The process of change experienced by pre-service and in-service social studies teachers in an online content area reading course
Aimee L. Alexander-Shea, University of South Florida, United States
University of South Florida . Awarded
With the passing of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 and subsequent high-stakes tests, including the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT), literacy has become top priority in the field of education (Florida Department of Education [FDOE], no date a; NCLB, 2002). Though social studies was not mentioned in NCLB, nor is it tested by the FCAT, social studies teachers are expected to teach literacy skills in their classrooms. Social studies teachers’ accountability for literacy enhancement is evidenced by the fact that some states, including Florida, now require social studies teachers to complete a course in reading integration to qualify for teaching certification in that state (Stilwell, 1999).
Integrating reading into the content areas is commonly referred to as content area reading. By using content area reading, social studies teachers implement teaching strategies, methods, and techniques that foster their students’ comprehension of the texts and other materials used in their course (Alvermann & Phelps, 2002; Billmeyer & Barton, 2002; Tovani, 2000). Though there are many benefits to content area reading, social studies teachers have resisted implementing content area reading for decades (Carnine, 2000; Daisey & Shroyer, 1993; Jacobs & Wade, 1981; Moore, 1983; Nourie & Lenski, 1998; Ratekin, Simpson, Alvermann, & Dishner, 1985; Richardson, Anders, Tidwell, & Lloyd, 1991; Stewart & O’Brien, 1989; Vaughan, 1977). Furthermore, research suggests that content area reading courses are often associated with heightened resistance to implementing content area reading (Nourie & Lenski, 1998; Stewart & O’Brien, 1989).
In order for a content area reading course to impact the classroom practices social studies teacher in the intended ways, the course instructor must be sensitive to the process of change that the student is engaged in and recognize the causes of resistance to change. The Concerns-Based Adoption Model (CBAM) is a framework that provides tools by which the process of change and resistance to change can be evaluated and better understood.
This study was designed to examine the characteristics surrounding the process of change as social studies teachers learned about and implemented content area reading into the social studies curriculum.
Alexander-Shea, A.L. The process of change experienced by pre-service and in-service social studies teachers in an online content area reading course. Ph.D. thesis, University of South Florida.
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