Beliefs in reading autobiographies of German L1 teacher students.

Submitted by: Christiane Kirmse
Abstract: The project LeBiS (German acronym for ‘reading autobiographies of pre-service teacher students’) investigates teacher students’ beliefs about the importance of reading. It is consistent with a recent study by Mayer (2017) who argues that past research did not sufficiently pay attention to this domain, but predominantly focusses on the literary socialization of children and adolescents (Groeben/Hurrelmann 2004).

An investigation of beliefs is considered to be relevant for two different reasons. First, they influence the reading practises of teacher students in terms of the reading choices they make, the number of texts they read, and the reflection of compulsory readings in university courses. That might determine their future reading and teaching practices and, therefore, is probably connected to learners’ reading behaviour. This hypothesis corresponds to the function of beliefs as filters, frames or guides that is frequently mentioned in the literature (Fives/Buehl 2012). Second, knowledge about teacher students’ beliefs is also relevant for the design of curricula at university. The major question is, then, how texts in seminars attach to students’ knowledge, motivation, and needs for their development as professional readers.

LeBiS is designed as an exploratory project that does not seek to test these relations, but which focusses on describing and reconstructing implicit beliefs of pre-service teacher students. To this end, N = 83 students at the beginning of their studies were asked to write reading autobiographies (Graf 2007). Reading autobiographies are short essays in which students reflect on the importance of reading in their lives. The advantage of reading autobiographies is that students can freely select and elaborate on topics they consider to be relevant. In order to reconstruct beliefs in the data, a qualitative data analysis has been applied. In-depth analyses concerning teacher students’ beliefs on their current and future reading practices will be presented.

Keywords: beliefs; teacher students; L1 teaching; reading autobiographies; qualitative data analysis

Fives, H., & Buehl, M. M. (2012). Spring cleaning for the “messy” construct of teachers’ beliefs: What are they? Which have been examined? What can they tell us? In K. R. Harris, S. Graham, T. Urdan, S. Graham, J. M. Royer, & M. Zeidner (Eds.), APA handbooks in psychology. APA educational psychology handbook, Vol. 2. Individual differences and cultural and contextual factors (pp. 471-499). Washington, DC, US: American Psychological Association.

Graf, W. (2007). Lesegenese in Kindheit und Jugend. Einführung in die literarische Sozialisation. Baltmannsweiler: Schneider Verlag Hohengehren.

Groeben, N., Hurrelmann, B. (Eds.)(2004). Lesesozialisation in der Mediengesellschaft. Ein Forschungsüberblick. Weinheim: Juventa.

Mayer, J. (2017). Wege literarischen Lernens. Eine qualitativ-empirische Studie zu literarischen Erfahrungen und literarischem Lernen von Studierenden in literarischen Gesprächen. Baltmannsweiler: Schneider Verlag Hohengehren.