Final-year teacher training students’ perceptions of THRASS
Our purpose was to see if THRASS (Teaching Handwriting, Reading and Spelling Skills) is a programme that should be taught to Foundation Phase (FP) and Intermediate/Senior Phases (ISP) pre-service teachers at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT). The term ‘literacy’ is defined as an evolving, developing and complex concept, not only because it describes a set of practices, but also because it is context-driven. The THRASS programme is fundamentally for teaching phonics, and is described as being at the ‘word’ level teaching of literacy. We argue that word level teaching should be done in context and within texts. A mixed method research design was used in order to provide better understandings and answers to the research question: What are the BEd 4 students’ perceptions of THRASS? A questionnaire and two focus group interviews were used to gather data. Qualitative data were analysed, using an inductive approach. The findings confirm that pre-service teachers going to teach in schools feel prepared to teach reading, but not spelling or creative writing.
Keywords: developing countries; graphemes; literacy; phonemes; preservice teachers’ perceptions; synthetic and analytic phonics; THRASS