Political tensions: English teaching, standards, and postsecondary readiness

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Amy Vetter, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: Purpose: The purpose of this paper was to highlight ways two novice secondary English teachers negotiated the politics of college and career readiness along with the literacy needs of students, in the age of accountability. Design/methodology/approach: This three-year longitudinal qualitative case study focused on two participants in English teacher preparation and their first two years in the classroom. Findings: The findings focus on participants’ definitions of college and career readiness as it pertains to their English Language Arts classrooms. Next, the focus is on two themes: tensions these novice teachers experienced as they attempted to build classrooms focused on postsecondary readiness, and the ways in which they worked to bridge the gap between their definitions of college and career readiness and the realities of their classrooms. Research limitations/implications: Connections among high stakes testing environments, postsecondary readiness and literacy teacher education are important to the field. Studying the experiences of novice teachers can fill a present gap at the intersection of these concepts. Practical implications: Curriculum in teacher education should introduce standards, as well as provide a platform for negotiating and critiquing them. Three focus areas to help pre-service teachers mitigate tensions between minimum skills assessments, college readiness and literacy are personal experience, collaboration and reflective partnerships. Originality/value: There has been little to no research done on the tensions between preparing all students to be college and career ready and the minimum skills based priorities that govern many school systems and its impact on novice teachers. This classroom reality is important to literacy teacher education.

Additional Information

English Teaching: Practice & Critique, 16(3), 407-422. https://doi.org/10.1108/ETPC-05-2017-0061
Language: English
Date: 2017
Critical literacy, English teaching, Literacy teaching, Teacher education, College and career readiness, Literacy, English language arts

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