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Early literacy instruction in Mexico: Finding congruence between theory and practice


Explore whether some literacy instructional practices are ... Reflection about language (Reflexi n sobre la lengua) Instructional strategies. Evaluation ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Early literacy instruction in Mexico: Finding congruence between theory and practice

Early literacy instruction in Mexico Finding
congruence between theory and practice
  • Diane Sharken Taboada
  • Berkeley Unified School District
  • Jill Kerper Mora
  • San Diego State University
  • University of CA
  • Linguistic Minority Research Institute Annual
  • May 2006

  • Explore whether some literacy instructional
    practices are universally effective, while others
    are effective within a particular socio-cultural
    and linguistic context.
  • Examine relationship between Mexicos National
    Reading Program (MNRP) based on constructivist
    theory and teachers theoretical orientations
    toward literacy and their actual instructional

Theoretical Base
  • Linkage between constructivist model and approach
    to reading instruction and effective instruction
    for promoting student achievement definition of
    the good reader
  • Constructivist instructional practices are
    identifiable and can be implemented through a
    reading program
  • Program reforms and literacy instruction policy
    can influence teacher practice.
  • Teachers theoretical orientation and pedagogical
    knowledge 1) informs and guides their classroom
    practice and 2) can mediate the level of program

The Mexico Context
  • Federally-mandated,centrally-controlled uniform
    literacy program characterized by
  • constructivist framework
  • long-term implementation (since l993-94)
  • comprehensive program K-6, including curriculum
    guidelines and resources for teachers and
  • implemented with diverse populations (urban,
    rural, indigenous communities)

Research Questions
  • Level of congruence between constructivist model
    of the MNRP and teachers self-reported
    theoretical orientation to reading instruction in
  • Level of congruence between theoretical framework
    of the MNRP and teachers implementation of the
    program in first grade classrooms
  • Contextual factors of teacher professional
    development and administrative and programmatic
    instructional support infrastructures associated
    with higher or lower levels of teachers
    implementation of the MNRP

Triangulation of the data
TORIS Survey
  • STUDY SITES Two school zones in central Mexico,
    San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato and the city of
    Querétaro, Querétaro
  • 242 teachers surveyed using TORIS questionnaire
  • 51 interviews with federal program developers,
    staff developers, teacher educators and classroom
  • 290 hours of classroom observations 3 long-term
    observations and 13 short-term (one-day) visits

Description of the MNRP
  • Instructional resources
  • Program components
  • Reading (Leer y compartir)
  • Oral language (Hablar y escuchar)
  • Writing (Tiempo de escribir)
  • Reflection about language (Reflexión sobre la
  • Instructional strategies
  • Evaluation

Theoretical Orientation to Reading Instruction in
Spanish (TORIS)
  • based on DeFord (l985) Theoretical Orientation
    to Reading Profile
  • Development of the instrument
  • Content validity procedures
  • Factor analysis
  • Correlation analysis

TORIS Survey Results
  • MNRP framework included items from
    constructivist, whole language, phonics and
  • A distinction emerged between the traditional
    teachers and constructivist teachers.
  • Level of congruence with different approaches was
    normally distributed in the population.

Interpretation of Interview and Observation Data
  • Teacher educators and staff developers show a
    high level of belief in and support for the MNRP
    constructivist framework of the program, while
    teachers range in instructional beliefs and
    preferred strategies.
  • Classroom teachers with greater articulation of
    underlying theory of the MNRP exhibited higher
    levels of congruence with the program during
    daily instruction.
  • Teacher educators and staff developers report a
    low level of teacher understanding of
    constructivist theory and persistent use of
    traditional instructional strategies.

  • Traditional Model
  • Focus on decoding
  • Isolated skills instruction
  • Rote-learning and memorization
  • Passive non-engaged learners
  • Lack of motivation to read for specific purposes
    and enjoyment
  • Constructivist Practices
  • Focus on comprehension
  • Skills instruction in a meaningful context
  • Functional communicative approach
  • High level of student participation
  • Shifting definition of a good reader

  • 1. The MNRPs theoretical coherence guides and
    supports teachers in implementing constructivist
    literacy practices
  • 2. Teachers ability to articulate underlying
    theory is reflected in levels of classroom
  • 3. Weaknesses in program implementation are
    associated with
  • lack of explicitness within the program itself
  • teachers instructional decisions
  • lack of modeling and support network for new

Policy Implications
Its Possible to Mandate Change
  • If teachers have a coherent theoretical
    understanding of a model of literacy, technical
    expertise, the materials and resources to
    implement a program, and the freedom to make
    decisions about how to implement based on the
    needs of their students, the results will be
    effective instructional practices.

Policy Implications
Its Difficult to Mandate Change
  • Reforms must have a clear focus and direction, be
    appropriate for the context, and remain stable
    and consistent over time.
  • Tension exists between mandated reforms and
    teachers belief systems and established
    instructional practices.
  • Teachers buy-in is essential but technical
    knowledge and enabling resources must also be
  • We need to understand teachers eclecticism
    within their particular context of instruction
    and student populations they serve.

Contact Us Diane S. Taboada Berkeley Unified
School District sharkentaboada_at_yahoo.com Jill
Kerper Mora San Diego State University
jmora_at_mail.sdsu.edu http//coe.sdsu.edu/people/jm
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