Dissertation Defense - Jason Williamson

Wednesday, October 20, 2021 1pm

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Reading Young Adult Fiction and the World to find Racial Civic Literacy in a Social Studies Methods Class


This dissertation sought to explore the way preservice teachers grappled with race/ism and citizenship during a social studies methods class. Relying on the theoretical framework of racial civic literacy, this instrumental case study examines six white preservice teachers as they confront issues of race/ism in a young adult fiction novel and grapple with how they will address this in their future classroom. Findings indicate that although all six participants had the vocabulary to discuss race/ism through the lens of citizenship, the inclusion of young adult fiction did not create enough of a meaningful connection to substantially change the cohort’s views on the connection between race/ism, citizenship, and teaching. The dissertation offers several implications from the possibility of racial civic literacy as an alternative framework to explore the way white preservice teachers learn to read the racialized civic experiences of their students and the use of young adult fiction to deepen white preservice teachers understanding of racialized civic experiences.


Committee Members:  Dr. Antonio J. Castro; Dr. LaGarrett J. King; Dr. Michael L. Metz; Dr. Lisa M. Dorner

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