The growth of whole language has been largely a grassroots movement of teacher to teacher. and school to school. Teacher education programs have been slow to respond to this unfolding transformation of schooling. Even when whole language is addressed in teacher education it is often addressed only in a single reading course. As such it becomes little more than an option in the potpourri of eclectic approaches to teaching. traditional university practices that use conventional assumptions to structure instructional time. classroom space, organization of content into discrete courses, and then evaluate student work in order to assign grades tend to reify the status quo rather than supporting genuine change.
Even reading courses that provide adequate theoretical foundations for the pedagogy of whole language may be inadequate. Although pre—service teachers may have conceptual understanding of whole language. their teaching will probably rely on their past educational experiences to guide their curricular decisions. By and large these experiences have been
accumulated from a skill and drill elementary school curriculum. and from a model of university teaching based primarily on lectures and occasional student projects. It is these models that are most often resurrected in beginning teachers’ classrooms.