Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Instr and Curr Leadership


Elementary Education

Committee Chair

Nicole Thompson

Committee Member

Alison Happel-Parkins

Committee Member

DeAnna Owens

Committee Member

Jeremy Whitney


All preservice teachers enter teacher preparation programs with distinct and unique experiences that have shaped their beliefs about teaching and learning. Therefore, this narrative inquiry study was focused on examining how elementary preservice teachers’ educational experiences have shaped their beliefs about teaching and learning. Using critical theory, social reproduction theory, and Althusser’s state apparatuses (1971) as the theoretical framework, the researcher interviewed nine preservice teachers from a southern metropolitan university. Of the nine participants, one participant was categorized as a traditional student, four were traditional transfer students, and four were non-traditional students. A demographic survey and life story interviews were conducted to elicit narratives of their experiences from early childhood to their present student teaching to determine who or what shaped their beliefs about teaching and learning. Regardless of their college entry level, findings suggest that the preservice teachers’ beliefs about teaching and learning were shaped by specific people and experiences in their lives, such as family support or lack of support, positive and negative teachers and school experiences, field experience prior to teacher preparation, teacher preparation courses and professors, and student teaching. The only difference among the elementary preservice teachers was that the non-traditional preservice teachers had life experiences before teacher preparation that shaped their beliefs about teaching and learning.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.