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ERIC Number: EJ1065439
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 15
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1536-3031
Challenging Teacher Bias: Implementing a Community Learning Fair
Lafferty, Karen Elizabeth; Pang, Valerie Ooka
Issues in Teacher Education, v22 n2 p189-203 Fall 2014
Required courses in teacher education programs can sometimes prompt less-than-positive responses from pre-service teachers. Multicultural teacher educators, in particular, may face resistance from prospective teachers who, believing that they do not harbor prejudices, question the need to examine their attitudes toward culturally and linguistically diverse students. Reflection through experiential learning has emerged as one way for pre-service teachers to confront their beliefs as they shift from holding stereotypical perspectives to understanding the cultural and linguistic richness that children bring to school. The purpose of this article is to describe the Learning Fair, an experiential service-learning project that promotes reflection about deficit-oriented prejudices toward diverse students and instructs pre-service teachers about culturally relevant teaching. Founded on the Caring-Centered Multicultural Education framework, and refined over the past 20 years, the current incarnation of the Learning Fair is a collaboration between Sage Street School, a K-8 school in an urban Southern California community, and a local public university. The project combines the school's annual Halloween Festival with booths that feature hands-on, inquiry-based science activities presented by pre-service teachers. The illustrations in this article are drawn from a recent year in which close to 50 pre-service teachers prepared for the community event. The Learning Fair offers an example of how experiential learning embedded in a strong theoretical perspective can provoke thoughtful reflections about prejudice and prompt behavioral changes.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A