(1) Preparing Preservice Teachers to be Agents of Social Justice: Examining the Effectiveness of Using Literature Circles in a Reading Methods Course

Cheron H. Davis
Florida A&M University

Krystal Bush
Florida A&M University

Abstract

This study, rooted in the evaluation of a reading methods course, sought to determine the implications for preservice teachers (PSTs) who participated in literature circles that intentionally used multicultural literature to discuss social justice issues. Using an interpretative mixed-methods approach, we collected quantitative surveys and conducted individual interviews to determine the participants’ perception of the effects that the implementation method (literature circles) and the curriculum content (multicultural texts) had on their knowledge and professional efficacy. The findings of this study suggest that the course, with an embedded literature circle component, is an essential aspect of the broader teacher development program. Encouraging social activism, promoting recreational reading, and improving PSTs’ ability to facilitate literary discussions around issues of social justice increases their confidence and personal efficacy. Further longitudinal research should be conducted to determine the direct effects this would have on their ability to create change agents in their future classrooms.

Citation

Davis, C.H., & Bush, K. (2021) Preparing Preservice Teachers to be Agents of Social Justice: Examining the Effectiveness of Using Literature Circles in a Reading Methods Course. Florida Journal of Educational Research, 59(1), 283-298.

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