"A taste of teaching": Preservice teachers and children engage in literature circles
AuthorDay, Deanna Lea
AdvisorShort, Kathy G.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe purpose of this qualitative teacher research study was to explore the characteristics of literature circles with preservice teachers and children. Drawing on Vygotsky's (1978) sociocultural theory and Rosenblatt's (1938) transactional theory, this study focuses on the talk of preservice teachers in literature circles with children and the perceptions of preservice teachers about these literature circles. The study was conducted in a fourth grade classroom and a university children's literature course in the southwestern United States over one academic year. Thirty children and 27-28 preservice teachers participated in three to five literature circles each semester. A total of 47 literature circles were tape recorded, transcribed and analyzed. Other sources of data included a teaching journal, free writes from participants and interviews with some preservice teachers. The methods of analysis included coding, visual markers and constant comparison. These literature circles were investigated through a detailed description of the data. There were certain characteristics to organizing the discussions such as selecting books, developing the discussion strategies, planning the circles, producing free writes and reflecting on the experience. This study focuses on how the talk of preservice teachers in literature circles with children evolved over time. The results indicate that the preservice teachers initiated and facilitated discussion, asked and answered questions, dominated discussion, listened, supported and explored children's talk, and shared personal connections and responses as a reader. In addition, the study explores preservice teachers' perceptions of literature circles with children. Three major themes were found: The preservice teachers learned about children in the literature circles, how to do circles and the value these circles for children. Finally, the findings illustrate how the literature experience with preservice teachers influenced the children. According to the data, the children had significant relationships with young adults, managed the literature circles, considered different perspectives in the discussions, gained confidence in their ability to talk, gained perspectives on college and acquired personal advocates. This study shows the importance of partnerships between universities and elementary schools. The preservice teachers were given opportunities to experience reading, writing, learning and teaching with children. The college students were able to observe children learning and to reflect on these experiences.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Language, Reading & Culture