Early career teachers’ knowledge and practice in spelling instruction: Insights for teacher educators

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Spelling is an important aspect of writing, and children who cannot spell fluently are likely to encounter difficulty in writing texts across the curriculum. Furthermore, spelling is often a component in high stakes tests, the results of which have significant implications for students and schools. In the context of national and international debates on teacher quality, and on the impact of initial teacher education, it is pertinent to examine the views of early career teachers on their preparedness to teach spelling. This article reports on a small scale study on the views, knowledge and practices of early career teachers in relation to the
teaching of spelling, and their views on their pre-service teacher education in preparing them. Participants were early career teachers (with less than five years of teaching experience) in Western Australia. Data were collected through a questionnaire which comprised Likert style and open-ended questions. This article adds to the evidence indicating that many teachers feel inadequately prepared to teach spelling in classrooms, particularly regarding differentiated spelling instruction. The study is significant in that it focuses on early career teachers’ spelling preparedness and pedagogy, an area that has not previously been thoroughly investigated. Several insights for pre-service and in-service
teacher educators are presented and discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-75
Number of pages27
JournalThe Australian Journal of Teacher Education
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018


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