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ERIC Number: ED358960
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Apr-10
Pages: 17
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Providing Field Experiences for Early Childhood Preservice Teachers with Homeless Children and/or Mothers in an Urban Setting.
Kwartler, Trish Johnson
Based on the conviction that interaction with homeless people can erode negative stereotypes and be a contributing part of a teacher education curriculum, students enrolled in an Early Childhood Education (ECE) course at Kent State University were allowed to substitute an observation of children at a homeless shelter for other course requirements. The purposes of the observation were developed through a brainstorming activity with an ECE class, while choices for activities were established in conjunction with homeless shelter staff. Students were asked to form committees or partnerships, call the shelter and plan an activity, and discuss plans with their instructor if desired. Students completed their observations in pairs and reported back to the class. An analysis of these reports indicates that students shared five broad areas of concern: (1) students' expectations about the shelter residents, environment, and staff were generally negative, with no student expressing confidence; (2) students described their field experiences in terms of significant communication events, parent and student roles, and their critique of the encounter; (3) students examined their own values and beliefs with respect to poverty, class, social services, family, and gender; (4) students' pedagogical concerns included accepting educational responsibility for homeless children and the controversy of including this group in formal curricula; and (5) many students mentioned follow-up activities, such as continued availability of the practicum in the curriculum, placements, and employment. Additional courses have added the option to their syllabi, and to date 120 students have participated. Appendixes include a list of practicum purposes and choices, a 10-question survey of participant attitudes, and a list of areas of concern from student reports. (AC)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A