Portelli, Terence (2011)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
This thesis documents the development of nineteen student-teachers in becoming teachers of Maltese literature, initiated in a methodology study-unit over one academic year. Drawing on reader-response theories, and coupled with insights from reflective practice and assessment for learning, this study traces trajectories taken by student-teachers as they gradually move from a text- or subject-bound culture towards a more student- or response-centred approach. Methodologically, this thesis is an action-research project embracing a bricolage stance. The main analysis draws on the lecturer-researcher’s and the student-teachers’ experiences in a dialogical way. A number of reflective tasks were employed to make explicit the meandering thought processes that were taking place and shape during the duration of the study-unit. Different topics essential to any prospective teacher of literature were also critically examined. These issues were realised during a six-week block teaching practice, with some of the experiences collected in an ad hoc portfolio. Towards the end, six perspectives are analysed to illustrate broad themes and significant vignettes of what this transition entails. While mainly respecting traditional academic format, parts of the thesis are written in non-canonical genres, thus expressing an essentially exploratory, experimental approach.
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