PreService teachers' knowledge and beliefs concerning boys' literacy instruction and its correlation to their teacher sense of efficacy
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Current test data reveal that in every state, at every grade level tested, school-aged males are scoring lower on reading assessments than their female counterparts. Given the instrumental role of the elementary reading teacher and the data documenting growing male underachievement, this quantitative study investigated the relationship between preservice teachers' knowledge and beliefs and sense of efficacy for reading instruction for boys. The quantitative study involved 97 participants enrolled in Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi's student teacher program during the Fall semester of 2012 and the Spring semester of 2013. Participants were distributed among the three elementary level Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies degree programs: Bilingual, Early Childhood, and Reading. Descriptive data provided the information for this study as it related to what the student teachers knew about reading instruction for boys, what they believed about reading instruction for boys and whether, in effect, these aligned with their sense of self-efficacy as it related to boys and reading instruction. Three instruments were administered: Knowledge About Boys and Reading Instruction Survey (KBRI), Beliefs About Boys and Reading Instruction Survey (BBRI), and the Teacher Sense of Efficacy for Boys and Reading Instruction Survey (TSEBRI). Data were analyzed using frequency distribution and multiple regression analysis. Multiple regression analyses concluded that there was a statistical relationship between the preservice teachers' depth of knowledge and their teacher sense of efficacy for literacy instruction for boys. No statistical significance was found in looking at the relationship between the student teachers' beliefs about boys and reading and their teacher sense of efficacy. Results indicate that the student teachers' perceptions concerning their sense of efficacy in regard to reading instruction for boys were more consistent and had higher associations with their knowledge about the subject than did the student teachers' beliefs about boys and reading and reading instruction. These findings suggest that student teachers' depth of knowledge and traditional beliefs about gender have important implications for teacher educators, teachers, administrators, and researchers, all of whom strive to ensure that all of today's students are equipped with the academic skills they will need to become productive citizens.
A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Curriculum and Instruction.