Becoming a teacher of reading: preservice teachers develop their understanding of teaching reading




Vieira, Ana

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Preservice teachers of reading develop their beliefs and understanding of reading pedagogy in diverse ways. While they do gather some knowledge and understanding from their university preparation courses and their practicum experiences in classrooms, a less transparent source of emerging understandings of reading pedagogy is their own experiences with reading instruction as students. Using a qualitative case study methodology, this dissertation study investigated how three preservice teachers interested in early childhood education developed understandings of reading pedagogy. Data collected included three interviews; two prompted reflective writings on their evolving understandings; observation in the participants’ reading processes course; and an interview with the course instructor. Findings indicated that preservice teachers’ biographies influenced both their understanding of how to teach reading and their attitudes toward it. Also, they favoured practicum experience over university coursework as a source of knowledge, and experienced tensions when their own beliefs contradicted the ideas espoused in the university course. In general, preservice teachers’ beliefs and experiences prior to starting their teacher education program caused resistance toward research-based theories and practices related to reading. Findings imply that teacher educators need to be explicit in providing many opportunities for their students to discuss and make sense of their epistemological understandings in relation to areas of tension with reading pedagogy.



reading, beliefs, preservice teachers, teacher education, teacher preparation