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Alatalo, T. & Westlund, B. (2019). Preschool teachers’ perceptions about read-alouds as a means to support children’s early literacy and language development. Journal of Early Childhood Literacy
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Preschool teachers’ perceptions about read-alouds as a means to support children’s early literacy and language development
2019 (English)In: Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, ISSN 1468-7984, E-ISSN 1741-2919Article in journal (Refereed) Accepted
Abstract [en]

This study examined active Swedish preschool teachers’ thoughts and perceptions in terms of read-alouds as a tool to support children’s language and literacy development. The research question was “How and for what purpose do preschool teachers say that they organize read-alouds in preschool?” Three focus group interviews were conducted with five preschool teachers from different preschools in each group. The findings reflect traditions that influence preschool education, and the general picture is that teachers’ personal and practical knowledge informs their daily teaching. The informants try to organize read-alouds but do not always succeed as a result of logistical and practical challenges. Teachers describe external factors, such as large groups and the requirement to teach math and science, as obstacles in the planning and implementing of read-alouds. Teachers that have received in-service training and professional development state that they have daily read-alouds, followed by text talk.  The need for professional development is discussed.

Keywords
early childhood literacy, language and literacy instruction, focus group interviews, read-alouds, shared reading, literacy development, teachers’ perceptions
National Category
Pedagogical Work
Research subject
Education and Learning, Förskollärares uppfattningar om högläsningens potential som skriftspråksutvecklande pedagogik
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:du-29859 (URN)
Available from: 2019-04-06 Created: 2019-04-06 Last updated: 2019-04-08Bibliographically approved
Alatalo, T., Vinterek, M., Tegmark, M. & Winberg, M. (2018). Amount of text read at school and the motivation for reading: a large scale study in grade 6 and 9. In: : . Paper presented at ECER, Bolzano, Italy, September 2018.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Amount of text read at school and the motivation for reading: a large scale study in grade 6 and 9
2018 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper reports on some preliminary results from the project “To read or not to read: A study of reading practices in compulsory school” funded by the Swedish Research Council. The aim of the project is to develop knowledge of existing reading practices and to find out what kind of teaching that promotes such practices in a way that enables students to learn from reading. The decline in students’ reading literacy is something that concerns and worries many European and other Western countries. But surprisingly it is difficult to find large scale studies focusing on how much students read at school. To be a good reader one needs to practice (Kuhn & Stahl, 2003; Campell et al., 2001); it takes more than 5000 hours of reading to achieve a well-functioning reading capacity (Lundberg & Herrlin, 2005). To learn from text one needs to be able to read a longer text (Topping et al., 2007; Merisuo-Storm & Soininen, 2014). Prior research in the field further shows that it is important for students to read different types of texts (Kuhn & Stahl, 2003) and thus develop vocabulary and reading skills in many subjects (see, for example, Biemiller, 2001).The amount of reading, at school or at leisure, correlates positively with reading ability (Anderson et al., 1988; Cunningham & Stanovich, 1997; Taylor et al., 990). In our study we therefore are interested in the total amount of coherent and continuous text students read during an average school day in all their subjects, with a particular focus on reading habits in Swedish (L1), English (L2), Chemistry and History. We also want to find out how the amount of reading correlates with the students’ self-assessed motivation for their school-initiated reading activities. In the first part of the project there is a predominantly quantitative focus in which we seek to find out the extent to which students read continuous prose texts – fictional as well as non-fictional – as part of their everyday school work, and how their reading is related to different types of motivation. The second part of the project has a predominantly qualitative focus where a limited number of groups will be selected for a series of closer classroom studies of teachers as well as students through observations, interviews and questionnaires in order to find out what characterizes the reading practices of these schools and classes. This paper will report on some preliminary results from the first part of the project where the following research questions are to be answered:

  • To what extent do students in years 6 and 9 read continuous prose text—fiction as well as nonfiction— as part of their school work?
  • What kind of motivation do students express for reading nonfiction and fiction texts in different school subjects?
  • What is the nature of the relationship between students’ reading motivation and the extent of their reading in school?
  • What differences in the interest of reading and in the reading habits among females and males, between school years 6 and 9, and between schools can be detected?

The overall framework of the study is the didactic triangle and the meeting between the teacher, the student and the subject matter in terms of meaning making and reading activities that occur in this meeting (Uljens, 1997; Hudson & Meier, 2011; Liberg et.al. 2002.) We also draw on motivation theories that stress the importance of constructing classroom practices that support student reading motivation by fulfilling the basic needs of autonomy, competence and relatedness (Deci & Ryan, 2008; De Naeghel et al, 2014)  

Keywords
Reading, nonfiction, fiction, school subjects, motivation
National Category
Pedagogical Work
Research subject
Education and Learning, Att läsa eller inte läsa: En studie av grundskolans läspraktiker
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:du-28884 (URN)
Conference
ECER, Bolzano, Italy, September 2018
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2016-04747
Available from: 2018-11-12 Created: 2018-11-12 Last updated: 2018-11-12Bibliographically approved
Alatalo, T., Hansson, Å., Johansson, S. & Gustafsson, J.-E. (2018). Characteristics of Teacher Competence: Trends over Time and Between Student Groups in the Swedish Compulsory School. In: : . Paper presented at ECER, Bolzano, Italy, September 2018.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Characteristics of Teacher Competence: Trends over Time and Between Student Groups in the Swedish Compulsory School
2018 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Background

Achievement differences across schools have increased in Sweden during the past two decades, at the same time as average achievement levels have declined, for example in mathematics (Holmlund et al., 2014; SOU 2014:05) and reading (Skolverket, 2013). These negative trends may be related to schools’ demographic, organizational and resource prerequisites. The organizational basis for the Swedish compulsory school has undergone significant changes since the late 1980s, with free school choice, an increasing number of private schools and a larger autonomy for school leaders. The increased school segregation with respect to migration background since the implementation of these reforms (Yang Hansen & Gustafsson, 2016), could possibly be caused by the continuing decline in inclusion of migrant students and a related educational inequality in instructional quality and teacher competence. Inclusion is defined as a structure of organizing integration according to particular rules and regulations.

The results of research on effects of teacher competence are, however, somewhat fragmented and unclear, at least with respect to effects on different student groups. This can partly be explained by uncertainties in the determination of crucial teacher characteristics. Making comparisons between for example authorized and unauthorized teachers has been shown to be problematic. There is vast research in this field which is characterized by severe methodological problems, e.g. with respect to drawing causal conclusions from cross-sectional observational data. For example, no correlation between student achievement and various resource factors has been found in some studies (e.g. Hanushek, 1997), whereas others found a positive correlation (e.g. Greenwald, Hedges & Laine, 1996).

A teacher effect on student achievement is, however, well manifested (e.g., Gustafsson, 2003; Gustafsson & Myrberg, 2002; Johansson, Myrberg, & Rosén, 2015; Nye, Konstantopoulus, & Hedges, 2004; Rockoff, 2004), and the results also suggest that lower achieving students, as for example immigrants, are the more likely to benefit from increases in teacher effectiveness (e.g., Sanders, 1998). Teacher quality is, furthermore, one of the resource factors that explains most of the increase in performance differences between schools in Sweden (Björklund, Fredriksson, Gustafsson, & Öckert, 2010, Ch 7; Gustafsson & Myrberg, 2002). The general reduction in teacher quality in Sweden the last decades (SOU 2014:05), and the decreased equality of allocation of teacher competence between schools (Hansson & Gustafsson, 2016; OECD, 2013), supports these results. However, the variation between student outcomes that different teachers are achieving (Hanushek, 2003) needs to be further problematized and discussed. Teacher knowledge and skills, teacher training and teaching experience are examples of characteristics highlighted in different meta-studies (e.g., Greenwald, Hedges & Laine, 1996), that should be subject of such an investigation.

This study intends to develop a precise and differentiated description of teacher quality for use in future analyses of relations between teacher competence and educational results, with focus on interactions with student composition of schools due to students’ socio-economic and migration backgrounds. The description is among other factors focusing on teacher’s basic knowledge, subject-related and pedagogical training, and type of teacher training program. One aim is to investigate the variation over time in access to qualified teachers and the variation in teacher qualifications between schools. In further analyses, the significance of the teacher characteristics for literacy and mathematics in grades 1 to 6 will be focused.

Overall, the project, which this study is a part of, is expected to generate insights about essential conditions for effective and equitable teaching in Swedish and mathematics in primary school, and about distributions of teacher competence across schools with different student composition.

Keywords
teacher quality, teacher education, teacher characteristics, teacher competence, equality
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Education and Learning, Betydelsen av lärarkompetens för elevers skolprestationer: Effektiv och rättvis undervisning i svenska och matematik
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:du-28885 (URN)
Conference
ECER, Bolzano, Italy, September 2018
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2016-03636
Available from: 2018-11-12 Created: 2018-11-12 Last updated: 2018-11-12Bibliographically approved
Tjernberg, C. & Alatalo, T. (2018). Fokusskiften i skrivundervisningen. Stockholm: Skolverket
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Fokusskiften i skrivundervisningen
2018 (Swedish)Other (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, pages
Stockholm: Skolverket, 2018. p. 10
Series
Skolverkets Läslyftsmodul: Tidig skrivundervisning. Del 8. Fokusskiften i skrivundervisning
Keywords
tidigt skrivande, form, innehåll, funktion, fokusskiften
National Category
Pedagogical Work
Research subject
Education and Learning, Förskollärares och lärares uppfattning om undervisning och lärande i förskoleklass
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:du-27839 (URN)
Available from: 2018-06-13 Created: 2018-06-13 Last updated: 2018-08-22Bibliographically approved
Alatalo, T. (2018). Livet i Bokstavslandet: Lärarhandledning åk 1 (3ed.). Stockholm: Liber
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Livet i Bokstavslandet: Lärarhandledning åk 1
2018 (Swedish)Book (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Liber, 2018. p. 170 Edition: 3
National Category
Pedagogical Work
Research subject
Education and Learning
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:du-27719 (URN)9789147128556 (ISBN)
Available from: 2018-05-23 Created: 2018-05-23 Last updated: 2018-12-17Bibliographically approved
Alatalo, T. (2018). Språkstimulans och skrivundervisning i förskoleklass. Stockholm: Skolverket
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Språkstimulans och skrivundervisning i förskoleklass
2018 (Swedish)Other (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, pages
Stockholm: Skolverket, 2018. p. 10
Series
Skolverkets Läslyftsmodul: Tidig skrivundervisning. Del 2. Stavning - bokstavlig begrundan
Keywords
förskoleklass, meningsskapande, språkutveckling, symboler, bokstäver
National Category
Pedagogical Work
Research subject
Education and Learning, Förskollärares och lärares uppfattning om undervisning och lärande i förskoleklass
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:du-27840 (URN)
Available from: 2018-06-13 Created: 2018-06-13 Last updated: 2018-08-22Bibliographically approved
Vinterek, M., Alatalo, T., Tegmark, M. & Winberg, M. (2018). The decrease of school related reading in compulsory school 2007–2017. In: : . Paper presented at Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE), Sydney, December 2-6 2018.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The decrease of school related reading in compulsory school 2007–2017
2018 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In this paper we will report some results from a project (funded by the Swedish Research Council) with an aim to develop knowledge of existing reading practices to better understand what kind of support students receive at school to develop reading skills. In this we lean on earlier research that stresses the importance of many hours of diverse reading practice to develop necessary reading skills to be an active part of a democratic society. 

Data were collected 2017 and relate to the findings of a similar study conducted in 2007. The main research questions addressed in this paper are:

  • To what extent do students in grade 6 and 9 read continuous text, nonfiction as well fiction, as part of their school work?
  • What differences in the amount of reading between grade 6 and 9, among boys and girls respectively, can be detected?
  • What can be noticed about changes in students´ reading at school during the last decade?

In the year 2017 data were collected by a questionnaire, distributed to schools with grade 6 and grade 9 in a mid-Swedish region, the same was done in 2007 for all students in grade 5 and 8 in one of Sweden’s largest municipalities.  Students were asked to estimate how many pages of continuous text, fiction and non-fiction, they had read in class during the day of the questionnaire. For the 2017 study we also asked about the amount of text read out of school as some kind of school assignment (e.g. homework). In total 1526 (2007) and 3289 (2017) answers remained after data cleaning.

We found that reading at school has declined substantially the last decade (e.g. 22% had read less than one page in 2007, 30% in 2017). An even higher percentage of students don’t read any pages of continuous school texts in grade 9 compared to grade 6, and girls still read more than boys. We also found that the amount of text read as part of the students’ schoolwork out of school (2017) is lower than for text read at school. These patterns are the same for non-fiction as well as for fiction.  

In the next part of the study we are taking a closer look at the actual reading practices in a selection of these classrooms trying to understand the results. There is also a need for more studies of the amount of text read at school.

Keywords
continuous text, fiction, grade 6, grade 9, non-fiction, Swedish school, reading
National Category
Pedagogical Work
Research subject
Education and Learning, Att läsa eller inte läsa: En studie av grundskolans läspraktiker
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:du-29035 (URN)
Conference
Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE), Sydney, December 2-6 2018
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2016-04747_3
Available from: 2018-12-09 Created: 2018-12-09 Last updated: 2019-01-03Bibliographically approved
Alatalo, T. & Westlund, B. (2017). Fokusgruppstudie om förskollärares uppfattningar om högläsning som ett redskap för att stödja barns framväxande läsförståelse i förskolan. In: : . Paper presented at Skriv! Les! 2017 – Nordisk forskerkonferanse om lesing, skriving og literacy blir arrangert for fjerde gang 9. - 11. mai 2017.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Fokusgruppstudie om förskollärares uppfattningar om högläsning som ett redskap för att stödja barns framväxande läsförståelse i förskolan
2017 (Swedish)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [sv]

Eftersom tidig språkstimulans är av betydelse för den skriftspråkliga utvecklingen kan det anses vara motiverat att förskolans undervisning genomförs medvetet utifrån en språkutvecklande pedagogik. Detta är en utgångspunkt för föreliggande studie, som har som syfte att undersöka verksamma förskollärares förhållningssätt till och uppfattningar om högläsning som verktyg för att stötta barns skriftspråkliga utveckling. Studiens centrala fokus riktas mot följande frågeställning: Hur och för vilket ändamål anger förskollärare att de organiserar högläsning i förskolan?

 

Teoretiskt ramverk

Högläsning har en given plats i förskolans verksamhet (Yopp & Yopp, 2006) och möjliggör språkutveckling i en social interaktion. Språkstimulans som ges i funktionella situationer och i en social kontext är gynnsam för barns språkutveckling (Guo et al., 2012). Dooley och Matthews (2009) använder begreppet “emergent comprehension” när de skriver om barns erfarenheter för att utveckla och påverka den framtida läsförståelsen. För att hjälpa barn att utveckla olika läs- och skrivpraktiker (kodknäckning, meningsskapande, textanvändning och kritisk textläsning) behöver läraren planera aktiviteter både utifrån kunskap om lärande och undervisning och kunskap om processer i barns läs- och skrivutveckling (Freebody & Luke, 1990). Särskilt viktig är denna breda kunskapsförankring då enbart miljö och material som stimulerar till skriftspråklig utveckling inte ger optimalt lärande, utan läraren behöver dessutom uppmuntra, instruera och ge respons, vilket implicerar en bred kunskapsbas hos läraren (Guo et al., 2012).

 

Metodologi/forsningsdesign

Högläsning av berättelser och faktatext för olika stora barngrupper i 3-4-års ålder i förskolan videofilmades för att användas i fokusgruppssamtal. De filmade lärarna intervjuades efteråt kort om didaktiska frågor om högläsningssituationen. Tre grupper om fem andra förskollärare från olika förskolor i två kommuner deltog i fokusgruppssamtal med fokus på högläsning i förskolan. Fokusgruppssamtalen som leddes av en moderator utgick från videosekvenser i början och slut av högläsning. Dessutom diskuterades i fokusgrupperna utsagor från intervjuerna med de tidigare videofilmade lärarna.

 

Resultat

Studiens bidrag till kunskapsområdet utgörs av dess fokus på lärares utsagor om riktade aktiviteter för att stötta barns språkutveckling. Även om informanterna framhåller högläsningens möjligheter som verktyg för språkutveckling, framträder endast undantagsvis att högläsning genomförs som en medveten eller systematisk språkutvecklande undervisning. Högläsning framstår snarare som en i raden av pedagogiska verktyg i förskolans vardag, där omsorgsfaktorn framträder som viktigare än språkutvecklande undervisning.

 

Relevens för forsningsfältet

Då förskolan har fått utökat ansvar för barns lärande och utveckling bidrar studien med kunskap för såväl verksamma som blivande förskollärare. 

                                                                                                                                                      

 

Referenser

Guo, Y., Justice, L. M., Kaderavek, J. N., & McGinty, A. (2012). The literacy environment of preschool classrooms: contributions to children’s emergent literacy growth. Journal of Research in Reading, 35(3), 308-327.

Dooley, C. M. & Matthews, M. W. (2009). Emergent comprehension: Understanding comprehension development among young literacy learners. Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, 9(3), 269-294.

Freebody, P., & Luke, A. (1990). Literacies programs: Debates and demands in cultural context. Prospect: Australian Journal of TESOL, 5(7), 7-16.

Yopp, R. H., & Yopp, H. K. (2006). Informational text as read-alouds at school and home. Journal of Literacy Research, 38, 37-51.

 

 

Keywords
högläsning, framväxande läsförståelse, förskola
National Category
Pedagogical Work
Research subject
Education and Learning, Förskollärares uppfattningar om högläsningens potential som skriftspråksutvecklande pedagogik
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:du-25037 (URN)
Conference
Skriv! Les! 2017 – Nordisk forskerkonferanse om lesing, skriving og literacy blir arrangert for fjerde gang 9. - 11. mai 2017
Available from: 2017-05-19 Created: 2017-05-19 Last updated: 2017-05-22Bibliographically approved
Alatalo, T. (2017). Förskollärares och grundskollärares uppfattningar om undervisning och lärande i förskoleklass. Pedagogisk forskning i Sverige, 22(1-2), 79-100
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Förskollärares och grundskollärares uppfattningar om undervisning och lärande i förskoleklass
2017 (Swedish)In: Pedagogisk forskning i Sverige, ISSN 1401-6788, E-ISSN 2001-3345, Vol. 22, no 1-2, p. 79-100Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [sv]

I denna studie undersöks två lärarkategoriers, förskollärares och lärares, uppfattningar om undervisning och lärande i förskoleklassen, mötet mellan de båda lärargrupperna samt deras uppfattningar om en obligatorisk förskoleklass med en tydligare skolförberedande roll. Studien är genomförd utifrån sociokulturell teori och diskuterar möjligheter som studiens resultat öppnar för vad gäller utvecklandet av förskoleklassens pedagogik i enlighet med önskade intentioner. Resultatet visar att samverkan mellan förskollärare och lärare med bakgrund i de olika praktikgemenskaperna kan vara av betydelse för utvecklandet av förskoleklassens skolförberedande pedagogik.

Keywords
Förskoleklass, förskollärarutbildade pedagoger, lärarutbildade pedagoger, traditioner
National Category
Pedagogical Work
Research subject
Education and Learning, Förskollärares och lärares uppfattning om undervisning och lärande i förskoleklass; Education and Learning, Stärkt läs- och skrivdidaktisk kompetens för ett breddat synsätt kring inkludering.
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:du-22415 (URN)
Available from: 2016-06-25 Created: 2016-06-25 Last updated: 2017-05-22Bibliographically approved
Alatalo, T., Meier, J. & Frank, E. (2017). Information sharing on children’s literacy learning in the transition from Swedish preschool to school. Journal of Research in Childhood Education, 31(2), 240-254
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Information sharing on children’s literacy learning in the transition from Swedish preschool to school
2017 (English)In: Journal of Research in Childhood Education, ISSN 0256-8543, E-ISSN 2150-2641, Vol. 31, no 2, p. 240-254Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Collaboration and continuity between school types are important factors that favour long-term learning and that need to be given attention in the transition between early childhood school institutions. This study highlights teachers’ experiences of information-sharing during the transition from Swedish preschool to preschool class (i.e., from the daycare to school) with regards to children’s literacy learning. To find out and evaluate the individual child’s development, both the child’s actual and proximal development zone need to be taken into account in the transition. It appears that some preschool teachers wish to share information on children’s literacy learning but that it is mainly about the children’s interest in literacy activities. Also the preschool class teachers’ wishes to know more about the children’s literacy learning are too much on a general level as to be able to provide a  good enough basis for planning literacy activities that fit every individual child. A large part of the outcomes derive from the preschool tradition that has viewed care as being core to its work, and considered learning and achievement as domains associated with compulsory school. This article discusses whether the training of teachers in early childhood education needs stronger focus on literacy learning.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis Group, 2017
Keywords
Communities of Practice, Literacy learning, Preschool, Preschool Class, Transition, ZPD
National Category
Pedagogical Work
Research subject
Education and Learning, Hur tillvaratas barns språkliga kompetenser i övergången från förskola till förskoleklass?; Education and Learning, Undervisning och lärande i förskoleklass
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:du-20525 (URN)10.1080/02568543.2016.1274926 (DOI)
Available from: 2015-12-22 Created: 2015-12-22 Last updated: 2019-02-18Bibliographically approved
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0002-2130-4797

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