Literacy mentorship: Negotiating pedagogical identities around disciplinary literacy strategy instruction
Towle, Brenna Renee
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This qualitative study examined a professional development model of literacy coaching in which secondary content teachers were trained in literacy strategy instruction and in literacy mentorship. I attempted to understand the negotiation of pedagogical identities of content teachers engaged in literacy strategy instruction within their own classrooms while also providing literacy mentorship for a peer within the district. Data sources included interviews, video of strategy instruction, field notes, and artifacts from three participants in a suburban high school. Findings revealed that participants engaged in strategy instruction in their own practices and identified themselves regularly as literacy strategy experts within the district but not typically as mentoring experts. Three metaphors were used to explore the separate identities exhibited by the teachers in their role of mentor: the Peer Coach; the Content Warrior, and the Fake Mentor. The findings also revealed that cooperative reflection around video of strategy instruction was essential for negotiation of identity. Several implications for administrators, teachers, teacher educators and professional development were drawn from the findings of this study in regard to developing and selecting professional development models around disciplinary literacy strategy instruction.