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A Cultural Immersion Experience: Learning Outside the Classroom
Unformatted Document Text:  P ROPOSAL T ITLE : A Cultural Immersion Experience: Learning Outside the Classroom Section I: Content A. Statement of the issue: Clearly state the issue that focuses your presentation, provide relevant background, and place the problem in broader academic context. Schools are key in maintaining a democratic society that recognizes the value in diversity, and supports rights, freedoms, and responsibilities (Banks et al., 2001; DeRoche & Williams, 2001). Teaching teacher candidates about diversity presents a challenge to educators as they try to create learning experiences that can be personalized, have meaning beyond theory, and shape candidates vision for the classroom students with whom they will work. This presentation describes an innovative way of advancing education for teacher candidates outside the classroom. It details how students in a teacher education class are challenged to stretch their boundaries by spending time in their community with a group with whom they differ in belief, ethnicity, culture, or ability, and with whom they have experienced little or no previous contact. B. Literature review: Provide a synthesis of the literature or knowledge base related to your topic; highlight competing hypothesis or major schools of thought. Never in the history of the United States have we had such a culturally diverse student population (Koppelman & Goodhart, 2005). A critical element of teacher preparation programs is to ensure that candidates have a clear vision for understanding and responding to the multiplicity of differences among the students they will encounter (Ornstein & Levine, 2003; Slavin, 2003). Studies show that when children experience school as an extension, rather than a rejection of home and community, they do well academically (Sobol, as cited in Orstein & Levin). Personal perception of cultural and/or ethnic differences covers a wide range of awareness (Banks et al., 2001; Kidder & Born, 1999; Salyer, 1993). The vision and understanding needed by teacher educators must go beyond bolstering the self-image of minorities to strengthening a broader, multi-cultural awareness, enhancing interpersonal communications skills, and entering dialogue with those who are “different” (Orstein & Levin, 2003). The challenge is to create a learning experience for teacher candidates that extends theory into personal experience. C. Contribution: Discuss how your work relates to the conference strand under which you are submitting the proposal. This proposal, A Cultural Immersion Experience: Learning Outside the Classroom, fits well with Strand I, Imagining Future Students, Future Teachers. By involving teacher candidates in a learning experience outside the classroom, a creative and meaningful opportunity is opened for students to think in new ways about their core beliefs and the importance of multicultural relationships. The experience provides insights and strategies for teacher candidates to prepare them for teaching a diverse 2006 AACTE Proposal Submission: Imagining Future Students, Future Teachers A Cultural Immersion Experience: Learning Outside the Classroom 1 P ROPOSAL S UBMISSION 2006 AACTE A NNUAL M EETING

Authors: Germaine, Ron. and Kornuta, Halyna.
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background image
P
ROPOSAL
T
ITLE
: A Cultural Immersion Experience: Learning Outside the Classroom
Section I: Content
A. Statement of the issue: Clearly state the issue that focuses your presentation, provide relevant
background, and place the problem in broader academic context.
Schools are key in maintaining a democratic society that recognizes the value in
diversity, and supports rights, freedoms, and responsibilities (Banks et al., 2001;
DeRoche & Williams, 2001).
Teaching teacher candidates about diversity presents a
challenge to educators as they try to create learning experiences that can be
personalized, have meaning beyond theory, and shape candidates vision for the
classroom students with whom they will work.
This presentation describes an innovative way of advancing education for
teacher candidates outside the classroom. It details how students in a teacher
education class are challenged to stretch their boundaries by spending time in their
community with a group with whom they differ in belief, ethnicity, culture, or ability, and
with whom they have experienced little or no previous contact.
B. Literature review: Provide a synthesis of the literature or knowledge base related to your
topic; highlight competing hypothesis or major schools of thought.
Never in the history of the United States have we had such a culturally diverse
student population (Koppelman & Goodhart, 2005). A critical element of teacher
preparation programs is to ensure that candidates have a clear vision for understanding
and responding to the multiplicity of differences among the students they will encounter
(Ornstein & Levine, 2003; Slavin, 2003). Studies show that when children experience
school as an extension, rather than a rejection of home and community, they do well
academically (Sobol, as cited in Orstein & Levin).
Personal perception of cultural and/or ethnic differences covers a wide range of
awareness (Banks et al., 2001; Kidder & Born, 1999; Salyer, 1993). The vision and
understanding needed by teacher educators must go beyond bolstering the self-image
of minorities to strengthening a broader, multi-cultural awareness, enhancing
interpersonal communications skills, and entering dialogue with those who are
“different” (Orstein & Levin, 2003). The challenge is to create a learning experience for
teacher candidates that extends theory into personal experience.
C. Contribution: Discuss how your work relates to the conference strand under which you are
submitting the proposal.
This proposal, A Cultural Immersion Experience: Learning Outside the
Classroom, fits well with Strand I, Imagining Future Students, Future Teachers. By
involving teacher candidates in a learning experience outside the classroom, a creative
and meaningful opportunity is opened for students to think in new ways about their core
beliefs
and the importance of multicultural relationships. The experience provides
insights and strategies for teacher candidates to prepare them for teaching a diverse
2006 AACTE Proposal Submission: Imagining Future Students, Future Teachers
A Cultural Immersion Experience: Learning Outside the Classroom
1
P
ROPOSAL
S
UBMISSION
2006 AACTE A
NNUAL
M
EETING


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