At the intersection of teacher education and adolescent reading
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Although reading is a key skill for adolescents (Biancarosa & Snow, 2006; Carnegie Council on Advancing Adolescent Literacy, 2010), few studies have examined how teacher candidates learn to teach middle grades reading (AMLE, 2006). Using a Vygotskian sociocultural perspective (Smagorinsky, 2011; Vygotsky, 1978; Wertsch, 1985, 1991) and a qualitative case study methodology (Stake, 2006), this research was focused on exploring the experiences of teacher candidates as they learned to teach middle grades reading and planned to use their learning in practice in the future as they completed their final year in a university-based middle grades teacher education program. Two key findings were developed from cross-case analysis. First, participants developed a sophisticated ability to negotiate tool use across settings to reach their goals, revealing a complicated relationship. Second, teacher education coursework, in particular, played a significant role in participants’ learning.