Alysia D. Roehrig, Florida State University
Mary T. Brownell, University of Florida
Ciana B. Clarke, Florida State University
Abstract: The purpose of this pilot study was to validate surveys of reading instruction practices, knowledge for reading instruction, and professional development experiences by determining their relationships to one another, to teachers' observed practices, and to student reading gains. Trained observers visited classrooms in 59 randomly selected Reading First Schools, with one randomly selected teacher from each grade (K-3) observed for 45 minutes during their reading block using the Instructional Content Emphasis-Revised (ICE-R; Edmonds & Briggs, 2003). 149 of these teachers were successfully invited to participate in the online surveys, and 40% did so. The self-reported reading instruction practices survey was created using the ICE-R coding manual, which focuses the observer on five categories of instructional content: Alphabetics, Fluency, Reading, Comprehension, and Writing & Language Arts. Data on teachers' knowledge for teaching reading included their responses to multiple-choice questions about scenarios of reading instruction related to word analysis and reading comprehension (Phelps & Schilling, 2004). Data of professional development (PD) experiences were based on responses to Likert-type scales adapted from constructs and items from the Eisenhower Program in Mathematics, the Study of Instructional Improvement, and Brownell, Bishop, Klingner, and Dingle (2006). Individual student reading data were collected from an existing database on basic literacy skills (DIBELS; Kaminski & Good, 1996) and reading comprehension (SAT-10) for students from each participating teacher's classroom. The PD survey constructs all had acceptable levels of internal consistency reliability. The relationship to teacher knowledge of reading instruction was not established, however, and the relationship to teacher classroom literacy practices varied depending on whether practices were observed or self-reported (i.e., there were more relations of PD constructs with self-reported practices probably from shared variance due to mono-method of self-report). Some relationships of PD experiences (e.g., the relevance, coherence, and content of learning opportunities) to student reading achievement and growth were established. The knowledge of reading instruction survey had acceptable levels of internal consistency reliability for both the comprehension and decoding constructs. Teachers' decoding instruction knowledge significantly predicted student reading comprehension controlling for initial reading fluency. The self-report of classroom literacy practices survey was less successfully validated. Only the self-reported Teacher Managed Code Focused construct approached acceptable levels of internal consistency reliability. A consistent relationship between teacher self-report and classroom observation data was not established, and relationship to student reading achievement were established for the observational measure only. The self-report instrument is currently being revised.