Reading young adult fiction and the world to find racial civic litearcy in a social studies methods class
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This dissertation sought to explore the way preservice teachers grappled with race/ism and citizenship during a social studies methods class. Relying on the theoretical framework of racial civic literacy, this instrumental case study examines six white preservice teachers as they confront issues of race/ism in a young adult fiction novel and grapple with how they will address this in their future classroom. Findings indicate that although all six participants had the vocabulary to discuss race/ism through the lens of citizenship, the inclusion of young adult fiction did not create enough of a meaningful connection to substantially change the cohort's views on the connection between race/ism, citizenship, and teaching. The dissertation offers several implications from the possibility of racial civic literacy as an alternative framework to explore the way white preservice teachers learn to read the racialized civic experiences of their students and the use of young adult fiction to deepen white preservice teachers understanding of racialized civic experiences. Chapter 1 introduces the context and problem that will be addressed throughout the dissertation. Chapter 2 features a detailed exploration of the theoretical framework of racial civic literacy and the pertinent literature about preservice teachers' beliefs and ideas about race/ism, citizenship, and teaching. Chapter 3 offers a discussion of the methods and methodology of the study and the researchers positionality. Chapter 4 presents the findings for the way the six white preservice teachers construct race/ism and citizenship relating to teaching. Finally, chapter 5 addresses a cross-case analysis of the findings, and discusses implications for researchers and teacher educators.