Building Urban Pre-Service Teachers’ Pedagogical Knowledge and Skills through Digital Poetry Collaborations

Building Urban Pre-Service Teachers’ Pedagogical Knowledge and Skills through Digital Poetry Collaborations

Jody Polleck (Hunter College – CUNY, USA) and Jason Wirtz (Hunter College – CUNY, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4924-8.ch003
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Abstract

Educational reform theorists argue that schools of education and their neighboring public schools must enhance collaborative efforts so as to attain “simultaneous renewal” wherein elementary and secondary students and pre-service teachers are served in authentic ways that deepen all students’ learning (Goodlad, 1994). One way to accomplish this is through use of sustainable, innovative projects that connect pre-service teachers’ early learning experiences directly to public classrooms. The purpose of this chapter is to offer a model for successful collaborations between pre-service teachers and urban high school students. The authors provide an overview of the digital poetry project and subsequent analysis of the reciprocal impact this project had on both the pre-service teachers and adolescents, including increased engagement with instructional objectives, enhanced literacy and technological competencies, and fostering of intellectual transitions.
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Background: Theoretical Framework

Educational reform theorists argue that schools of education and their neighboring public schools must enhance collaborative efforts so as to attain “simultaneous renewal,” where elementary and secondary students and pre-service teachers are served in authentic ways that deepen all students’ learning (Goodlad, 1994). One way to accomplish this is through use of sustainable, innovative projects that connect pre-service teachers’ early learning experiences directly to public classrooms. This is particularly critical in urban areas, where oftentimes the pre-service teachers’ cultural and linguistic backgrounds are very different from the students in which they will teach (Morrell, 2002; Sleeter, 2008). Further, many teachers in urban schools simply feel unprepared to teach diverse populations (Darling-Hammond, 2003). Thus, it becomes imperative that we seek to create and refine innovative instructional fieldwork experiences and assessments that help to inform and prepare new teachers so that they can be effective for their students for many years to come.

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