Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Development of Preservice English Teacher Beliefs about Literacy, Teaching, and Students
by Simon, Kelly R., Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara, 2012, 300; 3545132
Abstract (Summary)

The development of preservice teacher beliefs is a complicated, non-linear process. It has been suggested that preservice teacher beliefs are highly impacted by their past histories as students, and that these beliefs act as a filter for interpreting the coursework and ideas in their teacher education programs. Understanding the way preservice teachers form beliefs can give insight into the choices teachers enact in practice. This dissertation considers the processes by which a cohort of 12 preservice English teachers formed beliefs about literacy, teaching, and learning in a 13-month professional program. The study traces the belief development of the research participants and identifies opportunities within the teacher education program that promoted nuances in perspectives related to literacy, teaching, and learning. Grounded theory was used to code and interpret the ethnographic data collected in six courses. Data included in-class discourse, reflective writing, online forum posts, and high stakes writing assignments staggered throughout the program. Analysis of this data indicated that when candidates integrated experiential evidencing and theoretical referencing into their written and spoken discourse, their beliefs were more nuanced. The findings also indicated that while candidates entered with pre-existing beliefs, these beliefs did not necessarily change, but instead developed within given contexts. This study therefore suggests a fresh way of framing forthcoming research on teacher beliefs, not as constructs that are static or in need of changing, but instead as resources that candidates draw from in relation to certain contexts and opportunities.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Bazerman, Charles, Dixon, Carol
Commitee: Lippincott, Ann, Lunsford, Karen
School: University of California, Santa Barbara
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 74/04(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Language arts, Educational psychology, Teacher education, Secondary education
Keywords: Beliefs, Preservice teachers, Professional development, Teacher cognition, Vygotsky, Lev Semenovich
Publication Number: 3545132
ISBN: 9781267768315
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