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ERIC Number: EJ1014871
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1068-3844
Reading the White Space in a Multicultural Field Experience
Sassi, Kelly; Lajimodiere, Denise; Bertolini, Katherine; Ketterling, Gerald
Multicultural Education, v19 n4 p41-46 Sum 2012
The overarching goal of multicultural education is "to help all students acquire the knowledge, attitudes, and skills needed to participate in cross-cultural interactions and in personal, social, and civic action that will help make our nation more democratic and just" (Banks, 2006, p. 202). In pursuit of this goal, teacher educators must "ensure the preparation of teachers for a diverse student population" (Hollins, 2008, p. 5). This is a complex and challenging endeavor. This study focuses on the preparation of these new teachers, specifically their field experience. The literature suggests field experience is more effective when it combines exposure to different backgrounds, travel, and related education, and includes reflection and appropriate processing, as well as a contextualization of the issues at the field site in relation to larger social issues. Extending the time at a field site may also contribute to greater comfort and more favorable attitudes toward teaching in a multicultural environment (Wiggins et al, 2007, p. 6). Building on the previous research, this study addresses the following questions: (1) What kinds of identity statuses do our pre-service teachers have? (2) What kinds of information processing strategies do they use when they reflect on multicultural readings and a multicultural field experience? (3) What do their identity statuses and information processing strategies tell us about their development of multicultural awareness and sensitivity? The authors conclude that teacher educators must both attend to and challenge concerns about pre-service teachers staying comfortable. Challenging assumptions about educational practice involves providing pre-service teachers with opportunities to be pushed out of their comfort zones and to de-center themselves. What the study contributes is a recognition that those comfort zones differ for individuals, and de-centering may look different from person to person. (Contains 2 tables and 1 note.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A