Title

The Relationships Between Kindergarten Teachers' Perceptions of Literacy Acquisition and the Quantity and Quality of Classroom Literacy Materials and Children's Involvement In Literacy Events

Date of Award

1996

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education

First Advisor

Mark G. Richmond

Advisor Department

Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationships between teachers' perceptions of young children's literacy acquisition and the three variables of (a) children's involvement in literacy events, (b) the quantity of literacy materials available in the classroom, and (c) the quality of literacy materials available in the classroom. The subjects in this study consisted of 12 kindergarten teachers and 16 randomly selected students from each of their classes. The teachers were categorized into two perception groups, either reading readiness skills or emergent literacy, based on their responses to the Literacy Acquisition Perception Profile (LAPP). Verification of group membership was obtained through a semistructured interview. To record the degree of children's involvement in literacy events, data were collected through a series of observations during a time in which children were free to choose their own activities. The number and type of literacy events observed were recorded along with anecdotal notes concerning classroom practices. The quality and quantity of literacy materials available in each classroom were measured using the Inventory of Literacy Indicators (ILI). Three hypotheses, one related to each of the independent variables, were tested. The analyses of data indicated a significant relationship between teachers' perceptions of young children's literacy acquisition and children's involvement in literacy events $(X\sp2\ (1) = 16.82,\ p < .01).$ Significant relationships were found also between teachers' perceptions of young children's literacy acquisition and the quantity of literacy materials available in the classroom $(F(1,\ 10) = 10.34,\ p = .009),$ as well as the quality of literacy materials available in the classroom $(F(1,\ 10) = 14.54,\ p = .003).$ Based on the results of data analyses the following conclusions were drawn: (a) differences existed between teachers categorized as possessing a reading readiness skills perspective and those possessing an emergent literacy perspective; (b) children in classrooms of emergent literacy teachers were observed to be participating in a higher number and greater variety of literacy events; and, (c) classrooms of emergent literacy teachers had a higher quality and quantity of available literacy materials than classrooms of reading readiness skills teachers.