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ERIC Number: ED554670
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 210
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3030-7905-4
Why "How" Matters: Exploring How Preservice English Teachers Experience Reading "For Pleasure" and "With an Eye toward Teaching" and How They Conceptualize Teaching Literature
Pet, Susan Ringler
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Connecticut
This qualitative study investigated preservice English teachers' experiences reading young adult literature and explored how they conceptualized the teaching of literature. The investigation took place in a graduate-level secondary English education methods course, wherein preservice English teachers read and studied methods of teaching young adult literature. The research involved 14 graduate student participants deliberately reading "The Giver" and "Speak" from two different orientations: "for pleasure" and "with an eye toward teaching." Defining these orientations for themselves and conceptually setting one against the other, participants were directed to read one novel from each assigned orientation, respond to and discuss the literature through various formats, reflect on the two reading experiences, and express their conceptualizations about the teaching of literature. Data included: (a) free form written responses to literature, (b) video recorded "Fishbowl" literature discussions, (c) written, open-ended questionnaires, (d) video recorded discussions about the reading experiences, and (e) crucial course documents. Data were analyzed using Braun and Clarke's (2006) six-phase protocol for thematic analysis. Findings revealed that the teacher candidates widely expressed their own passion for reading literature, lauded new pedagogies that promise rich student response and engagement, and communicated great interest in contemporary YA literature. However, analysis revealed a contradiction between the teacher candidates' espoused visions about how to teach and their actual willingness to embrace contemporary literature and adopt new pedagogies. Descriptions of "reading for pleasure" and "with an eye toward teaching" helped explain this discrepancy. Despite voiced distinctions between the reading experiences, the act of being asked to read through a teacher's eyes apparently led participants to conclude that they virtually always read with a teaching mindset, because that is "what teachers should do." Although findings showed glimpses of reconciliation between entrenched images and attraction to new ideals, the strongest message found participants replicating "status quo" conceptualizations of teaching literature--associated largely with the New Critical literary "camp" (Ransom, 1941; Richards, 1927), including strong attention to teaching isolated elements of text through traditional, teacher-centered pedagogies and classic texts--in lieu of their more progressive ideals. [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:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A