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ERIC Number: EJ1084108
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0146-9283
Community Connections: Integrating Community-Based Field Experiences to Support Teacher Education for Diversity
Beaudry, Christine
Educational Considerations, v43 n1 p29-35 Fall 2015
In the United States, preservice teachers often graduate and go on to work with students whose backgrounds are different from their own and in communities in which they have limited lived experience (Sleeter 2000). This holds significant implications for teacher education programs given the importance of life and educational experiences in informing teaching and learning knowledge and practices and the subsequent impact of these practices in shaping the experiences and trajectories of students' lives. While there remains a "lack of clarity in the field at large about what constitutes social justice teacher education" (McDonald and Zeichner 2009, 595), it is apparent that the development of responsive practices requires more than content knowledge, and that knowledge of students and their communities is central to these approaches (Sleeter 2008a; Wadell 2013). However, many preservice teachers enter and the important role of community in education (Koerner and Abdul-Tawwab 2006). Community-based learning has been advocated as a potentially powerful approach to encourage preservice teachers to consider issues related to community, education, diversity, and equity by providing opportunities for personal experiences related to these issues (Boyle-Baise 2005; Murrell 2001; Sleeter, 2000), as well as to advance social justice goals by "helping student teachers learn about the funds of knowledge and structures and social networks that exist in the communities where their pupils live" (McDonald and Zeichner 2009, 604). The purpose of this article is to share "specific program practices" intended to prepare and support teachers to "teach from a social justice perspective" (McDonald and Zeichner 2009, 596) through the integration of community-based learning into teacher education. Specifically, it examines efforts to integrate community-based field experiences into a semester-long three-credit undergraduate teacher education course by inquiring into how participants interpreted their community-based field and course experiences, as well as how these interpretations influenced their teaching and learning knowledge and practices as reflected in subsequent semesters of student teaching.
Kansas State University, College of Education. Available from: New Prairie Press. Kansas State University Libraries, 1117 Mid-Campus Drive North, Manhattan, KS 66506. Tel: 785-532-7444; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A