Stories to live by, stories to teach with: a narrative inquiry into preservice teachers' knowledge of teaching literacy from a critical literacy framework with diverse children's literature
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This narrative inquiry offers research of literacy and children's literature teaching through inquiry into stories told from the perspective of preservice teachers (PSTs). Through inquiry into PSTs' stories to live by (Connelly and Clandinin, 1999), teacher educators and educational researchers learn about PSTs' experiences with literacy and children's literature and how they work to inform their teaching decisions. The research narratives provide literacy teacher educators with space to consider why and how to (re)design courses taught to PSTs on critical literacy teaching diverse children's literature. Educational researchers learn of ways to further research into PSTs' chosen ways of teaching through study of the research narratives. This inquiry into PSTs' stories follows the research question of: How do preservice teachers' stories to live by inform their orientation towards certain literacy teaching practices of children's literature? It is framed by Connelly and Clandinin's (1999) conceptualization of stories to live by which merges PST participants' personal practical knowledge, lived experience on the professional knowledge landscape, and their identity (i.e., student teacher, future teacher) stories. Analysis of PSTs' stories was done following structural and thematic models and found that PSTs held different views of literacy involving literacy as method and as social practice; they approached teaching literacy following behaviorist, constructivist, and socio-cultural ways; and held conceptualizations of children's literature including as teaching tools, mirrors, diverse, and culturally relevant. Implications for teacher educators include the need for explicit critical literacy teaching diverse children's literature and provision of explicit classroom experiences of teaching diverse children's literature texts. Implications for educational researchers suggest the need for more individual and longitudinal studies of individual PSTs and their stories.