The International Journal of Critical Pedagogy

Action Research to Inform Critical Pedagogy in Teacher Education

Jeannette D Alarcón, Pratigya Marhatta, Azizah Curry Iluore


This action research focuses on teacher educators’ practices, grounded in critical pedagogy and democracy education. The goal was to identify teacher educators’ key instructional practices that exemplified critical pedagogy while teaching an elementary social studies methods course. We examined student work products and instructors’ materials in order to inform future practice in teacher education. Analysis of sources included preservice teachers’ work products along with instructional planning documents. Documents were initially coded independently before comparing analytic notes. Once themes were identified, early findings were triangulated using observation notes collected during class sessions and survey data gathered at the end of the semester. Conclusions highlight instructional practices that demonstrate shifts in preservice teachers’ understanding around two themes: (1) building relevant relationships and (2) understanding the importance of including multiple perspectives. This action research makes a valuable contribution to understanding how teacher educators might leverage routinely used instructional practice (e.g., reflection folders and the jigsaw reading strategy) as critical pedagogy. Given current crises that once again reveal persistent inequities in society, this work is timely for those ready to (re)commit to placing equity, access, and diversity at the forefront.


critical pedagogy; preservice teacher education; critical elementary education; teacher action research

Full Text: