Source: Journal of Teacher Education, Vol. 58, No. 3, 245-255 (2007)
Knowledge of learners' assets beyond the traditional structure of school can provide preservice teachers with essential gateways to connecting learners with the content to be studied, and with forming beneficial social relationships that can enhance learning.
This article describes ways that preservice teachers responded to community-based activities located in the home communities of their learners. Analysis of work samples, interviews, and observations indicated that revelations about the preservice teachers themselves were confronted, stereotypical beliefs about their learners' communities were challenged, and new discoveries about community's strengths were acknowledged.
Evidence suggests that community cultural-immersion activities incorporated in teacher-preparation programs can not only help preservice teachers correct misperceptions about, but also build relationships with their learners that can potentially impact student achievement.