Child, Youth, and Family Studies, Department of


Date of this Version



Journal of Early Childhood Literacy (2018), pp. 1–23.

doi: 10.1177/1468798418813661


Copyright © 2018 Rachel E. Schachter, Ann Matthews, and Shayne B. Piasta. Used by permission.


In this study, we investigated how early childhood teachers’ perspectives on their enacted literacy instruction aligned with the perspectives of observers of that same instruction. Two master teachers and two researchers, all with early childhood expertise, observed and reported their perspectives of 45 instances of literacy instruction. These were examined for alignment across each other and with teachers’ descriptions of their thinking during the instruction. Participants’ perceptions of instruction tended to align, yet there were notable differences in perceptions about context and goals. Although we often found common ground among participants regarding the purpose of instruction, there were interesting variations across participants that highlighted the complexity of classroom processes, the value of teachers’ contextual knowledge and the multiple perspectives brought to bear on the same instance of instruction.