Creative Inquiry: Five Preservice Teachers' Interpretations of Literacy

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1997-11-13
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Virginia Tech
Abstract

This qualitative study examines how five preservice teachers use multiple forms of representation (photography, spoken discourse, and written reflection) to interpret literacy. Eisner (1994) defines multiple forms of representations as "the devices that humans use to make public, conceptions that are privately held"(39). By better understanding preservice teachers' interpretations of literacy through multiple forms, teacher educators can promote a more holistic view of the literate qualities that define students as literate beings.

Data included: individual and group interview transcripts, photographs, literacy autobiographies, literacy portfolios, journal entries, and other written reflections. Five collective themes emerged across the data: self and self esteem, literacy as a social act, the environment, and growth. From these themes creative inquiry, a framework for literacy inquiry evolved. Creative inquiry is a circular or spiral process of interpretation, hermeneutic in form, whereby interpretations return us to a new self. Although collective themes were revealed, the participants engaged with the multiple forms in undividual ways throughout the process of creative inquiry helping shape personal interpretations of literacy.

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Self, Aesthetics, Forms
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