Master of Education Research Theses

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Betty Ruth Sylvester, Ph.D.


Children’s trade books, book selection, fourth-grade teachers, teaching experience, classroom instruction, qualitative interviews


Children’s trade books are a pervasive force in elementary school classrooms. Teachers utilize these trade books for various instructional purposes. Research studies revealed that teachers’ selection of children’s trade books is a complex process involving many factors. This study examined the factors that influenced three fourth-grade public school teachers’ selection of trade books for classroom instruction. Each teacher met one of these criteria: five years or less of teaching experience, six to 15 years of experience, and 16 years or more of experience. Interviews were conducted with each teacher to determine the trade books they selected for teaching purposes and the processes they implemented to make their selections. The qualitative interviews were first coded for analysis individually and then compared in a cross-case analysis. Analysis revealed five themes that influenced the teachers’ selection of trade books: (a) criteria teachers use to select trade books, (b) administration and curriculum demands, (c) reading class structure, (d) support in trade book selection, and (e) funding. These results confirmed previous research findings of the multifaceted nature of teachers’ trade book selection.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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