In this study, we draw data from a tripartite telecollaborative project that involved 112 teacher candidates (TCs) from university-based teacher education programmes in France, Turkey, and the USA. Theoretically, we rely on Pantić’s (2015. A model for study of teacher agency for social justice. Teachers and Teaching 21, no. 6: 759–778) model of teacher agency for social justice and use discourse analytic methods (Gee. 2018. Introducing Discourse Analysis; from Grammar to Society. Routledge) to examine how TCs negotiated their agency for social justice in small group discussions around the topics of social justice (e.g. conditions of refugees and immigrants, gender inequities, and LGBTQ+ rights) in their educational contexts. We found that when TCs used agentive positionings in their discussions, their discourse involved first person pronouns coupled with will + infinitive structure (e.g. I will teach …) followed by specific plans of action, as opposed to when agentive positioning was lacking with the use of generic pronouns and hypothetical structures (e.g. teachers/everyone would/could …). We also found that TCs used the discursive space of telecollaboration to negotiate their agencies and had variable success as they navigated tensions in their beliefs and positioned themselves as future social justice teachers in relation to the discussion topics. Their positionings demonstrated their level of engagement and their individual/collective efficacy. Our findings suggest that future research should continue to investigate the micro-level discourse involved in telecollaborative spaces.

DOI: 10.1080/09571736.2022.2080857
ISSN: 9571736