Preservice Teachers Defining and Redefining Reading and the Teaching of Reading
This qualitative study was developed to explore changing beliefs about literacy teaching and learning in the context of one required introductory English Language Arts course. Research questions targeted shifts in individual as well as group responses from a current class of teacher candidates interested in PreK-Grade 8 classroom teaching. Research methods included pre- and post-course surveys, and reflective narrative statements on mid-term “exit cards”; these tools were designed to support course improvement as well as gather data that might facilitate the development of other courses and programs. Important implications emerged for teacher preparation in the area of literacy education. Many of the teacher candidates reported transformation of ideas in relation to the conceptualization of reading and the teaching of reading, shifting from word-oriented approaches to meaning-oriented approaches. Offering opportunities to recall, unpack, and share experiences with other teacher candidates appeared to provide a useful context for interrogating and reinforcing perspectives, or adopting new beliefs, about the teaching of reading.
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