ERIC Number: ED548975
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Teacher Education for Social Justice in Secondary English Methods Courses: Praxis or Paradox?
Leonard, Carole S.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Arkansas State University
The purpose of this study was to explore the extent to which the mission of preparing teachers to teach for social justice is operationalized within the methods courses in teacher preparation programs that assert a social justice mission. A qualitative content analysis was conducted of course syllabi for English/Language Arts courses, using a constant comparative process of coding in terms of 1) degree of social justice focus, and 2) Instructor's perception of social justice education. The analysis examined goals and objectives, course readings, written assignments, class activities, and practicum requirements. The content analysis was followed by open-ended interviews with the instructors of the methods courses which focused on establishing the instructors' definitions of "teaching for social justice" as well as the activities that they perceived to support the concept of social justice education. No typology or clearly articulated spectrum emerged to describe concisely the degree of social justice education present in each methods course. However, an unambiguous distinction was found between two groups of instructors: 1) those who included discrete social justice activities in their course, and 2) those who embedded the concept of social justice throughout most or all of the activities in the course. The latter group, comprising approximately one third of the participants who were interviewed, were also distinguished from the other instructors by defining social justice education in terms of preparing teachers to be change agents. Three institutional factors were found to have a strong influence on the social justice content of the courses: 1) requiring a succession of several courses that supported the concept of teaching for social justice; 2) providing multiple, carefully scaffolded field experiences; and 3) providing a supportive and collegial environment in which instructors shared the responsibility of fostering a social justice disposition in their students. [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: http://www.proquest.com/en-US/products/dissertations/individuals.shtml.]
Descriptors: Social Justice, Methods Courses, Secondary Education, English Instruction, Preservice Teacher Education, Qualitative Research, Content Analysis, Course Descriptions, Grounded Theory, Interviews, Teacher Educators, Class Activities, Institutional Characteristics, Teacher Education Curriculum, Field Experience Programs, College Environment
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Secondary Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A