Date of Award

5-2004

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Major

Teacher Education

Major Professor

William G. Brozo

Committee Members

Jan Allen, Thomas N. Turner, Lester N. Knight, Charles H. Hargis

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to explore and describe the perspective of teachers concerning the relationship between tutoring and teaching. This study was conducted with teachers who participated in a university reading practicum, Reading Education 539, to see how their tutorial experience influenced their teaching. Interview protocols and focus group questions were designed to determine whether they were using reading strategies in their classroom that they used in the tutoring context and to discover how their teaching experiences shaped their tutorial experience. Archival data from the tutorial files, including lesson plans and reflective notes compiled by the participants in this study, provided triangulation and served as springboards for interviews and focus group discussions.

During the interviews and focus group discussions the participants of this study described a strong reciprocal relationship between their tutoring experience in Reading Education 539 and their classroom teaching. As participants specified the ways that one form of instruction positively influenced the other, they noted that they used ideas from their classroom teaching during their tutorial experience. Some participants indicated that they had changed their teaching philosophy as a result of their experience in Reading Education 539 and other reading classes. All of the participants described the ways they were applying social constructivist student-centered strategies from tutoring in their classroom teaching on a regular basis. A few of these strategies were not used by all of the participants on a regular basis in teaching because of time constraints or feasibility factors. Even in those cases, participants discussed the significance of those strategies and indicated a desire to apply them regularly in their teaching practice.

Tutoring can help struggling readers experience academic success, and the participants of this study described specific ways this can be accomplished. They found creative ways to individualize instruction, emphasize interests, and instill motivation as they opened a world of reading to their tutees. As they saw the effectiveness of tutorial strategies, they continued to use these strategies in their classroom teaching.

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