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ERIC Number: ED527663
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 270
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1094-3114-8
"We Are All Becoming Teacher/Theorists": Collaborative Inquiry into the Intellectual, Relational, and Political Work of Learning to Teach
Simon, Robert M.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Pennsylvania
This study is the result of my work as a teacher educator in an English methods course and a member of an inquiry community I formed with eight of my students, all middle and secondary student English teachers at the University of Pennsylvania. I investigate what was at stake for them in learning to teach English in Philadelphia urban schools in the midst of an aggressive reform agenda, including attempts to improve instruction and student performance through the production and dissemination of mandated curricula calibrated to benchmark exams (Useem, 2005). Through this work, I examine my students' individual and collaborative inquiries into issues of practice (Cochran-Smith & Lytle, 2009), their interrogation of ideas and discourses of urban teaching, and their construction of their own conceptual frameworks and understandings. This research contributes to the fields of English education, urban teacher education, practitioner research, and literacy, by critically examining deficit-based instruction models in schools and prevailing understandings of student teachers as "novices"; both of these notions inadequately account for the rich array of intellectual and experiential resources that students and teachers bring into urban classrooms. I explore alternative conceptions, analyzing student teachers' use of sociocultural perspectives on literacy as frameworks for thinking differently about English as a content area and their students' literacy practices. Through their joint inquiries, this community of student teachers constructed counter-narratives about the promise and potential of urban students, cultivated relational approaches to teaching them, and created emic concepts to address feelings of disequilibrium, conflict, and uncertainty in the classroom. In this research, I regard student teachers' locations as rich sites for constructing expertise from material experience and mutual inquiry. I argue that learning to teach through collaborative inquiry is a nuanced, rigorous, intellectual, local, and social process--a process by which student teachers develop a greater sense of intellectual community, agency, and authority. [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; Middle Schools; Postsecondary Education; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania