Original Research

Pedagogical choices to integrate theory and practice: Conceptualisation and insights for literacy teacher education

Zelda Barends
Reading & Writing | Vol 13, No 1 | a333 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/rw.v13i1.333 | © 2022 Zelda Barends | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 23 August 2021 | Published: 10 March 2022

About the author(s)

Zelda Barends, Department of Curriculum Studies, Faculty of Education, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa


Background: The theory and practice divide is a persistent conundrum in teacher education. Moreover, foundation phase literacy teacher education is no exception because such graduates are expected to acquire knowledge and skills to address the challenges of the classroom.

Objectives: This article focuses on the application of an integrated approach to literacy teacher education.

Method: This conceptual article is structured to reflect how common pedagogical choices such as service learning, situated learning, reflection, and student support were used to design and enable integrated student learning experiences within teacher preparation programmes.

Results: By exploring the educational value of these pedagogical choices that informed the integrated approach, I developed an integration framework to inform the pedagogy of literacy education.

Conclusion and contribution: The integration framework reflecting the catalytic pedagogical choices could guide teacher educators regarding the approaches to address the persistent conundrum in overcoming the theory and practice divide in teacher preparation programmes.


pedagogical choices; theory and practice divide; integrate theory and practice; literacy teacher education; pre-service students


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