"From Coursework to Classroom" Learning to Teach History to Bilingual Students
This qualitative research study examined how student teachers and novice history teachers learn to teach adolescent bilingual learners (BLs) from coursework to the classroom. The purpose of the study was to investigate to what extent five participants drew upon social justice-oriented pre-service preparation when they taught history to bilingual students in secondary schools in the Greater Boston area. More specifically, this study examined how participants scaffolded history instruction for BLs and taught the language of history to BLs. Classroom data--observation videotapes, interviews, lesson plans, and teaching materials-- were analyzed using the Sheltered Immersion Observation Protocol (SIOP) (Echevarría, Vogt and Short, 2008) and Lucas and Villegas's framework for Linguistically Responsive Teachers (LRT) (2011) to assess trends in how individual participants, student teachers, and novice teachers scaffolded instruction. An analytical framework was created based on systemic functional linguistics (SFL) description of key genres of secondary history (Coffin, 1997, 2006; Martin and Rose, 2008) to understand how participants taught the language of history. Findings of this study suggest that as participants gained classroom experience, they increasingly implemented instructional scaffolds aligned with classroom activities to engage students in rigorous content instruction. Yet participants did not consistently teach language demands of history. Based on study results, I suggest outcomes for early phases of a continuum of teacher learning related to teaching history to BLs. I also propose a framework for teaching the language of history that draws from SFL-informed genre pedagogy (Coffin, 1997, 2006; Gibbons, 2009; Rose and Martin, 2012; Schleppegrell, 2005), and I propose a model for language and content teacher preparation specific to history but also applicable to other secondary content areas. A key argument that this dissertation advances is that secondary history teachers need coherent, consistent, and coordinated support from pre-service coursework to student teaching to full-time teaching to learn to teach BLs. Implications of this study can inform teachers, teacher educators, and researchers who seek to improve opportunities for adolescent BLs to receive equitable access to rigorous content instruction and to develop specific literacy skills that could serve as a foundation for individual achievement and engaged citizenship.