Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Elish-Piper, Laurie

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Literacy Education


Reading teachers--Attitudes--Case studies; Reading--Public opinion--Case studies


The purpose of this study was to understand more fully the critical events in the literacy lives of second-career preservice teachers, the ways in which life experiences influenced their perceptions of the teaching of reading, and the literacy beliefs that emerged in preservice teachers’ practice in classrooms. A case study approach was used to describe and analyze participants’ experiences as they were followed for two semesters through their reading methods course and student teaching. The three participants chosen from the bounded population of the reading methods course came from business backgrounds and varied by demographic information. Data were analyzed using the constant comparative method and crosscase analysis of data, including a visual literacy poster, documents from the reading methods class such as double-entry learning logs and journals, interviews, classroom observations, and the researcher’s journal. Findings revealed that the participants in this study showed little variance from their long-held beliefs about literacy teaching; there was insufficient time for literacy beliefs to incubate and ideas to percolate into meaningful actions during student teaching; participants’ literacy instruction reflected their personal ideology and their worldview served as the filtering lens for classroom practice; participants were fossilized in their approach to literacy teaching and little transformation of learning occurred; and the role of the cooperating teacher was minimal because participants were clearly established in their approaches to teaching. Adult learners’ development is not fixed and is capable of transformation, but unless there is sufficient time for critical reflection to impact established habits of mind, literacy practice remains unchanged.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [191]-200).


xii, 213 pages




Northern Illinois University

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