Journal Article — Teacher Candidates’ Critical Conversations: The Online Forum as an Alternative Pedagogical Space — by Janet D. Johnson




This article analyzes how teacher candidates in an English Education practicum course utilize an online forum to discuss issues of school equity and teaching for social justice. Throughout the discussions of their field experiences in an urban high school and a suburban middle school, the candidates offered descriptions and reflections, told stories, generated questions, and critically analyzed differences in equity, teaching, and students between the two settings. The research suggests that an online discussion forum can provide an alternative pedagogical space, or “second classroom” (Campano, 2007), for candidates to access, question, and revise dominant discourses about schooling. While candidates occasionally demonstrated inconsistencies when discussing issues of equity, by engaging in thoughtful dialogue with one another, they furthered their understandings of how systemic forces impact schooling. This research suggests that these critical conversations have the ability to enhance candidates’ thinking on the larger, conceptual issues surrounding education, and also impact their teaching practices.

Recommended Citation

Johnson, Janet D. 2009. “Teacher Candidates’ Critical Conversations: The Online Forum as an Alternative Pedagogical Space.” Pp. 75-86 in Teaching Transformations 2009 (Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge: Volume VII, Issue 1, 2009.) Belmont, MA: Okcir Press (an imprint of Ahead Publishing House).

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