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How Do Literacy Experiences Affect the Teaching Propensities of Elementary Pre-Service Teachers?

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Three assumptions frame this study (a) preservice teachers who enjoy reading foster positive attitudes towards reading, (b) life-long reading habits are developed during formative years, and (c) these preservice teachers convey reading strategies that encourage success across content strands. This study examines the relationship between literacy experiences, reading attitudes and behaviors of 129 elementary pre-service and their ability to assist students with reading mathematics word problems. A questionnaire was administered to obtain personal reading characteristics, and a structured interview was used understand the phenomenon from eight purposefully selected participants. Findings suggest the majority of participants are not active readers but the impact for teaching mathematics word problems were: 1) those who claimed to read regularly, actively engaged students in comprehension strategies during mathematics instruction, 2) active readers were more likely to check vocabulary understanding with students, and 3) non active readers were likely to rely on key word strategies for solving word problems or to match specific vocabulary to certain arithmetic operations.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA 2: Professor emeritus (retired), The University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, Mississippi, USA 3: Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA

Publication date: April 1, 2006

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