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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Robert Morrow

First Committee Member

Marilyn Draheim

Second Committee Member

Phyllis Hensley

Third Committee Member

Marvin Mitchell


The purpose of this study was to investigate and describe Multiple Subject credential preservice teachers' growth in competence toward reading instruction. Study participants were engaged in full-time student teaching in kindergarten through third grade classrooms. Each of the six participants was videotaped teaching three reading lessons, one each at the beginning, middle, and end of the field experience. Two reading specialists used the Checklist of Reading Instruction Behaviors to verify the use of and level of complexity of thirty-five (35) different reading instruction behaviors. The target behaviors were based upon two documents: (1) the Teaching Tasks, Skills, and Abilities ( TKAs ) adopted by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing in 1997, and (2) the content specifications of the Reading Instruction Competency Assessment (RICA). Using qualitative software, N4 Classic , all transcripts of the reading lessons and accompanying lesson plans were coded for the same thirty-five (35) target behaviors. A 15-item survey assessed participants' perceptions of program assignments that contributed to their growth toward competency. Finally, scores from the RICA were compared to the levels of competency observed during the videotaped reading lessons. The findings indicate that all thirty-five reading instruction behaviors were used by the participants as a group. Individually, candidates used an average of 58% of the behaviors in only three lessons. Although all preservice teachers in this study were placed in primary grade classrooms, grade level differences were evident in the behaviors that were used and well-developed, with the most variance between grades K–1 and 2–3. The course assignments reported by study participants as most helpful in creating perceptions of competence were regular classroom experience and evaluations by cooperating teachers. No relationship was established between the scores on reading instructional behaviors observed in the classroom and scores on the RICA. Finally, six suggestions for further study are offered to improve the level of competency in preservice teachers to provide reading instruction. Additionally, the researcher recommended that preservice teachers be directly taught the 40 Reading Instruction Behaviors in their reading methods courses, including the developmental levels of reading instruction behaviors described in the Observation Rubric. Also, the Checklist of Reading Instruction Behaviors should be used in systematic observations of preservice teachers with follow-up use recommended in induction programs.



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