ERIC Number: ED465715
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2002-Feb-4
Understanding Self through the Other: Changes in Student Teacher Perceptions of Home Culture from Immersion in Navajoland and Overseas.
Stachowski, Laura L.; Brantmeier, Edward J.
Student teachers from Indiana University's Cultural Immersion Projects, who had been placed in K-12 schools on the Navajo reservation and in seven foreign countries, critically reflected on their home cultures, identifying key elements that defined who they were and shifts in their perceptions about home based on their experiences in culturally different schools. Before their immersion experiences, they underwent extensive preparation to introduce them to local cultural values, beliefs, lifestyles, and educational practices. During their placements, they engaged in all teacher-related school functions, fostered friendships with members of host groups, performed at least one service learning project, and submitted reflective reports. Respondents addressed such areas as government policies, schooling, institutions, human relationships, customs, social structures, and cultural values when describing how their views were altered through living and working in culturally different settings. They reported enhanced appreciation of U.S. mainstream education and renewed appreciation for the many conveniences, environmental and recycling policies, and stronger presence of human and cultural diversity at home. They expressed a strong desire to learn more about the host culture. Students visiting the Navajo reservation noted new appreciation for the U.S. mainstream communication style. Overseas participants reported changes in their perceptions of family and mainstream culture. (SM)
Descriptors: American Indian Reservations, Attitude Change, Consciousness Raising, Cultural Awareness, Cultural Differences, Elementary Secondary Education, Ethnocentrism, Foreign Countries, Higher Education, Navajo (Nation), Preservice Teacher Education, Self Evaluation (Individuals), Student Teacher Attitudes, Student Teaching
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association of Teacher Educators (Denver, CO, February 2-6, 2002).