In a time when the United States is faced with continued racism and social unrest, it is more important than ever to prepare teachers who can advocate for marginalized students and social justice. This article describes the evolution of a seminar course called Theory and Reality: Practicum in Math and Science Teaching in High-Need Schools within the context of a predominately White teacher-preparation program. Guided by scholars of culturally relevant education and our professional and personal journeys as equity-focused teacher educators, we sought to design experiences to prepare preservice science and mathematics teachers to teach in high-poverty or underfunded schools. Specifically, the course was intended to (1) develop an understanding of pedagogical practices and educational strategies for successful teaching in a high-need school setting, especially in mathematics and science classrooms, and (2) cultivate both cultural self-awareness and cross-cultural consciousness in one’s ability to adapt to the high-need environment in a culturally responsive way. We describe the evolutionary rationale for changes made to course assignments and readings to promote cultural competence and early advocacy skills for teacher candidates interested in teaching in schools facing poverty. We highlight preservice teachers’ reflections that evidence their early conceptualizations of teaching in a high-need school context and how assignments promoted their relationship-building and advocacy skills for marginalized students.
Innovations Journal articles, beyond each issue's featured article, are included with ASTE membership. If your membership is current please login at the upper right.
Albemarle County Public Schools. (2021). Public participation at school board meetings. https://esb.k12albemarle.org/Reference_Library/ESB_Policies_and_Regulations/Policies//BDDH.pdf
Aronson, B., & Laughter, J. (2016). The theory and practice of culturally relevant education: A synthesis of research across content areas. Review of Educational Research, 86(1), 163–206. https://doi.org/10.3102/0034654315582066
Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy: The exercise of control. Freeman.
Banks, J. A. (2013). Series foreword. In P. C. Gorski, Reaching and teaching students in poverty: Strategies for erasing the opportunity gap (pp. ix–xiv). Teachers College Press.
Battey, D. (2013). Access to mathematics: “A possessive investment in whiteness.” Curriculum Inquiry, 43(3), 332–359. https://doi.org/10.1111/curi.12015
Bjorklund, P., Jr., Daly, A. J., Ambrose, R., & van Es, E. A. (2020). Connections and capacity: An exploration of preservice teachers’ sense of belonging, social networks, and self-efficacy in three teacher education programs. AERA Open, 6(1). https://doi.org/10.1177/2332858420901496
California Alliance for Arts Education. (n.d.). Script for 3-minute school board presentation. Retrieved August 2, 2020, from https://www.artsed411.org/files/LCFF%20Presentation%20SCRIPT_121113.pdf
Gay, G. (2010). Culturally responsive teaching: Theory, research, and practice (2nd ed.). Teachers College Press.
Gorski, P. (2016). Rethinking the role of “culture” in educational equity: From cultural competence to equity literacy. Multicultural Perspectives, 18(4), 221–226. https://doi.org/10.1080/15210960.2016.1228344
Gorski, P. C. (2018). Reaching and teaching students in poverty: Strategies for erasing the opportunity gap (2nd ed.). Teachers College Press.
Gorski, P. C., & Dalton, K. (2020). Striving for critical reflection in multicultural and social justice teacher education: Introducing a typology of reflection approaches. Journal of Teacher Education, 71(3), 357–368. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022487119883545
Grillo, M., & Kier, M. (2021). Why do they stay? An exploratory analysis of identities and commitment factors associated with teaching retention in high-need school contexts. Teaching and Teacher Education, 105, Article 103423. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2021.103423
Gutstein, E., & Peterson, B. (Eds.). (2013). Rethinking mathematics: Teaching social justice by the numbers (2nd ed.). Rethinking Schools.
Hall, A. F. (2019). REAL reflection reflective learning communities (RLC): A handbook for facilitating critical reflection in the classroom and beyond. Virginia Commonwealth University. https://uploads.provost.vcu.edu/real/reflectionhandbook.pdf
Hall, A. (2020, February 7). VCU service-learning workshop: Implementing critical reflection in the classroom and beyond [Workshop]. Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA.
Higher Education Act of 1965, 20 U.S.C. § 1021.
Kier, M. W., & Chen, J. A. (2019). Kindling the fire: Fueling preservice science teachers’ interest to teach in high‐needs schools. Science Education, 103(4), 875–899. https://doi.org/10.1002/sce.21520
Ladson-Billings, G. (1994). What we can learn from multicultural education research. Educational Leadership, 51(8), 22–26.
Ladson-Billings, G. (2014). Culturally relevant pedagogy 2.0: a.k.a. the remix. Harvard Educational Review, 84(1), 74–84. https://doi.org/10.17763/haer.84.1.p2rj131485484751
Larkin, D. B. (2013). Deep knowledge: Learning to teach science for understanding and equity. Teachers College Press.
Milner, H. R., IV. (2010). Start where you are, but don’t stay there: Understanding diversity, opportunity gaps, and teaching in today’s classrooms. Harvard Education Press.
Milner, H. R., IV, & Tenore, F. B. (2010). Classroom management in diverse classrooms. Urban Education, 45(5), 560–603. https://doi.org/10.1177/0042085910377290
National Association for the Education of Young Children. (n.d.). Letter to the editor template. Retrieved August 2, 2020, from https://www.naeyc.org/our-work/public-policy-advocacy/letter-editor-template
Pianta, R. C., Hamre, B. K., & Mintz, S. (2012). Classroom assessment scoring system: Secondary manual. Teachstone.
Rodriguez, A. J., & Morrison, D. (2019). Expanding and enacting transformative meanings of equity, diversity and social justice in science education. Cultural Studies of Science Education, 14(2), 265-281.
Ryan, M. (2013). The pedagogical balancing act: Teaching reflection in higher education, Teaching in Higher Education, 18(2), 144–155. https://doi.org/10.1080/13562517.2012.694104
Steele, C. M. (2010). Whistling Vivaldi: And other clues to how stereotypes affect us. Norton.
U.S. Census Bureau. (2021, August 12). Racial and ethnic diversity in the United States: 2010 census and 2020 census. https://www.census.gov/library/visualizations/interactive/racial-and-ethnic-diversity-in-the-united-states-2010-and-2020-census.html
Weinstein, C. S., Tomlinson-Clarke, S., & Curran, M. (2004). Toward a conception of culturally responsive classroom management. Journal of Teacher Education, 55(1), 25–38. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022487103259812