Step by (HS)STEP : figuring humanizing social studies teacher education pedagogy & social justice teacher identity

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2022-05-06

Authors

Robinson, Heath Tyler

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Abstract

Within the field of teacher education, critical and social justice-oriented social studies education researchers call for teacher preparation aiming to transform traditional, neoliberal-oriented day-to-day practices of classroom teachers. Accordingly, if the social studies is to be a site of civic education concerned with democracy, equity, and social justice, classroom teaching must move from a critical/humanizing pedagogical stance. Theoretical scholarship supports this view, while empirical research underscores the challenges novices encounter as they learn to navigate unjust neoliberal school landscapes and negotiate affordances and constraints at the intersection multiple figured worlds pertaining to social studies teaching. Humanizing social studies teacher education pedagogy represents one framework for aiding preservice social studies teachers (PSSTs) in the development of a critical/humanizing pedagogical stance. This critical qualitative case study examined preservice social studies teacher (PSSTs) responses to humanizing social studies teacher education pedagogy through a practice theory of identity and agency lens, paying particular attention to how they learned to interpret and socially negotiate multiple figured worlds in the process of producing humanizing teacher identities. This study underscores the significance of particular organizational structures of teacher preparation conceptually framed by humanizing social studies teacher education pedagogy. Such structures afforded PSST conceptual and identity formations which in turn aided efforts to navigate constraining social studies teaching contexts and improvise aspects of humanizing social studies pedagogy as both preservice and in-service secondary social studies teachers. Ultimately, this study illustrates the significance of conceptual and procedural identity production via humanizing social studies pedagogy cultural resources to critical, social justice-oriented teacher preparation efforts. Furthermore, such efforts hinge on the facilitation of cultural resource production leading to the cultivation of critical consciousness and the development of dialogic images of teaching and a humanizing pedagogy frame of reference among preservice teachers.

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