Source: Studying Teacher Education, Vol. 4, No. 2, November 2008, p. 143–156
This is a self-study of the author's professional and cultural biography and identity, a history which directed her first toward the work of urban teaching and then into teacher education and research into comparative educational issues of racial and national identity.
This self-study involves both a remote and a current biography containing universal elements that connect to other lives and broader social and educational issues. It is an immigration story in which people become strangers within their cultures and where they wrestle with contrasting, different, and contiguous cultures that are still significantly alike.
The author's biography bears the themes of race and education.
It is about a teacher/researcher who has insider/outsider status, and who, as an urban teacher, was both close to, and distant from, like and unlike, the students she served and the colleagues with whom she taught.
She uses this inquiry to demonstrate how biography and identity influences the lived experience of teaching and the researcher’s stance.
She also examines areas where preservice urban teacher education programs must improve. Her personal recommendations describe experiences that would have better prepared her for urban teaching. Suggestions include expanding coursework in the historical, political, and sociocultural influences on urban education and in designing culturally responsive curricula. The author also recommends restructuring field experiences to offer richer classroom-based learning opportunities for preservice teachers and extending fieldwork into urban communities. Finally, She suggests ongoing inservice teacher education in learning- community models that respond to educators’ context-specific teaching concerns.