Challenging the politics of education: Intertwining dialogic pedagogy with a research-based practicum for first-year pre-service teachers

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Perla Barbosa
Wenjie Wang


The public education system in the United States has long been under assault from neoliberal educational reforms. Those reforms have been characterized by anti-democratic and homogenizing assessment methods and systems that reinforce the banking model of education. In this model, students learn to passively and uncritically consume the knowledge transmitted to them in school. In order to counteract the banking model, this research urged first-year, pre-service teachers (PSTs) in an Introduction with Internship in Bilingual/ESL Education college coursework to engage in a dialogic problem-posing pedagogy grounded in a Freirian perspective. PSTs conducted a mini research-based practicum (RBP) that was six weeks long and required a total of 24-hour field observations across local public elementary schools. The RBP framework consisted of a research question, a mini literature review, practicum observations, findings, a group-written report, and a group presentation. In this study, we analyzed the RBP process and data sources that responded to our guiding question: What counts as good teaching according to PSTs? The major findings included: (a) good teaching means relationship building, (b) good teaching starts with understanding the multiple roles of the teacher, and (c) good teaching is inclusive. We discussed the transformative moves that PSTs went through while engaging in a dialogic problem-posing pedagogy. Teacher-educators (TEs) can benefit from this study, as the viability of the transformative effects of a dialogic problem-posing pedagogy, along with its challenges and coping methods, were discussed.

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How to Cite
Barbosa, P., & Wang, W. (2020). Challenging the politics of education: Intertwining dialogic pedagogy with a research-based practicum for first-year pre-service teachers. Dialogic Pedagogy: A Journal for Studies of Dialogic Education, 8, SA1-SA25.
Special Issue: Supervision and Advisement
Author Biographies

Perla Barbosa, New Mexico State University

Perla Barbosa holds a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction with a focus on language, literacy, and culture from New Mexico State University, and a master’s degree in applied linguistics from the University of Massachusetts Boston. In addition to her experience as an EFL teacher in Brazil, Dr. Barbosa has served as a teacher educator and university supervisor for K-12 public schools in New Mexico, USA. Her research, deeply influenced by the work of Paulo Freire, is bonded with her teaching, which engages education students in dialogic problem-posing pedagogy to unpack the political and ideological aspects that underlie curriculum, instruction, and assessment. Her research also encompasses bilingual and ESL education grounded on the participatory action research paradigm.

Wenjie Wang, New Mexico State University

Wenjie Wang holds a Ph.D. from the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, School of Teacher Preparation, Administration, and Leadership at New Mexico State University. She has served as a teacher educator and liaison with early childhood, and elementary teacher education programs. She has engaged in supervising pre-service and in-service teachers’ practicum and student teaching. Her specialization and research interests mainly focus on family-school-university-community partnerships, immigrant children and their families in border school communities, early childhood/elementary teacher preparation, field supervising experience, ESL/bilingual/multilingual education, and anti-bias critical multicultural education.


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