Morphology matters, but what do special and general education teachers know about it?

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morphology, reading, teacher knowledge, teacher preparation


Skilled reading is a complex process in which many subskills are involved, including an awareness of the morphological structure of language. Morphological awareness is the ability to understand how words are broken into meaningful units (e.g., affixes, root words). Explicit and systematic teaching of morphological concepts are reported to help striving readers, particularly those in upper elementary, middle, and secondary grades, with reading. To teach morphological concepts and their relation to reading, teachers need to have both awareness and knowledge of morphology. In the present study, general and special education teachers’ knowledge of morphological concepts are examined. Results indicate that teachers, regardless of type of certification (general vs. special education) or grade level (elementary vs. secondary), have difficulty identifying morphemes in both simple and complex words. Suggestions for what and how teacher educators can integrate the teaching of morphological concepts into teacher preparation contexts are provided.

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Teacher Education and Special Education2019, Vol. 42(3) 246 –262© 2018 Teacher Education Division of the Council for Exceptional Children

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0888406418806649