Widening Worlds: Understanding and Teaching New Literacies

New conceptions of literacies and the practices associated with them call for new approaches to preparing teachers to engage students in literacy as a situated social phenomenon. This article describes two teacher educators' engagement in collaborative self-study as we implemented The New Literacies Project to help pre-service teachers expand their conceptions of literacy and their knowledge of how to incorporate new literacies pedagogies into K-6 teaching and learning. We discuss how teacher candidates' conceptions of new literacies and their connections to classroom practice evolved over time, and how our own evolving conception of new literacies influenced ways the project was conceptualized, structured, and supported. The candidates' learning experiences seemed powerful enough to help them expand their conceptions of literacy, including digital literacy, and most were able to talk broadly about implications for classroom teaching and learning. However, many were not able to fully integrate technology and new literacies in their planning. We conclude with suggestions for future research and invite dialog among teacher educators about their own pedagogical challenges and promising approaches to designing authentic learning opportunities.

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