Let’s Talk About Texts! A qualitative research examining teachers´ perspectives and practices on a primary school peer-led discussion program.
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Research has demonstrated the importance of integrating peer-led text discussions as an instruction method to enhance students’ levels of reading comprehension. However, for peerled text discussions to be effective and to integrate them in instruction practices, teachers’ perspectives and experiences are of vital importance. Using interview and stimulated recall techniques, this qualitative study explored what six teachers experienced as stimulating and hindering when applying student-centred teaching in peer-led text discussions and how this related to the teachers’ prior beliefs and teaching habits with regards to this method. Secondly, it was assessed whether these beliefs and habits were impacted by a six-week peer-led text discussion intervention in upper primary education. The results indicate that the peer-led discussion program works best for teachers who have prior student-centred beliefs and habits. Teachers with prior teacher-centred beliefs and habits can change these habits, if they have positive experiences with the program due to guidance in the form of SRI and self-reflection. If teachers with this type of support still don’t believe in the benefits of peer-led text discussions, then this way of teaching might not be suitable for them. Therefore, much research is necessary in relation to other teacher characteristics if primary schools confront the challenge of implementing peer-led discussions at a school-wide scale