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ERIC Number: ED513618
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 206
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1092-6471-5
"What More Is Literacy?" The Language of Secondary Preservice Teachers about Reading and Content
McArthur, Kerry Gordon
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The University of Arizona
Reform in the fields of adolescent and content area literacy have focused on broadening a definition of literacy beyond the ability to read and write. In a broader definition the language processes of reading, writing, speaking and listening become literacy tools to engage students in the learning of concepts and afford the learner ways to communicate ideas. This qualitative teacher research examined secondary preservice content area teachers' language and thinking about reading, content, and their relationship in the context of a university content area methods course. The nineteen preservice teachers who participated in the study were from the disciplines of math, English, foreign language, social studies, physical education, music and theatre. The study is grounded in constructivist theory; a sociopsycholinguistic model of reading; and content areas as ways of knowing. Data sources included a variety of regular course assignments collected throughout the semester to provide a rich triangulation of the data. I analyzed the data using grounded theory in a process of constant comparative analysis as well as two tools from discourse analysis: cultural models and situated language. Conclusions from the findings of the study in regards to how secondary preservice content area teachers write and talk about reading, content, and their relationship suggested four principles that inform the fields of adolescent and content area literacy: (1) The relationship between reading as a transaction with text and content areas as ways of knowing suggests teaching content area literacy conceptually through a constructivist approach such as inquiry or place-based curriculum. (2) Literacy embedded in a constructivist curriculum engages students in learning content area concepts and has potential to change cultural models such as "playing the game," "getting through it," and subjects "to cover." (3) The identities of developing readers and memberships in content area communities of practice are fostered through apprenticeships and authentic experiences. (4) Addressing preservice teachers' theoretical orientations of reading and the secondary schools' tendency to isolate the content areas requires a practicum and/or field-based experiences during methods courses and additional apprenticeships during service teaching. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A