Influences on teachers' judgements of students' literacy development in a Victorian context

Fehring, H 1999, Influences on teachers' judgements of students' literacy development in a Victorian context, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Education, RMIT University.


Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Influences on teachers' judgements of students' literacy development in a Victorian context
Author(s) Fehring, H
Year 1999
Abstract The research presented in this thesis investigates the influences on teachers' judgements of students' literacy development in a Victorian (Australia) context. By establishing the study within the paradigm known as constructivism (Guba & Lincoln, 1994) using constructivist (naturalistic) inquiry and qualitative methods of data collection (Denzin & Lincoln, 1994), the study describes through constructive, interpretive analysis the influences on teachers' decision making processes. By utilising the strengths of ethnographic participation an non-participation observation (Goetz & LeCompte, 1984), purposefully selecting case study school sites and participating teachers (Patton, 1990), and using the teachers' voice the influences on teachers' judgements of students' literacy development have been investigated through inductive analysis.

The literature review examines the diversity in the conceptualisation of the concept literacy, describes three of the major views regarding the historical and current theoretical perspectives underpinning English language learning, and presents an analysis of current literacy learning continua. The review focuses the study on a significant gap in the information pertaining to influences on teachers' decision making processes. The research investigates the complexities of teachers' decision making processes in the formation of literacy judgements. The data collection involved three school sites in metropolitan Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The three case studies centred on three main teachers. To facilitate the triangulation of information additional data sources were used: key informant interviews; curriculum and policy documents and classroom and student artefacts.

Seven spheres of influence emerged from the data in this study. These spheres are identified as internalised reflective knowledge, assessment strategy selection, external considerations, dissemination, peer power, standards and macro political context. Recommendations for enhancing educational practice flow from the thesis; they have most relevance to teachers and principals in the field, educational policy makers, and to tertiary educators involved in educational change. This study augments the research pertaining to literacy assessment and reporting practices and to understanding of influences on teachers' judgemental processes.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Education
Keyword(s) Literacy assessment
literacy reporting
teacher judgement and assessment
case study research
primary school literacy assessment and reporting practices
teachers’ decision making strategies
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Created: Fri, 10 Jun 2011, 16:30:28 EST by Guy Aron
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