Date of Award

5-2016

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

First Advisor

Sydney Brown

Abstract

In the United States, an alarming number of students cannot read proficiently, though there is best-practice research on how to effectively teach readers at all levels. This study examined the impact teacher preparation courses as well as the student teaching experience had on preservice teachers’ self-efficacy for literacy instruction. An extensive review of the literature revealed there is not a large body of research that is literacy content-specific and focused on the preservice teacher efficacy. This study is significant in that the process of teacher preparation in universities is one of continuous improvement. Professors of teacher preparation courses must rely on research to consistently put evidence-based practices in place for improvement to impact student achievement. This study adds to the knowledge base of institutions of higher education to help build preservice teachers’ sense of self-efficacy, thus making stronger, more efficacious beginning teachers.

The researcher utilized a mixed-methods research design. Data were collected with the Efficacy Scale for Teachers of Reading (EST-R) and through interview questions that determined the extent of preservice teacher perceptions on (a) the impact the student teaching experience had on elementary preservice teachers’ sense of self-efficacy in teaching reading, (b) the impact a senior-level literacy course had on elementary preservice teachers’ sense of self-efficacy in teaching reading, and (c) the relationship between the impact of coursework and the student teaching experience on elementary preservice teachers’ sense of self-efficacy in teaching reading.

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