Proposal Abstract

This project explores how service learning helps pre-service teachers change their perceptions toward working with diverse populations and how they link service learning to social justice. Providing opportunities for pre-service teachers to link community service with their classroom experiences adds value to their learning experience and enhances qualities of understanding and commitment that lead to effective citizenship participation. Thirty first year ECE pre-service teachers enrolled in a multicultural education course were asked to complete a service learning project in which they worked with day care centers that serve low income families. In groups, students worked closely with the centers to conduct a needs assessment and create projects that assist in overcoming the issues facing each center. After the projects were completed, students completed a guided reflection paper and poster presentation as part of the project. Guiding questions focused on the impact of the experience on pre-service teachers and the centers. Results indicated that pre-service teachers valued the service learning experience and gained new insight regarding teaching students of diverse backgrounds. However, they had difficulty connecting service learning and social justice. Strategies to help pre-service teachers develop a better understanding of social justice will be discussed.

Location

Room 113

Publication Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

 
Mar 27th, 4:00 PM Mar 27th, 5:30 PM

Learning through Service: The Contribution of Service-Learning to First Year Pre-Service Teachers

Room 113

This project explores how service learning helps pre-service teachers change their perceptions toward working with diverse populations and how they link service learning to social justice. Providing opportunities for pre-service teachers to link community service with their classroom experiences adds value to their learning experience and enhances qualities of understanding and commitment that lead to effective citizenship participation. Thirty first year ECE pre-service teachers enrolled in a multicultural education course were asked to complete a service learning project in which they worked with day care centers that serve low income families. In groups, students worked closely with the centers to conduct a needs assessment and create projects that assist in overcoming the issues facing each center. After the projects were completed, students completed a guided reflection paper and poster presentation as part of the project. Guiding questions focused on the impact of the experience on pre-service teachers and the centers. Results indicated that pre-service teachers valued the service learning experience and gained new insight regarding teaching students of diverse backgrounds. However, they had difficulty connecting service learning and social justice. Strategies to help pre-service teachers develop a better understanding of social justice will be discussed.