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ERIC Number: EJ870218
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 22
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 45
ISSN: ISSN-0737-5328
Meeting the Need for K-8 Teachers for Classrooms with Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students: The Promise and Challenge of Early Field Experiences
Gomez, Susan; Strage, Amy; Knutson-Miller, Kari; Garcia-Nevarez, Ana
Teacher Education Quarterly, v36 n4 p119-140 Fall 2009
Following the mandates of state and national accreditation bodies and in keeping with what is considered best practices, teacher education programs nationwide require students to engage in early field experiences as part of preservice preparation. Accreditation bodies such as the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE, 2008) suggest that field experiences be implemented and evaluated as a means of fostering development of the knowledge, skills, and dispositions expected of teacher candidates. These skills and dispositions include interest in and commitment to teaching as a career, particularly in settings with linguistically and culturally diverse learners. In this study, the authors investigated how preservice teachers' career goals and commitment were impacted by their participation in an early field experience. The authors sought to clarify differences in participant outcomes that might be attributable to whether students completed their placement in a Title I school or in a school serving middle class families. The study was conducted to address several critical questions pertaining to the role early field experiences may play in the recruitment and professional preparation of teachers. The authors examined the impact of early field experiences on prospective teachers' career-goal orientations. They explored the relationship between school classification (Title I, non-Title I) and participant outcomes. Finally, as English learners comprise a large and growing segment of the K-12 population, they examined the relationship between participants' facility in a second language and their response to their placement. The results of the study indicate that early field experiences provide participants with opportunities for career goal clarification where outcomes may vary by site type. In general, these experiences may also foster interest in careers working with culturally diverse children and enjoyable opportunities to work with English Learners. Findings suggest that participant language background should be studied further, as trends indicated that participants who spoke both Spanish and English entered and exited early field experiences with greater interest in working professionally with English Learners than those from other language groups. (Contains 4 figures and 5 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A