Date of Award
Master of Philosophy (School of Education)
Schools and Centres
Doctor Glenda Cain
Professor Marion Milton
Strong literacy skills are a prerequisite for teachers. There is much contention about a perceived erosion of literacy skills in new teachers and how initial teacher education providers can ensure graduate teachers possess the literacy skills required for their teaching careers. This research investigated the factors that impact on prospective pre-service teachers’ literacy achievement. A mixed methods approach was used to examine the relationship between student entry pathway, Post Entrance Literacy Assessment (PELA) score, perceptions of self-efficacy, and previous literacy experiences in a first year literacy unit for prospective primary and early childhood initial teacher education students.
Initially, in phase one, quantitative data was collected and analysed for a full cohort of students to establish the relationship between student entry pathway, Post Entrance Literacy Assessment (PELA) score, and their level of achievement in the first year literacy unit. In phase two of the research, semi-structured interviews were used to collect data from a small group of students about their feelings of self-efficacy and previous literacy experiences to further explain the findings from phase one. The phase two data was analysed and the results from both one and two were combined to address the central research question: What factors impact on prospective pre-service teachers’ achievement in a first year literacy unit?
The findings of this research study are that prospective pre-service teacher entry pathway into an ITE course is a moderate predictor of their literacy achievement within their course; on-entry assessment scores are not a predictor of prospective pre-service teachers’ future literacy achievement in an ITE course; high levels of literacy self-efficacy are evident in prospective pre-service teachers that demonstrate literacy achievement in their ITE course; and prospective pre-service teachers that demonstrated literacy achievement had all experienced at least some positive previous literacy learning experiences. The results of this research have the potential to inform initial teacher education (ITE) course providers about how to support students to develop the literacy skills required for success in their teaching careers.
O'Sullivan, E. (2018). Initial teacher education students’ literacy: Factors that impact on literacy achievement of prospective pre-service teachers (Master of Philosophy (School of Education)). University of Notre Dame Australia. https://researchonline.nd.edu.au/theses/224