Preparing pre-service teachers to enact professional agency is both critical and challenging, given how often school district mandates and assessment practices are in conflict with what these candidates have learned and come to believe about teaching and learning. Research also suggests that agency may lead to higher retention rates among teachers. Though the literature on pre-service teachers and the development of agency is growing, the number of studies looking specifically at coursework and agency is limited. This study is an exploration pre-service teachers’ perceptions of agency before and after completing a graduate course designed to support the enactment of agency via direct instruction, research, inquiry, and advocacy. Findings show that the majority of candidates had a stronger sense of agency at the conclusion of the course. Also included is a pandemic coda, comparing course data from 2019 and 2021, and discussing the possible influence of the dual pandemics (COVID-19 and the U.S. reckoning with race) on the focus of pre-service teachers’ agentic action.



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