Office of Undergraduate Research

What is the English Education Methods Course in the 21st Century?

This study investigates how English teacher candidates are being prepared to teach secondary English language arts in a changing political, economic, and cultural context. The researchers in this project will collect data to examine how English education programs across the US have changed to accommodate 15 years of standards-based reforms, the changing demographics in 21st-century classrooms, changing workplace expectations and rapidly-changing information and communication technologies. Updating the 1995 work of Smagorinsky and Whitings How English Teachers Get Taught, this new study will address the following specific questions: (1) What preparation do English teachers receive? (2) What is the consensus of the field regarding what instructional (pedagogical) content knowledge looks like in English education? (3) How are concepts of what is necessary changing in a time of globalization, growing diversity in K-12 classrooms, and technological innovation? (4) How are practices changing with them? (5) How have English educators taken heed of the work done in Conference on English Education summits in designing methods courses?

Tasks and responsibilities:

The undergraduate student researcher(s) would be involved in all aspects of this study, specifically contacting English Education programs across the US leading to the collection and analysis of syllabi and program demographics. S/he will assist in the design, administration, and analysis of surveys and telephone interviews. S/he will participate in writing a series of articles over the next two years with the other members of the research team. The research team is composed of members of the National Council of Teachers of Englishs Conference on English Educations Commission on English Methods and includes faculty, graduate assistants, and undergraduate researchers from UWM, Michigan State University, West Chester University of PA, University of Wyoming, and the University of Kansas.