Teaching comprehension’s strategies in an explicit and authentic way in the earliest learnings: effects of beliefs on teachers' practices

Submitted by: Charlotte Dejaegher
Abstract: Keywords: visible learning, teaching beliefs and practices, comprehension strategies

This presentation will focus on the identification of the main beliefs which might constitute obstacles to comprehension strategies teaching in an explicit and authentic way. Since September 2017, we have indeed been implementing the French program “PARLER” (Zorman, Bressoux, Bianco, Lequette, Pouget & Pourchet, 2015) in five French-speaking Belgian experimental schools. This compensatory program proposes short, intensive, regular and structured working ability groups that focus on oral language comprehension skills based on explicit instruction principles in a decontextualized way (Bianco, 2015). However, to deal with the complexity of the reading act, pupils have to learn how to coordinate these abilities together during authentic reading activities. Thus, experimental class teachers have been asked to work in three steps: shared reading, guided reading and autonomous reading using children’s books. This type of comprehension strategies teaching – and in particular the first step of shared reading – are unfamiliar to Belgian teachers. Therefore, it seems appropriate to identify what teachers’ beliefs (meaning any simple proposition, conscious or unconscious, inferred from what a person says or does, capable of being preceded by the phrase ‘I believe that’, Rokeach, 1992, cited by Pajares, 1992, pp. 314) could be an obstacle to this kind of teaching.

Concretely, four focus-groups with teachers who have implemented the program PARLER in their classrooms have been conducted. Among the various teachers’ beliefs, we have noticed the prevalence of the belief that the pupils has to be active in his own learning. We will also present how teachers have overcome these obstacles through talks and debates between them.

Reference list :

Bianco, M. (2015). Du langage oral à la compréhension de l’écrit. Grenoble: Presses Universitaires de Grenoble.
Pajares, F. (1992). Teachers’ beliefs and educational research: Cleaning up a messy construct. Review of Educational Research, 62(3), 307–332.
Zorman, M., Bressoux, P., Bianco, M., Lequette, C., Pouget, G., & Pourchet, M. (2015). « PARLER »: Un dispositif pour prévenir les difficultés scolaires. Revue Francaise de Pedagogie, 193(4), 57–76. https://doi.org/10.4000/rfp.4890