Subverting the selective tradition? A self-exploration of text selection in pre-service teacher education

Journal article


Quick, Joanne. (2023). Subverting the selective tradition? A self-exploration of text selection in pre-service teacher education. Australian Journal of Language and Literacy. pp. 1-20. https://doi.org/10.1007/s44020-023-00047-1
AuthorsQuick, Joanne
Abstract

Children’s literature can be both a reflective mirror to readers’ lives and a window to new worlds, making teachers’ selection of texts for students an important professional activity. Researchers have consistently found that teachers’ choices of literature contain limited representations of ethnicities, cultures, and disabilities, and reinforce gender stereotypes. Teacher educators, when working with pre-service teachers in university settings, utilize children’s literature for literary, critical, and cultural pedagogical purposes. However, teacher educators rarely interrogate their text selections to explore patterns of representation, identity, and power. This paper describes and discusses a self-study into five children’s picture books selected for modeling aspects of early literacy teaching in a pre-service teacher education unit. Critical content analysis was used to explore representation, identity, and power in the texts. The analysis showed some connections with trends found in research into early years and school teachers’ selective traditions in the use of an older text and two texts without human characters. Other findings differed; agentive female characters, together with some variation of social, cultural, and ethnic groups and lives, were depicted in the three texts with human characters, likely because of the author’s own bias towards expanding representation in texts. This article reports on an example of one teacher educator’s selective literary tradition and shows how the texts used in education settings represent windows to specific worlds rather than standing in for “diversity.” It makes suggestions for other educators interested in interrogating their text selections and invites dialog with other educators about representation, identity, and power in the texts they teach with.

Keywordschildren’s literature; teacher education; representation; diversity
Year2023
JournalAustralian Journal of Language and Literacy
Journal citationpp. 1-20
PublisherSpringer
ISSN1038-1562
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1007/s44020-023-00047-1
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85171272359
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
Page range1-20
Publisher's version
License
File Access Level
Open
Output statusIn press
Publication dates
Online14 Sep 2023
Publication process dates
Accepted14 Aug 2023
Deposited08 Nov 2023
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https://acuresearchbank.acu.edu.au/item/8zy7v/subverting-the-selective-tradition-a-self-exploration-of-text-selection-in-pre-service-teacher-education

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License: CC BY 4.0
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