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ERIC Number: EJ1045852
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Creating an Equitable Classroom Environment: A Case Study of a Preservice Elementary Teacher Learning What It Means to "Do Inquiry"
Villa, Elsa Q.; Baptiste, H. Prentice
Multicultural Education, v21 n2 p25-32 Win 2014
In this article, the authors present a case study of a preservice teacher who participated in a two-semester course sequence of elementary science and mathematics methods spanning one academic year. These two courses were taught by the first author and embedded a pedagogical approach grounded in inquiry methods. The purpose of this study was to follow the learning trajectory of a preservice teacher in developing her understanding of inquiry as a pedagogical method. The investigation used the naturalistic approach of qualitative research. The research question driving this study was: What mitigating factors, if any, mediate how a preservice teacher re-shapes her understanding about what it means to be a teacher? Using Vygotsky's (1986) socio-cultural theory of learning as the theoretical framework, what the authors found were several components critical to the learning process: (1) Cultural artifacts play a role in mediating learning; these artifacts include commercially produced inquiry materials and children's positive reactions while engaging in scientific inquiry; (2) analysis of and reflection on these cultural artifacts contribute to making sense of what it means do inquiry; and (3) synthesis of meaningful relationships among the various artifacts contributing to transformational thinking, i.e., learning what it means to do inquiry.
Descriptors: Equal Education, Qualitative Research, Preservice Teacher Education, Teaching Methods, Sociocultural Patterns, Learning Processes, Learning Theories, Transformative Learning, Case Studies, Elementary School Teachers, Preservice Teachers, Methods Courses, Science Instruction, Mathematics Instruction, Cultural Influences, Inquiry, Bilingual Education, Academic Discourse, Interviews
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Elementary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
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