Teacher talk: transcript analysis as a method of improving effectiveness during comprehension strategies instruction
Robertson, Dana Andrew
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This mixed-methods study compared the outcomes of 5 general education teachers in a suburban, upper-middle-class elementary school engaged in transcript analysis during small-group reading strategies instruction to those obtained when engaged in audio analysis. Over a 5-month period, the teachers recorded one lesson per week and debriefed with the researcher (a literacy coach) about their use of talk and lesson effectiveness. Through ratings of weekly lesson transcripts, the study sought to explore the evolving quality of teachers' talk and its possible relation to audio and transcript analyses. Further, each teacher's awareness of effective talk and reactions to the reflective process were analyzed using teachers' journal entries, debriefing transcripts, and researcher field notes. Although engaging in guided reflections may have enabled some of the teachers to develop the capacity to deliver highly effective strategies instruction, the teachers were not able to consistently integrate these practices into their routine instruction. Data do not indicate whether it was audio analysis, transcript analysis, the coaching that sometimes accompanied the debriefings, or a combination of these processes that accounted for the increases observed. Moreover, one teacher evidenced capacity for highly effective explanatory and modeling talk before engaging in guided reflections. Each case is described, and possible explanations for variability in performance are delineated.
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