Year of Publication

2011

Degree Type

Dissertation

College

Education

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Janice F. Almasi, PhD.

Abstract

This qualitative multiple case study explored the identity development of three preservice teachers of literacy. The study focused on the prior knowledge of the preservice teachers of literacy and how their knowledge related to their identity development while in field experiences. The primary question that guided this study was: What is the nature of the construction of identity during field experiences for preservice teachers of literacy? Sub questions explored identity in field experiences and the role of prior pedagogical content knowledge to identity development.

Findings indicated that an evolving habitus central to their identity as literacy teachers could be deduced that guided the preservice teachers as they interacted in the figured worlds of their field experiences related to literacy teaching. Also, prior knowledge as a component of identity served to help the preservice teachers author themselves in regard to their interactions with their cooperating teachers, students, and with the classroom and school environment. Findings further indicated that the preservice teachers of literacy relied on their prior knowledge to notice, critique, and anticipate. Noticing, critiquing, and anticipating led to further development of their identity as teachers of literacy in a circular manner.

A recommendation for practice includes the use of the NCA/WR Identity Guide to help preservice teachers of literacy become aware of their identity during field experiences. Further, providing an opportunity for reflection when standardized tests are administered could lead to metacognition, which is helpful for the identity development of preservice teachers. Recommendations for future research include examining different populations of preservice teachers and further exploring standardized testing related to identity. This study showed that preservice teachers of literacy navigate a path of diverse experiences as they learn to author themselves in the figured worlds of the field experiences. These experiences serve to shape them as future teachers and continued exploration of the specifics of their identity development will assist in creating strong teachers who are equipped to face the challenges of providing quality literacy instruction.