The Reading Professor

Document Type



This nested case study explored the individual and environmental factors shaping preservice teachers' (PSTs') learning about teaching literacy for social justice while student teaching in urban, high-poverty schools. Grounded in Cultural Historical Activity Theory, findings show how the unique interplay of contextual factors led to different learning outcomes for PSTs, despite having similar experiences and perspectives on literacy teaching. Notably, when PSTs avoided tensions and contradictions between their student teaching placements and their university-based teacher education program, their learning towards the university's programmatic goals was constrained. However, when they opted to grapple with instructional tensions, their learning was more expansive. Implications include the importance of teacher educators considering individual PSTs student teaching experiences when mediating their learning and potential of viewing tensions as a generative source of learning about teaching literacy for social justice.