Exploring Early Years Teachers’ Beliefs and Practices About Shared Reading: A Mixed Methods Approach

Soultana Manesi, Kindergarten Teacher, Med, PhD Student.

 Abstract

The purpose of the present research was twofold: (a) to explore preschool and kindergarten teachers’ beliefs and practices concerning the role of shared book reading in promoting preschoolers’ emergent literacy skills and (b) to investigate which elaborative behaviours and activities early years teachers consider important, in order to enrich shared reading and create a warm and supportive shared-reading climate. An explanatory sequential mixed methods research design was employed. It involved a quantitative phase which used questionnaires as a research tool and a qualitative phase which consisted of ten semi-structured interviews with preschool and kindergarten teachers. There were several important themes that emerged from this research in terms of shared-reading contexts: participants seemed to belong to the performance-oriented, high-demand and non-interrupting readers, expressed a positive stance towards language development skills, a rather sceptical attitude towards discussion about book conventions and print conventions as well as their emphasis on inferential/decontextualised language.

Key-words: Abstract-thinking skills, early childhood education, early years teachers’ beliefs, emergent literacy skills, reading styles, shared book reading

 

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