Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

First Advisor

John Readence

Second Advisor

Bonnie Konopak


The purpose of this study was to investigate the consistency between Chapter I teachers' theoretical orientations and instructional practices related to preactive planning and interactive decision-making. Twenty-three Chapter I teachers were administered screening instruments that included: (a) a biographical survey, and (b) instruments focusing on teachers' theoretical orientations about reading and instructional choices. Primary consideration for selection included education and professional experience, beliefs about reading, and instructional decision-making. Based on this information, four Chapter I teachers, each with a reader-based orientation, were purposively selected to participate in this study. For each participant, the researcher selected a pull-out class (6-10 students) to observe during 10 separate Chapter I instructional sessions. During the observations, the researcher wrote field notes, audiotaped the lessons, and collected relevant learning materials. At the conclusion of each observation, the researcher held a brief interview with each teacher about that day's lesson. Additionally, each participant's principal and a cooperating teacher were interviewed and completed the screening instruments for the purpose of gaining insight into each school's reading program. All data were qualitatively analyzed using concurrent flows of analysis: data reduction, data display, and conclusion drawing/verification. Data sources were triangulated to validate an occurrence and to control for biases from other sources. Final interpretation was achieved following searches for meaningful patterns across, between, and within participants, involving multiple perspectives of the research team. Results indicated that: (a) teacher A's beliefs were consistent with his stated planning; however, his decision-making, which stemmed from a text-based explanation of reading, was not; (b) teacher B's planning and decision-making reflected a text-based explanation, which did not match her reader-based beliefs about reading; (c) teacher C's beliefs were inconsistent with her skill-driven planning, but consistent with her interactive decision-making; and (d) teacher D's reader-based beliefs were consistent with her planning and interactive decision-making, except when she had to abandon her favored instructional practices to prepare her learners for state-mandated tests. These findings support the premise that, although teachers may share similar beliefs about reading, there is great variation in their instructional practices related to preactive planning and interactive decision-making.