11 SES 02 B, Teacher`s Attitudes and Views towards Programmes and Didactic Materials
Literacy is widely regarded as a cornerstone for citizenship, lifelong learning and academic attainment with great impact on emotional and social wellbeing (Field, 2009). The aim of this paper is to investigate how teachers experience taking part in adopting the Beginning Literacy programme (BL) and to what extent participating in the staff development programme has influenced their professional development. BL is a holistic literacy approach for grade 1 and 2 in primary school in Iceland. The approach was originally authored by Rósa Eggertsdóttir, and then developed further at the Centre of School Development of the University of Akureyri (CSDUA) (Eggertsdóttir, 2013). Since 2006 it has been implemented in approximately 75 out of 170 primary schools in Iceland. The BL approach is different from the traditional literacy approach used in Iceland (the Phonics approach) and requires different teaching styles and methods (Eggertsdóttir, 2013). In the light of the complications of implementing change in schools (Fullan, 2007) a two-year staff development programme was developed simultaneously to strengthen its induction and support the teachers in its adaptation (Eggertsdóttir, Gunnbjörnsdóttir and Geirsdóttir, 2010).The staff development programme is based on the five-step school improvement program of American scholars Joyce and Showers, (Joyce and Showers, 2002) and on the experience and research of Eggertsdóttir, its author. (Eggertsdóttir, 2013). The main emphasis is on introducing the methods and work procedures of the BL approach, followed by purposeful feedback and consultancy (Bartell, 2005; Feiman-Nemser, 2001;Handal and Lauvås, 2002). Each school appoints a BL leader who is also a contact person to the consultant at the CSDUA. That person learns to be a BL leader at the same time as the teachers adapt the program. The leader gets his/her feedback from the CSDUA consultants and guidance on how to guide the teachers through the implementation of the approach. Additionally, the teachers and leaders involved have access to various BL materials developed by its author and the CSDUA (Eggertsdóttir, 2013). As the approach has been taken up by many schools in a short period of time, it is important to research its application, influence and outcome. The research presented is a part of larger study of both the BL approach and the staff development programme the authors of this paper are taking part in. The research question is: How do teachers experience the staff development program of Beginning Literacy and how has their participation influenced their professional development?
Bartell, C. A. (2005). Cultivating high-quality teaching through induction and mentoring. Thousand Oaks: Sage. Feiman-Nemser, S. (2001). Helping novices learn to teach: Lessons from exemplary support teacher. Journal of Teacher Education, 52(1), 17–30. Field, J. (2009) Good for your soul? Adult learning and mental well-being. International Journal of Lifelong Education, 28 (2) 175 – 191. Fullan, M. (2007). The new meaning of educational change (4th ed.). New York: Teachers College. Handal, G. and Lauvås, P. (2002). På egna vilkår: En strategi for veiledning med lærere (3rd ed.). Oslo: Capplen Akademisk. Joyce, B. and Showers, B. (2002). Student achievement through staff development (3rd ed.). London: Longman. Eggertsdóttir, R. (2013). Starfsþróun og varanlegar breytingar í skólastarfi: Byrjendalæsi í ljósi fræða um starfsþróun [Professional development and sustained changes in schools: Beginning Literacy in the light of professional development theories]. In R. Sigþórsson, R.Eggertsdóttir and G. H. Frímannsson (editors), Fagmennska í skólastarfi: Skrifað til heiðurs Trausta Þorsteinssyni (bls. 169–190). Akureyri: University of Akureyri and University of Iceland Press. Eggertsdóttir, R., Gunnbjörnsdóttir, J. and Geirsdóttir, Þ. R. (2010). Byrjendalæsi: Lestur eða læsi? [Beginning Literacy: reading or literacy?]. Skíma [Journal of association of mother tongue teachers in Iceland], 33(2), 26–29.
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