English, Disciplined: Learning to Teach in Urban Classrooms

by Gatti, Lauren, Ph.D., THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN - MADISON, 2012, 311 pages; 3512829


This year-long, multicase study employs cultural-historical theory to analyze the learning to teach process of nine novice English teachers enrolled in two different teacher preparation programs in the same large city: a university-based program and an Urban Teacher Residency. Broadly, this research investigates how novice English teachers learned to teach within urban school contexts, and firmly situates both the programs and the novice teachers enrolled in them within the larger policy context of teacher education, including the role of the National Council for Teacher Quality (NCTQ) and the reform hub of the NewSchools Venture Fund (NSVF). More specifically, this research explores the ways in which these novice teachers learned to teach English as a discipline, and pays particular attention to the ways in which the teachers conceptualize and attempt to enact discussion with their students. Ultimately this study argues that it is the interaction of the individual teachers, the English curriculum, and the resources on which they draw—disciplinary, experiential, relational, dispositional, and programmatic— that shape the version of the discipline constructed in urban classrooms.

Findings and implications of this study include analysis of the partnership dynamics within the Urban Teacher Residency; the residency's use of Doug Lemov's book, Teach Like a Champion (2010); the reality of "programmatic abandonment" within both programs; the "paradoxical curriculum" of college readiness; the need for English education to address the power of disciplinary aims ("English to what end?"); the need for English education to develop specific models of preparation for teachers entering urban school contexts; and, as the residency model of teacher preparation continues to proliferate, the importance of understanding that there is no one residency model of teacher preparation.

AdviserKenneth Zeichner
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsEducation policy; Teacher education
Publication Number3512829

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