Use of conjoint analysis to examine beliefs related to the practice of early literacy instruction

Maria Victoria Tsalikis, Florida International University


The purpose of the study was to examine the relationship between teacher beliefs and actual classroom practice in early literacy instruction. Conjoint analysis was used to measure teachers' beliefs on four early literacy factors—phonological awareness, print awareness, graphophonic awareness, and structural awareness. A collective case study format was then used to measure the correspondence of teachers' beliefs with their actual classroom practice. Ninety Project READS participants were given twelve cards in an orthogonal experimental design describing students that either met or did not meet criteria on the four early literacy factors. Conjoint measurements of whether the student is an efficient reader were taken. These measurements provided relative importance scores for each respondent. Based on the relative important scores, four teachers were chosen to participate in a collective case study. The conjoint results enabled the clustering of teachers into four distinct groups, each aligned with one of the four early literacy factors. K-means cluster analysis of the relative importance measurements showed commonalities among the ninety respondents' beliefs. The collective case study results were mixed. Implications for researchers and practitioners include the use of conjoint analysis in measuring teacher beliefs on the four early literacy factors. Further, the understanding of teacher preferences on these beliefs may assist in the development of curriculum design and therefore increase educational effectiveness. Finally, comparisons between teachers' beliefs on the four early literacy factors and actual instructional practices may facilitate teacher self-reflection thus encouraging positive teacher change.

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Recommended Citation

Tsalikis, Maria Victoria, "Use of conjoint analysis to examine beliefs related to the practice of early literacy instruction" (2004). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI3128614.