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Preparing Moral Educators: Developing Cultural Awareness, Character Education, and Instructional Competencies through Teacher Training Programs
Unformatted Document Text:  AACTE 2006 Annual Meeting Proposal for Presentation Title: Preparing Moral Educators: Developing Cultural Awareness, Character Education, and Instructional Competencies through Teacher Training Programs Topic: This paper presents an integrative approach to developing the moral dimensions of teachers, fostering cultural awareness, character education, and instructional strategies that promote academic success for all students. Section 1 A. Statement of the Issue Teachers and other school personnel who interact with students are engaged in a fundamentally moral activity, yet the moral dimensions of teaching are often overlooked or minimized in teacher training programs. In order to serve the variety of students in K-12 schools, teachers need a deep understanding of cultural contexts and their influence on the social, emotional and intellectual development of an individual. This paper presents an integrative model of teacher preparation and professional development used at the university level to effectively integrate cultural awareness and character education with instructional strategies to promote academic achievement. B. Literature Review In today’s standards-driven environment, teachers need to be well versed in different instructional methods that promote learning. However, learning is mediated by variables that include personality traits, family dynamics, cultural expectations, school climate, and teacher responsiveness. School personnel must be committed to understanding this complex environment and working to create positive solutions for challenges that jeopardize student success. The traditional role of education in American society has been to foster intellectual growth within the context of developing caring and responsible citizens (Williams, 2000). Yet, the social and political pressures of the last fifty years have often defined education solely as a pragmatic answer for market demands (Sanchez, 2004). As a result, it is quite possible that preservice and professional teachers don’t recognize the necessity of engaging the cultural and community factors that influence classroom learning, nor do they have the imagination or emotional capacity to address these issues in their instructional practice. The moral dimensions of teaching – those aspects of education that emphasize relationships, character formation and citizenship – are vital to building and sustaining successful schools (Sobel & Taylor, 2005) but may be overlooked or minimized in teacher training and professional development programs (Jones, Ryan & Bolin, 1999). Teachers are often unprepared to examine and analyze their experiences within school structures that must serve an increasingly diverse group of students. Training programs

Authors: tonkin, shauna., jordan, hope. and stiff-williams, helen.
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AACTE 2006 Annual Meeting
Proposal for Presentation
Title:
Preparing Moral Educators: Developing Cultural Awareness, Character
Education, and Instructional Competencies through Teacher
Training
Programs
Topic:
This paper presents an integrative approach to developing the moral
dimensions of teachers, fostering cultural awareness, character education,
and instructional strategies that promote academic success for all students.
Section 1
A.
Statement of the Issue
Teachers and other school personnel who interact with students are engaged in a
fundamentally moral activity, yet the moral dimensions of teaching are often overlooked
or minimized in teacher training programs. In order to serve the variety of students in K-
12 schools, teachers need a deep understanding of cultural contexts and their influence on
the social, emotional and intellectual development of an individual. This paper presents
an integrative model of teacher preparation and professional development used at the
university level to effectively integrate cultural awareness and character education with
instructional strategies to promote academic achievement.
B.
Literature Review
In today’s standards-driven environment, teachers need to be well versed in different
instructional methods that promote learning. However, learning is mediated by variables
that include personality traits, family dynamics, cultural expectations, school climate, and
teacher responsiveness. School personnel must be committed to understanding this
complex environment and working to create positive solutions for challenges that
jeopardize student success.
The traditional role of education in American society has been to foster intellectual
growth within the context of developing caring and responsible citizens (Williams, 2000).
Yet, the social and political pressures of the last fifty years have often defined education
solely as a pragmatic answer for market demands (Sanchez, 2004). As a result, it is quite
possible that preservice and professional teachers don’t recognize the necessity of
engaging the cultural and community factors that influence classroom learning, nor do
they have the imagination or emotional capacity to address these issues in their
instructional practice.
The moral dimensions of teaching – those aspects of education that emphasize
relationships, character formation and citizenship – are vital to building and sustaining
successful schools (Sobel & Taylor, 2005) but may be overlooked or minimized in
teacher training and professional development programs (Jones, Ryan & Bolin, 1999).
Teachers are often unprepared to examine and analyze their experiences within school
structures that must serve an increasingly diverse group of students. Training programs


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