“Although Adolescence Need Not Be Violent…”: Preservice Teachers' Connections Between “Adolescence” and Literacy Curriculum

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This article reports the findings of a study that examined how and why a group of pre-service secondary literacy teachers conceptualized and created various curricular activities involving young adult literary texts as part of their work for a teacher education course on teaching literature. Specifically, this article examines the systems of reasoning about the concept of adolescence that undergirded and rationalized these pre-service literacy teachers' curricular activities. Excerpts of the pre-service teachers' rationales and sample activities are presented here to illustrate how these pre-service teachers perceived adolescence as primarily a time of identity formation, especially one fraught with danger, and literacy curriculum, particularly the study of young adult literary texts, as a vehicle to help their future students traverse this tumultuous time. In presenting these findings, this article argues for secondary literacy teachers and literacy teacher educators to rethink and complicate their normalized assumptions of adolescence and secondary students.




Lewis, M.A. & Petrone, R. (2010). “Although adolescence need not be violent…”: Pre-service teachers’ connections between “adolescence” and literacy curriculum. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 53(5): 398-407.
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