Citation

Cambodian Teachers’ Perspectives and Instructional Strategies on Teaching Reading in Content-Areas in Upper Elementary Classes

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Abstract:

Statement of Purpose:
In Cambodia, little research has been done on how teachers teach reading in their content-area classes (Kim & Rouse, 2011). Teachers’ perspectives of, and knowledge/skills in reading and teaching reading are essential links to how well they instruct their students and how well their students learn. Reading is an integral skill for students to possess, and hence it is necessary to investigate. Reading skills necessary at the upper-elementary classes are different from those needed in lower-elementary classes (Dieker & Little, 2005). Thus, upper-elementary school teachers teaching academic subjects must be responsible for the instruction and practice of more advanced reading concepts, strategies, and skills. Therefore, this study aims to discover how and what teachers do to teach reading in content-areas, and what their perspectives are regarding the conceptual knowledge of reading and teaching reading in content-areas.

Perspectives and Theoretical Framework:
Socio-cultural and socio-cognitive perspectives on reading and learning framed this study. These two stances are supported by the ideas of Purcell-Gates, Jacobson, and Degener (2004), and Ruddell and Ubrau (2004), in the fact that, reading is both a social and a cognitive process where students and teachers regularly interact with each other and the text in an attempt to achieve a variety of cognitive and social goals. This study is also informed by a theoretical model of teacher thinking. Clark and Peterson (1986) stress that teacher beliefs and attitudes relate to classroom instruction and to student performance. Past research has supported this claim and demonstrated that teachers’ personal theories and beliefs influence how they teach literacy and what they signify as important reading processes for their students (Allington, 1991; Lehman, Freeman, & Allen, 1994).

Methods:
I conduct this research as a qualitative case study (Merriam, 1998). The research is carried out at two selected public elementary schools in a suburban district in Battambang, Cambodia. The two Cambodian teachers teaching grade 5 or 6 in Khmer (Cambodian language) from each school are also purposefully selected to be participants.

Data Sources:
Multiple sources of data include: personal reflections on my teaching experiences, interviews, observations, and documents in order to triangulate the information (Denzin & Lincoln, 2005; Merriam, 1998). I begin the study by conducting semi-structured and in-depth interviews with participants; and it is followed by classroom observations. I also study the school curricular resources including textbooks and teacher guidebooks in order to get a better insight into, and analysis of how reading is taught within content-area classes.

Interpretations / Preliminary Results:
I draw the preliminary findings of this study from my own reflections on my experiences teaching reading in grade 6 classes and observing the four participants during the course of the data collection. Cambodian teachers are not generally be familiar with reading strategies and are not informed about successful reading programs. Experiences and conversations with the teachers suggest that the reason they do not help the students with reading and comprehending their course material is because many of them do not know how to teach reading, and they only employ general teaching strategies (student-centered and teacher-centered approaches) to teach content-area reading. The teachers do not have time to focus on reading depending on their workload and the large number of students in their class.
Additionally, a number of factors may impact the teachers’ attitudes, beliefs, and choice of instructional strategies when teaching reading in content-areas. Those key factors are teacher preparation programs, support available from administration in the form of professional development, accountability, and personal beliefs and experience. In reality, teachers select strategies and teach according to what they find most comfortable and have the highest levels of efficacy with and often ignore what research/literature says is or is not effective.

Significance of the Study:
The data gained from the sample of the population in this study will offer useful information for the improvement of teacher education programs, curriculum development, teaching reading methods, and in-service teacher development. Furthermore, the findings of this study will provide school administrators and educators at the Ministry level with some insights into the practices, the voices and the beliefs of their teachers, enabling the administration to focus on professional development and improving practices at the school level.

Author's Keywords:

Comparatives studies: teacher development and teaching reading
Convention
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Association:
Name: Comparative and International Education Society Annual Conference
URL:
http://www.cies.us


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p709238_index.html
Direct Link:
HTML Code:

MLA Citation:

Ong, Bopha. "Cambodian Teachers’ Perspectives and Instructional Strategies on Teaching Reading in Content-Areas in Upper Elementary Classes" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Comparative and International Education Society Annual Conference, Sheraton Centre Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Mar 10, 2014 <Not Available>. 2014-12-10 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p709238_index.html>

APA Citation:

Ong, B. , 2014-03-10 "Cambodian Teachers’ Perspectives and Instructional Strategies on Teaching Reading in Content-Areas in Upper Elementary Classes" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Comparative and International Education Society Annual Conference, Sheraton Centre Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada <Not Available>. 2014-12-10 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p709238_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Statement of Purpose:
In Cambodia, little research has been done on how teachers teach reading in their content-area classes (Kim & Rouse, 2011). Teachers’ perspectives of, and knowledge/skills in reading and teaching reading are essential links to how well they instruct their students and how well their students learn. Reading is an integral skill for students to possess, and hence it is necessary to investigate. Reading skills necessary at the upper-elementary classes are different from those needed in lower-elementary classes (Dieker & Little, 2005). Thus, upper-elementary school teachers teaching academic subjects must be responsible for the instruction and practice of more advanced reading concepts, strategies, and skills. Therefore, this study aims to discover how and what teachers do to teach reading in content-areas, and what their perspectives are regarding the conceptual knowledge of reading and teaching reading in content-areas.

Perspectives and Theoretical Framework:
Socio-cultural and socio-cognitive perspectives on reading and learning framed this study. These two stances are supported by the ideas of Purcell-Gates, Jacobson, and Degener (2004), and Ruddell and Ubrau (2004), in the fact that, reading is both a social and a cognitive process where students and teachers regularly interact with each other and the text in an attempt to achieve a variety of cognitive and social goals. This study is also informed by a theoretical model of teacher thinking. Clark and Peterson (1986) stress that teacher beliefs and attitudes relate to classroom instruction and to student performance. Past research has supported this claim and demonstrated that teachers’ personal theories and beliefs influence how they teach literacy and what they signify as important reading processes for their students (Allington, 1991; Lehman, Freeman, & Allen, 1994).

Methods:
I conduct this research as a qualitative case study (Merriam, 1998). The research is carried out at two selected public elementary schools in a suburban district in Battambang, Cambodia. The two Cambodian teachers teaching grade 5 or 6 in Khmer (Cambodian language) from each school are also purposefully selected to be participants.

Data Sources:
Multiple sources of data include: personal reflections on my teaching experiences, interviews, observations, and documents in order to triangulate the information (Denzin & Lincoln, 2005; Merriam, 1998). I begin the study by conducting semi-structured and in-depth interviews with participants; and it is followed by classroom observations. I also study the school curricular resources including textbooks and teacher guidebooks in order to get a better insight into, and analysis of how reading is taught within content-area classes.

Interpretations / Preliminary Results:
I draw the preliminary findings of this study from my own reflections on my experiences teaching reading in grade 6 classes and observing the four participants during the course of the data collection. Cambodian teachers are not generally be familiar with reading strategies and are not informed about successful reading programs. Experiences and conversations with the teachers suggest that the reason they do not help the students with reading and comprehending their course material is because many of them do not know how to teach reading, and they only employ general teaching strategies (student-centered and teacher-centered approaches) to teach content-area reading. The teachers do not have time to focus on reading depending on their workload and the large number of students in their class.
Additionally, a number of factors may impact the teachers’ attitudes, beliefs, and choice of instructional strategies when teaching reading in content-areas. Those key factors are teacher preparation programs, support available from administration in the form of professional development, accountability, and personal beliefs and experience. In reality, teachers select strategies and teach according to what they find most comfortable and have the highest levels of efficacy with and often ignore what research/literature says is or is not effective.

Significance of the Study:
The data gained from the sample of the population in this study will offer useful information for the improvement of teacher education programs, curriculum development, teaching reading methods, and in-service teacher development. Furthermore, the findings of this study will provide school administrators and educators at the Ministry level with some insights into the practices, the voices and the beliefs of their teachers, enabling the administration to focus on professional development and improving practices at the school level.


Similar Titles:
The Mathematics of Children’s Thinking: An Examination of Teacher Educators’ Use of Invented Strategies in a Mathematics Content Course for Perspective Elementary Teachers.

Teachers' Perspective on a Linguistically-Informed Approach to Content Area Reading

Preservice Teachers’ Knowledge and Self-efficacy Beliefs Related to Implementing Reading Instructional Strategies in the Content Areas


 
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