455 Slices
Medium 9781475819083

Preparing to Teach in Urban Schools: Advice from Urban Teachers

Teacher Education and Practice R&L Education ePub

Deborah Diffily, Ph.D., Southern Methodist University

Helen Perkins, Ed.D., Southern Methodist University


As the percentage of teachers who are middle-class Caucasian women continues to rise, it is important that teachers are prepared to teach in racially, ethnically, and culturally-diverse urban schools. The original goal of this investigation was to listen to the voices of effective urban teachers as part of improving a teacher education program. During teacher interviews, the participants themselves expanded the focus of the study beyond preservice preparation into the first year of teaching in an urban school.


Over the past thirty years, the number of minority teachers has been slowly decreasing, while the number of minority children - and children who live at or below the poverty line - continues to increase. Experts predict that the percentage of minority teachers will continue to decrease. By 2010, minority teachers will represent less than 5 percent of America’s educators. At the same time, authorities predict that more than 40 percent of American students will be minorities (Chase, 1988).

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Medium 9781475819311

Editorial: Education, or Miseducation, of Preservice Teachers—Revisiting Dewey’s Legacy of Education for Democracy

Teacher Education and Practice R&L Education ePub


Only as the coming generation learns in the schools [and teacher preparation programs] to understand the social forces that are at work, the directions and cross-directions in which they are moving, the consequences that they might produce if they were understood and managed with intelligence—only as the schools [and teacher preparation programs] provide this understanding, have we any assurance that they are meeting the challenge which is put to them by democracy.

—Dewey (1937a, p. 183)

We have not asked ourselves what we ought to teach our students at a time of such dizzying change and fundamental doubt. We have not asked how our preferences are to be grounded, our choices justified; we have not looked at the problem of deciding among competing alternatives.

—Greene (1973, pp. 213–214, emphasis in original)

An important recurring debate confronting teacher education today centers squarely on the tension between (a) preparing teachers for the reification and perpetuation of schools as they exist in American society and (b) preparing them for schools as what they could become—schools that serve as agencies for a democratic American society. Although there are perhaps some exceptions sparsely located across the country, teacher preparation programs more often than not serve the hegemonic role of assimilating students of teaching into public schools and classrooms hallmarked by forms of power and domination, overshadowed by ongoing political fervor. Dewey (1938) posited a concern for the miseducative nature of an educational system not guided by an understanding of its function in a democratic society and, equally important, a system that did not acknowledge the function of democracy in the day-to-day workings of the education system.

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Medium 9781475819083

Power through Partnership: The Urban Network for the Improvement of Teacher Education (UNITE)

Teacher Education and Practice R&L Education ePub

Moreen Travis Carvan, Urban Network to Improve Teacher Education, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee Amanda Nolen, The Holmes Partnership, Baylor University

Robert Yinger, The Holmes Partnership, Baylor University


The Urban Network for the Improvement of Teacher Education (UNITE) was created to address the notion that teachers need to be specifically prepared to teach in urban settings based upon the understanding that teaching and learning in urban schools is qualitatively different than that experienced in other contexts. This network emergedfrom the work of The Holmes Partnership carrying forth the concept of partnership as a vehicle for education reform. UNITE identified four areas where transformation was needed: a) the culture of colleges, b) the quality of instruction, c) the programs for preparing teachers for urban contexts, and d) working relationships with urban elementaiy andsecondaiy schools (Howey, 1992). This article documents the evolution of this national network as a strategy to address the complex issues in urban education.

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Medium 9781475811964

Border Crossing: A Black Woman Superintendent Builds Democratic Community in Unfamiliar Territory



ABSTRACT: Much of the earlier research on women in leadership has told the stories of White women. Since there are very low numbers of superintendents of color both male and female nationwide, there have been very few stories reported of women leaders of color (Brunner & Grogan, 2007). This article describes the leadership issues involved when one Black woman crossed a border (geographically and culturally) to lead a school district. Delia (pseudonym) became the first woman and the first person of color to lead a small suburban school district whose population was very different from what she was and what she knew. Delia was a participant in a study designed to investigate how women school superintendents promote and support social justice and democratic community building in their school districts. Six women participated in that study: three were African American, one was American Indian, and two were White. This article briefly describes that study and then focuses on Delia, one participant in it who took a risk to apply for her first superintendency in a district not far from her old district in miles but miles apart in population, ideology, and community values.

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Medium 9781475815894

Significant Trends in Educational Finance 1980–85

International Journal of Educational Ref R&L Education ePub


Educational Administration

Clemson University

Clemson, SC 29634

Efforts to define educational reform have been largely unsatisfactory (see Sergiovanni & Moore, 1989). Educational reform in one state could be considered a trend or common practice in other states (Jordan & McKeown, 1990). Sarason (1990, 13) stated that most reform was couched “in terms of improving schools or the quality of education” but omitted the fundamental systems of education. In order to avoid confusion or controversy, educational reform in this paper is defined as reform that is being funded specifically by monies allocated for this purpose as specified by the state. No local initiatives at reform are considered.

Financing Reform

The fiscal year 1979–80 was a significant one in the financing of public elementary and secondary schools. According to Charles S. Benson (1985, 11), “state government for the first time became the primary supplier of revenue to support and maintain public elementary and secondary education.” For the first time in the nation’s history, state government replaced local school districts as the primary financial agent for public school (Odden & Picus, 1992). Benson (1985) specified that over $50.2 billion was spent by state governments on education, or 21 percent of the total revenues appropriated from state coffers.

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