Preservice teachers' stories from the literacy landscape: engaging adolescent readers & negotiating the professional knowledge landscape

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University of Alabama Libraries

This narrative inquiry sought to report and explore the lived experiences of four preservice teachers who took part in a teacher education program at a public university in the southeastern United States. Specifically, this study examined participants’ lived experiences as they related to gaining personal practical knowledge required to be teachers of reading in their specific content-areas. Of these participants, two were social science teachers, one was music, and one was English language arts. All participants took part in an undergraduate literacy course as part of their required Teacher Education Program coursework. The results of this study expand the current literature concerning preservice teachers’ educational needs in undergraduate content literacy courses and provide insight into their perceptions about the goals and realities of teaching literacy skills in their content-areas. Thematic narrative analysis was used to discern themes in the participants’ interviews. From two in-person interviews per participant and one focus group interview conducted via Zoom, three themes emerged from this inquiry: predominant test-prep pedagogy, discrepancies between literacy course experience and student teaching, and feelings of deficiency related to self-efficacy. Adopting Clandinin and Connelly’s (1995) conception of the professional knowledge landscape of schools, this study utilized qualitative methods of interviewing, transcription, and thematic narrative analysis to draw attention to the ways preservice teachers negotiated tensions within their professional knowledge landscape as they worked to engage adolescents in reading and as they gained personal practical knowledge of literacy instruction.

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Secondary education