Preservice Literacy Teachers in Transition: Identity as Subjectivity

By Mindy Legard Larson.

Published by The Learner Collection

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

This research addresses the complexities of identity development of elementary and middle school preservice literacy teachers during their teacher education program using a poststructural feminist theoretical lens. This research investigated two questions: 1) How do preservice teachers develop their identity as teachers of literacy in the midst of authoritative discourses? 2) What kinds of strategies and discourses do preservice literacy teachers use to negotiate the competing discourses of literacy during student teaching? The results indicated that the identities of the preservice literacy teachers were in transition during their teacher education program and authoritative discourses were at work constituting their subjectivities throughout this process. These discourses were heard as the preservice literacy teachers used deconstructive and reconstructive literacy discourses and strategies from their personal literacy biographies, literacy coursework, and student teaching practices. Their agency as literacy teachers was demonstrated through the strategies they used to negotiate and perform their identities during student teaching—working within and outside of the literacy structures of their cooperating teachers’ classrooms. The research also indicated the power of time and space in relation with others, as a means for continued identity transformation.

Keywords: Poststructural Feminist Theory, Teacher Education, Literacy, Subjectivity, Agency

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 15, Issue 6, pp.203-210. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 549.139KB).

Dr. Mindy Legard Larson

Assistant Professor, Education Department, Linfield College, McMinnville, USA

Mindy Legard Larson is an Assistant Professor in the Education Department at Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon, USA. She received her Ph.D. from Oregon State University and M.S. in Education from Western Oregon University. Mindy began her career in education as an elementary teacher. She taught first, second, and third grades and worked as a Program and Curriculum Specialist. Prior to coming to Linfield, Mindy taught in the Master of Arts in Teaching program at George Fox University in Newberg Oregon, USA. Her research interests include literacy theory and pedagogy; preservice teacher identity; poststructural feminist research and pedagogy; and children’s and young adult literature.

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