Top-level Structures and Early Childhood Teacher Education: Helping Student Teachers Succeed Academically

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A central tenet of this study is the notion that a reader’s metacognition affects understanding. Identifying the organisational structure of text is a valuable tool for comprehending and recalling the writer’s message. In this study, participants learned to identify text structure and to direct use of that knowledge toward facilitating their academic work. The research is about students acquiring a new strategy and adjusting it to meet the academic requirements of authentic tasks in their real life context.

Using case study method I examined if and how student teachers developed learning behaviour using top-level structure strategy (TLS) as the target strategy. This provided a theorization of the process by which each participant became a strategist. The theory is being tested and refined through on-going replication studies in the school of education in which the researcher works as lecturer.

Recommendations are made for teacher educators with decisions of policy and practice that might influence explicit attention to how student teachers in early childhood education learn about learning as part of their preparation for the profession.


Keywords: Top-level Structures, Metacognition, Teacher Education
Stream: Curriculum and Pedagogy; Student Learning, Learner Experiences, Learner Diversity
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Text Structure Instruction and Metacognition


Dr. Ali Wegner

lecturer, School of Education, University of Canterbury
Christchurch, New Zealand

I am a lecturer in the School of Maori, Social and Cultural Studies. I teach in a range of subjects including professional studies, communication skills, and research methods. My research interests are in teacher education, metacognition and learning, and autism spectrum disorders.

Ref: L08P0435