The Experience of a Content-Area Classroom: Investigating Teacher Candidates' Beliefs about Reading

By Christopher W. Johnson.

Published by The International Journal of Literacies

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Content-area teachers approach the problem of teaching reading and comprehension with particular attitudes toward knowledge, learning, and texts. These epistemic beliefs affect their effectiveness as future teachers. The researcher used an action research methodology to investigate content-area pre-service teachers’ beliefs about knowledge, learning, and texts during the course of a semester-long content-area reading course. Data included samples of teacher candidate work, results from an epistemological questionnaire, and candidate interviews. The researcher-instructor used observations of student learning, course materials, and a teacher journal to assess the progress of candidates toward understanding of content-area reading theory and application. Research findings offered description of teacher candidate epistemology and insights for preparing future teachers as they approach content-area reading.

Keywords: Teacher Preparation, Literacy, Reading, Epistemology, Content-area, Disciplinary Literacy

The International Journal of Literacies, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp.49-65. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 378.473KB).

Dr. Christopher W. Johnson

Assistant Professor, Education Department, College of Education and Human Services Professions, University of Minnesota Duluth, Duluth, MN, USA

Dr. Christopher Johnson has more than twenty-five years of work in secondary education, higher education, and language arts settings. He is a graduate of Harvard University, the University of Minnesota, and the University of Missouri-Columbia. In his role as a teacher educator, he teaches content-area reading, second language acquisition and ELL methods, and foundations of education. His research agenda includes teacher candidates' beliefs about learning, language, and the role of reading in their future classrooms.