Naveed, Maryam (2016) The Impact of Primary Teachers' Pedagogical Knowledge and Autonomy on the Teaching of Early Reading. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

There has been considerable controversy over the effective approach to teach early reading known as phonics versus whole language. However, synthetic phonics as prime method emerged from a review (Rose, 2006a) of the teaching of early reading in England. The Coalition government declared the phonics screening test at the end of Year 1. In order to raise the standard in literacy the new national curriculum (2013) has been introduced with more high expectations for every year group. The government has also announced its obligation to give more freedom to schools and teachers to tailoring the curriculum according to children's needs. This change in policy and accountability requirements has brought attention towards teachers who are the agents of change. There is a need to explore teachers' perceptions about several reading approaches and the impact of change on their practices.

This study was conducted after the implementation of the new national curriculum (DfE, 2013), in attempting to explore teachers' pedagogical knowledge and their practices in the teaching of early reading. By adopting a qualitative case study approach, 11 Early Years and Key Stage 1 teachers' perceptions were explored through semi-structured interviews. In addition, observations of their classes were taken into consideration. Thematic analysis of data concluded that there were some inconsistencies between teachers' perceptions and their classroom practices due to their experience, education, training and the level of class they taught in. Finally, it can be argued here that there is no one single approach to teach reading. The government is trying to increase reading attainment by increasingly being prescriptive about what teachers should teach and how they should teach it. It can also be argued here that too much national assessment at every step of learning increases the level of pressure on teachers and decreases the opportunities of creating children's interest in reading.

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