Handbook of Instructional Practices for Literacy Teacher-Educators: Examples and Reflections from the Teaching Lives of Literacy Scholars

By Joyce E. Many | Go to book overview

9—
Teaching and Learning in the English Language Arts
Nancy Farnan
San Diego State University

Program Background and Participants

Teaching and Learning in the English/Language Arts (TE 914), better known in the vernacular as a methods course, is designed as part of the fifth-year, Single Subject credential program in the School of Teacher Education at San Diego State University. Teacher preparation in California requires completion of a 1-year, postbaccalaureate credential program (approximately 30 semester units, half of which must be fieldwork). Students enrolled in California's Single Subject programs have undergraduate degrees in a content area (e.g., science, math, English, physical education) and have decided they want to teach that content at the middle or secondary level. Some of them are recent college graduates. Others are career-change individuals who, for a variety of reasons, decide they want to become teachers.

I began teaching the English/language arts methods course 8 years ago and, in my initial planning, was immediately reminded of what I experienced personally in years before as a middle and secondary English/language arts teacher: that there is so much to learn, to know, and to do in the English/language arts classroom. As a teacher educator, the questions I grappled with as I designed and taught this course for the first time (and continue to grapple with) center on how to provide, within the confines of a three-unit semester course, content that will best prepare preservice teachers for their careers as teachers of English/language arts.

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