Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Curriculum and Instruction (PhD)

Degree Level



Curriculum and Instruction


Christian Goering

Committee Member

Vicki Collet

Second Committee Member

Jason Endacott


Candidates, Methods, Oklahoma, Secondary, Teacher


The study focuses on how English teacher educators in Oklahoma utilize the secondary English methods course to prepare English teacher candidates in four thematic strands: a) instructional approaches, b) inclusion and alignment to national and state standards, c) focus on the state subject-area teacher certification assessment, and d) the course’s curricular changes made due to educational policies. Using a qualitative, descriptive, collective case study approach, the results describe how six instructors prepare English teacher candidates for today’s classroom in 2017.

A description of the secondary English methods course in Oklahoma is difficult to define by a single course title, but it either has content-focus or provides general methods. Instructional approaches instructors use include an emphasis on experience, theory, and reflection, as well as a newly defined emphasis on dialogic approaches and technology. The possible absence of critical literacy was noted. For most cases, standards get an introduction and are addressed through standards-based lessons and units, but are not an explicit element of the course. All agreed that standards are similar and based on skill, just organized differently, so many did not see issues in candidates understanding different sets of standards. Findings in the state subject-area teacher certification assessment were minimal with half of the cases stating no formal focus on preparation for the exam in the course. Finally, the course has changed due to educational policies, such as the amount of time (from 2010-2016) and effort spent creating state-specific K-12 content standards and state-specific teacher licensure exams. All participants saw only drawbacks to this state-specific context. In addition, political challenges, such as low teacher pay and high cuts in education funding, have caused a dire teacher shortage which has created an increase in alternative and emergency certified teachers. Though this was not a focus of the study, many participants noted concern about the future quality of clinical faculty during the field experience. Research recommendations include creating a collective English teacher educator network where educators can continue to share resources and expand their knowledge of English teacher preparation, especially as a call to advocacy in response to the state’s political challenges.