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ERIC Number: EJ960621
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 19
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 38
ISSN: ISSN-0737-5328
Secondary Preservice Teachers' Knowledge of the First Amendment
Call, Ian; O'Brien, Jason
Teacher Education Quarterly, v38 n4 p115-133 Fall 2011
The First Amendment to the Constitution is a cornerstone of American democracy and students, like all members of the nation, are entitled to its protections. This study investigates the level of knowledge of students' First Amendment rights among secondary preservice teachers in various disciplines and their confidence in dealing with First Amendment issues in the classroom. The researchers investigate how preservice teachers learn about First Amendment issues in the classroom by studying preservice teachers' preparation and their experiences, such as other academic experiences, news, and prior careers. The information gleaned from this study can offer teacher educators insight into how pre-service teachers acquire knowledge and confidence in dealing with First Amendment issues in the classroom. While free expression and individual rights are the cornerstones of the democratic republic in which people live, teachers have an obligation to provide a learning environment that promotes individual thought and expression while at the same time creates a safe and non-threatening learning environment for all students. The preservice teachers in this study clearly were not prepared to effectively deal with First Amendment issues in the classroom, as evidenced by their lack of knowledge as to when they could limit student expression or as defined by the low confidence they reported when making their decisions. Teacher educators have their work cut out for them. By exposing preservice teachers to the directives of the courts, research, and the ideas of other preservice teachers, they can hopefully prepare future teachers to effectively deal with the complex First Amendment issues that will likely occur in the classroom during their career. Better preparation may lead to a reduction in costly lawsuits, less violation of school policies, and ample protection of students' freedom of expression. (Contains 3 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Florida