ERIC Number: ED395928
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996
Reference Count: N/A
Making Connections: A Cultural Experience for Preservice Teachers in a Predominately Single-Culture Environment.
Pedras, Melvin J.; And Others
The University of Idaho (UI) faculty and Lapwai School District (Idaho) personnel engaged in a joint effort to help teacher education students to experience working with students of diverse cultures. The project consisted of two parts: a formal introduction to teaching course and a multicultural field experience. The goals were to: (1) increase the awareness of current teacher education students of diverse cultures; (2) enhance knowledge of teaching and learning through cultural diversity; (3) encourage public school students to consider teaching as a career; and (4) develop a partnership between UI education faculty and public school colleagues. The impact of the Lapwai Project on the attitudes of 26 teacher education students toward other cultures was assessed through a questionnaire. The data suggested that many students entering the teacher education program of the University of Idaho had little or no awareness of the needs of the modern multicultural classroom. Some stereotypical opinions may impede the understanding of diversity and how it can be used to improve teaching and learning. The data also suggested that teacher education students do change their opinions after working in schools with concentrations of minorities, especially Native American students. Attitudes were much more positive after students completed their clinical experience. The efforts of this project and several other similar projects within the College of Education have had a major impact on student teaching placements. An appendix of materials developed for students involved in the Lapwai Project is included, containing suggestions for classroom observation and participation, an evaluation form to be completed by the supervising teacher, and guidelines to help students reflect on their experiences. (JPB)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Native Americans; Preservice Teachers; University of Idaho
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Northwest Association of Teacher Educators (Coeur d'Alene, ID, April 17-19, 1996).