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ERIC Number: EJ896070
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 15
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 61
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0737-5328
The Imperative of Contextual Cognizance: Preservice Teachers and Community Engagement in the Schools and Communities Project
Zygmunt-Fillwalk, Eva; Malaby, Mark; Clausen, Jon
Teacher Education Quarterly, v37 n2 p53-67 Spr 2010
Learning within community settings provides preservice teachers important opportunities beyond those of traditional teacher preparation. Immersive learning opportunities within communities strengthen preservice teachers' repertoires and provoke new ways of thinking about how different settings create possibilities and constraints for student growth. This study sought to examine the experience of 22 preservice teachers engaged in The Schools and Community Project, a unique undergraduate experience that encourages the exploration of the community context in which children develop. For a 16 week semester, preservice teachers enrolled in a three credit Educational Foundations course, studying the neighborhood surrounding a particular school, and examining historical and contemporary trends including socio-economic factors, businesses, housing, recreation, and values toward education. The purpose of the study was to analyze the transformative nature of the experience on preservice teachers' attitudes toward community conditions and their potential impact on teaching and learning. Results of the analysis yielded highly consistent themes among the 22 preservice teachers. The juxtaposition of these pre- and post-experience written reflections is evidence of the transformative nature of their community-based learning. While opportunities for personal and professional growth abound through preservice teachers' experience in the Schools and Communities Project, their initial assessments of embarking on such a journey revealed noticeable apprehension. As a result of participation in this project, preservice teachers have begun to better realize the connections between schools and the communities where they are situated. The shift in their preconceptions beginning the experience, compared to their final reflections is indicative of both cognitive and affective transformation.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States