Teaching to transform : an examination of pre-service social studies teachers' citizenship conceptions and pedagogical practice.



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This qualitative multiple case study explored secondary social studies pre-service teachers’ citizenship conceptions and how they developed during a social studies methods course designed around a critical citizenship framework. The researcher investigated beginning conceptions, how, and in what ways, pre-service teachers’ citizenship understandings developed within a social studies methods course sequence and how these ideas were then enacted during their clinical field experience. Findings indicate that rationale-building and an emphasis on critical citizenship in the course assisted pre-service teachers in developing more complex citizenship conceptions. Within the field teaching experience, pre-service teachers saw the classroom as a democratic space, enacting democratic participatory pedagogy and engaged in ambitious teaching to highlight student voice and agency. Implications of this study suggest that action research offers a powerful reflective tool for pre-service teachers and calls for a strong link between social studies educational theory and practice. Social studies teacher education programs should attend to technical aspects of learning to teach, yet programs should grounded in transformative ideas that prepare social studies pre-service teachers to teach all students for a strong democratic and just society.