Escola Superior de Educação de Viseu, Instituto Politécnico de Viseu (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2019 Proceedings
Publication year: 2019
Pages: 14-21
ISBN: 978-84-09-08619-1
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2019.0009
Conference name: 13th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 11-13 March, 2019
Location: Valencia, Spain
Few studies focus on pre-service teachers’ conceptions of literary reading and how they might shape and influence their educational practices. To understand such conceptions is relevant:
i) for the impact they may have on the training of readers;
ii) for the reassessment of pre-service teachers training;
iii) for the design of training programmes specifically tailored for their needs.

Bearing that in mind, we present the findings from an empirical study concerning pre-service teachers’ conceptions of literary reading and their implications on teaching practices in primary education.

We used a qualitative approach, within a multiple case study framework. Participants were 4 pre-service teachers in their second year of a Master of Teaching (Early Childhood Education and Primary Education), enrolled in Supervised Teaching Practice (STP) in a Polytechnic Institute, in Portugal. The following Instruments were used to gather data:
i) their lesson plans (Primary Education, 3rd grade), during a nine-week period of training, focusing on the domain of Literary Education (as defined in the Program and Curricular Goals of Portuguese in Basic Education);
ii) a written report they produced at the end of their training.

Content analysis of the lesson plans and the reports was performed and categories were generated a priori and a posteriori concerning several dimensions:
i) the importance these pre-service teachers attributed to literary reading;
ii) the aspects of literary reading they valued the most;
iii) the texts they considered more adequate to fulfil their goals and iv) the reasons behind their choices.

As far as their lesson plans were concerned, we concluded that:
i) most of these pre-service teachers saw literary reading relevant for increasing students reading motivation, emphasizing the role of picturebooks as quality aesthetic objects to enhance children’s imagination and creativity;
ii) some of the important paratextual features of picturebooks were underestimated in their lesson plans and held a peripheral place in their conceptions of literary reading, mainly due to the relevance they attributed to the acquisition of knowledge, rather than reading for pleasure;
iii) narratives were privileged, and few lesson plans contemplated poetry;
iv) they used, mainly, print texts rather than texts displayed on screens;
v) one of their main concerns was to achieve the goals established in the curricular document they had to follow.

Data collected from the written reports delivered at the end of their training revealed that:
i) their own reading practices had impacted on their lesson plans, namely on the criteria used for choosing texts, mostly of a narrative nature;
ii) they considered that literary education played a key role in fostering children’s learning, enabling them to experience emotions that nurture the development of social relationships and increasing their enthusiasm for recreational reading;
iii) they emphasized the importance of print texts for an affective literary reading experience.

Longitudinal studies, targeting pre-service teachers, may be relevant for a deeper understanding of their conceptions of literary reading and their potential developments in future educational practices that might contribute to the training of readers. Research at an international level is needed to promote a wider debate about the role of literary education concerning supervised teaching practices in primary education.
Pre-service teachers, literary education, conceptions, reading.