A Comparative Study of British and American Teachers' Views of the Effective Characteristics For Teaching Reading and Its Area of Development


Vicki Parsons

Date of Graduation

Fall 1980


Master of Science in Education in Literacy


Reading, Foundations, and Technology

Committee Chair

James Layton


The purpose for conducting this study was to make comparisons between British and American teachers' opinions as to the importance of twenty, reading teacher characteristics that were found to be important in the teaching of reading and to the environment in which the teachers thought they had learned the skills. To conduct the study, the investigator developed two opinionnaires consisting of twenty items each and administered the survey instrument to 30 British teachers and 30 American teachers. Three questions were generated by the investigator: 1) What skills do American and English elementary teachers think are most important for teachers to be able to perform? 2) Is there a difference in the perceived importance of teaching skills between the American and British elementary teachers? and 3) Where did the teachers think they had learned the skills? To answer the first two questions, the data from the two groups of teachers were collected and subjected to t test analysis by item. To answer the third question, the data were described in terms of the frequency that each of the seven environments was cited by the two groups of teachers and then subjected to descriptive comparisons. Both groups of teachers rated the twenty teaching characteristics to be of high importance. The characteristic that was given the highest rating was that teachers should be able to provide every child with an opportunity to read and also to place strong emphasis on reading. Significant differences between the two groups of teachers were found in only two instances. Apparently, the British teachers did not feel as strongly as the American teachers that silent reading should precede oral reading nor that a teacher should be prepared to teach a reading lesson; still, both items received mean ratings of above 3.0 (average). It appeared that both groups of teachers thought that their experience in the classroom was the main environment where they learned to teach the twenty skills that were contained on the opinionnaire.

Subject Categories

Other Education


© Vicki Parsons