Engaging Student Teachers' Hearts and Minds in the Struggle to Address (Il)literacy in Content Area Classrooms


  • Christianna L. Alger

    Corresponding author
    1. San Diego State University. She may be contacted there (5500 Campanile Dr., mail code 1153, San Diego, CA 92182, USA)
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E-mail calger@mail.sdsu.edu.


Although research supports the importance and impact of using reading strategies in content area classrooms to improve students' comprehension, many secondary teachers do not use this knowledge to improve the delivery of content. This article describes a themed literature circle curriculum developed as part of a reading course for content area credential candidates. Literature circles were used to enhance these preservice teachers' understanding about the connections between literacy and social justice. Using qualitative methods, the author explored changes in participants' mental models about literacy. Participants reported new understandings and new commitment to integrating literacy into their content classes.