Building Pre-Service Teachers' Conscious Awareness of Their Literacy Cognitive Processes and Ability to Prepare Quality Think-Alouds

Building Pre-Service Teachers' Conscious Awareness of Their Literacy Cognitive Processes and Ability to Prepare Quality Think-Alouds

Sharon M. Pratt (Indiana University Northwest, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0206-8.ch009

Abstract

This chapter shares an instructional practice that has been used with undergraduate pre-service teachers to help them become consciously aware of their own cognitive processes for literacy tasks, as well as how to prepare think-aloud demonstrations for elementary age students. Using asynchronous online discussions, pre-service teachers were given a pre-writing or reading comprehension prompt and asked to think-aloud during their own work with a task. Secondly, after instruction in research-based components to include in think-alouds, pre-service teachers prepared a recording of how they would model a related literacy task for elementary age students. The asynchronous format with peer critique allowed pre-service teachers to try out think-aloud practices within an uncritical space, thus encouraging them to take greater risk in sharing their thought processes aloud with others.
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Goal Statement

The goal of this chapter is to describe the use of asynchronous online discussion as a tool to support pre-service teachers in developing skill with sharing their thinking aloud for a literacy task. Asynchronous online discussion provides spaces to explore ideas and concepts, in ways that encourage students to learn from each other, rather than rely upon the instructor as the source of knowledge (Enochsson, 2018; Zhong & Norton, 2018). This chapter focuses on the cognitive processes pre-service teachers recorded in their think-alouds posted on online discussions with their peers. Standard 2 within the Standards for the Preparation of Literacy Professionals 2017 (International Literacy Association (ILA), 2018), states candidates should be able to design and implement instructional approaches for literacy, of which think-alouds are one evidence-based practice that can be used to support reading and writing development (Berkeley & Larsen, 2018; Callan, Marchant, Finch, & Flegge, 2016; Israel, 2015).

The research questions were aligned with ILA Standard 2 on designing and enacting effective literacy practices for reading and writing: (1) What cognitive processes do pre-service teachers explain in think-alouds of a pre-writing strategy recorded for an asynchronous online discussion with peer critique? (ILA 2.3) and (2) What cognitive processes do pre-service teachers explain in think-alouds of a reading comprehension strategy recorded for an asynchronous online discussion with peer critique? (ILA 2.2). A third research question compared the think-alouds: (3) What differences can be observed between pre-service teachers’ think-alouds for a pre-writing strategy versus a reading comprehension strategy?

Key Terms in this Chapter

Procedural Knowledge: Knowing the steps to execute a metacognitive strategy.

Metacognition: Cognitive processes involved with thinking about one’s own thinking.

Conditional Knowledge: Knowing when to use a specific metacognitive strategy and why it is helpful.

Pre-Writing: The stage of the writing process that occurs before drafting, in pre-writing the writer often collects and organizes ideas to include in the writing.

Declarative Knowledge: Knowing what a metacognitive strategy is and the components of that metacognitive strategy.

Asynchronous Online Discussion: A discussion that occurs online in which participants contribute to the discussion at different times, rather than simultaneously.

Cognitive Apprenticeship: Someone who is more proficient in a task mentors someone less proficient in cognitive processes for the task.

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