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Pedagogies of Discomfort: Shifting Preservice Teachers’ Deficit Orientations toward Language and Literacy Resources of Emergent Bilingual Students

Research on Preparing Preservice Teachers to Work Effectively with Emergent Bilinguals

ISBN: 978-1-78441-265-4

ISSN: 1479-3687

Publication date: 18 September 2014

Abstract

A major challenge in teacher education in the United States is how to address the academic and linguistic needs of the growing numbers of emergent bilingual students. A second challenge is how to prepare predominantly White monolingual preservice teachers with little exposure to speakers of languages other than English to educate culturally and linguistically diverse students. With these two challenges in mind, this study examines how a course on literacy, language, and culture grounded in pedagogies of discomfort shifts preservice teachers’ deficit orientations toward emergent bilingual students’ language and literacy resources. Using Ofelia García’s (2009) definition for emergent bilingualism, this mixed-method study was conducted from 2011 to 2013 with 73 preservice teacher participants enrolled at an urban mid-Atlantic university. Quantitative data consisted of pre and post surveys while qualitative data comprised written responses to open-ended statements, self-analyses, and participant interviews. Findings evidence preservice teachers’ endorsement of monolingualism before coursework; however, pedagogies of discomfort during coursework provoke critical reflection leading to significant shifts in preservice teachers’ dispositions toward teaching language diversity in the classroom with implications for teaching emergent bilingual students.

Keywords

Citation

Sharma, S. and Lazar, A. (2014), "Pedagogies of Discomfort: Shifting Preservice Teachers’ Deficit Orientations toward Language and Literacy Resources of Emergent Bilingual Students", Research on Preparing Preservice Teachers to Work Effectively with Emergent Bilinguals (Advances in Research on Teaching, Vol. 21), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 3-29. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1479-368720140000021001

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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