Bibliotherapy is one instructional tool teachers can use to help children and adolescents cope with their diverse needs and life’s challenges. In the context of K-12 settings, bibliotherapy is a systematic process utilizing books to transform traditional reading into an instructional strategy to assist educators in meeting the needs of all students. The study presents perceptions of bibliotherapy held by 161 preservice teachers (PSTs) and 87 non-preservice teachers (non-PSTs) and offers insight exploring 5 research questions. Data were collected using a survey which contained demographic items, rating scales, and open-ended items to gather both quantitative and narrative data. Independent samples t-tests and descriptive statistics were performed to analyze quantitative data. Content analysis procedures guided the inductive coding and interpretative reporting of narrative data collected. The results of the study indicate little significant difference between PSTs and non-PSTs in regards to current level of understanding and perceived acceptability of bibliotherapy implementation in K-12 classrooms. There was a statistically significant difference between groups in regards to perceived level of comfort of personal bibliotherapy implementation across 3 of 17 items (p<.01). Participants’ perceived level of comfort was found to be more heavily influenced by teacher-centered factors as opposed to student-centered factors. While five main concern themes emerged from participant responses, the most surprising concern of bibliotherapy expressed by the undergraduate students was the fear participants held in regards to receiving negative responses from parents, colleagues, and administrators. These findings have implications for research, practice, and how pre-service teachers are trained.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/randie_camp/1/