In this article, I reflect on my practices as a teacher educator and respond to the following questions: How do I foster the capacity of pre-service teachers to use children’s literature to promote expansive and critical conversations in the classroom? How do pre-service teachers report their stances and sense of preparedness when reflecting on the course? To address these questions, I share two strategies I employed in my undergraduate course for elementary education majors: 1) emphasizing children's literature as windows and mirrors and 2) considering stakeholder responses. For each strategy, I include preservice teachers’ (PTs’) statements that reflect how the strategy impacted their stances about children’s literature and preparedness to use it in the classroom to foster expansive and critical conversations that are relevant and responsive to students’ diverse lives.

Author Biography

Stephen Adam Crawley

Stephen Adam Crawley is an Assistant Professor of Literacy Education at Oklahoma State University. His research, teaching, and service focus on culturally diverse children’s literature, censorship, technology integration, and content area literacy in K-8 classrooms. Specifically, he explores depictions within, approaches to the teaching of, and stakeholders’ responses to LGBTQ-inclusive children’s literature. Prior to teacher education, he taught in Australian and U.S. public elementary schools for twelve years. His research is published in Voices from the Middle, The ALAN Review, the Journal of Children’s Literature, Bookbird, and Taboo: The Journal of Culture and Education.



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