Preparing Teachers for Diverse Classrooms: Creating Public and Private Spaces to Explore Culture Through Poetry Writing
by Cheryl L. Rosaen - 2003
Teachers and teacher educators are faced with an urgent responsibility to transform curriculum, teaching, and assessment practices to support the learning of an increasingly diverse cultural and linguistic student population who come to school with a range of experiences and abilities. This article relates my efforts as a teacher educator to transform my own curriculum, teaching and assessment practices to better prepare beginning teachers for diverse classrooms. The article presents research findings from a study of one of the pedagogical approaches taken in a literacy methods course. I used poetry as a site for teacher candidates to explore aspects of their own culture and share their knowledge with one another. I also wanted them to consider ways in which poetry can be explored by making connections with their personal lives and other texts they have read or have written to support meaningful learning. I describe teacher candidates' perceptions of the poetry writing activity and their learning in four areas: curriculum, pedagogy, multicultural competence, and social justice. I conclude with a discussion of insights gained and future directions for further course and program development.
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