Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Faculty of Education


The purpose of this study was to explore the characteristics of social interactions as part of teacher learning in a Reading Recovery (RR) Teacher Training Course. The study involved ten teachers who undertook a RR Teacher Training Course over the duration of one school year. The study was qualitative by nature, seeking to tell the story of Reading Recovery teacher learning through their co-operation and collaborations. The methods of study included observations (audio and video recording), semi-structured interviews with the RR teacher participants, document analysis and self-reflection of the researcher in her role as a RR Tutor. Social constructivist theory was used to inform the study. The data was analysed using thematic analysis and a process of data reduction, data display and conclusion drawing and verification. The findings indicated the teachers appreciated that teacher learning through observation and discussion as they learned how to compare and explore their learning of a new teaching skill. The detailed analysis of Reading Recovery observational transcript samples (early, middle and late sessions in the course) allowed following the development of the social interactions of the RR teachers and the tutor over time. A thematic analysis of semi-structured interviews was used to understand the teachers’ perspective of their learning in the various components of the Reading Recovery sessions. This revealed that co-construction of knowledge, trust in the relationships, and self-development as result of learning with others on the part of the participants was important to the participants. The study led to the development of a number of key principles for Reading Recovery teacher training based in social constructivist approach.