Preservice Teachers' Beliefs about Writing and Their Plans to Teach Writing: The Apprenticeship of Observation
Description: Preservice teachers (PSTs) bring a plethora of knowledge and experiences to their educator preparation courses. The PSTs have also formed ideas about how to teach based on their observations during the thousands of hours they spent as students in the classroom from kindergarten through high school graduation. This phenomenon, coined by Lortie, is called the apprenticeship of observation. Past research has focused on the apprenticeship of observation in general while neglecting to specifically explore how this phenomenon influences PSTs in regards to writing. Guiding this study were three research questions: (1) what are the PSTs' beliefs about writing instruction and themselves as writers, (2) how have PSTs' experiences as students affected their beliefs about themselves as writers, and (3) how do PSTs' experiences as students influence their plans to teach writing? After conducting a thematic analysis, there are four findings that stemmed from the data. First, PSTs come to their educator preparation programs with beliefs about themselves as writers. Particularly, the PSTs believe they are either writers or non-writers, Next, PSTs believe that writing instruction should be high-quality and foster student interest. Additionally, data suggested that PSTs' past experiences as students in a writing classroom influenced the PSTs' beliefs. Particularly, the PSTs' experiences around feedback and the control they had over writing were the most discussed. Lastly, past experiences stemming from the PSTs' apprenticeship of observation formed the basis for the plans the PSTs had about teaching writing. These findings have implications for both teacher educators and the PSTs they teach. It is imperative that teacher educators take steps to uncover the beliefs and past experiences of the PSTs as these serve as a lens through which the PSTs look through during their writing methods courses. Teacher educators must also use this information as a springboard for instruction. Finally, teacher ...
Date: December 2017
Creator: Thompson, Emily Kyle