The focus of this study is the first field experience in a teacher education program developed around themes of equity and social justice within a larger framework of inclusive education. The community-based field experience entails one-on-one mentoring in which elementary PSTs work with African American children in local public housing neighborhoods. This field experience challenges PSTs to work with and get to know children, families, and communities that are unfamiliar to them. The courses students take concurrently emphasize multicultural themes, as do courses and field experiences that they take in the next two-and-a-half years in the program. How do the PSTs respond to this unfamiliar experience? In particular, how do they respond at different points in time following completion of the community field experience, and what factors influence their responses? Our findings, we believed, would have implications for how field experiences are structured and for the kinds of scaffolding PSTs require throughout a teacher education program to promote the skills and dispositions of culturally responsive teaching.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/karen_kuhel/4/