Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Developing Socially Just Teachers

This interpretive study investigated how 12 graduates from a justice-oriented teacher preparation program described their teaching goals, practices, and influences on those practices after their 1st year of teaching in an urban school. Relationships among these teachers’ orientations toward socially just teaching, self-reported socially just teaching practices, and self-reported preprogram, program, and postprogram influences were explored.

Teachers who were individually and structurally oriented exhibited a sociocultural consciousness and described socially just teaching in various combinations of culturally responsive pedagogies, consciousness-raising, and advocacy; whereas individually oriented teachers focused primarily on “color-blind” caring relationships with their students.

Factors that seemed to influence a more structural orientation to socially just teaching included (a) cross-cultural experiences before and during teacher preparation, (b) program course content and field experiences that challenged previous thinking, and (c) administrative and collegial support during the 1st year of teaching.

Implications for teacher education practice and research are discussed.

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