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Socially Critical Action Research for Promoting Learning About Social Justice
Unformatted Document Text:  although useful for program improvement-together produce a disjointed and somewhat repetitious knowledge base” (p.102). Sleeter’s concern that teacher education research needs to look more critically at what takes place when our students leave the college classroom is legitimate, but does not discount the continuing value for teacher education of teacher educators engaging in systematic teacher research of their own practice, particularly with regards to the issue of teaching for diversity. C. Contribution This work is related to Strand One: Imagining Future Students, Future Teachers. In considering the future of teacher education programs that strive to better prepare K-12 teachers for diverse classrooms, universities, colleges, and educational administrators need to critically consider the ways in which they recruit, select, and prepare the teacher educators they assign with that charge. While the demographics of our nation’s student population and their subsequent needs have changed drastically, so too has the nature of teacher education. In reforming the ways in which teacher education is conceptualized with regards to teaching preservice teacher candidates about issues of diversity and social justice, Colleges of Education also need to focus on the preparation and education of the teacher educators themselves. In this paper I promote the value of action research among teacher educators, particularly among graduate student teacher educators.D. Relevance This paper is relevant to issues of policy as well as the use of qualitative evidence to inform policy and practice. In this particular context, the course that I investigated through a qualitative action research investigation was newly added to the undergraduate program of studies in the College of Education. The data I collected was and is being used locally to inform the way this college is conceptualizing not only the course itself (its placement programmatically, the nature, content) but who teaches it and the issue of the preparation and supervision of graduate student teacher educators in the department. I would argue this study sheds on light on the problem in teacher education of the inadequate preparation of teacher educators for teaching for diversity and social justice in teaching colleges across the nation.E. Implication for Action This work aims to provoke discussion about the issue of the preparation of teacher educators, particularly graduate student teachers, for promoting learning among teacher candidates on issues of diversity and social justice. It also advocates for considering the value of action research/ teacher research among graduate students and other teacher educators to this end. Section II: Outcomes and MethodsA. Learner/participant outcomes I intend the participants to learn about the research literature that supports the value of teacher research, particularly socially critical action research. In the discussion of my investigation into teaching a stand alone diversity course in an undergraduate secondary teacher education program I intend for participants to learn about the dilemmas that exists in teacher education regarding the role of graduate student teachers, the ways in which issues of diversity of conceptualized and are supposedly embedded within teacher education programs, and some of the tensions I experienced in teaching about diversity through the lens of social justice.B. Methods The session will be designed to achieve the objectives for learner outcomes highlighted above. I will discuss some of the research literature related to my study to set the context for this work. I will talk about the motivations for, context, and issues around my study as local evidence for broader consideration of these problems in teacher education. In addition, I will discuss some of the data I gathered from my research and the implications for practice in teaching for diversity and social justice. References 3

Authors: Ringo, Saroja.
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although useful for program improvement-together produce a disjointed and somewhat repetitious
knowledge base” (p.102). Sleeter’s concern that teacher education research needs to look more critically
at what takes place when our students leave the college classroom is legitimate, but does not discount the
continuing value for teacher education of teacher educators engaging in systematic teacher research of
their own practice, particularly with regards to the issue of teaching for diversity.
C. Contribution
This work is related to Strand One: Imagining Future Students, Future Teachers. In considering
the future of teacher education programs that strive to better prepare K-12 teachers for diverse
classrooms, universities, colleges, and educational administrators need to critically consider the ways in
which they recruit, select, and prepare the teacher educators they assign with that charge. While the
demographics of our nation’s student population and their subsequent needs have changed drastically, so
too has the nature of teacher education. In reforming the ways in which teacher education is
conceptualized with regards to teaching preservice teacher candidates about issues of diversity and social
justice, Colleges of Education also need to focus on the preparation and education of the teacher
educators themselves. In this paper I promote the value of action research among teacher educators,
particularly among graduate student teacher educators.
D. Relevance
This paper is relevant to issues of policy as well as the use of qualitative evidence to inform
policy and practice. In this particular context, the course that I investigated through a qualitative action
research investigation was newly added to the undergraduate program of studies in the College of
Education. The data I collected was and is being used locally to inform the way this college is
conceptualizing not only the course itself (its placement programmatically, the nature, content) but who
teaches it and the issue of the preparation and supervision of graduate student teacher educators in the
department. I would argue this study sheds on light on the problem in teacher education of the inadequate
preparation of teacher educators for teaching for diversity and social justice in teaching colleges across
the nation.
E. Implication for Action
This work aims to provoke discussion about the issue of the preparation of teacher educators,
particularly graduate student teachers, for promoting learning among teacher candidates on issues of
diversity and social justice. It also advocates for considering the value of action research/ teacher research
among graduate students and other teacher educators to this end.
Section II: Outcomes and Methods
A. Learner/participant outcomes
I intend the participants to learn about the research literature that supports the value of teacher
research, particularly socially critical action research. In the discussion of my investigation into teaching a
stand alone diversity course in an undergraduate secondary teacher education program I intend for
participants to learn about the dilemmas that exists in teacher education regarding the role of graduate
student teachers, the ways in which issues of diversity of conceptualized and are supposedly embedded
within teacher education programs, and some of the tensions I experienced in teaching about diversity
through the lens of social justice.
B. Methods
The session will be designed to achieve the objectives for learner outcomes highlighted above. I
will discuss some of the research literature related to my study to set the context for this work. I will talk
about the motivations for, context, and issues around my study as local evidence for broader consideration
of these problems in teacher education. In addition, I will discuss some of the data I gathered from my
research and the implications for practice in teaching for diversity and social justice.
References
3


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