Pre service teachers and literacy education: An historical study

Year: 2005

Author: Grant, Pat

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The National inquiry into the teaching of literacy and the National inquiry into teacher training are part of the many manufactured crises in literacy education we see both nationally and internationally today. This paper traces the history of these recent concerns about how pre service teachers come to learn about teaching literacy through an examination of literacy education for pre service primary teachers in South Australia in the 1940s and 1950s. It is a qualitative, historical study drawing on Michel Foucault's genealogical work. Data includes oral histories from teacher educators and primary teachers and official documents such as teacher training curricula. The data is examined by means of a critical discourse analytic approach and illuminates the assumptions governing the way pre service teacher educators from the 40s and 50s talk about literacy. This analysis uncovers some of the antecedents of the current debates about how and what pre service teachers learn about the teaching of English/literacy.