elaboration, or defense of text ideas to shine light on how teachers use language to shape the nature of teachi ng and learning afforded to students. A fellow doctoral candidate specialized in reading and trained in qualitative research methods examined randomly selected portions of the transc ripts and videotapes. This co-rater first identified Carlas ques tions, then verified my identification of categorical codes. We retained the categoric al codes for questioning moves for which we had 100% agreement. Transcripts illustrate that the same subtle questioning moves are used over and over during one-to-one reading conferences with students self-selected texts. As evidenced by the following transcript that typifies Carl as use of questioning moves, Carla used four types of questi oning moves: (a) questioning moves to signal accountability, (b) questioning moves to probe for additional information, (c) questioning moves to request evidence from the text and (d) questioning moves to check for understanding. The highest propo rtions of questioning moves were used to probe for additional information and to request ev idence from the text to support thinking. To signal accountability, Carla initiate s each conference with the broad, openended questioning move, What are you worki ng on today as a reader?. Carla waits for the student to respond. She listens intently and appears fascinated by what she hears. Carla does not impose her own thoughts. Instead her language use and wait time highlights her expectations and beliefs in th e students ability to construct meaning from text.
109 Carla used the probing questioning move, What else? to accept the students initial thinking and to force the student to think deeper about text and to elaborate on his/her thinking. The use of this type of questioning move puts th e responsibility for talking about text on the student, as evidenced by the extended wait time. Also, this move seems to be used at the edge of the stude nts competence as it caused the student to wrestle with his/her thinking as evidenced by the way th e student squirmed in his/her seat. The questioning moves used to request the student to pr ovide evidence from the text are Can you show me?, and What evidence do you have? Carla uses these questioning moves to gain insight into the wa ys in which the student accessed the text to construct meaning. To check students understanding of text, Carla asks What were you thinking? and What are you now thinking. These moves are used to determine if the students thinking is growing or changi ng in response to new informa tion encountered in the text. These moves also seem to shape Carlas unders tanding of the reader. It tells her if the student is able to build upon or revise his or her thinking and is able to support his or her thinking with evidence from the text. To illustrate Carlas use of questioning moves, the following transcript from a one-to-one reading conference wi th a student reading the book Boundless Grace by Mary Hoffman and Caroline Binch (V1) is broken in to question-answer sequences and labeled by the questioning move used (T = teacher S = student, QM = questioning move): T. What have you been working on today as a reader? S. Evidence that a character changes over time. [QM= signals accountability]
110 T. What book have you been reading? S. Boundless Grace, Grace is the main character who has changed over time. [QM = signals accountability] T. What were you thinking as you were reading this book? T. As a reader, what were you noticing about how Grace changed over time? S. She was worried that her papa wouldn t love her because he had other children. [QM = checking understanding] T. O.K., can you show me that in the book? I see that you have it down here [points to a Post-it note] but you dont have it on your thin king sheet [graphic organizer with three columns: character, character trait, and evidence from the text to support the character has changed over time] so can you show me evidence in the text to support your thinking? S. Here she says [refers to text] Papa, will you still want me? [QM = proving/asking for evidence] T. What else? S. She was worried because she was wondering if he would love her because he had other children now. [QM = probing] T. O.K., youre saying she was worried a nd youre supporting your thinking by saying that she wonders if her papa is going to love her. S. Yes. [restating] T. So now, great youve got that part and you say thats how she was in the beginning so what evidence do you have now that she has changed? S. Because now she knows that shell have stepbrothers and stepsisters. [QM = proving/asking for evidence] T. What else? S. She told him stories. [QM = probing] T. What else? S. She doesnt want to leave. [QM = probing] T. Can you show me more in the text when it s talking about she doesnt want to leave? S. [finds place in text] Grace was sorry to say good-bye to her new stepsister and brother and even to her stepmother. [QM = proving/asking for evidence]
111 T. O.K., you said she was worried before so what are you now thinking about Grace? S. She loves them now. [QM= checking for understanding] T. What else? S. She is sad because she doesnt want to leave. [QM = probing] T. Im noticing here [points to thinking sh eet] you said she was worried before because she was wondering if he would love her. Ri ght, because he had other children? I agree with you that she was feeling sad, but how has she changed from worried to loved? S. Because now she knows that her Pa loves her because he took her to the coffee house. [QM = proving/asking for evidence] T. O.K., do you have a word we can put on that? What character trait are you now inferring about Grace? S. That shes uh S. Shes feeling loved. [w rites on thinking sheet] T. What evidence do you have to support that? S. She didnt want to leave. [QM= proving/asking for evidence] T. How does this help you as a reader to understand the characters? [points to thinking sheet] S. Because I see that characters can change in books over time [QM= checking for understanding] T. What else? Why do you think its important to recognize that characters change over time? S. So you can understand the book better. [QM = probing] T. O.K., its going to help you understand th e book better so tomorrow when we talk were going to use this thinking sheet to disc over what made Grace change from feeling worried to feeling loved and secure. S. O.K. T. O.K., Great job! [focusing] Carla demonstrates confidence in her stude nts abilities in regard to constructing meaning from texts. As evidenced in the tran scripts (O1; O2; O3; V1; V2), Carlas use of questioning moves are thoughtfully used to ge nerate student thi nking. Notable is the
112 extended wait time (ranging from 10 seconds to 1 minute and 23 seconds) Carla provides after a questioning move is used. Students ar e aware of Carlas expectation for them to answer the question. The extended wait time Carla offers signals to students her confidence in their ability, which likely incr eases their confidence and the likelihood that they will take risks with their thinking. Wh en Carla and I viewed the video segment, I asked specifically about the wa it time that seemed to be give n when students were at the edge of their competence because as an obser ver, I felt uncomfortable watching students squirm while wrestling with his/ her thinking. Carla explained: The goal for me is for talking to be st udent led. I dont real ly know how well I do that. I try to give them wait time for their thinking and I repeat back to them what they say to scaffold their thinking. I try to restate their thinking in ways that make their thought a little bigger It should be them doing mo st of the talking and me doing very little. If Im doi ng all the talking then I m doing all the thinking. I think it is important to gi ve students time to think so they can talk and its important to value what they say. I was trained to extend wait time to allow students an opportunity to voice their thin king. Ive learned that if I wait for students to respond it not only shows them that I value their thinking, it shows that I have confidence in their abilities. The answers they give are so much more amazing than anything I can impose on them By waiting on them to share their thinking, I really get a sense of how well th ey are understanding th e text (V1; IB). What do Exemplary Fourth-Grade Teachers Describe as Influencing Their Use of Questioning Moves Within the Reading Program? Carla describes in-depth training, observations with critical fee dback, and ongoing support as heav ily influencing her use of questioning moves. I spent four years in North Carolina at a Title 1 school where my research driven principal and our curriculum coordinator were determined that low SES students could be just as successful as higher SES kids if they were given quality instruction, the opportunities to learn, and most important have the belief instilled in them that they could be successful r eaders. Because of their strong commitment to student learning they w ould bring in people like Elle n Keene, Linda Hoyt, and Carl Anderson. For interac tive reading we would watch modeling sessions in our classrooms and in small groups, and wed have large group workshops to
113 deconstruct the modeling sessions. As part of the support offered to the school, two times a year (once in the fall and on ce in the spring) we would have one-toone observations of our reading instruc tion and would get feedback as a school for future professional development. The professional development at this school was focused on how to be a better read ing, math, or writing teacher. We were given professional articles and professional books that supported the learning and would have to be accountable to our r eading. The conferencing I learned from Carl Anderson was huge. He taught me to focus on the individual child as both a reader and a writer. I lear ned to offer learning opport unities to my students that are both guided and invitational; and I le arned to keep records of what theyre doing to drive the focus for instruction. To support me in my efforts to confer with my students, my principal would come in and sit behind me when I conferred with students and take notes. From her notes she would provide me critical feedback on where I was in my learning and what direction I should be going in. The constant feedback from th e administration had a strong impact. We had four formal observations a year from our principal and many informal classroom visits. My principal had a vi sion in mind for how the school would be philosophically. I learned a lot there because I had to and I was expected to. I am very thankful for that learning experience. Now that Im in a different setting, I question that way because its in my bl ood. Its become a part of me (IA; IB). The ongoing professional development Carla received is credited for tightening her focus on the individual student as both a reader and a writer. During the one-to-one reading conferences with her students, Carla keeps records of what students are doing to drive the focus for instruction and to offer l earning opportunities that are both guided and invitational. Carla places high importance on th e quality of the child rens literature she uses to provide learning opportunities for her st udents. She spends a great deal of time reading and evaluating childrens books to en sure support for the reading purpose and its alignment with strategy work. I have to know the teaching points and I have to know which books will be the best fit (IA). A lthough Carla predominately uses exemplary models of childrens literature to support her reading instruct ion by way of mentor texts, she is mindful of the instruction supported by the core reading program and references its learning outcomes when planning instruction. She also includ es leveled books from the
114 core reading program in her classroom lib rary. As a result of the nature of her professional development, she has learned to scrutinize her instructional materials to identify essential learning goals. When I asked Carla How has your belief system changed your teaching? She re stated, Its become a part of me, its in my blood, and added Its made me so much more aware of the text I choose for teaching points. It reminds me to always get back to the stude nts thinking, to promote deeper thinking and to transfer responsibility for thinking to students (IA). Martha Martha is a charming, courteous Caucas ian woman with smiling eyes and a kind voice. Martha has been teaching for 18 years. She began her teaching career in the state of Michigan. However, after just one year, she moved to this school district where her teaching experiences have ranged from second-grade to fourth-grade. Martha has taught at two school sites in this district, both cons idered traditional with middle-class students. Martha feels her responsibility in regard to teaching reading is to: provide as many different reading experien ces that I can to the kids and to open their minds to the world of reading a nd to the many different genres. I feel responsible to provide lots of practice with the skill work behind reading so my students worlds will open up and these experiences will get them ready for middle school, college and r eal life reading (IA). Further, Martha proclaims what she teaches is what she believes to be best for her students. She says, What I believe is what I teach, and the things I have to put in I squeeze around what I believe to be true. Above all, I try to instill in kids a love for reading so that they love to read (IA).
115 Instructional Context Upon entering Marthas classroom you feel more like your entering a living room than a classroom. Half of the classroom is devoted to literacy in struction. The gathering area is set up like a living room with an area rug, end tables, upholstered recliners, upholstered chairs with cherry wood legs, la mps, plants, picture frames, and bookshelves. The books are arranged on the shelves in ba skets that are labe led favorite author, mysteries, animal as the main character, great dog stories, wonder books, poetry, award winning books, animal fact books, cultural books, and adventure books. Martha explains, creating the classroo m environment is critical because if students are comfortable in it and it feels like home then it builds up stamina and promotes reading at home (IA). The gatherin g area has an easel with both a dry erase board and chart paper. Next to the easel, Martha keeps a basket of instructional tools such as dry erase markers, chart markers, Post-it notes, and pointers. Mart has desk is facing the gathering area. Directly behind her desk is a tall bookshelf filled with literature books (referred to as mentor texts) that are heavily marked with Post-it notes for stopping points during strategy lessons. The students desks are to the right of the gathering area, grouped in teams of four. While students are grouped, they have independent workspace. This workspace is defined by a panel of corkboard that extends approximately six inches above their desk and holds personal pictures and positive phrases such as Im Fabulous, If I can dream it, I can do it, and Im so lucky to be m e. Although I did not see it in use, Martha pointed out a corkboard side panel between students desk s that can be raised for additional privacy when needed. On the carpet be side each students desk is a basket that
116 holds their reading response journal (RRJ), a weeks worth of book selections from the classroom library, Post-it notes, pens, penc ils, scissors, and markers. There is a rectangular table at the front of the room that holds instructional equipment like an ELMO and LCD projector, and instructional materials for word study that Martha describes as being more in line with how she believes reading should be taught. To the far right, there is a kidney shaped table us ed for small group projects and meetings. I observed Marthas reading instruction from 10:00 A.M. to 11:30 A.M. on five separate occasions, which yielded 450 mi nutes of observational field notes and transcripts. Two of the five observations were supported by videotape. The instructional routine that makes up Marthas 90-minute read ing block consists of 15 minutes of word study, 30 minutes of a strategy lesson, and 45 mi nutes of differentiated reading, which was done in either small groups, partnerships or independently. Di rectly after the 90minute reading block, students went to lunc h. Read aloud was conduc ted in the afternoon, outside the 90-minute reading block, and was therefore not observed. Following, I describe each component of Marthas instru ctional routine within the 90-minute reading block. I discuss Marthas role in promoti ng and sustaining talk about text, and the characteristics of students talk. Word Study. To launch reading instruction, Ma rtha engages students in word study. Typically, this instructional time is focused on teaching observations and connections for words. Martha provides exp licit instruction of wo rd concepts. Students use a thin spiral notebook to investigate and savor new words, puzzle over confusing pronounciations, and test new spelling strate gies. Also, students use their word study notebook to illustrate words, phrases, and sent ences. The expectation is that the word
117 concepts studied will help students become more responsible for th eir learning, as these concepts transfer to their writing work in th e form of revising, ed iting, and inferring the meaning of new words. Strategy Lesson After word study, Martha invite s the students to the gathering area for a 30-minute strategy lesson. She says meet me on the carpet and tells students what to bring (their thinking sheet or RRJ and pen or pencil). Students quickly and quietly assemble at the gathering area and sit next to their th inking partner (V1). Thinking partnerships are formed considering standardized reading sc ores, social skills, and their independent reading level as determ ined by the DRA. In te rms of the range of reading levels within each grad e level, students who are considered by the DRA to have a reading level in the middle range are split and paired with both high and low leveled readers. Partnerships are in tact for 6-8 weeks. (O1). Martha sits at the head of the group ne xt to the easel on one of the upholstered chairs. She sits on the ed ge of her chair so she can lean in to connect with the students and to orient students to th e reading work at hand. She introduces the purposefully selected text for the strategy lesson and holds it in her lap so it seems more like a read aloud than a lesson. During the data collec tion period, I observed strategy lessons on reading with a questi on in mind using the book Stranger by Chris Van Allsburg, reading nonfiction for new information using Time Magazine for Kids and understanding nonfiction informational narratives using a selection from the students basal reader titled Look to the North: A Wolf Pup Diary by Jean Craighead George. While the instructional focus for each st rategy lesson differs, the flow of the lesson follows a consistent structure as c onfirmed by field notes and videotapes. The
118 structure witnessed for each strategy lesson is setting the purpose for reading, thinking aloud to demonstrate the use of the strategy, providing talk time for students, and restating the purpose for reading. To set the purpose for reading, Martha be gins by telling the students the purpose for their reading work to orient their focus. For example, today our purpose is to read with a question in our mind. She draws a ttention to the readin g purpose by asking a broad open-ended question such as, Why do we ask questions and how does that help us become better readers? Students turn and talk then offer responses such as, it helps us to understand our book better; we ask questio ns because it helps us wonder what is happening in the story, also if wh at is happening could really happen to us in real life; it makes us think about whats going to happe n next; and it will he lp us because well have a lot of knowledge because well get sm arter because our brain is growing because were thinking and asking ourse lves a lot questions (O1). The texts for strategy lessons are purposefu lly chosen by Martha as appropriate to explicitly model the identified purpose for reading and to set expectations for the students independent reading wo rk. To demonstrate the use of a strategy in the reading moment, Martha utilizes the easel and char t paper to emphasize teaching points and to capture thinking. She makes her thinking public by saying what is coming into her mind as she reads, and records her thinking on a smaller piece of chart paper attached to the side of the easel. She pauses to say what she is thinking, charts her thinking, highlights the strategy connection, then she debriefs the strategy use and connects it to their purpose for reading.
119 To provide talk time for students, Martha reads from the text and then stops and asks students a broad question to give them the opportunity to share with their thinking partner and to apply the strategy. Throughout th e strategy lesson she re peats this cycle of reading, asking the broad questi on, and allowing talk time. To signal talk time Martha simply says, turn and talk to your thinking pa rtner (O1; O2; O3). Since students sit in close proximity of their thinking partner they ar e able to quickly turn to face each other. While students discuss their thinking, Martha roams part nerships and listens in on students conversations. She does not interrupt student-student talk. Rather, she listens in on what students say to their thinking partners and jots notes about what she hears in her conferring notebook. What she hears prompts in the moment reflections in regard to the strategy lesson. She told me I listen to everything my student s say aloud during the strategy lesson. I listen for if the lesson is coming through an d if I can hear purpose in students talk (IA). To signal the end of ta lk time she counts backwards from five to one. The first thing Martha does when the st udents are reoriented to whole group is check students application of the strategy. For example, to check if students are asking questions in their mind as they listen to he r read the text aloud she asks, What were you thinking and directs it to i ndividual students and charts their thoughts and questions to signal that she values their co ntributions (O1; O2; O3). Al so, she spotlights the active listening she noticed in partne rships and provides examples and complements to thinking partners for a job well done (O1). Martha ends her strategy lesson by restating the purpose for reading and tells what she explicitly modeled and then sets expectations for students differentiated reading time (O1; O2; O3).
120 Differentiated Reading. After the strategy lesson, Martha provides students 45 minutes of differentiated reading, which coul d look like independent reading with one-toone conferences, reading partnerships, or invitational small group conferences. During this time, depending on how they are grouped, students use a thinking sheet or their RRJ to record their reading work either al one, with a buddy, or with a small group. The thinking sheet is a graphic orga nizer that captures students thoughts about what they are reading. The RRJ is a spiral bound notebook that also captures studen ts thinking in the way of responses to reading. Both are used in conferences with Martha, conversations with other readers, and serve accountab ility purposes for their reading work. If independent reading time is directed, th en students disperse to their favorite reading spot. Some students sprawl out on the carpet, ot her students scatter around the room, and others recline in th e recliner or lay sideways in the upholstered chairs. Still other students sit on the carpet and lean up against the bookshelves (O2). Based on information gathered about students reading behaviors, Martha ty pically targets three students for one-to-one reading conferences. The conferences are held wherever the students have chosen to read. Martha weaves in and out of spaces and positions herself next to the student at eye level. If reading partnerships are directed afte r the strategy lesson, students partner-up to reread the text used in whole group and atte mpt to apply the strategy modeled by Martha. If copies of the text are no t available in book form, then Martha types the text and gives students printed copies. Given the strate gy discussed and modeled in whole group, student partnerships will reread the text and attempt to apply the modeled strategy. As students work in partnerships to apply the st rategy, Martha roams the room to check their
121 application attempts. She sits on the carpet ne xt to partners, or squats down to see the thinking work they have recorded. Periodical ly Martha checks st udents reading work and asks questions such as, Are you asking any questions?; Do you think we all have the same questions?; Do all re aders have the same questions when they read? Students respond with a yes or no answer. Martha el aborates for students by talking about how background knowledge determines questions we have, as well as familiarity with the storyline and the predictions th at we make as readers (V1). By invitation, Martha holds small group c onferences, when she notices in her oneto-one conferences or student partnerships th at there is a group of 4-6 students who need work with the same previously taught stra tegy. Students who come together for a small group conference are not reading the same level of text, rather they are reading a text at their independent reading level that lends itself to the stra tegy and purpose for reading. Martha pulls the group together and tells them the reason for the conference based on what she has noticed in their reading work and hones in on one teaching point. The reteaching is followed by reviewing expectations and providing independent practice (V2). Ground rules for the differentiated reading ti me are firmly established as students exhibit sustaining reading behaviors and no o ff-task behaviors were observed regardless if students were directed to work independen tly, in partnerships, or in small groups (V1; V2). At the end of the differentiated read ing time Martha reconvenes the class at the gathering area to sit in one large circle. She uses this time to signal responsibility for students reading work by asking students to share their answers to the broad question, What have you learned about your self today as a reader? (O 1; O2; V1; V2). Responses from this discussion are informal and are not charted. Martha invite s reflective responses
122 with open hands. Then students use dinner tabl e talk, where they wait for one classmate to finish speaking before they start speaki ng, to share their answer s to her question. One student begins the sharing time. Martha stays with that one student and the others listen and wait for an opening to share what they learned. Throughout the sh aring time, Martha listens intently to students di scovery about themselves as a reader so she can restate it and ask follow up questions. The following tran script (V1) illustrates such an exchange (T = teacher, S = student): T. What have you learned toda y about yourself as a reader? T. Who would like to share? S. I would like to share. I learned that reading makes me ask a lot of questions. T. You discovered about yourself that you ask a lot of questions. S. Yes, like I discovered when I was read ing this one part that I had like 5 questions about it. I ha ve a lot of questions. T. Do you think when you are reading in your mind without your reading response journal that you have those sa me types of questions, you just havent recorded them? S. Yes. T. So you are asking a lot of questions. S. [next student] I learned that I really lik e it when they [the authors] dont tell us the answers to the questions right away because I like to have to think about it. T. And so you like when youre left hangi ng and Im a person who likes closure. I like closure when the book is done. S. [next student] I found out that Im a fast reader.
123 T. You found out today when youre readi ng that youre a fast reader. You read things pretty quickly. Do you still ask questions at the same time? S. Yes, I read fast and I still have ques tions, my comfortable reading speed is kind of fast. T. When youre reading fast you feel th at your comfortable reading speed is a little bit speedy. Can you still unde rstand what youre reading? S. Yes, I can still understand what Im reading. T. Thats important, [addresses the group] so we can read at different speeds and still understand. We all have to fi nd our comfortable reading speed. S. [next student] I noticed that as a read er that when I read something and ask a question about it I keep it in my mind and I keep reading and then I read more and something pops in my mind that I connect to and then sometimes I answer my own questions. T. Good, making connections, thats a good thing to do. S. [next student] I learned that I read r eally slow because when I read slow I can understand but if I speed up then I don t understand what I read, nothing comes into my mind and I have to read it over. T. So, you read slower. Do you think its wo rse to read at a slower pace than a faster pace? S. I dont think its better or worse. It ha s to be a speed that Im comfortable with. If someone is a faster reader it doesnt mean that he is a better reader because just reading fast doesnt mean youll be ab le to understand what youre reading.
124 T. Exactly, its really good to know your reading speed and youre the one who has to find that. Its like everyones just right book is different and so is their reading speed. S. [next student] Im a better reader when I read slower. If I read slower I can stop and think and if I read too fast Ill get off track and th ats what I learned about myself today as a reader. T. Do you stop and think when youre reading? S. Yes, when I read slower because when I read fast I get off track. T. Thank you all for sharing today. Instructional Materials. Martha seeks instructiona l materials that offer many different reading experiences for her students. The instruct ional materials are housed at the gathering area, behind her desk, and at th e front on the room on a rectangular table. As mentioned, the gathering area has an eas el with both a dry erase board and chart paper. Martha uses chart pa per to record thinking and questioning. The whole group time at the gathering area generates pages of ch art paper to capture st udents thinking about text during strategy lessons. Th ese pages reflect current thin king in regard to strategy work and are saved on the chart stand for future reference. Next to the easel, Martha keeps a basket of instructional tools such as dry erase markers, chart markers, Post-it notes, and point ers. Martha also uses instructional tools such as typed texts from selected stories that students can reread in partnerships to apply strategy work, thinking sheets which are often gr aphic organizers that scaffold students thinking, and students RRJ. The students do a lot of writing in response to reading in their RRJ to track their thinki ng and to answer questions. Mart ha says out of all of her
125 instructional materials, the reading response journal is huge for me because I can see so much growth in there (IB). Marthas c onferencing notebook is also a valuable instructional tool as she refers to it to hold differentiated conferences. Martha has an extensive collection of mentor texts. These are purposefully selected texts that are considered exemplary models of childrens literature. These texts are used for strategy lessons and are heavily ma rked with Post-it notes to signify stopping points to stimulate discussion. After a strategy lesson, they ar e shelved directly behind Marthas desk in a tall bookshelf. The co llection of books Martha uses for strategy lessons are mostly from her personal co llection, although some co me from the school library. Also shelved with her literature books is a copy of the stude nts edition of the basal reader. Martha looks through the student s edition of the ba sal for literature selections that support strate gy lessons and marks selected pages with Post-it notes. Like Marthas bookshelves, the baskets of books on the bookshelves accessible by students consist of Marthas own books and te xts from the schools library. Additionally, leveled texts from the core reading program are co-mingled with Ma rthas other leveled books. The student editions of th e basal reader are housed in th e students desk for shared reading. Martha will use a selection from the stude nts edition of the ba sal reader if it is a good fit for a strategy lesson (IB). Instructional materials from the core reading program are referenced and incorporated as a source of reading instruction but do not appear to be the primary source of instruction. Rather, th e core reading programs learning objectives are considered and referenced in regard to how the core program supports strategy work and students differentiated instructional needs. The rectangular table at the front of the room holds instructional equipment like an ELMO and LCD projector. Along with the
126 equipment, Martha keeps other instructiona l materials and manipulatives such as Max Brands and Diane Defords (2004) Word Savvy program, utilized for word study. Explanation of the Patterns that Emerged Based on the results of the analysis proce dures, this section pr esents the patterns and characteristics found in re gard to each research questi on. The research questions are addressed separately and in order. Observ ational field notes, interviews, and video segments reveal that questioning moves ar e predominately used during whole group strategy lessons. Therefore, this instructiona l context was the focus of analysis. First I address question one which focuses on the questioning moves exemplary teachers use in fourth-grade classrooms during re ading instruction to engage students in talk about text. Then I address question two which sought an swers to how the us e of instructional materials was related to the teachers language use, the teachers perceptions of her use of materials, and the decisions made about her delivery of instruction. What is the Nature of the Questioning Moves Exemplary Teachers Use in FourthGrade Classrooms During Reading Instruction? Questioning moves are defined in this study as the ways in which teachers use scaffo lding questions to engage students in talk about text. Questioning moves were analyzed by investigating the na ture of the questionanswer sequences for incidence of authenti c open-ended questions requiring e xplanation, elaboration, or defense of text ideas to shin e light on how teachers use language to shape the nature of teaching and learning afforded to students. The same second rater and procedures used for the first case study presente d were used in the analysis of this case. Transcripts gathered were from whole group strategy lessons using both fiction and nonfiction texts. To identify questioning moves w ithin the transcripts, first question-answer
127 sequences were highlighted. Then questions we re cut up and sorted as being either openended, or close-ended. The open-ended questio ns were further analyzed as questioning moves. Marthas use of questioning moves were sparse. Her use of questioning moves depended on the focus of her strategy le sson. Martha used questioning moves during whole group to generate student s questions and to signal th eir responsibility as readers using narrative fiction. Martha did not use questioning moves with nonfiction texts. In a strategy lesson using fiction texts, Martha predominately asks, What are you thinking? She uses this questioning move to generate questions the students may have about the text she is reading. She also sparingly asks What else? to probe for more questions. The other questions asked were either closed-ended, such as Do you have any questions?, or they were asked to clarify the meaning of vocabulary words encountered in the text, for example, Does anyone know? and What does it mean to ? (O1; O3). The questions Martha asks using non-fiction texts are geared toward having students notice and wonder about th e layout of the story. To illustrate Marthas use of the ques tioning move What are you thinking? to generate students questions in regard to understanding the text, the following transcript taken from a strategy lesson on reading w ith a question in mind using the text Stranger by Chris Van Allsburg is broken into questionanswer sequences (O1) (T = teacher, S = student): T. Richard, What are you thinking? S. What did he hit? T. He thinks he hit a deer, but you want to know what did he hit. T. Does anyone else have a questio n? Andrew, what are you thinking? S. Where are they?
128 T. We dont really know where they are yet, it s fall, could it be down here? [referencing Florida] S. I dont know. T. Maybe not, it kind of doesnt look like Florida to me. T. What are you thinking, Amelia? S. As you read the title and I looked at the pi cture, I thought this doesnt really look like a stranger. T. The story doesnt start out sounding like its going to be about a stranger because they tell us the characters name is Mr. Bailey. So youre not really asking a question, youre thinking this doesnt sound like it s going to be a stranger story. T. What are you thinking? S. How did he hit it [with his car ], How did he hit the stranger? T. (to the group), Do you still have questions? S. Yes (choral response) T. Thats what happens when youre reading a story. T. What are you thinking, Bradley? S. Who is this man he hit and does he know this man? T. Did he seem like he did? S. I dont know. He (the stranger) was unconscious. T. What are you thinking Tommy? S. Maybe he (the stranger) wa s born and raised in the wild. T. What else?, Dallas? S. How did he get up and walk if hes hurt? T. How did he walk if he was hurt? T. What else? S. Was the stranger running from another man? T. Was he running from someone? T. What else? S. Did the car bump him or go over him? S. [a different student] It kind of looks like it did. S. [a different student] Maybe he tripped in front of the car and then it ran over him. T. reminder about table talk manners T. What are you thinking Amelia? S. Maybe the pets think hes a friend. T. Maybe they dont act like hes a stranger.
129 T. Daniel, what are you thinking? S. He looks happy. T. Do you have any questions? I wonde r if hes had a family before. T. What are you thinking, Haley? T. Do you have any ques tions? Is he magical? S. Why is everything turning green when its fall? T. Great question. Martha executes questioning moves within the comfort of the whole group setting to check students application of the focus strategy. As evidenced by the data collected on the other transcripts and videos, when stude nts are in partnerships or are reading independently Martha roams readers to verify their attempts at applying strategy work on texts they reread, but the use of questioni ng moves were not evident in more intimate settings. What do Exemplary Fourth-Grade Teachers Describe as Influencing Their Use of Questioning Moves Within the Reading Program? In the interviews conducted with Martha she describes professional books, semi nars, and workshops as influencing her use of questioning moves (IA; IB). Martha ta kes advantage of professional development opportunities provided by the sc hool district, and seeks lear ning opportunities on her own geared around interactive read ing, reading strategies, and questioning. Martha embraces the social nature of learning and strives to provide opportunities for her students to engage with texts. As a result of her prof essional development, Martha uses carefully selected texts during reading instruction and inco rporates social skills in her instructional routines. Marthas use of que stioning moves within the st rategy lesson are influenced by her belief system, which changes over ti me with every thing I add in; trainings,
130 seminars, workshops, conferencing, and lear ning from the kids. Every year the experiences with the kids challenge a nd sometimes alter my beliefs (IA). Marthas beliefs in regard to teaching r eading seem to be in a constant state of development based on her learning experiences. Martha attempts to transfer new learning to practice, but the nature of her trai ning opportunities and the limited scope of implementation support does little to facilitate the incorpora tion of new learning to build toward independence. Consequently, he r use of questioning moves are limited. Cross-case Analysis This section will describe the results as they occurred across both classrooms studied. Data sources were employed in pursuit of a holistic portrayal of each case to reveal the entirety of the 90-minute reading bloc k. The data collected serves as invaluable aids toward understanding the nature of questioning moves used during reading instruction. Therefore, data from both classrooms were combined for comparison of their similarities and differences. Li ke the presentation of results above, this section addresses each research question separately and in or der. Additionally, I address common themes that cut across cases. What is the Nature of the Questioning Mo ves Exemplary Teachers Use in Fourth-Grade Classrooms During Reading Instruction? The notion behind teachers using questioni ng moves is to keep students engaged in the constructive work of building unders tanding from text. In the case studies presented, questioning moves were analyzed as part of the instru ctional routine to discover their nature. Although these two teach ers used different types of questioning moves, they used the critical few to promote understanding of text, rather than the trivial
131 many that researchers suggest focus on the development of a topic rather than on deepening students understanding of text (Fisher, 2005; Wilkinson & Silliman, 2000). As Table 2 illustrates, the questioning moves used were simple and subtle.
132 Table 2: Questioning Moves (adapted from Taylor, et al., 2003) Questioning Move Use Example Illustration of Student Response Signaling Accountability To signal the students accountability as a reader. What have you been working on today as a reader? Evidence that a character changes over time. Proving To request additional evidence from the text to support thinking. Can you show me? What evidence do you have to support that? Here [refers to text] she says, Papa, will you still want me? She didnt want to leave. Probing To force the student to think deeper about text and to elaborate on his/her thinking. What else? She is sad because she doesnt want to leave. Checking for Understanding To evaluate the students understanding of text. What were you thinking? What are you now thinking? She was worried that her papa wouldnt love her because he had other children. Generating Questions To generate students questions about the developing story. What are you thinking? Where are they? What did he hit? Was the stranger running from another man? Why is everything turning green when its fall? Signaling Responsibility To signal the students responsibility as a reader. What have you learned today about yourself as a reader? I learned that I really like it when they [the authors] dont tell us the answers to the questions right away because I like to have to think about it.
133 Teachers use of questioning moves signal th at they have high expectations in their students abilities to read and intera ct with text for the purpose of constructing meaning. The questioning moves used provide scaffolding for the purpose of increasing the students responsibility for constructing m eaning from text. With Carla, questioning moves were predominately used during one-t o-one reading conferences with students who read self-selected texts. The highest pr oportions of questioning moves were used to probe for additional information and to request students to provide evidence from the text to support their thinking. With Martha, questioning moves we re predominately used in whole group strategy lessons with a ment or text to develop strategy work. The questioning moves Carla used du ring one-to-one reading conferences influenced the way her students constructed m eaning and engaged with text. Her ease of use of questioning moves indicates the questions are in her head and come naturally as a way to refine student lear ning. After modeling a strategy that supports the reading purpose and can be generalized to other texts, Carla provided stude nts the opportunity to independently read self-selected texts. Du ring this time, she held one-to-one reading conferences that were student lead. Carla used scaffolding questions to support students in their efforts to internalize strategies previously taught. Carla coached her students using lean questioning moves in a way that ex tended their talk about texts. The frequency of Carlas subtle extrinsic pr ompting and the depth of the students response makes me wonder if the questions Carla asks may also be internalized by her students when they are reading on their own in a natural setting. Tr anscripts from Carla s one-to-one reading conferences illustrate the subtleness of the questioning moves used and the process of how Carlas expectations and language use is used to scaffold students construction of
134 meaning. Carla has the goal for talking to be student led. As evidenced by the balance of conversational turns, Carlas students did mo re talking/grappling with ideas, which suggests they were working toward a deeper understanding of the text. Conversely, Martha used questioning move s in a more directive manner with her students to check for applicati on of the strategy modeled in whole group. In this context, her sparse use of questioning moves shows th at she did not stay with her students thinking long enough to collect evidence of whether or not th ey were engaged in deeper thinking. Rather, her students talk was more on a surface level to illustrate the application of a strategy. The focus on the development of a strategy was important for the whole group lesson. While Martha asked op en ended questions during the lesson, she retained control and did most of the talking so the verbal traffic flow of conversational turns looked more like the initiation-response-eval uation( IRE) format commonly referred to in traditional lessons (Cazden, 2001) than an authentic conversation about text. While both teachers used questioning move s to further the instructional focus, Carlas questions were mostly asked duri ng one-to-one reading conferences. In the intimacy of a one-to-one reading conference Carla used questioning moves to encourage students to think deeper about text. She flexibly posed que stions, listened intently, and complemented and honored student responses. On the other hand, Marthas use of questioning moves in the whole group setting wa s informed by the strategy focus in the mini lesson and did not extend to sm all group or one-to-one settings.
135 What do Exemplary Fourth-Grade Teachers Describe as Influencing Their Use of Questioning Moves Within the Reading Program? Both Carla and Martha pursue profes sional development opportunities to hone their craft as a reading teacher. Both descri be professional development as the primary factor influencing their use of questioning moves. The professional development they seek is based on experiences cl ose to the classroom and the ki nds of situations they want to create with their students. While Carla s and Marthas professional development stems from the same research base, Carlas professi onal development was br oader in scope, had greater intensity, was in-depth in nature, and she received layers of support in her implementation efforts, which allowed her to employ a wider repert oire of questioning moves. Marthas professional development differed in that it was delivered by a single consultant on an occasional basis. Sh e describes her professional development opportunities as occasional, and the support she received at her school site as limited in scope. Even so, Martha learned some essentia l elements of engaging students with text. She has an awareness of explicit strategy instruction and the importance of engaging students in talk about texts, but not the capacity to use questioning moves autonomously, indicating the professi onal development she has engage d in has been essential but insufficient in moving her learning forward in this area. A deeper exploration of these essential elements and direct access to the res earch base they stem from seems necessary to build her repertoire of questioning moves. As evidenced by Table 2, there are differe nt types of questioning moves. Carlas use of questioning moves were wider and more refined. As mentioned, she had the unique learning experience of delving deep into the research base behind the moves, was
136 offered intensive and extens ive support during her implementation efforts, and was offered explicit feedback on her efforts to apply new learning. Cons equently, Carla used questioning moves to a greater degree than Ma rtha and in a more intimate instructional setting, which indicates for these two teacher s that the amount and type of questioning moves used depends upon the depth, intens ity, and nature of implementation support received in terms of professional development. Also, as a result of the amount and type of her professional development, the themes in Carlas articulation of her theore tical framework for teaching and learning are clearly stated (IA). On the other hand Martha appeared to be res ponding to the occasional professional development offerings she ha s had access to and was unable to clearly articulate the theoretical underpinnings that drive her instructional decisions (IA). Aesthetically, there are many similarities in the instructional contexts and instructional materials in Ca rlas and Marthas classroom. The difference appears to be that Carla understands the research base th at informs her instructional decisions on a deeper level. Carlas reading instruction is linked from less on to lesson, threaded with the purpose for reading (O1; O2). She uses questioning moves duri ng one-to-one reading conferences with students who are reading se lf-selected texts. Her use of questioning moves is not hierarchical, rather they are re sponsive to what the student is working on as a reader. This could be because of the de pth, breadth, and nature of Carlas training. Marthas reading instruction was thoughtfully delivered but lessons appeared to be somewhat disconnected. She used questioni ng moves to check for application of a modeled strategy using a text she selected for whole gr oup instruction, but did not execute questioning moves with precision in varying instructional contexts.
137 Both Carla and Martha strategically use their instructional materials to make daily decisions about teaching strategies and em brace their professional responsibility for teaching and learning. Both Carla and Martha cu ll the core reading program for essential learning outcomes and consider and incorpor ate expectations into mini lessons and strategy work. Then they us e the core as a reference and do not report feeling overburdened in regard to mandates about how to teach reading. Consequently, they employ their knowledge about reading to impl ement the standards and devise their own responses to students indi vidual learning needs. Resour ces from the core reading program are co-mingled with other reading ma terials, indicating th at harmony of purpose and compliance in regard to teaching reading take precedence over mandates and expectations put forth in the districts K-12 reading plan. Common Themes Additional findings, indirectly related to teachers us e of questioning moves and the influences on their use, came from obs ervational evidence derived from direct observations in the classroom. In regard to common themes, the most salient features of data collected from both teachers were the natu re of attention that teachers gave to their classroom environment and instructional design. Both Carlas and Marthas classroom envi ronment is print rich. They both utilize wall space for interactive learning, both post the purpose for reading, both utilize chart paper that captures students thinking for further instructi on, and both have a well stocked lending library that reflects a wide range of genres and levels. Both Carla and Martha have a designated gathering area for readi ng work and both identify thinking partners to maximize students discussions about text. It is evident in both classrooms that social
138 skills are not canned or stilte d, rather are natura lly incorporated into discussion. Both Carla and Martha devote half of their room to reading. They talk in soft tones and promote individual responsibility. Both have plants and use lamplight to simulate a homey feel, and both assign st udents classroom jobs to pr omote student responsibility. Both Carla and Martha offer students an eas y-going, relaxed classroom environment that sends the message that the envi ronment for learning is safe. The instructional design of both classroom s reveals consistent use of language among teachers in regard to strategy work. Bo th Carla and Martha use exemplary models of childrens literature to teach reading. Both have clearly established structures and routines that ensure seamless transitions from one instructional contex t to another so that classroom management is a non-issue. The b ackbone of their readi ng instruction is the opportunities provided for different iated learning where each reader is seen and treated as an individual. Both confirm students identiti es as readers and set high expectations for student learning. Students are aware of the high expectations of accountability and are able to attend to their reading work. Both teachers explicitly mode l fluent reading, think aloud, make text connections to clarify texts ideas, solicit students thinking, and provide students talk time. Student engagement with texts is ensured with carefully identified thinking partners who are afforded many opportun ities to talk about texts. Students have choice and easy access to a wide range of interesting, appropriately leveled books. Additionally, students are offere d differentiated instruction based on data teachers gather from assessments and conferencing notes. During my observations I specifically noted the interaction between both teachers and their students during the reading of a stor y as the students were in the process of
139 constructing meaning. Although Marthas read alouds were not observed because they were conducted outside the 90-minute read ing block, her strate gy lessons felt like interactive read alouds and sh e evoked emotional responses from students (O1; V1). Also, Carla strove to place th e students inside the texts, to enable them to live through experiences by paying attention to the asso ciations, feelings, at titudes, and ideas described in the text (Rosenblatt, 1978). Summary This chapter presented the emergent cat egories involved in the collection and analysis of questioning moves used by exem plary fourth-grade t eachers during reading instruction. Questioning moves we re not taken out of context, rather were presented as part of the instructional rou tine, which revealed the entirety of the 90-minute reading block, to give a holistic portrayal of each cas e. Focal attention was specifically placed on what the question-answer sequences sounde d like and how and when questioning moves were asked to reveal important features of teacher-student interaction and hence the character of instruction. Re sults of these analyses were presented addressing each teachers case separately, then were juxtaposed to show the similarities and differences of teachers use of questioning moves. Both teachers engaged in professional deve lopment and provided the social space necessary to employ questioning moves. But th e extent of the use of questioning moves seems to hinge largely on the breadth, depth, and nature of teachers professional development, as well as the instructional focus. Additionally, seve ral themes were found between and among the two teachers. The them es involved issues related to classroom environment, instructional design, and students engagement with text.
140 Chapter Five Discussion Who dares to teach, must never cease to learn. (Dana, 1997) This chapter begins with an overview of the research, including the studys purpose, literature review, research questi ons, and research met hods. Then, a discussion of the studys results and their intersection with the literature follow. Next, implications of the results for reading teachers and educators are discussed. This chapter concludes with recommendations for future research. Overview of the Research Study This study provides a window into exempl ary teachers fourth-grade classrooms during reading instruction for a discussion of the teachers language use on student engagement with texts. The purpose of this study was to examine and describe the nature of questioning moves that exemplary f ourth-grade teachers use during reading instruction. This study uses the notion of exemplary as described by Allingtons framework of common features observed in exemplary fourth-grade classrooms (2000, 2002). Another point of interest was to determ ine how teachers perceive the influence of instructional materials on the language they use to engage students in talk about texts. To integrate what is known and unknown about the ways in which teachers use language to deepen students unde rstanding of texts, the review of the literature presented in Chapter Two focused on topics such as the history of core reading programs, the
141 impact of questioning on students reading comprehension, the teachers discourse role, and the stance the teacher adopts during reading instruction. Drawing upon current research conducted by Taylor, Pearson, Pete rson, and Rodriguez (2003) and Wilkinson, Murphy, and Soter (2003, 2005), the intent of this study was to fortify theory on the teachers discourse role in regard to student engagement that leads to talk about texts. According to the literature reviewed, op timal understanding of how teachers engage students in constructing meaning from text is best gained by investigating the nature of question-answer sequences (Nystrand, 1993; 1997; 2006; Wilkinson, Murphy, & Soter, 2003; 2005; Taylor et al., 2003). To contribute to the knowledg e base, focal attention was specifically placed on what these questionanswer sequences sound like and how and when they happened. This focus promised to reveal important features of teacher-student interaction and hence the ch aracter of instruction. The first research question th at guided this inquiry aske d about the nature of the questioning moves exemplary teachers use in fourth-grade classrooms during reading instruction. It focused on the relationship of the teachers questioning moves to students engagement with texts. The second questi on addressed what exemplary fourth-grade teachers describe as influencing their us e of questioning moves within the reading program. The second question sought answers to how the use of inst ructional materials was related to the teachers language use, the teachers percepti ons of their use of materials, and the decisions made ab out their delivery of instruction. To address these two questions, this study was situated within a constructivist paradigm of inquiry. In keepi ng with the construc tivist paradigm, natu ralistic methods of data collection were employed including tran scripts of teacher and student talk, field
142 notes, videotapes, and interviews with the te achers. This naturalistic inquiry drew from the case study tradition for its design (Creswell, 1998). A case study tradition is a qualitative inquiry approach that offers a holistic portrayal of the particularity and complexity of a single case (Creswell, 1998; Patton, 2002; Stake, 1995; Yin, 2003). In an effort to provide a better understanding of the nature of the language teachers use to engage students in talk about texts, data collection for each case consisted of two interviews supported by a digita l recorder, three classroom ob servations of the 90-minute reading block supported by fiel d notes, and two videotapes of the 90-minute reading block supported by extended interviews with the teachers to glean a deeper understanding of their instructional decisions for the questioning moves used. Data analysis was conducted in two stages First data were analyzed separately within each case to locate emer ging patterns to build each teachers profile. This analysis involved reviewing transcripts line by line several times to locate emerging patterns. I looked for patterns by coding direct quotes a nd by bringing together common ideas. After an analysis of each case, data were juxt aposed for the purpose of comparison to illuminate similarities and differences in pa tterns that cut across cases (Hycner, 1985; Johnson & Christensen, 2004; Patton, 2002). Discussion of the Studys Results and Th eir Intersection with the Literature In many ways results of this study validate or expand upon previous research related to engaging students in discussion about text. As di scussed, the purpose of this study was to examine and describe the natu re of questioning moves used by exemplary fourth-grade teachers during reading instruc tion. In general, results show that while questioning moves used by exemplary fourth-gra de teachers are of different types, they
143 are simple and subtle. The questioning moves used provided scaffolding for the purpose of increasing the students responsibility for constructing meaning from text and signaled teachers high expectations in their students ability to read and interact with text. The nature of the question-answer sequences these moves yield expand upon previous findings on discussions about texts (Beck& McKeown, 2001; Chin et al, 2001; Fisher, 2005; Nystrand, 2006; Taylor et al., 2003, & Wilkinson, Murphy, & Soter, 2003) by highlighting the use of questioning to promote a deeper level of student engagement in one-to-one reading conferences. In this inti mate setting, questioning moves are used at the edge of the students competence (Vygot sky, 1978; Wilkinson and Silliman, 2000) to gently nudge him or her to think deeper about texts. Because a wider repertoire of questioning moves were used in one-to-one reading conferences, results of this study also brought a ttention to the teachers role as a coach. This role was demonstrated by the teachers use of questioning moves to coach students to think deeper about text to build toward independence. Given the reciprocity between language and interaction, prev ious research on discussions about texts describes the teachers role as a facilitat or who introduces a particular way of thinking and talking about story (Hansen, 2004; Kucan & Beck, 1997); as a collaborator in constructing meaning during literary discussions (Jewell & Pratt, 1999); as definitive in regard to creating the social context (S ipe, 2000); as fluidly moving between participant, guide, facilitator, and learner (Gilles & Pierce, 2003); and as a discussion director in a dialogic exchange of meaning (Nystrand, 2006). The amount of time and attention devoted to discussions about texts provided evidence that the teachers in this study take the social
144 nature of learning to heart, thereby tipping a hat to studies that take into account the social nature of reading and its re lationship to thinking and learning. Results of this study also address what te achers describe as influencing their use of questioning moves within the reading program. A consis tent finding is that the teachers stance in regard to their interacti on with students and their subsequent use of questioning moves, as well as their use of in structional materials, is influenced by the nature and intensity of their professional de velopment. Teachers in this study call upon their professional development to strategically use their instructional materials to make daily decisions about teaching reading. In th is study, teachers culled the core reading program for essential learning objectives, then exercised their professional rights and went outside the core reading program to fl exibly meet learning outcomes. To that end, exemplary models of childrens literature we re used to promote the reading purpose and to further strategy work. In the classroo m where word study was observed, the teacher dipped into instructional materials outside the core reading progr am for vocabulary and word study instruction. These supplemental read ing materials were more in line with how she believes reading should be taught. Findings in this study also re vealed the nature of attention that teachers gave to their cla ssroom environment, instructional design, and their students engagement with texts. Ta ken together, the findings in this study exemplify the notion that rega rdless of whether or not teac hers can explicitly articulate their theoretical perspective, their beliefs play a dominant role in the resources they choose, the instructional practices they em ploy, the environment they create in their classrooms, and the stance they adopt (Eis enhart, Cuthbert, Shrum, & Harding, 1988; Serafini, 2002).
145 Implications for Reading Teachers and Educators During the course of this study, the implicat ions that emerged for reading teachers and educators are themed around issues of pr ofessional development and time. The focus of this study was on the nature of the language teachers use to engage students in talk about text by investigating que stioning moves; which also provi ded insight to what is not said to engage students in talk about text and why. As discussed in Chapter Four, the pr ofessional development opportunities and experiences of the teachers in this study we re unequal in terms of nature, intensity, and support, which contributed to the differences in their instructi onal focus and their students engagement with text. Considerati on to the kinds of professional development opportunities and experiences that will extend and refine teachers knowledge base in engaging students in talk about text seem essential. Importance is placed on the instructional leader and the impact of the school sharing a common vision to this end. Also, importance is placed on teachers profession al responsibility to aggressively pursue learning opportunities that e fficiently push their learning forward to enhance their practice. Learning is gradual and continual. It is not e nough to read about or watch demonstrations of how to engage students in talk about text. Lear ning opportunities need to also allow for guided practice, critical feedback, and coaching toward independence. Investigating venues that meet the diverse needs of teachers, s upport learning close to current research, allow rigorous conversations and collaboration with peers, and offer ongoing support structures that scaffold and facilitate attempts to apply new learning, could be a valuable pursuit (DuFour, 2004; Dufour, Defour, Eaker, & Many, 2006; Fang, Fu, & Lamme, 2004; Gelberg, 2008). The collabor ative nature of such learning could be
146 one way for teachers to take their learning to the level of knowledge that will have longterm effects on enhancing thei r practice. It could also he lp bridge the gap between teachers desire to acquire new learni ng and their access to intense and supported professional development. To build preci sion, continuous observations and thoughtful reflections about how the nature of their learning impacts the learning experiences provided for students is key (Allington, 2002). In regard to time, teachers in this st udy view the time dedicated to reading instruction as sacred, providing students more than the 90-miniutes required by the state. Both teachers structured their time to provide students a variety of learning experiences, which expanded their role in engaging stude nts with talk about texts. Each learning experience provided created teacher-student or student-student interactions and resulted in differences in the nature of talk about texts. A highlight of this study was the focus on one reader at a time to empower and strengthen his/her ability to understand text s with the goal of making the reader more responsible for his/her own thinking. To pr ovide students with dedicated reading time with an orientation toward res ponsibility, it is first necessary to invest time in modeling and reflecting upon expectations around students engagement with texts. Such modeling will serve to empower student s with how to make book selections and how to build reading stamina. This study also points to investing time in understanding the value of one-to-one reading conferences to deepen teachers understanding of each student as an individual reader. There are many aspects of conferencing to investigate, along with implications for management structures and systems of account ability to ensure purposeful use of time.
147 Recommendations for Future Research The purpose of this study was to examine and describe the nature of questioning moves that exemplary fourth-grade teachers use during reading instruction. One of the delimitations of this study is the disparity in the teachers level of experience and expertise in the teaching of reading due to th e nature of their professional development. While Carlas and Marthas professional development stems from the same research base, the professional development Carla received in another state in regard to engaging students in talk about text wa s broader in scope, had greate r intensity, was in-depth in nature, and she received layers of support in her implementation efforts, which allowed her to employ a wider repertoire of qu estioning moves. Marthas professional development differed in that it was delivered at an awareness-building level by a single consultant on an occasional basis with less implementation support. The professional development opportunities provided for Martha in regard to engaging students in talk about text have been limited and while essentia l, have been insufficient in regard to depth and implementation support to facilitate the transfer of new knowledge. To probe deeper into this line of inquiry, a fu ture study could target the na ture and depth of professional development as selection criteria and include a larger number of teachers. Another limitation of this study is that it was conduc ted in two fourth-grade classrooms for the entirety of the 90-minute r eading block over a relatively short period of time. Both teachers conducted additional components of the reading curriculum outside the 90-minute reading block, and th ese components were not observed. Another study might be a longitudinal study that focuse s just on the language teachers use in oneto-one reading conferences a nd includes the data such conferences yield to learn more
148 about how teachers use language to coach indivi dual students to go as far as they can go as readers. It might also be informative to see if students participation in scaffolded conversations in one-to-one reading conferen ces strengthens their ability to actively participate in small group and/or whole group di scussions about texts. This inquiry could investigate if there is a reci procal relationship between th e venues of one-to-one reading conferences, small group discussion, and whole group discussion in regard to students ability to construct meaning from texts. Still another area that lends itself to further research is the impact of teachers reiterative questioning on students metacogniti on. For instance, it would be interesting to see, in regard to questioning moves, if t eachers questioning extends students cognition. This inquiry could investigate if students think deeper a bout text when they are doing reading work on their own in a natural setting because they have internalized the subtle questioning moves used by the teacher. Since professional development was a ke y contributor to teachers use of questioning moves, it would be informative to identify what components of professional development facilitate the transfer of new learning to actual practice in a way that impacts student achievement. Also inform ative would be the identification of professional development models that sustai n school-wide efforts to maximize students engagement with texts. A di fferent study might also inves tigate whether instructional outcomes can be predicted using alternative in structional methods and materials. I think it is important to fully explore the rigor behi nd professional development and how districts, given the reality of budgetary issues, offer professional development and implementation support to teachers. Such an exploration might lead researchers to ask about the
149 characteristics of professional development that initiates and sustains changes in teaching practice in regard to reading instruction. Since the development of our early Ameri can schools, reading instruction remains at the forefront both politically (B aumann, 1992; Shannon, 1983, 1987; Smith, 2002) and in terms of pedagogy (Apple, 1995; Dole, Du ffy, Roehler, & Pearson, 1991; National Reading Panel, 2000; Paris, Wixon, & Palincs car, 1986; Pearson, 2004; Serafini, 2003). Researchers consistently emphasize that it is the teachers knowledge base and instructional deliverance that matters most in re gard to preparing stude nts to be proficient readers for the 21st century (Allington, 2002; National Commission, 1996; Shannon, 1983, 2007). As revealed in the literature, in orde r to participate as fully literate, informed citizens in a democratic society students need the ability to be thoughtful, discriminating readers who are able to negotia te the meaning of texts on th eir own, talk about texts in thoughtful ways, and challenge others interpre tations, as well as accept the challenge of others (Holcomb, 2005; Luke, 1995). To that end, this study found many factors that influence how and when discussions take place and illuminated the teachers role in sustaining talk about text. Enga ging students in discussions about texts is not for the faint hearted. To provide students with such learning experiences requires deliberate knowledge building on behalf of the teach er, systematic and ongoing implementation support, and the opportunity for frequent re flection on the enactment of new knowledge to student learning. Thus amplifying the sen timent put forth by John Cotton Dana (1997), Who dares to teach must never cease to learn.
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167 Appendix A: Literacy Orientation Survey (LOS) Name___________________________________ Date______________ Directions: Read the following statements and circle the response that indicates your feelings or behaviors regarding literacy and literacy instruction. 1. The purpose of reading instruction is to teach ch ildren to recognize words and to pronounce them correctly. strongly strongly disagree agree 1 2 3 4 5 2. When students read text, I ask them que stions such as "What does it mean?" never always 1 2 3 4 5 3. Reading and writing are unrelated processes. strongly strongly disagree agree 1 2 3 4 5 4. When planning instruction, I take into account the needs of children by including activities that meet their social, emo tional, physical, and affective needs. never always 1 2 3 4 5 5. Students should be treated as individu al learners rather than as a group. strongly strongly disagree agree 1 2 3 4 5 6. I schedule time every day for self -selected reading and writing experiences. never always 1 2 3 4 5
168 7. Students should use "fix-up strategies" su ch as rereading when text meaning is unclear. strongly strongly disagree agree 1 2 3 4 5 8. Teachers should read aloud to students on a daily basis. strongly strongly disagree agree 1 2 3 4 5 9. I encourage my students to monitor their comprehension as they read. never always 1 2 3 4 5 10. I use a variety of prereading st rategies with my students. never always 1 2 3 4 5 11. It is not necessary for st udents to write text on a daily basis. strongly strongly disagree agree 1 2 3 4 5 12. Students should be encouraged to sound out all unknown words. strongly strongly disagree agree 1 2 3 4 5 13. The purpose of reading is to understand print. strongly strongly disagree agree 1 2 3 4 5 14. I hold parent workshops or send home news letters with ideas about how parents can help their children with school.
169 never always 1 2 3 4 5 15. I organize my classroom so that my student s have an opportunity to write in at least one subject every day. never always 1 2 3 4 5 16. I ask the parents of my students to shar e their time, knowledge and expertise in my classroom. never always 1 2 3 4 5 17. Writers in my classroom generally m ove through the proce sses of prewriting, drafting, and revising. never always 1 2 3 4 5 18. In my class, I organize reading, writing, speaki ng, and listening around key concepts. never always 1 2 3 4 5 19. Reading instruction should always be de livered to the whole class at the same time. strongly strongly disagree agree 1 2 3 4 5 20. I teach using themes or integrated units. never always 1 2 3 4 5 21. Grouping for reading instruct ion should always be based on ability. strongly strongly disagree agree 1 2 3 4 5
170 22. Subjects should be integrat ed across the curriculum. strongly strongly disagree agree 1 2 3 4 5 23. I use a variety of grouping patterns to teach reading such as skill groups, interest groups, whole group, and i ndividual instruction. never always 1 2 3 4 5 24. Students need to write for a variety of purposes. strongly strongly disagree agree 1 2 3 4 5 25. I take advantage of opportunities to lear n about teaching by attending professional conferences and/or graduate classes and by reading professional journals. never always 1 2 3 4 5 26. Parents' attitudes toward literacy affect my students' progress. strongly strongly disagree agree 1 2 3 4 5 27. The major purpose of reading assessment is to determine a student's placement in the basal reader. strongly strongly disagree agree 1 2 3 4 5 28. I assess my students' reading progress pr imarily by teacher-made and/or book tests. never always 1 2 3 4 5
171 29. Parental reading habits in the home a ffect their children's attitudes toward reading. strongly strongly disagree agree 1 2 3 4 5 30. At the end of each day, I reflect on th e effectiveness of my instructional decisions. never always 1 2 3 4 5
172 LOS Scoring Sheet Name___________________________________ Date______________ Directions: Place the number of your answer in the space provided. Recode answers for items with an asterisk (*). Beliefs Practices *1. _____ 2. _____ *3. _____ 4. _____ 5. _____ 6. _____ 7. _____ 9. _____ 8. _____ 10. _____ *11. _____ 14. _____ *12. _____ 15. _____ 13. _____ 16. _____ *19. _____ 17. _____ *21. _____ 18. _____ 22. _____ 20. _____ 24. _____ 23. _____ 26. _____ 25. _____ *27. _____ *28. _____ 29. _____ 30. _____ Beliefs score: _____ Practices score: _____ Total score: _____ *Recoding Scale 1 = 5 2 = 4 3 = 3 4 = 2 5 = 1
173 Interpreting Your (LOS) Score Teacher's Name _________________ Date __________ 1. Plot your Total Score on the line. 90 ..95 ..100 ..105 ..110 ..115 ..120 ..125 ..130 ..135 ..140 ..145 traditional teacher eclectic teacher constructivist teacher 2. If your score is in the 90-110 range, you ar e most likely a traditional teacher. If your score is in the 111-125 ra nge, you are most likely an eclectic teacher. If your score is in the 126-145 range, you are most likely a constructivist teacher. 3. Plot your Beliefs Score on the line. 22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124 4. If your score is closest to 51, you ha ve beliefs similar to a traditional teacher. If your score is closest to 61, you ha ve beliefs similar to an eclectic teacher. If your score is closest to 69, you have beliefs similar to a constructivist teacher. 5. Plot your Practice Score on the line. 126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199 6. If your score is closest to 51, you have practices similar to a traditional teacher. If your score is closest to 56, you have practices similar to an eclectic teacher. If your score is closest to 63, you have practices similar to a constructivist teacher. 7. List your Beliefs Score _____ List your Pr actices Score _____ 8. If your Beliefs Score is higher than your Practice Score, you have not yet found a way to incorporate your c onstructivist beliefs in your classroom. If your Practice Score is higher th an your Beliefs Score, you need to think about why you make the in structional decisions that you do.
174 Definitions of teaching practices Traditional teacher: uses traditional reading methods such as basal reading instruction teaches using primarily direct instruction views students as "vessels to be filled" Eclectic teacher uses some traditional and some constructivist reading methods frequently "basalizes" literature selections combines traditional and cons tructivist views about student learning Constructivist teacher uses whole text a nd integrated instruction teaches using primarily an inquiry approach views students as using prior kno wledge to construct meaning to learn
175 Appendix B: Outline of Proposed Study Title of Study: The Nature of Questioning Moves Used by Exemplary Teachers During Reading Instruction Researcher : Melinda Lundy Purpose of Research : Doctoral Dissertation, Univ ersity of South Florida Proposed Location for Collection of Data : Three Manatee County School Sites Proposed Participants : One exemplary fourth-grade teacher from each school site Description of Research : This study will use qualitative methods to answer the following questions. These questions are broad in scope to provide a close analysis of what exemplary teachers say during reading inst ruction to engage students in higher level thinking and talk about text. What is the nature of the questioning moves exemplary teachers use in fourthgrade classrooms during reading instruction? What do exemplary fourth-grade teachers describe as influencing their use of questioning moves within the reading program? Data Collection Fall 2007: Proposed data collection wi ll begin after obtaining informed consent from the teacher and permi ssion from the parents of the fourth-grade students in each exemplary teachers classr oom. (This is an approved form from the University of South Floridas In ternational Review Board (IRB).) Permission request forms for students will be provided by the researcher and sent home from school. Data collection will consist of three classroom observations, two videotapes, and two interviews.
176 Researcher will visit classrooms three times to observe the 90-minute reading block; Tool used to collect da ta will be observational field notes. Two additional 90-minute reading bloc ks will be captured on videotape. Following review of the tapes, the res earcher will share segments with the teacher to glean a deeper understanding of their instructional decisions for the language used to engage student s in higher order thinking and talk about text. Two focused interviews will be conducted and supported by audiotape. Interviews will be conducted person-t o-person at the participants school site and last appr oximately one hour. Significance of the Proposed Research: This study will examine the language three exemplary fourth-grade teachers use as a me dium for promoting reading comprehension through deeper student engagement. While a number of researchers have conducted and reviewed studies on classroom discourse as it affects reading comprehension, they mainly focused on middle and high school populations, which results in a gap in the literature. This study will expand on researchers current line of thinking by applying what is known about classroom discourse and read ing comprehension to fourth-grade classrooms. This view may suggest opportunities fo r learning afforded to students while simultaneously examining how teachers use lan guage to shape the nature of teaching and learning. The findings from this study will pr ovide an opportunity for reading teachers and educators to better unders tand the nature of talk teach ers use in classrooms during reading instruction, and will give voice to the teacher regarding her perceptions,
177 knowledge base, and instructional decisi on making that is her own phenomenology. Potential Benefits and Risks: The benefits of this study include advancing teachers understanding regarding the nature of teacher talk they use in classrooms during reading instruction and contributing to ward increased understanding in the field. There are no anticipated risks.
178 Appendix C: Timeline for Data Collection. Data Collection Timeline Week Data Collection Method Total Time Week 1 Interview each teacher 60 minutes 180 minutes Week 2 Observe each teache rs 90-minute reading block 270 minutes Week 3 Videotape each teache rs 90-minute reading block 270 minutes Week 4 Observe each teachers 90-minut e reading block 270 minutes Week 5 Videotape each teac hers 90-minute reading block 270 minutes Week 6 Observe each teach ers 90-minute reading block 270 minutes Week 7 Interview each teacher 60 minutes 180 minutes
179 Appendix D: Phases of Study Phase 1 Phase II Phase III Week 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Interview Principals X LOS/Preliminary Observation X Interview & Audiotape X X X X Observation & Fieldnotes X X X X Videotape X X Data Analysis X X X X X X X X
180 Appendix E: Interview Protocol A 1. What do you believe about how students learn to read? 2. What has influenced your belief system about teaching reading? 3. How has your belief system changed your teaching? 4. What is your responsibility in regard to teaching reading? 5. What do you feel is the relationship be tween your teaching beliefs and actual classroom practice? 6. Do you reflect on your reading instruction? How? 7. What instructional practices make up th e most important part of your reading instruction? 8. What instructional materials make up th e most important part of your reading instruction?
181 Appendix F: Interview Protocol B 1. What learning experience has made the gr eatest contribution to your professional development as a reading teacher? 2. Who gives you the most support in your r eading instruction? In what way(s)? 3. How much planning time goes into your reading instruction? 4. How do you measure students growth in reading? 5. How has the K-12 plan (pages 10-11) impacted your reading instruction? 6. What are your professional goals for th is school year in regard to reading instruction and how will you work to achieve them?
182 Appendix G: Discussion Parameters Discussion Parameters (developed by Wilkinson, Murphy, & Soter, 2003, 2005) Control of Topic (Teacher or Student) Interpretive Authority (Teacher or Student) Control of Turns (Teacher or Students) Chooses Text (Teacher or Students) Teacher or Student Led (Teacher or Students) Grouping by Ability (Heteroge neous or Homogeneous) Reading Before/During (Before or During) Genre (Narrative Fiction or Expository) Whole Class/Small Group (Whole Class or Small Group) Expressive Stance (High, Medium, or Low) Efferent Stance (High, Medium, or Low) Critical-Analytic Stance (H igh, Medium, or Low) Authorial Intention (H igh, Medium, or Low)
About the Author Melinda Moran Lundy received a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of South Florida (USF) in 1994. She began serv ing the School District of Manatee County as a classroom teacher; achieving Nati onal Board Certification in 1999. Melinda graduated with her Master of Arts Degree from USF in 2001, and subsequently served the school district as a Litera cy Coach to K-5 teachers. While in the Ph.D. program at USF, Melin da served as a Graduate Assistant and taught undergraduate courses in literacy. She also taught literacy courses as an adjunct professor on the Sarasota-Manatee campus. Me linda has made presentations at state and local conferences. Her research interests include the role of teacher talk as it pertains to facilitating childrens developing literary unde rstanding, effective re ading instruction, teacher education, and the perspectives adopted by teachers in their day-to-day practice. Melinda presently serves the School Dist rict of Manatee C ounty as a Curriculum Specialist.
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The nature of questioning moves used by exemplary teachers during reading instruction
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Dissertation (Ph.D.)--University of South Florida, 2008.
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Text (Electronic dissertation) in PDF format.
ABSTRACT: This study examines and describes the nature of questioning moves used by two exemplary fourth-grade teachers during reading instruction. Questioning moves are defined in this study as the ways in which teachers use scaffolding questions to engage students in talk about text. Another point of interest in this study was to determine how teachers perceive the influence of instructional materials on the language they use to engage students in talk about text. This study was situated within a constructivist paradigm of inquiry and drew from the case study tradition for its design. Naturalistic methods of data collection were employed including transcripts of teacher and student talk, field notes, videotapes, and interviews with the teachers. Data analysis was conducted in two stages. First data were analyzed separately within each case to locate emerging patterns to build each teacher's profile. Then data were juxtaposed for the purpose of comparison to illuminate similarities and differences in patterns that cut across cases. In general, results show that while questioning moves used by exemplary fourth-grade teachers are different, they are simple and subtle. The questioning moves used provided scaffolding for the purpose of increasing the students' responsibility for constructing meaning from text and signaled teachers' high expectations in their students' ability to read and interact with text. Teachers' use of questioning moves was determined by the instructional focus and hinged on the nature, intensity, and support of their professional development opportunities and experiences. Additional findings, indirectly related to teachers' use of questioning moves, and the influences on their use, were themed around the nature of attention that teachers gave to their classroom environment and instructional design. Implications of the results of this study for reading teachers and educators are themed around issues of professional development and time.
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Advisor: Kathryn Laframboise, Ph.D.
x Childhood Education and Literacy Studies
t USF Electronic Theses and Dissertations.