Teaching literacy during student teaching : a multicase study of asset-based and humanizing teaching




Svrcek, Natalie Sue

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This study focused on alternative ways of seeing students and engaging in asset-based and humanizing teaching pedagogies, what I call asset-based and humanizing stances, in teacher education. I argue that preservice teachers need experiences to construct students from a lens of what they “can” do and to design teaching pedagogies that focus on students’ assets. Two research questions guided this study: (1) What are the contexts of the student teaching classroom and how do they influence preservice teachers’ asset-based and humanizing pedagogies during student teaching? and (2) How do preservice teachers’ pedagogical enactments exemplify asset-based and humanizing stances of students? Drawing on multicase study design, this qualitative study explored the literacy teaching of three preservice teachers over the course of student teaching, the ways they drew on asset-based and humanizing of their students and the challenges they encountered. Data collection for this study took place during the final two semesters of the preservice teachers’ certification program. Data sources included: ethnographic field notes of literacy events, video and audio recordings of literacy teaching, classroom artifacts, semi-structured interviews, and informal conversations. In the findings, I discuss four asset-based and humanizing teaching pedagogies that were evident in the participants’ teaching enactments: positioning students as knowledgeable others; working to build community within the student teaching setting; using an inquirer’s stance to approach teaching; and teaching based on experiences with students. Then, in a cross-case analysis, I share how the preservice teachers’ teaching enactments exemplified their asset-based and humanizing stances towards students. This analysis suggests that student teaching is a generative space for preservice teachers to learn about students and enact asset-based and humanizing stances, illuminating the power of context and its influence on preservice teachers’ teaching.


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