Teacher expertise can influence student experiences and achievement. The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences, practices, and beliefs of early elementary classroom teachers who have supplementary literacy certification in order to determine their shared characteristics and changes to their practice after earning the literacy license. Characteristics of high quality literacy teachers have been identified in previous research, however a review of the current literature revealed a lack of information regarding classroom teachers with additional literacy certification. Understanding how they utilize this expertise could have implications for educational policy. Data was collected for this phenomenological study through semi-structured one-on-one interviews and analyzed using the interpretative phenomenological analysis procedure. The sixteen participants held a Wisconsin (WI) Reading Teacher license and/or WI Reading Specialist license and taught kindergarten, first, or second grade in WI at the time of the interviews. Interpretative phenomenology and social cognitive theory provided a theoretical framework for this study. Since earning the literacy certification participants reported: increased confidence, using their new knowledge to help students, families, and colleagues, a new capacity for going beyond the prescribed curriculum, and an increased ability to meet individual student needs. The findings of this study have potential to impact school district policies for hiring and professional development as well as individual teacher decision-making around the procurement and use of literacy expertise. Student achievement in literacy may benefit from the resulting actions of educators.
Boehm Marsicek, Theresa Boehm
"Literacy Experts as Classroom Teachers,"
Mid-Western Educational Researcher: Vol. 34:
4, Article 3.
Available at: https://scholarworks.bgsu.edu/mwer/vol34/iss4/3