Revising a Teacher Education Program for Diversity and Social Justice through Culturally Responsive Coursework and Professional Collaboration

Revising a Teacher Education Program for Diversity and Social Justice through Culturally Responsive Coursework and Professional Collaboration

Gayle Y. Thieman (Portland State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0204-3.ch020
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Abstract

A major revision in a graduate teacher education program (GTEP) at a mid-sized urban university provided an opportunity to rethink goals as teacher educators in order to address issues of diversity and social justice. This chapter suggests some answers to the question: What characteristics of a teacher preparation program prepare teacher candidates (TCs) to provide high quality education for all students, including those who have been historically underserved? This chapter reports a case study of the relevant research and implementation of substantially revised university coursework to better prepare teacher candidates for a diverse student population, and increased collaboration to promote program coherence. Revised coursework emphasizes culturally responsive teaching, content area literacy, and accountability for K-12 student learning. Collaboration is facilitated by clustered placements, co-teaching, and lesson study.
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Landscape Of Reform

As faculty began their research they examined three areas that have profound influence on their work: increasing student diversity, the changing landscape of federal and state education policy, and increased accountability for K-12 teachers and teacher educators. Demographic diversity of K-12 students has increased dramatically and is inextricably linked with poverty and student achievement. Federal education policy has significantly evolved and expanded its influence at the state and local level. Emphasis on teacher accountability for K-12 student learning is now showing up in calls for teacher preparation programs to document their impact, via their graduates, on K-12 student achievement.

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