460 Slices
Medium 9781475819410

The Challenge to Prepare Teachers to Care in the Current Context: Perspectives of Teachers of Color

Teacher Education and Practice Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub


ABSTRACT: Teacher educators have a civic responsibility to prepare novice teachers to foster relationships across cultural, racial, and socioeconomic divides. Care ethics acknowledges this imperative and context’s role in determining varied meanings of care. The voices of teachers of color can help us to understand the demands of care across differences. This study presents findings from interviews with teachers of color whose preparation included an introduction to care ethics. Five themes emerged: the importance of assuming students’ caring intentions, the importance of teachers’ persistence in relationship with students, connection to students’ cultures, connection of students’ cultures to an academic culture, and acknowledgment and confrontation of racism.

Teacher educators have begun to consider the necessity and challenge of introducing care ethics in teacher education (Arnstine, 1990; Bulach, Brown, & Potter, 1998; Goldstein, 2002; Knight, 2004; Lake, Jones, & Dagli, 2004; Schwartz, 1998; Yost, 1997). Goldstein (1999) and Wilder (1999) found that while preservice teachers describe entering the profession because they “care,” their preconceptions of care tend to reflect a warm/fuzzy or static personality trait that a teacher either possesses or lacks, as opposed to an ethical stance that requires action. Since new teachers entering schools in urban communities meet increasingly diverse populations, teachers need to learn to create relationships across communities of difference to meet the needs of their students. This study examines what teachers need to know to care in this current diverse context.

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Medium 9781475819137

“Not All People Are Like Me”: Addressing Diversity From a Newfound Awareness

Teacher Education and Practice R&L Education ePub


ABSTRACT: Teachers face challenges as they strive to make their teaching more culturally responsive. This article reports the results of a study that indicates that teachers’ understandings are shaped by their cultures and that their responses to issues related to diversity are context specific and vary depending on their prior knowledge, life experiences, and understandings of diversity. Examples of the four major categories (conscious competence, unconscious competence, lack of awareness, and lack of concern) illustrate how teachers’ instruction reflects or fails to reflect multicultural understanding.

The population of the United States is in transition. “The ‘typical’ student for whom educators’ pedagogy and prescription are designed is an endangered species. Highly motivated, achievement-oriented, white, middle-class students from two-parent families are becoming scarce in most school systems” (Irvine, 1992, p. 79). The population of this country is becoming more and more a society in which many ethnic, religious, and cultural groups coexist. The dawning of the 21st century will bring even greater change in the racial and ethnic proportions of this country (National Center for Educational Statistics, 2002). Currently, in some regions of the United States, the word “minority” is no longer appropriate because the so-called minority is actually the numerical majority (Garcia & Pugh, 1992). In addition, Hodgkinson (1993) predicted that by the year 2000 36% of school-aged children would be “minority” and one fourth of all students would be living below the poverty line.

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Medium 9781475819120

Kaleidoscope Feature: Developing Learning Teachers: A Curriculum for Teacher Education

Teacher Education and Practice R&L Education ePub

Kaleidoscope Feature


ABSTRACT: A major premise of Trinity University’s teacher education program is that good teachers are students—of children and childhood, learners and learning, curriculum and pedagogy. To help teacher candidates learn how to think, know, and act like teachers, inquiry is folded into every stage of the teacher preparation program. In this article we examine several important aspects of novices’ learning to teach and describe specific inquiry-oriented assignments that students complete. Finally, we address the challenges we face in helping our students become lifelong learning teachers.

A major premise of Trinity University’s teacher preparation program is that good teachers are students—of children and childhood, learners and learning, curriculum and pedagogy. In other words, teaching is “the learning profession” (Darling-Hammond & Sykes, 1999) where continual inquiry is central to a teacher’s personal and professional growth over a lifetime of practice (Barth, 1990). Equating teaching with inquiry challenges traditional notions of instruction where teachers tell what they know and students learn by regurgitating presented information (Goodlad, 1984). Rather, teachers do more listening as they elicit students’ thinking in order to interpret their ideas and assess student learning. Students do more asking and explaining as they investigate authentic problems and generate solutions. The purpose of this article is to illustrate how a reform-oriented teacher education program supports teacher candidates in becoming learning teachers.

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Medium 9781475819557

A STEM-Focused Elementary Teacher Preparation Program: Candidate and Alumni Perceptions

Teacher Education and Practice Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub


ABSTRACT: To address shortfalls in the preparation and achievement of U.S. students in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), instruction in these areas must begin in the elementary grades, as early as kindergarten (American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, 2007; Natural Academy of Sciences, 2007; National Research Council, 2000). The urgent need for improvement in the teaching of STEM content to young children led one university in the Southeast to create a STEM-focused elementary teacher preparation program. This exemplary program—called ATOMS (Accomplished Teachers of Mathematics and Science)—is characterized by four key features: program coherence; rigor in the general education program; innovative, conceptually focused methods courses; and extensive fieldwork aligned with coursework. This article describes the features of this highly scalable program in detail, illustrated through participant reflections and contextualized in the research literature on effective teacher education programs.

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Medium 9781475819434

Preservice Teachers’ Understanding of Culture and Diversity: Comparing Two Models of Teacher Education

Teacher Education and Practice Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub



ABSTRACT: Faculty members from a Midwestern university elected to compare two models of teacher preparation to determine if there was a difference in their ability to meet the needs of diverse learners. One model, located in professional development schools in the local urban school district, included awareness activities, discussions, and field experiences that placed preservice teachers in a setting that required them to teach diverse learners. The other model, located in a suburban school district, did not include any specific activities or experiences working with diverse learners. Both models required preservice teachers to produce portfolios that reflected on their experiences and that included work samples to demonstrate knowledge and understanding as a teacher. A pilot study was conducted with a random selection of 20 portfolios from each group to answer the research question—namely, that there is a significant difference between the two groups when asked to consider the cultural diversity of their learners. There was no difference in the two groups when they considered the ability of their learners. Furthermore, all 40 preservice teachers did not reflect or discuss seeking additional support services for their struggling learners. Findings informed faculty on the need to provide preservice teachers with specific coursework, assignments, and field experiences working with children who are culturally diverse and have differences in abilities.

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