Facilitating an Educational Development Initiative Focused on Reading Comprehension Instruction: Exploring University Professors' Experiences and Beliefs
This qualitative exploratory case study focused on the experiences of university professors as they implemented reading comprehension instruction in their discipline-specific first- and second-year courses within the context of an educational development initiative. During 3 individual interviews, a pre-instructional dialogue, and 2 group sessions across 1 academic year, 5 professors reflected on their beliefs about reading and teaching as they engaged with planning and implementation of reading comprehension instruction. Collectively, participants appeared to plan comprehension instruction in ways consistent with their beliefs about academic reading, teaching first- and second-year students, and prior instructional approaches, and cited learning that challenged, confirmed, and/or intensified their pre-existing beliefs. Participants also suggested that a variety of formats for interaction and information dissemination during the educational development initiative were valuable in that they allowed for flexible facilitation. The study may offer insights into reading comprehension and its instruction within university courses as well as personalized educational development for university professors. Participants’ beliefs, experiences, and meaning making processes are positioned as influences on learning, and participants’ investments of self during educational development are emphasized. Implications for theory include the importance of acknowledging and honouring the complexities of professors’ investments of self in the design and facilitation of initiatives. Related implications for practice include exploration of professors’ beliefs, demonstrated respect and consideration, and responsive communication. Recommendations for future research include extension of the study’s scope and lines of inquiry.