Inquiry, advocacy, and practice-based research : transformative possibilities in literacy preservice teacher education

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2019-09-16

Authors

Lammert, Catherine Anne

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This dissertation is composed of three articles that explore the uses of inquiry, advocacy, and practice-based research in preservice literacy teacher preparation. The first article, a systematic review of literature, focuses on the question: What is known about how inquiry is used and framed in literacy preservice teacher preparation? Findings suggest that inquiry is an effective tool for preservice teacher learning, and although there are challenges (i.e., time, resources, preservice teachers’ preconceived ideas about curriculum, and curricular constraints), preservice teachers can learn to enact inquiry-based teaching methods. The second article, a longitudinal multiple case study using a framework of appropriation, explored the questions: (A) How do literacy teachers in transition from preservice to in-service appropriate their knowledge of inquiry and advocacy practices inside different teaching contexts? (B) What tensions do literacy teachers in transition from preservice to in-service face as they appropriate their knowledge of inquiry and advocacy practices inside different teaching contexts? (C) When literacy teachers in transition from preservice to in-service appropriate their knowledge of inquiry and advocacy practices inside different teaching contexts, what tools (e.g. informational texts) and strategies do they use to achieve success? Findings suggest that graduates of a teacher education program that relied on hybrid spaces and emphasized the use of informational texts, inquiry, and advocacy as curriculum appropriated and built on these practices as in-service teachers. The third article, which reports on a design/development project and uses theories of communities of practice and the Transformative Activist Stance, focuses on the questions: (A) How does literacy teacher preparation with a focus on practice-based research support preservice teachers’ development of researcher and activist identities and practices? (B) What resources and experiences support literacy preservice teachers’ understandings of practice-based research and activism? (C) How does teacher preparation with a focus on practice-based research and activism support preservice teachers’ enactment of an inquiry and activist curriculum? Findings suggest that preservice teachers who engaged in practice-based research as they enacted an inquiry and advocacy curriculum used their research for activism and resisted a narrowed, testing-focused curriculum.

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