Gailey, Sara M., & Ryan T. Knowles (2021, October). Exploring preservice teachers’ civic education beliefs with Q methodology. Teaching Education. (ePub in advance of print) (Link:

Abstract: This study explored college students’ civic education ideologies in an entry-level elementary education course using Q methodology. The study asked the students to sort previously developed survey items measuring ideology onto a pyramid ranging from agree to disagree. The analysis found four patterns among students, which were labeled critical multiculturalist, nationalist, disaffected, and institutionalist. A lesson was developed where participants completed the Q-sort and studied how their beliefs could influence their instructional practices and classroom discussions. The students also completed reflections on the Q-sort, where they expressed that the activity developed a more in-depth understanding of their own beliefs while also illuminating their classmates’ ideological diversity. The study also demonstrates Q methodology’s utility, beyond being a research method, which can provide a powerful instructional tool to translate research into practice.

Sara M Gailey <> is in the Department of Teacher Education, Weber State University, Ogden, UT; and Ryan T Knowles <> is in the Department of Teacher Education and Leadership, Utah State University, Logan, UT, USA.

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