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ERIC Number: EJ1002332
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0890-6459
Beyond Language: Teacher Education and English Learners
Tilley-Lubbs, Gresilda
Teacher Education and Practice, v25 n4 p562-564 Fall 2012
At the author's institution, the majority of preservice teachers pursuing a master's degree in education curriculum and instruction are White middle-class students, so preparing them to be reflective practitioners with adequate knowledge, skills, and dispositions to teach English learners, whose cultural perspectives often differ significantly from their own, is imperative. To address this goal, the author teaches a class called "Topics in Diversity and Multicultural Education." They move through readings, discussions, and activities that guide preservice teachers to deconstruct their cultural perspectives before completing readings on various aspects of identity within diverse cultural perspectives, such as those they may encounter in their own students. From feedback from the preservice teachers, she learned that she needs to guide them to construct their own understandings of culture and diversity. Similarly, she learned the necessity for acquainting preservice teachers with the reality of immigration policies and attitudes at the federal, state, and local levels. Also, she has learned that her students would like to have an experience working in homes with the students and their families, tutoring them in their subject matter as well as in English. In other words, to leave the university prepared to teach English learners, preservice teachers need to have courses that take them beyond the linguistic aspects of learning English. They need to develop deep understanding of their students, and that can only be accomplished by courses that cause them to question the system and understand diverse cultural perspectives. Finally, they need experiences that align with academic learning, allowing them to spend time with students and their families. Thus, preservice teachers can enter the profession with an appreciation for their students' diverse cultural perspectives, which will help them to teach, mentor, and advocate for a diverse student population about which they may have been hitherto unaware.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A