Bridges-Rhoads, Sarah Catherine
MetadataShow full item record
This abstract aims to aid the reader in approaching this dissertation by expanding upon the content stated in its title (see Appendix A for a supplement to the title that complicates its function as a means of further preparing the reader for reading this dissertation). The reader is invited to join the researcher in her pursuit of responsibility related to two objects of knowledge, one named prior to the study and one named during the authoring of the dissertation text. This poststructural qualitative study initially sought to explore ways to speak across perceived differences in the missions of those who identify strongly as Christian and the social justice missions of many teacher education programs. Further, the researcher sought to understand how Christianity serves as a prominent identity category for many preservice educators and how that aspect of identity is often not addressed by teacher educators who aim to create a culturally responsive atmosphere as part of their social justice mission. The researcher collected extensive data from thirteen interviews with seven participants and two focus groups with four participants. The participants were all pre-service elementary school teachers enrolled in teacher education programs who self-identify as Christian and who had participated in mission work outside of public schools. As the study progressed, the trajectory of the work both shifted and diversified as methodological issues proliferated. This shift required the researcher to consider further data sources, such as physical responses of the body and response data from writing partners, and to explore methodological issues, like citational practices, ethics, and the representation of participants. As a result, this dissertation became both about the intersection of Christianity and social justice in teacher education, as originally intended, and about the persistent methodological issues that are produced in poststructural qualitative research. Consequently, this dissertation can be useful to both teacher educators with social justice missions who encounter Christian students in their programs, as well as qualitative researchers who are working at the boundaries of traditional methodologies and need models of what post qualitative research might look like.