The purpose of this paper is to explore how, and to what degree, culturally responsive field experiences influence the knowledge, beliefs, perspectives and abilities of teacher candidates in an educator preparation program (EPP).Design/methodology/approachResearchers conducted a mixed methods study using a pre-/post-Likert scale survey regarding pre-service teacher beliefs, reflections, Professional Learning Communities (PLC) meetings and observations by the researchers.FindingsTeacher candidates expressed greater confidence in their ability to perform culturally responsive tasks by the end of their first field experience, but also indicated ambivalence toward the importance of those tasks.Research limitations/implicationsThe paper’s limitations include the small number of participants, the short timeframe of the study and it was year one implementation of a new model.Practical implicationsA community mapping experience called the Neighborhood Treasure Hunt (NTH), in conjunction with the other components of the educator preparation program, impacted teacher candidates’ understanding of culturally responsive teaching practices, their perception of their ability to perform them and the importance of culturally responsive teaching. Each program component is necessary to raise awareness and effect change.Originality/valueBased on the research of Ladson-Billings (1994) and Author 1 (2007), the NTH was intentionally integrated into the field experience component. Author 1 (2007) was involved in this process adding integrity, authenticity and originality to the research study with teacher candidates in an EPP.
Journal for Multicultural Education – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 22, 2019
Keywords: Community mapping; Culturally relevant; Culturally responsive; Educator preparation; Neighborhood treasure hunt; Responsive pedagogy