Middle Grades teacher candidates participated in a “field trip” in an Integrated Reading course to model best practices in culturally responsive teaching. The college students visited their downtown city including a regional art museum and memorial sculpture garden commemorating local Black history to experience and contemplate possibilities for literacy integration in their pedagogy. Teacher candidates were encouraged to explore and understand community culture, history, and assets with respect to their future students’ lives, identities, interests, and experiences, and how these considerations should motivate their instructional decision making with literacy applications. A follow-up discussion was facilitated by the course professor along with a final project and presentation to combine key takeaways from the field trip with the coursework objectives. Recommendations are made for both middle grades teachers and teacher educators on opportunities for leveraging community assets with culturally relevant pedagogy and literacy integration as combined lenses for middle grades best practice.
Christine Craddock was a public high-school mathematics educator for 10 years and holds an MA in English with a focus in TESOL and an EdD in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus in literacy. She is currently serving as the advisor for AU’s Secondary program undergraduate students and as the STEM, Reading, and ESOL Endorsement Coordinator.
Stacie K. Pettit, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the Department of Teaching and Leading at Augusta University. She serves as the Middle Grades Program and Masters in Education in Instruction Program Coordinator and Collegiate Middle Level Association advisor. In 2019, she received the Outstanding Professor of Middle Level Education Award from the National Association of Professors of Middle Level Education. Dr. Pettit received her degrees from the University of Georgia in Middle School Education and has 20 years of experience teaching middle school or in higher education.
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Craddock, Christine L. and Pettit, Stacie K. 2949136
"Never Too Old for a Field Trip: Exploring Community Assets for Middle Grades Literacy Integration,"
Current Issues in Middle Level Education: Vol. 27:
2, Article 3.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.georgiasouthern.edu/cimle/vol27/iss2/3