Middle School Language Arts Teachers as Readers
Hale, Margaret A. 1966-
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In today’s fast-paced world, it is important that adolescents develop a reading habit. This need to encourage adolescent readers to develop reading habits is underscored by the results of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) 2009 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA). In its Executive Summary, the OECD emphasized the need for qualified teachers in all schools. The need for qualified teachers is mirrored in the United States’ federal standards for teachers and standards outlined by various English/language arts professional organizations. The purpose of this study was to describe the reading attitudes, habits, and behaviors of middle school language arts teachers. This study adds to existing research that describes the reading habits, behaviors, and attitudes of in-service teachers by focusing specifically on teachers of middle school language arts. The researcher describes the reading habits, behaviors and attitudes of those teachers to demonstrate whether or not the population of teachers meets the criteria published by professional organizations for what characterizes an accomplished teacher of language arts. In addition, the researcher describes relationships between the reading habits, attitudes and behaviors of middle school language arts teachers and level of education, route to teacher certification, and years of experience. The participants for this study were drawn from the population of middle school language arts teachers in a suburban school district outside Houston, Texas. The participants completed a researcher-developed survey of 17 items covering two components. The data were analyzed to determine mean scores for each of the two components. Further analysis was conducted using a multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) to determine any relationships between the independent and dependent variables. Results of the study indicated that while a large number of the respondents from all categories indicated they enjoy reading and read often, few of the respondents read professionally from the selected journals. The MANOVA indicated that education level is a significant predictor of the professional journal reading habits of teachers but neither route to certification nor years of experience significantly predict reading motivations and attitudes or professional journal reading habits.
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