ERIC Number: ED383678
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Nov
Lessons in the Field: Context and the Professional Development of University Participants in an Urban School Placement.
Richards, Janet C.; And Others
The qualitative inquiry reported here describes the particular sociocultural aspects of an urban elementary school serving as the context for an award-winning reading/language arts early field experience, and takes a close look at how the sociocultural factors of this urban elementary school contribute to the professional development of the preservice teachers and university supervisors who work within that context. Data were collected over 3 years through formal and informal observations, interviews, field notes, informal conversations, and artifacts that included preservice teachers' dialogue journal entries, pre- and post-semester written metaphors about teaching, interpretations of a series of illustrations, and post-semester reflective statements. Analysis demonstrated that the permissive, student-centered philosophy in the school and the negative attitudes of many of the older students contributed to making the field placement a difficult assignment for the white middle class preservice teachers. The experience was positive for the researchers' professional development but not always for the student teachers. The elementary students' behavior caused many to feel they had not accomplished their teaching goals and to equate good teaching with keeping students quiet and on task. The difficulty of the placement also impeded the preservice teachers' development of reflective practices and constructivist views about the learning process. (Contains 37 references.) (JB)
Descriptors: Educational Environment, Educational Research, Elementary Education, Field Experience Programs, Higher Education, Preservice Teacher Education, Professional Development, Qualitative Research, Reading Instruction, Reflective Teaching, Sociocultural Patterns, Student Centered Curriculum, Student Teacher Supervisors, Student Teachers, Student Teaching, Teacher Educators, Teaching Experience, Urban Education, Urban Schools
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Mid-South Educational Research Association (Nashville, TN, November 9, 1994).