The Cultural Preparation of Teachers

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Title The Cultural Preparation of Teachers
Author(s) J. Timothy Goddard
Date 1994
Abstract This paper describes an ongoing doctoral study on the preparation of teachers to work in a variety of student cultural populations. It will examine teachers from three distinctly different geographical and sociocultural areas. The three areas are urban, suburban/rural, and rural isolated school jurisdictions in Alberta and Saskatchewan (Canada). Data will be gathered in a series of structured and semi-structured interviews with a representative sample of teachers. The paper discusses the method to be used and describes an interest in the topic from observation of teachers working with aboriginal students in Canadian schools. These teachers apparently were finding it difficult to be effective educators to diverse urban populations. An overview looks briefly at current research and current teacher education practices. Later sections explore the significance of the research for theory, practice, and further research. The paper also contains working definitions of sociocultural contextualization, various culture groups, and other terms key to the project. The proposed study will address an area of research seldom explored: how the enlightened practices of teacher education that enable student teachers to become more reflective about their teaching (i.e., understand themselves and their commitments; develop habits of monitoring and improving their teaching) are helping teacher educators prepare to educate children in culturally diverse societies. Contains 27 references. (JB)

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