Learning to Teach English—Maybe: A Study of Knowledge Development

Renee T Clift

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


This case study describes the first 2 years of one young woman's (Lesley) experi ences in learning to teach secondary school English. Analysis of her response to three problematic incidents she encountered during her preservice preparation suggests that developing knowledge for the teaching of English includes the intersection of knowledge schemes for literary analysis, the teaching of literature and language, planning for instruction, assessment and evaluation, group management, pedagogical problem solving, student diversity, and self-image as a teacher. Although Lesley did not believe that she had achieved a high level of sophisticated knowledge in these areas, she drew upon them frequently as she began teaching. This study documents Lesley's perceived gaps in knowledge as she worked through instructional problems, the resources she used to elaborate upon her prior knowledge, and her short-term resolution of problematic issues. Implications for further research and for program development are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)357-372
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Teacher Education
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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