Title

1. Changes in Perceptions of Teacher Candidates about Students in Poverty through Teacher Education Experiences

First Presenter's Institution

Winthrop University

Second Presenter's Institution

Winthrop University

Third Presenter's Institution

NA

Fourth Presenter's Institution

NA

Fifth Presenter's Institution

NA

Location

Harborside Center West 2

Strand #1

Social & Emotional Skills

Strand #2

Family & Community

Strand #1

Head: Academic Achievement & Leadership

Strand #2

Head: Academic Achievement & Leadership

Relevance

The proposal relates to both the “Heart” and “Home” strands outlined in the conference description. The topics covered in the presentation relate to how teacher candidates empathize (or not) with students in poverty in their public school and community through a process of university lecture and university supported field-based experiences, as well as assignments geared towards the deeper understanding of the context of the students’ lives.

Brief Program Description

Children facing the challenges of poverty need the most prepared teachers. In order to understand how teacher education programs can better prepare teacher candidates to work with students in poverty, this presentation will outline how one university has combined lecture with field-based experiences and examined the potential shifts in how teacher candidates perceive and empathize with students living in poverty.

Summary

Approximately 15 million children live in poverty across the United States (NCCP, 2016). In order to prepare teachers to live and work with this reality, they must be exposed to the context of poverty in order to increase their capacity to empathize with these students. The major questions become: How can teacher education programs prepare future teachers to work with this population and what shift in perception, if any, occurs as a result of the exposure to such experiences? This presentation will examine one university’s program for exposing teacher candidates to the context of poverty through the course, Developmental Sciences and the Context of Poverty (EDUC 200), and how this course and its associated field-based placements and activities potentially create a positive shift in the perceptions of teacher candidates towards students living in poverty. This will include a detailed description of the EDUC 200 course and its combination of university-based lectures and field experiences (approximately 20 hours in Title 1 schools). The text for the course, Teaching with Poverty in Mind (Jensen, 2009), will also be discussed as it applies to the supplemental coursework for the university students. Throughout the course, teacher candidates work one-on-one with students in poverty and the course-driven tools they use in order to more fully understand the lives of theses students through the course will also be explicated. Lastly, the results of an independent study conducted by faculty at the university to determine if a shift in perceptions occurs with the teacher candidates will be presented in order to create a meaningful discussion about how teachers are being emotionally and professionally prepared to work with students living in poverty. The “take home” here is how important it is for universities to employ practices that directly teach to and examine how students in teacher education programs perceive the challenges of poverty and view the students (and their families) who are affected.

Evidence

School systems throughout the United States increasingly struggle to find funding for resources, which includes the hiring of highly effective teachers. Additionally, fewer and fewer teacher candidates are choosing to go and work in schools of poverty, based on their unfounded biases (Center of Excellence to Prepare Teachers of Poverty, 2016). When teacher candidates are exposed to the context of poverty early in their program of study through both their courses at a university and their associated field-based experiences, they are more likely to consider working in Title 1 schools (Frederick, Cave, & Perencevich, 2010). Therefore, it is crucial that teacher education programs expose their teacher candidates to these social justice concepts and place them in Title 1 schools early in order to potentially influence their conceptualization of teaching students in poverty. In South Carolina, the shortage has led to state-level incentives including recommendations by a state government committee to alleviate teachers’ graduate schools costs, provide stipends for living expenses, and potential increases in salaries in order to incentivize recent teacher education program graduates to work in Title 1 schools (Abbeville Committee Recommendations, 2016). Winthrop University includes a course related to understanding students living in poverty, with the hope that more teacher candidates will seek jobs in areas of poverty.

Learning Objectives

Presenter will provide.

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Scot Rademaker is an assistant professor in the department of Curriculum and Pedagogy at Winthrop University. He teaches courses associated with the context of poverty and works as a faculty in residence at a Title 1 school in York, South Carolina.

Dr. Marleah Bouchard is an assistant professor in the department of Curriculum and Pedagogy and works with students in courses related to contextualizing and more deeply understanding poverty.

Keyword Descriptors

Teacher education, Poverty, Field-based courses, social justice, perception shift

Presentation Year

2017

Start Date

3-8-2017 11:15 AM

End Date

3-8-2017 12:30 PM

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Mar 8th, 11:15 AM Mar 8th, 12:30 PM

1. Changes in Perceptions of Teacher Candidates about Students in Poverty through Teacher Education Experiences

Harborside Center West 2

Children facing the challenges of poverty need the most prepared teachers. In order to understand how teacher education programs can better prepare teacher candidates to work with students in poverty, this presentation will outline how one university has combined lecture with field-based experiences and examined the potential shifts in how teacher candidates perceive and empathize with students living in poverty.