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This study investigated common themes in preservice teachers' case writing, noting how the thematic content diversified since teacher educators first added case writing to the course agenda. The study examined contributing factors that influenced expansions in preservice teachers' case writing perspectives and theme variations in preservice teachers' cases related to the contextual conditions of their urban schools. Researchers examined 688 teaching cases written by 344 preservice teachers over 3 years. They collated the cases according to the two different teaching contexts in which the preservice teachers worked, placed the two groups of cases in chronological order, and read and reread the cases looking for emerging categories and patterns that would facilitate a coherent synthesis of the data. The narratives were coded according to prevailing themes. During the first year, all participants wrote about four main concerns in both of their narratives: classroom management/student discipline; student well-being; supporting students with diverse language needs; and guiding students' spelling development. During the second and third years, students' themes gradually expanded to 12 diverse concerns. Over the 3 years, the most persistent issues were: managing students; supporting the literacy learning of language variation speakers; and guiding students' spelling development. An appendix provides guidelines for writing teaching cases. (Contains 2 tables and 15 references.) (SM)

Descriptors: Case Method (Teaching Technique), Classroom Techniques, Elementary Education, Elementary School Teachers, Higher Education, Limited English Speaking, Literacy Education, Preservice Teacher Education, Preservice Teachers, Student Behavior, Student Teacher Attitudes, Student Teachers, Teacher Student Relationship, Teaching Methods, Urban Schools

Autor: Richards, Janet C.; Gipe, Joan P.


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