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In this qualitative study, we explore 31 preservice teachers’ generative trajectories including how they built on instructional practices learned in the service-learning…
In this qualitative study, we explore 31 preservice teachers’ generative trajectories including how they built on instructional practices learned in the service-learning project, the university methods course, and the field-based experience. We addressed the question: In what ways does participating in a semester-long field-based university course combined with a service-learning program shape preservice teachers’ views about effective literacy practices for emergent bilinguals? We identified four themes in our analysis: importance of choice in literacy pedagogy; learning from and with our students; freedom to apply course methods and ideas; and growing confidence and align them with Ball’s (2009) generative change model and the four processes of change – metacognitive awareness, ideological becoming, internalization, and efficacy.
We found the preservice teachers’ ability to develop an awareness of diversity grew from their work with students both in their field-block experience and writing club. These opportunities provided them with a layering of learning – from course readings, collaborating with teachers, to problem solving and creating lessons that specifically met their students’ needs. By moving in and out of different contexts, preservice teachers developed generative knowledge about ways to support writing for emergent bilinguals. Likewise, they became keenly aware of their own experiences and beliefs. Implications include the importance of providing a variety of opportunities for preservice teachers to work directly with students. This should be accompanied by written and verbal discussions to examine and critique their experiences and ideologies in relation to students’ language and literacy needs.