Hearing Voices: Using Narrative Inquiry to Examine How Preservice Teachers Experience Transition from University Student to Student Teacher
AuthorMorrison, Jennifer D.
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This study was conducted with three participants, who were undergraduate students in a teacher training program in a western university, as they transitioned from university coursework to their student teaching internships over a five month period. Their internships were held in public elementary schools within the same or neighboring states in general and special education in grades 1-9. This study used narrative inquiry in which the participants constructed their lived experiences through monthly interviews, response journals, pen and paper illustrations, and existing curricular and instructional artifacts. Thematic coding and Harré and van Langenhove's (1999) six modes of positioning theory were used to analyze the data to consider how participants were positioned and position themselves within their situated contexts and in relation to other people, organizations, and entities.The findings of this study included a recognition that student teachers are positioned as learners, which gives them a degree of failure resistance (Dweck & Molden, 2005). However, it also puts them in a subversive position where they are susceptible to socialization processes resulting from high stakes accountability, prescriptive curriculum, and overreliance on mentor teachers, who may or may not be exemplary models. Transference of social justice and critical pedagogy university learning was not always possible because of the student teachers' positioning as "guests" within their internship classrooms and pressures, both real and perceived, to conform to micro, meso, and macro structures. A recommendation is for teacher education programs to engage preservice teachers in iterant positioning so they are better able to internalize socially just pedagogy and are more enabled to utilize it in their own classrooms.