The pedagogical content knowledge of teachers and its effect on enliterating grade three and four learners
This study examines the pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) and reading teaching practices of four Grade 3 and four Grade 4 teachers at two schools in the KZN Midlands area between 2015 and 2017. The researcher proposes that PCK is strongly influenced by the attitudes and beliefs of the teacher and becomes realized through classroom interaction which takes place via language. A classroom instrument called the Facilitative Orientation to Reading Teaching or FORT was developed by the researcher and consists of two parts: PCK and reading teaching and forms of classroom interaction. Each category on the FORT was based on current evidence of ‘best practice’ in reading teaching. The purpose was to capture what teachers do when they teach reading that either helps or hinders literacy acquisition. Qualitative data, such as semi-structured interviews and classroom observations were added to provide evidence of the why and how of teacher practice and pre- and post-reading assessments were conducted with participating students. The FORT data were graphically represented in the form of two groups: teachers who use additional reading approaches with the current South African Department of Basic Education curriculum, known as Curriculum Policy Assessment Statements (CAPS) and those who use only CAPS. In addition, two participating teachers provided lessons in both isiZulu and English to allow for comparison of teaching styles in the two languages. Findings show that although the additionally trained teachers were generally using a greater range of beneficial teaching strategies, all the lessons recorded remain effectively teacher led. Therefore, although additional reading teaching training is necessary, it may not be sufficient to change entrenched teaching styles. It is suggested that teachers may benefit further from on-going coaching, as suggested in the Early Grade Reading Study, or EGRS report.
- Education