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ERIC Number: EJ1072149
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0737-5328
Experiencing the Other: The Impact of Service-Learning on Preservice Teachers' Perceptions of Diversity
Tinkler, Barri; Tinkler, Alan
Teacher Education Quarterly, v40 n4 p41-62 Fall 2013
In response to the increasing diversity in American public schools and concerns over inequities in opportunity and achievement, many teacher education programs are infusing multicultural topics and coursework into their programs (Akiba, 2011; Hollins & Guzman, 2005). While some programs utilize what O'Grady (2000) called the Human Relations approach to multicultural education with an emphasis on "reducing prejudice and getting along with others" (p. 11), other programs drive things further and seek to foster a social justice orientation in their students (Zeichner, 2003). O'Grady (2000) has labeled this social justice approach as Social Reconstructionist Multicultural Education since it "teaches directly about oppression, discrimination, social justice, and how to take action against these inequities" (p. 4). Fostering a social justice disposition can be a challenging endeavor when working with white, middle-class pre-service teachers who have grown up in rural or suburban environments with very limited experience with diversity (Causey, Thomas, & Armento, 2000). Because of this, teacher educators have to consider an approach that allows an opening of students' minds to ideas of diversity and social justice. This study explores the authors' attempt to initiate this process through the use of a service-learning experience. This interpretive study elucidates the experiences of a group of preservice teachers (n = 37) participating in a service-learning project as a course requirement for a social foundations of education course. The preservice teachers were required to complete ten hours of service (with at least six visits) at a local Job Corps Center. They tutored Job Corps students seeking to complete their high school diploma or General Educational Development (GED) high school equivalency diploma. This experience required the group of predominantly white, middle-class preservice teachers to interact one-on-one with a diverse group of students primarily from urban areas. The purpose of this study is to explore the impact that this experience had on the preservice teachers' perceptions of and receptiveness to diversity.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; High School Equivalency Programs; High Schools; Adult Education; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A