Reading Autobiographies of Pre-service Teacher Students (LeBiS)
The LeBiS (German acronym for ‘reading autobiographies of pre-service teacher students’) project investigates pre-service teachers’ beliefs about reading. An investigation of these beliefs is considered relevant for two reasons. First, these beliefs influence the reading practices of pre-service teacher students in terms of the reading choices they make, and they might determine their future reading and teaching practices. This hypothesis corresponds to the function of beliefs as filters, frames or guides, which is frequently mentioned in the literature (Fives/Buehl 2012). Second, knowledge about pre-service teachers’ beliefs about reading is also relevant for the design of curricula at universities. A central question is how texts read and studied in seminars relate to students’ beliefs and foster their development as literature teachers. LeBiS is designed as an exploratory project that does not seek to test these relations, but focuses on describing and reconstructing pre-service teacher students’ explicit and implicit beliefs concering reading. To this end, 83 students at the beginning of the study were asked to write ‘reading autobiographies’ (Graf 2007) and reflect on these reading autobiographies in small group discussions. Reading autobiographies are short essays in which students can freely reflect on the importance of reading in their lives. To reconstruct and analyse beliefs in the data, qualitative methods were applied.