Student teachers’ pedagogical knowledge building in relation to teaching digital literacy

Wheatcroft, Louise Gillian (2020) Student teachers’ pedagogical knowledge building in relation to teaching digital literacy. Doctoral thesis, Birmingham City University.

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This thesis presents the findings of a research study examining a group of second year undergraduate student teachers’ digital lives, their developing perceptions of literacy and their classroom experiences and practices. It examines the literature surrounding the changing landscape of teacher education, literacy education policy and perspectives on literacy and how these aspects impact upon student teachers’ developing teacher identities and conceptions of literacy as they reflect on the use of digital technologies in literacy classrooms.

The research methods selected included a questionnaire and one to one interviews and brings together Margaret Archer’s concept of reflexivity and Gee’s discourse analysis toolkit to explore the student teachers’ accounts of their experiences and to examine how they navigated their way through the complex spaces and situations encountered.

The findings show that that there remains a gulf between the ideological form of literacy as described in the literature review and school literacy as experienced by the student teachers and demonstrates how student teachers’ conceptualisations of literacy and literacy classroom practices are strongly influenced by a complex combination of their personal biographies, classroom practices observed in schools and the English curriculum. This study suggests that international comparative literacy testing significantly impacts upon the student teacher’s experience of literacy in classrooms in England with policy deeply embedded in routinised practices that inhibit change and innovation and reduce space for a broader conception of literacy in the curriculum.

This research provides insight into the experiences of student teachers in primary classrooms by focussing on how they exercise reflexivity when they rub up against structuring powers as they develop their literacy beliefs and practices. In doing so it reveals the most significant constraints and enablements impacting upon not only student teachers but on universities, schools, teachers and pupils with regards to developing a contemporary and relevant literacy curriculum. Whilst existing research identifies the constraints on student teachers’ literacy teaching practices, this study examines the important role of reflexivity in helping student teachers to make decisions and shows how student teachers act consciously, reflexively deliberating to weigh up their situation and plot a course of action, demonstrating agency even if the routines and structures in place do not allow for experimentation.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
4 March 2020Completed
Uncontrolled Keywords: Literacy, digital literacy, multiliteracies, school literacy, student teachers, literacy policy, literacy curriculum, digital technology, literacy classroom, Margaret Archer, structure and agency, reflexivity, disruptive pedagogies, teacher education, routinisation, pedagogical knowledge building
Subjects: CAH22 - education and teaching > CAH22-01 - education and teaching > CAH22-01-01 - education
Divisions: Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences > School of Education and Social Work
Doctoral Research College > Doctoral Theses Collection
Depositing User: Kip Darling
Date Deposited: 27 Jun 2021 19:20
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2022 17:22

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