Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education


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A DISSERTATION Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Major: Educational Studies (Teaching, Curriculum & Learning), Under the Supervision of Professor Kathleen Wilson. Lincoln, Nebraska: May, 2011

Copyright 2011 Virginia J. Laughridge


This study examined the relationship between a series of professional development workshops and change in three rural elementary teachers’ science textbook reading instructional strategies. The analysis of the qualitative data indicates the degree of teacher change was related to several inner-related factors: (a) teaching experience, (b) teacher perceptions of self, (c) mode of content delivery, and (d) teacher beliefs. Two teachers with the greatest longevity of teaching experience had previously established instructional strategies and modes of content delivery which did not emphasize student textbook reading skills. Their modes of content delivery were related to their self- perceptions as “science teachers” who provided learning experiences for their students outside of reading the science textbook. The main mode of content delivery for the teacher with the least amount of experience was her students’ reading and comprehending the textbook. This teacher demonstrated the most change in science textbook reading strategy implementation by utilizing a package of informational text reading strategies and gradually releasing the control of strategy application to her students.