It is well known that over the past two decades, writing has been subjected to various policies, initiatives, and requirements, as "test prep is the new order of the day" (Schultz & Fecho, 2005, p. 12). Student teachers are learning to teach writing in these conditions. Yet they are usually left alone to make sense of the relationships between what they learn in teacher education, and what they are permitted or encouraged to do in their placement schools. Little is known about how student teachers make sense of the rules and expectations around writing in their placement schools, and what professional judgment they believe they are allowed to exercise as they learn to teach writing.
Dominant policy structures can lead the next generation of teachers to maintain the status quo, replicating practices that often limit children's access to powerful literacy learning. To address this problem, this qualitative study examined how four student teachers, across elementary, middle and secondary schools, "read" the rules and expectations of their placement schools, and how they navigated the relationships of policy to practice in the teaching of writing. This study is also a practitioner inquiry into what role a first-time university supervisor played in student teachers' sense-making process, with the goal of constructivist writing pedagogy.
Drawing on socio-cultural literacy theories, reflective supervision literature, and critical policy research, this study found that student teachers' negotiation of the policies in their schools went through phases, and that unofficial policies and interpersonal relationships were important parts of the policy landscape for student teachers. Furthermore, conversations with the university supervisor framed student teachers' interrogation and understandings of the rules and traditions around them, as well as their thinking about themselves as teachers of writing. Suggesting a critical policy approach within literacy education, this study implies that student teachers can see themselves as agents for change, but that this is a difficult process. It also argues for a revised role of university supervisors in teacher education, including support for "reading" policy along with student teachers while deepening their own knowledge-of-practice (Cochran-Smith and Lytle, 1999).
|Advisor:||Lytle, Susan L.|
|Commitee:||Fecho, Robert, Schultz, Katherine|
|School:||University of Pennsylvania|
|Department:||Language & Literacy in Education|
|School Location:||United States -- Pennsylvania|
|Source:||DAI-A 74/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Language arts, Education Policy, Teacher education|
|Keywords:||Critical policy, Literacy, Student teacher supervision, Student teaching, Writing|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be