ERIC Number: ED473254
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2003
Reference Count: N/A
Nontraditional Students and Their Influence on Teacher Education.
Koeppen, Kim E.; Griffith, Judy B.
There is a growing, but frequently unrecognized, group of nontraditional students in teacher education programs today, defined as people entering such programs after a prolonged absence from formal education and/or people changing careers. This paper presents two teacher educators' reflections on their failure to recognize such student diversity in their elementary social studies methods course, noting how it negatively affected the classroom climate and instruction and discussing how the educators worked to enhance learning for all students. Throughout the semester, the educators engaged in reflection-on-action and deliberate reflection. After each class session, they discussed what they had taught, how they taught it, students' responses, and how they interpreted the responses in light of their goals for the course. Through this reflection, they began to recognize the diversity of their students and tensions within the classroom between traditional and nontraditional students. Differences between the groups included: students' recognition of prior knowledge, students' acquisition of new knowledge, and students' awareness of remaining gaps in learning. The educators used their understandings to make future decisions that would make instruction more relevant to the entire class. The paper presents implications for practice related to identifying students' status and designing and developing activities. (Contains 17 references.) (SM)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A