Reading and Writing

, Volume 30, Issue 4, pp 653–690 | Cite as

A comparison of schools: teacher knowledge of explicit code-based reading instruction

  • Rebecca A. CohenEmail author
  • Nancy Mather
  • Deborah A. Schneider
  • Jennifer M. White


One-hundred-fourteen kindergarten through third-grade teachers from seven different schools were surveyed using The Survey of Preparedness and Knowledge of Language Structure Related to Teaching Reading to Struggling Students. The purpose was to compare their definitions and application knowledge of language structure, phonics, and other code-based concepts, as well as their perceptions of their own knowledge as operationalized in a scale designed to measure participants’ confidence in their responses. Participants were divided into groups based on their districts’ use or non-use of a scripted, code-based reading program. The code-based reading program group comprised 60 teacher participants, and the no code-based reading program group comprised 54 participants. Multivariate analysis of covariance revealed no significant differences between groups in definitions or application knowledge, once demographic differences were accounted for. Analyses of covariance revealed no significant differences in perceptions of knowledge after accounting for relevant covariates. Multiple regression analyses demonstrated the variance contribution of condition and demographic variables to obtained knowledge to be non-significant, and partial correlation analyses showed only weak, often non-significant correlations between perceived knowledge and obtained knowledge. Overall poor survey performance indicated that the majority of teachers in both conditions did not possess the necessary code-based reading knowledge or application skills to effectively teach struggling readers. The results of this study suggest that the use of a scripted, code-based reading program does not guarantee mastery of language structure, phonics, and other code-based concepts.


Teacher knowledge Reading Teacher preparation Code-based reading programs 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rebecca A. Cohen
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Nancy Mather
    • 1
  • Deborah A. Schneider
    • 1
  • Jennifer M. White
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Disability and Psychoeducational StudiesUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA
  2. 2.Pima Community CollegeTucsonUSA

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