Influences on the Decision-Making, Beliefs, Pedagogy, and Practices of a Primary Grade 3 Literacy Teacher in Uganda




Jenkins, Jill

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This study investigated how the context of a Primary 3 (P3) teacher of Luganda in Uganda influenced the teacher's literacy instructional decision-making, beliefs, pedagogy, and practices before and after she was provided with supplies and literacy instructional procedures that helped produce reading materials for her students. The contextual problems that were addressed were the poverty context that included the lack of opportunities for P3 students to read in their native language due to having few or no books in Luganda (a minor language), and instructional practices that focused on rote learning which put students in a passive learning environment. The study was conducted for eight months in a rural/urban, public primary school P3 classroom with over 100 students. There were few teacher and student resources and 18 different mother tongues represented in the classroom. For six weeks the teacher taught the researcher about her beliefs, pedagogy, and practices through interviews, observations, and writing. The researcher also conducted interviews with selected students and community members. The innovation was based on Ball‘s teacher change model and involved the researcher modeling Language Experience Approach book writing, sharing information on literacy pedagogy, and collaborating and supporting the teacher‘s reflection and decision-making to develop literacy activities. A model was developed that included small group book writing that took the local context into account. The teacher experimented with the model and changed it according to her desires. The results included an increase in teacher capacity; changes in her beliefs, pedagogy, and practices; and modifications in the context. Less advanced students received support from more advanced peers, and the teacher had more time to work with groups and individual students. In addition, at minimal cost, students authored books on the curriculum in a minor language and read them.



Educational context, Researcher innovation, Local resources, Postcolonial education, Language experience approach, Teacher research