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Capturing classroom practice using a mixed methods design

Kellie Steinke


In this article I focus on the use of mixed methods in designing a classroom observation instrument known as the Facilitative Orientation  to Reading Teaching (FORT). The instrument was designed to capture the teaching of reading and formed part of a project that took  place in 2 Kwa-Zulu Natal primary schools. Participants were 8 teachers and their learners. The goal was to investigate how a teacher’s  pedagogical content knowledge can affect the literacy acquisition of Foundation and Intermediate Phase learners. In the study reported  on here I used a facilitative-restrictive teaching and learning model based on the theories of, among others, Bernstein and Vygotsky, as  well as Scarborough’s Reading Rope theory. The instrument design was based on an original classroom instrument that captured only  quantitative data. Through the addition of qualitative data, the instrument could capture classroom practice more accurately. Findings  indicate that, ultimately, 1 of the participating teachers appeared to be successfully leading their learners from decoding to  comprehension across the important Grade 3 to 4 threshold, where learners are expected to move from learning to read to be being able  to learn from reading. 

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eISSN: 2076-3433
print ISSN: 0256-0100