ERIC Number: EJ1045864
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Reference Count: 28
Documenting Literacy in the Community: Preservice Teachers' Engagement & Learning with Students outside of School
Wiseman, Angela M.
Multicultural Education, v21 n3-4 p51-55 Spr-Sum 2014
According to a recent report, by the year 2020, more than 50% of the U.S. public school population will be classified as persons of color; that is, students from African, African-American, American Indian, Latino, and Pacific Islander backgrounds (Aud, Fox, & KewalRamani, 2010). As a result of these changing demographics, it is essential for teachers to understand how to teach students who are diverse both linguistically and culturally. As a university professor who teaches language arts methods classes, the call to address diversity and literacy is imperative. Course readings and assignments should build upon classroom experiences and increase knowledge and skills related to teaching diverse populations, with the goal of increasing teachers' capacity for instruction and efficacy concerning their students (Delpit, 1995; Sleeter, 2008). This article examines an assignment that is part of the author's language arts methods class. This course was designed as part of her undergraduate program's focus on diversity and as a way to address preservice teachers' cultural understanding in the context of literacy pedagogy. In this assignment, called "Literacy in the Community," students select an experience in the community, examine the literacy practices occurring, and then propose classroom connections and implications. The article begins by presenting research on preservice teachers and cultural diversity. After a description of the research methods used in this study, the findings and recommendations based on this research are presented.
Descriptors: Preservice Teachers, Student Diversity, Cultural Awareness, Language Arts, Methods Courses, Undergraduate Study, Literacy Education, Community Education, Assignments, Cultural Pluralism, Culturally Relevant Education, Qualitative Research, Surveys, Interviews
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A